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HDR: Projector Compatibilty Issues

M. David Stone, November 16, 2016

Some Troubleshooting Tips

If you've confirmed that your projector and video source are compatible according to the manufacturer's test results or by matching specifications, but you're still not getting a 4K HDR image--or aren't sure if you are--here are some troubleshooting steps to try.

Make sure all of your devices are updated with the latest firmware.

Check to see if the projector recognizes the input as 4K HDR:

  • For Epson models: Choose the Menu's Info option. If the projector recognizes the input as an HDR signal, the Color Format entry should show the color space and the text HDR, with a number from 1 to 4 to indicate the HDR mode.

  • For JVC models: Go to the menu's Input tab. It should show the resolution as 3840x2160, the color as either 10 bit or 12 bit, and HDR as Yes.

  • For Sony models: With the latest firmware at this writing, the Information Menu will show HDR if the projector detects HDR content. (Some models will not show this with older firmware.)

If your projector is indicating that it is receiving 4K HDR input and you don't see the effect, try making the room as dark as possible. Keep in mind that ambient light will wash out dark areas to reduce contrast ratio and hide much of HDR's advantage.

If your hardware has more than one HDMI port and they're not all HDMI 2.0a, make sure the cable is connected to an HDMI 2.0a port.

Make sure your HDMI cable can handle the bandwidth. Most standard HDMI cables are not UHD certified.

Make sure you're following the projector manufacturer's setting recommendations, if any, for HDR content.

Epson offers a FAQ here.

In addition, Epson recommends using the Bright Cinema setting for HDR content in most lighting conditions. It also says that with the current firmware at this writing, and the default setting of Auto for Dynamic Range, the projector uses its HDR 2 mode with HDR input. However, you should also experiment with manually changing the setting to HDR 1, HDR 3, and HDR 4. To change the setting, choose Signal, Advanced, Dynamic range, and then pick the setting you want.

HDR 2 is the default because Epson considers it the choice most people will prefer with most lighting conditions. HDR 1 gives a brighter image, which you might prefer in a room with more ambient light. HDR 3 and 4 give a darker image, which might be your preference in darker rooms. Of the four choices, HDR 4 is actually closest to the HDR10 specification according to Epson, but in our experience it is too dark even in a dark room with a small screen.

The disadvantage of setting HDR to one of its alternative modes with Epson's current firmware is that the projectors will then use that mode for all input signals, including SDR content, which messes up SDR image color and contrast. To avoid that happening, you need to manually switch the Dynamic Range setting back and forth between Auto and HDR 1, 3, or 4 as needed. Epson is also planning a firmware update that will let you change the HDR mode for the Auto setting to be any of the HDR modes. Once you change the HDR setting for Auto to user, you won't need to change the Dynamic Range setting manually when switching between HDR and SDR input.

JVC's recommendations are available here.

Sony doesn't have instructions online, but says their projectors need HDR set to Auto (the preferred setting) or On. With the latest firmware for all Sony projectors at this writing, the projector will detect the color space actually being used. If it detects BT.2020 in the data stream (as distinct from what the header says), it will automatically switch to it with no option to change the Color Space setting. Otherwise, it will use the current setting for Color Space, but you can manually change it by going to the Picture Menu, choosing Expert Setting, and then Color Space.

Sony says this is needed to give you better color quality with early HDR discs, many of which include a header indicating that they're using BT.2020 but were created from files using Rec.709 without adjusting the color values. The new firmware also lets you change the average picture brightness when viewing HDR content. You can adjust it to taste with the HDR Contrast setting in the Picture Menu.

