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Old version has washed out colors, and "grey" blacks.


pmac
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Hi, I'm not sure if this is just an Emby Theater issue or not, I was unable to test in the web client, for some reason I was getting "video unable to play"

I recently updated to the new AMD Crimson drivers, and I'm having an issue with video quality in Theater now. I tested a video in Windows Media Player, and all the blacks/colors look just fine, but when playing the same video in Theater, they're all washed out, and my "blacks" are very grey. I couldn't find any settings directly in Theater, or in LAV splitter to adjust the luminance, or brightness settings, and I'd rather not have to adjust it right in my video settings, since videos look good anywhere outside of Emby.

Anyone have any ideas on this?

 

If you need more info on my system or anything, let me know.

 

Thanks,

Patrick

PS. Damn AMD and their driver updates. Completely reset the 4+ hours spent getting perfect screen calibration...

Edited by pmac
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I've uploaded some screenshots to demonstrate the difference I'm seeing between WMP and ET:

 


The first is in WMP with the default brightness setting in the new AMD settings program:

 

565a605e606ad_1WMPDefault.jpg

 

 

Now in ET with the default brightness setting:

 

565a607811bf5_2MBTDefault.jpg

 

 

This is in WMP with the brightness setting at -8: (The closest I could get to leaving it at 0 while still getting true blacks, as you will see in the next screenshot)

 

565a60916d851_3WMP8.jpg

 

 

ET with the brightness set to -8 in the AMD settings program:

 

565a60b159e2a_4MBT8.jpg

 

 

Now, with the brightness set to -8 it doesn't look too bad (it could probably still be a slight touch darker), but I'd rather not have to adjust the setting from 0, since it makes the video too dark when watching any videos outside of Emby Theater.

 

You can see the difference between the screenshots easier if you save them and flip through with the arrow buttons on your keyboard, but I'm sure you get the idea.

 

For now, since the majority of the videos I watch are in ET, I'll leave the brightness setting turned down, but I'd really like to find a proper fix for this, since everywhere else the video looks good at the default settings.

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I'm not familiar with these drivers, but based on the older Catalyst ones, you MUST turn off/disable all the advanced AMD video settings (dynamic contrast etc). The only thing I leave on is de-interlacing (vector adaptive) and smooth video - I've never had a problem with these settings. Some third party apps can override the AMD ones with their own settings, others just take the default.

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I'm not familiar with these drivers, but based on the older Catalyst ones, you MUST turn off/disable all the advanced AMD video settings (dynamic contrast etc). The only thing I leave on is de-interlacing (vector adaptive) and smooth video - I've never had a problem with these settings. Some third party apps can override the AMD ones with their own settings, others just take the default.

 Thanks for the reply. While I enjoy the new Crimson drivers for the gaming performance. I'm not a huge fan of the stripped-down video configuration I'm left with.

 

There are no longer (at least, that I can find) any options for de-interlacing or smooth video, along with many other options the older Catalyst drivers had (there is a AMD Steady Video option, but I don't believe it's the same thing). The new interface looks much nicer, but is very lacking in the feature department. If I go to "advanced options" I'm brought to a stripped-down version of the older Catalyst software, but there aren't many options for customization available. I was however able to find that it was set to YCbCr pixel format, which I changed to RGB, and now I think my colors are more or less back to normal.

 

I still wish they allowed the same amount of customization the old drivers had though. Seems like more of a downgrade in that department...

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 Thanks for the reply. While I enjoy the new Crimson drivers for the gaming performance. I'm not a huge fan of the stripped-down video configuration I'm left with.

 

There are no longer (at least, that I can find) any options for de-interlacing or smooth video, along with many other options the older Catalyst drivers had (there is a AMD Steady Video option, but I don't believe it's the same thing). The new interface looks much nicer, but is very lacking in the feature department. If I go to "advanced options" I'm brought to a stripped-down version of the older Catalyst software, but there aren't many options for customization available. I was however able to find that it was set to YCbCr pixel format, which I changed to RGB, and now I think my colors are more or less back to normal.

