The New 4K Ultra HD Standard hidden feature to customers is not exactly what most of people is aware. The video broadcasting, streams and Blu-ray are using not only a resolution improvement but higher color depth, wider color gamut and a new metadata for standalone players.
Here's what they are hiding to you, the New color depth and wider color gamut metadata.
4K Ultra HD Standard Hidden Feature
Intentionally or not, the new standard has got a restriction on the video metadata which tells whatever you are using for playback how it is supposed to render in terms of color depth, matrix and primaries. From there, it gets rendered to the screen properly or not.
The new 4K Ultra HD standard comes packaged with the Rec 2020 and a 10 bit color depth, to maximize and upgrade the color reproduction from the already outdated Rec 709.
This upgrade is going to add a higher and wider color gamut to the video. Some devices are not able to render the wider gamut natively but tries to do it correctly by emulating the colors using what is called a Dithering process. Some others can natively render the Rec.2020 by having 10-Bit capabilities panels and chipsets.
Indifferent from the 4K panel you have, you should playback correctly what you are paying for, right?
Here's the catch, the companies are not letting the TV sets or any device that is not a Blu-ray Standalone player to properly render the Rec.2020 wider color gamut. Apart from some specific 4K Blu-ray standalone players, no other device can read the BT.2020 metadata, not even a PC mediaplayer in a default not modded state.
This means that if you have a native 4K Blu-Ray movie, stream or broadcast, it wont render the BT.2020 standard if the device can't read how to do it. Instead, it will render in the device default state and that would be the BT.709, 8 Bit Color Depth and it's primaries and matrix for the color gamut.
Nobody wants that to happen.
Why they would hide such improvement?
The 4K ultra standard hidden feature is actually a marketing tactic. In terms of marketing, the main reason is simple, they want you to buy the expensive 4K Blu-Ray standalone players to get it to play correctly. Most people wont know what a metadata is about, but they will be able to see the improvements in comparison to not properly configured devices. And that's what they want to happen.
The most modern 4K TV sets from Samsung, LG, Sony and others, doesn't even comes with a BT.2020 Preset on the TVs, only some specific models has got the HDR preset that is impossible to edit or use it for another input apart from playing the HDR capable metadata video from the USB stick.
If someone has the ability to calibrate 4K TV Panels to show the BT.2020 Standard, they will be able to see it ( or at least close to it ) with any input, improving the color rendering and white balances much better than if you see the same on other BT.709 Full HD set.
The other reason would be similar but from the TV Broadcasting services. They are going to give you expensive subscriptions that comes with some device to be able to see HDR or the BT.2020 wider color gamut properly. It is already happening with some TV broadcasters in Canada.
How to properly watch 4K Ultra HD standard
Now we are going to explain how to remove the 4K Ultra HD standard hidden feature and being able to render the videos properly on a computer device using specific software and filters that are coded to read BT.2020 metadata.
First you have to download and install:
When you have installed MadVR and Lav Filters, please also download and install MPC-HC
Now you have to setup MadVR to be the output renderer for the MPC-HC.
Open MPC-HC , right click - Options or the O key. Find Playback - Output. There select MadVR, click OK.
Now open any video you want, let it play to check MadVR is working properly by right clicking the screen and look for Filters. If it shows MadVR then it is working.
Now you have to setup MPC-HC to be able to render in the 10-Bit color depth.
Right Click on screen, select Filters again - LAV Video Decoder.
Inside the Lav Video Decoder you have to select Hardware Acceleration : NONE , do not use any other acceleration for video as none works for the BT.2020 except the CPU processing, keep in mind if you want to render 4K videos with a CPU, you need a high end CPU, or it will drop frames a lot.
After selecting the acceleration NONE, uncheck every output format you see, but leave only RGB 48. Click OK to exit and save.
It is time to configure MadVR to force it full screen DirectX exclusive rendering mode. This allows the 10-BIT to work in Windows environment.
Right click - Filters - MadVR- Edit Settings. Go to Rendering - General Settings.
Check " Enable automatic full-screen mode "
Check " use Direct3D 11 for presentation " and "present a frame for every Vsync "
Leave all the rest settings unchecked and do not change the CPU or GPU queue sizes.
Now go to Dithering on the same Rendering section.
Select Ordered Dithering. Uncheck use colored noise and change dither every frame.
Now go to Devices on top.
If you don't have a device add it and double click on it. Let's say it's called " Generic PnP Monitor ", just double click it.
Go to properties. Select PC levels (0-255). Select 10 bit ( or higher ) for the native display bit-depth.
Click OK at the bottom right to save settings and close MadVR.
Time to remove the restriction for MadVR
As any other device or software, MadVR also got a restriction metadata for BT.2020 files. You are going to fix this by giving the folder where you have your videos another specific name.
If your folder with the video is called "VIDEOS" just rename it to be like this : "VIDEOS Primaries=2020 Matrix=2020"
Add the Primaries=2020 Matrix=2020 after the original name.
Now open a video inside that folder and MPC-HC with MadVR will playback on BT.2020 using exclusive D3D 11 Full-screen method and 10bit output.
You can check the information by displaying the INFO on MadVR: Press Ctrl-F on playback.
You must see " Primaries 2020, Matrix 2020, D3D 11 fullscreen exclusive and 10 bit output depth " .
Like said, indifferent from what panel you have got, now it is playing correctly in terms of video standard and panel capabilities.
If you have a 10 bit panel, any content will look better. It does not have to be 4K , even a DVD or old full hd content will look better with this setup.
We hope this info suits your expectations.The 4K Ultra HD standard hidden feature is gone. You must have what you paid for, always.
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