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Spec Matching
Contents: Intro Projector HDR Compatibility Spec Matching Troubleshooting Tips
Comments (10) Post a Comment
SimonBG Posted Nov 17, 2016 9:10 AM PST
What a mess! I regret purchasing 4k TV and will not update my other 4 zones for at least 3-4 years. Shame on you manufacturers and HDMI consortium. Your greed has no limits.
Wesley Miaw Posted Nov 23, 2016 7:34 PM PST
I can confirm the Xbox One S will feed a 4Kp60 HDR10 signal to the JVC DLA-RS500U / DLA-X750R with full compatibility with the Xbox One S UI, 4K Blu-ray discs, and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon.
hifijohnny Posted Dec 4, 2016 3:05 PM PST
You sure got that right. Consumer electronics has been a hobby of mine since I was a boy. Home Theater is my passion these days. When we purchased our Lansing home, we sought a dedicated space for a moderately sized personal home theater. HDR is not ready for prime time for projectors yet. It's a pain in the *ss trying to keep up with the formats since the inception of HDTV. The industry is sabotaging their own future and retail viability by releasing amazing features every other year. I bought two expensive Sony XBR4 1080P televisions in 2007. 52" for the Lr 40" in the den. These sets were Sony's top of the line in 2007. Beautiful sets with a stylish glass and silver bezel. I fell in love with it the first time I laid eyes on it at Circuit City. Remember them? I gotta say. I was frustrated when less than two years after buying my Sony sets, 3D hits the market. They couldn't introduce both at the same time? Now, retailers want us to ditch our 1080P sets for 4K sets with HDR. . A format that has more than one standard. Remember Blu ray vs. HDD? what a pain in the *ss.I've been researching 4k and 4k really isn't ready for prime time. Especially if you are interested in a 4k Projector. This year I replaced an eight year old Denon AVR that is the driving force of our theater. I replaced it with a Marantz 8802 Pre/Pro and two outboard Amplifiers for 11 channels to bring the Cinema experience into the home. I do have to say that Atmos and DTS-X are a quantum leap in sonics and I didn't expect it to be as dramatic as it is. My Denon was expensive, their most recent high end flagship AVR5308CIA (discontinued) The Marantz Pre/Pro losts it's video output/ Not even a year old and retails for 4000. USD. I picked up a back up all in one receiver. Last years model Marantz 7010 cost reduced by 1100 dollars. What a bargain. We love home theater and so does everyone that gets invited to experience cinema quality in the Home. Every year there are more and more affordable components that are actually pretty darn good performers I half way decent theater can be had for as low as 3000 if you do it yourself. It's not that hard, just a lot of work installing gear. hiding wires in walls. Socket in ceiling for projector. That kind of stuf. But I am a little disillusioned that the consumer electronics industry is running a racket of format changes every couple of years. Audio and video. BTW, 8k TV is on the horizon.
Harry Posted Mar 3, 2017 7:20 AM PST
Anyone knows when can we expect an update on HDR content passed from Xbox one S to Epson 5040UB? Even after the latest firmware update I don't see it working. I now have 4K content but can't really enjoy it to the full extent.
John H Posted Mar 7, 2017 6:49 AM PST
my sony vpl vw675es projector will NOT pass Netflix 4k HDR as viewed thru a Roku Ultra--- maneuvers such as deleting Roku and reloading Roku did not work, running the roku directly to the sony projector did not work, using monoprice premium hi speed hdmi cables did not work, setting the HDMI format to Enhanced did not work, deleting and reinstalling Netflix did not work, watching Amazon prime HDR DID work !!! Working for an hour with a Netflix technical engineer did not work-----the conclusion was that the Sony proj will NOT pass 4K HDR at 60 frames per second----only at 30 frames per second AND a lot of Netflix HDR material is at 60 frames per second
SimonKennedy Posted Jun 7, 2017 12:24 PM PST
FWIW, my Sony UBP-X800 does NOT work with my Sony VPL-VW365ES, and when I called Sony installation support they recommended replacing the X800 with one of the players listed here as they're known to be compatible and Sony knows their own player isn't. Apparently the issue is that the X800 will only output 4:4:4 or 4:2:2, and the VW365ES will only work w/ 4:2:0.
Simon Kennedy Posted Jun 9, 2017 4:05 PM PST
Does anyone know the proper settings for the Panasonic UB900 with the Sony VW365ES? Per my earlier comment, at Sony installation support's recommendation I've bought the Panny, but am having the exact same issues (HDR discs play with colors that are WAY off - sort of like an oil-slick on the screen). Of course, this may not be a setting issue and may in fact be an issue w/ the PJ itself (or some other component...) but I thought I'd at least ask
Sony HDR Posted Jun 17, 2017 10:49 PM PST
Have any Sony vw365es owners figured out which 4K blu ray player actually works with hdr?? I have the oil slick discoloration with philips bpd7501 player, Sony x800 4K player, and Sony x1000es 4K player. HDR failing despite plugging 3 foot cinnamon hdmi cable directly from 4K player into port 2 (HDMI 2.2) in vw365es projector
victor Posted Jul 4, 2017 9:22 PM PST
This is why I am waiting for 4k upgrade till next year see how it is,4k is mess right now so just wait.
Chris Broshar Posted Apr 10, 2019 5:34 PM PST
Can anyone verify if Xbox One X and Epson 6040 HDR work? Netflix?

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