 

I still wish they allowed the same amount of customization the old drivers had though. Seems like more of a downgrade in that department...

 

I guess because the Crimson drivers are so new, features are somewhat lacking at the moment, although with the current trend to dumb things down so much and just assume the manufacturers know best, I can't be 100% sure. Maybe you could go back to the last Catalyst drivers. They're pretty mature now, and still give you all the setup options, or, try using an external player (such as MPC-HC) with Theater. You gain a whole lot more setup options along with LAV/MadVR.

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I think I may have spoke too soon about fixing the issue. Before doing some research I didn't exactly know the difference between Limited and Full Range RGB and how it applied differently to televisions vs computer monitors.

Full Range RGB (0-255) is more for computer monitors and video games, etc.

Limited Range RGB (16-235) is for film/video

 

The names are kind of deceiving, because with a name like "limited range" you might think you're missing out on some of the color range by selecting this setting, which isn't true.

 

The video decoder built into your TV or monitor automatically converts to either the 0-255 range or the 16-235 range depending on what is being displayed.

 

For example: If you're playing a video game (which would have been designed to use the full dynamic range) on a television built to only display color in the 16-235 range, the video decoder in your television will convert the color data to display correctly on the range your TV is capable of, and it will look basically identical to the way it was meant to be displayed (assuming the TV is properly calibrated).

 

This also works the other way around when displaying limited range data (such as a movie or tv show) on a full range PC monitor; the monitor will convert the data in the 16-235 range to display correctly on a full range monitor.

 

I'm beginning to think the washed out blacks I'm experiencing might possibly be due a bug or oversight in the way Emby Theater was designed.

 

What I think might be happening here is ET is set up to display correctly using Full Dynamic Range RGB (likely the setting that the devs monitor was set to), when it should, in fact display using Limited Range, since Limited Range is the proper way to display movies/tv shows/etc. On a properly calibrated monitor (like the ones used for filming movies), the only color information displayed is in the 16-235 range. Anything below 16 is darker than black and gets clipped, and anything over 235 is lighter than white and gets clipped. On a properly calibrated monitor (such as the one I'm using), using limited dynamic range within Emby Theater (which it should be set to, since it's used for displaying movies) causes the blacks to be washed out and the whites to clip; forcing me to lower my video brightness to compensate (which I shouldn't need to do, because I know my monitor is properly calibrated). The only other option I have to get the brightness to get closer to the proper level is to set my pixel format to Full Dynamic Range (which is the incorrect setting for a product designed to display film/television), which looks fine in ET, but causes everything else outside of the program to look too dark.

 

Some examples would be:

 

On Limited RGB Windows Media Player, YouTube and video games all display accurate blacks and whites, but ET appears far too bright, and washed out.

On Full RGB Windows Media Player, YouTube and video games are all far too dark, while ET appears correctly.

 

ET seems to display brightness opposite from everything else on my computer.

This leads me to believe that this is a bug in the way ET has been designed. I believe when the video settings were designed for ET, they were done so on a computer that was set to use Full Dynamic Range.

i suggest these be redone on a computer set to Limited Range, so it can more accurately reproduce proper blacks and whites on a television.

 

I know this isn't something that a lot of people will notice (it isn't incredibly noticeable on some televisions), but as a film nut, and someone who studied digital media production, I can't help but notice these things, and they drive me nuts!

 

 

...either that or this whole issue is some other anomaly limited to my system, but I don't believe that to be the case.

 

Just some food for thought!

 

-Patrick

 

 

EDIT: Unless someone can show me that this isn't a bug, and it's just an issue limited to my system; I could move this post to a new bug topic, since the title and original post here don't exactly point towards the topic of a bug. I am, however, fairly certain now that this is the issue, since from what I have seen; it is limited to Emby Theater

Edited by pmac
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For anyone interested in checking to see if their monitor/tv brightness is calibrated properly, HERE is a link to a sample SMPTE test pattern you can use to get some basic calibration.

 

I had to link it because over saturated blacks can't be shown in a regular image (I'm also not sure how accurate this link is compared to a professional calibration disc or software), but the below image is a screenshot of the pattern I linked to that I've brightened to highlight how to use the test pattern, for those that aren't sure.

 

566a72b208b34_SMPTEColorBars.jpg

 

For setting the correct brightness of your monitor/tv you should concentrate on the 3 narrow vertical lines I've circled on the bottom right. On a proper SMPTE test pattern or pluge, you wouldn't be able to distinguish the line marked "blacker than black" from "true black" on a limited range RGB monitor (most televisions) as it falls below 16 on the color range, but you don't need to be able to see that line to properly calibrate the brightness on your TV.

 

The easiest way is to adjust the brightness way up until you can see all three lines (or possibly just the right 2), and then gradually decrease the brightness until either the left 2 lines blend in with the background, or you can just barely make out the line on the right side (which I've marked "above black" in the example).

 

I'm not 100% sure on the exact luminosity of the "above black" line in this particular pattern, but they generally go from -2% Black to True Black to +2% Black; to give you an idea of how faintly you should be able to see the "above black" line if you're brightness is calibrated properly.

 

The image below is a cropped version of the SMPTE pattern, showing what the image should look like on a properly calibrated screen.

The top half is at the proper brightness, and the bottom half is brightened up 100% just to demonstrate the difference more clearly in case some people have their brightness set too low and can't see the proper setting in the upper portion of the image.

 

566a781663a5b_BlackLevels.jpg

 

The "Above Black" line in the image should be barely visible against the pure black background. If it stands out as much as the lower portion of the above image, you need to adjust your brightness down.

 

This isn't what I've used to calibrate my tv with, but the concept is the same. I just thought it would be interesting to see how well other peoples TV's are calibrated, and whether they notice the washed out black's I'm experiencing with Emby Theater's brightness being set too high for a limited range television.

 

EDIT: I just realized that the SMPTE pattern I linked to is inaccurate. The "blacker than black" portion of the image is actually true black. So to properly use that image for calibration, you should adjust your screen until the line in the "true black" place is just barely visible, as it should actually be +2% black if the author designed the image so that the left bar is RGB 0,0,0 (which should be true black unless I'm mistaken), making the right bar +4% black.

Edited by pmac
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swhitmore

There probably won't be much support for the current version of Emby Theatre, as there is a new version being developed at the moment.

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b0dyr0ck2006

I've noticed the same thing and have come to the same conclusions, almost to the point that I will play a movie outside of emby theatre just so that I get a cleaner video picture. Which defeats the whole reason for having emby

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  • 1 month later...

I know the new Emby Theater is out now, but is there any chance of this issue getting fixed for MBT? I'm sure it's not a huge deal for one of the devs just to turn the brightness down 10%, that would make all the difference in the world for MBT. I hate watching uncalibrated video (Yes, I'm that picky). And for whatever reason my Radeon software won't save my custom brightness when I restart my computer, it goes from -10 back to 0 every time I restart my PC, which is super annoying.

But the fact that MBT is the only video player I need to lower my brightness for leads me to believe it was just an oversight by the developers.

So, as I said: Is there any chance you guys could fix the brightness issue please? (Roughly 10% lower than it currently is)

Thanks,

Patrick

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@@Luke, I've got some knowledge in C#. Unfortunately I've never used GitHub before, so I wouldn't know where to start as far as tracking down this issue on there...

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  • 3 weeks later...
braddles69

+1 for this, I have also noticed the washed out blacks on my laptop which I upgraded to win 10, I won't be upgrading my HTPC to win 10 until this is resolved. I know that ET is still a beta and am loving the look of it so far, but like pcmac, visual fidelity is paramount to me and ET isn't ready for my HTPC duties yet.

I would suspect a lot of potential ET users would also be acutely aware of black levels and maybe sitting on the sidelines as I am.

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Jdiesel

Solution, use madVR.

 

For TV's set madVR to limited, GPU drivers to Full, and TV to limited.

 

For PC monitors set madVR to Full, GPU drivers to Full, and the display is already set to Full.

 

LAV video options have no effect so just leave them untouched. Oh and disable all video processing options in your GPU drivers.

 

http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/30199-et-setup-guide-with-madvr-and-bitstreaming-hd-audio/?p=289780

Edited by Jdiesel
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You know, everything full RGB 4:4:4, if possible. You must know, since you writing the madVR "guide". It is better to guide your readers to the Chromares test, instead of proclaiming that almost all tv convert it to RGB Limited.

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Jdiesel

You know, everything full RGB 4:4:4, if possible. You must know, since you writing the madVR "guide". It is better to guide your readers to the Chromares test, instead of proclaiming that almost all tv convert it to RGB Limited.

The few TVs that I used which supported 4:4:4 have only done so on PC mode at 60hz and in the case of my Samsung plasma locks out the CMS menu completely. Way too many issues with 4:4:4 IMO for little to no gain in fact I would wager that even the most discerning eyes would not be able to distinguish between 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 for video. Text or even PC games is a different story and there is benefit in 4:4:4 but from a media player standpoint I recommend that people stick with RGB limited if they want things to just work.

Edited by Jdiesel
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By that you are the exact opposite of madshi ;) A little here and there, is the purpose of all madVRs settings. So if 4:4:4 does not matter. Is Chroma upscaling also unimportant? It is completely irrelevant with Chroma and Jinc if your TV can not output 4:4:4

 

By the way, all Samsung SUHD supports 4:4:4 like all OLED, like my Panasonic at 2160p@60Hz

Edited by JLPFLD
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Jdiesel

Correct, in my opinion chroma upscaling is not very important and I think that the majority of madVR users would be more than happy with bicubic chroma upscaling.  Sure if you have the GPU horsepower to burn why not use NNEDI3. If you take a screenshot and zoom in 2x I'm sure you can notice a difference but when sitting 10 ft away from your TV I doubt you will notice any difference. Many people have no idea how to set color ranges or no desire to even bother with it. By using one of the three recommended settings I posted in my guide you will not have any issues with crushed blacks or clipped whites.

 

Like I mentioned in my guide, if your TV supports RGB Full, use it (Option 3).  If it doesn't or are unsure of if it does use Option 1 or 2. 

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Solution, use madVR.

 

For TV's set madVR to limited, GPU drivers to Full, and TV to limited.

 

For PC monitors set madVR to Full, GPU drivers to Full, and the display is already set to Full.

 

LAV video options have no effect so just leave them untouched. Oh and disable all video processing options in your GPU drivers.

 

http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/30199-et-setup-guide-with-madvr-and-bitstreaming-hd-audio/?p=289780

This seems like more of a workaround than a proper solution. I like running a minimalist setup, so I'd prefer not to have madVR running as well. Plus, I know my GPU and TV are set up perfectly, and everything outside of MBT displays perfectly (Including the new Emby Theater), so I don't want to change any of the settings there, it's only the old version of MBT that is the issue. That's why I thought it would be nice if a dev would be able to just turn the brightness down +/- 10% (I didn't do an actual test to see how high the brightness was, but visually it's around 10% high), or something that would have the same effect.

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We changed the dynamic range in the new app I think it was. It would have to be applied to the old app

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Correct, in my opinion chroma upscaling is not very important

 

I find it hard to believe what I read. Chroma upscaling is incredibly important and just what madVR do really well.

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  • 2 months later...
babgvant

I know the new Emby Theater is out now, but is there any chance of this issue getting fixed for MBT? I'm sure it's not a huge deal for one of the devs just to turn the brightness down 10%, that would make all the difference in the world for MBT. I hate watching uncalibrated video (Yes, I'm that picky). And for whatever reason my Radeon software won't save my custom brightness when I restart my computer, it goes from -10 back to 0 every time I restart my PC, which is super annoying.

 

But the fact that MBT is the only video player I need to lower my brightness for leads me to believe it was just an oversight by the developers.

 

So, as I said: Is there any chance you guys could fix the brightness issue please? (Roughly 10% lower than it currently is)

 

Thanks,

 

Patrick

 

It's not a bug. At least not in MBT.

 

As you've discovered there are different levels for dealing with content. The default in MBT [is probably] 2 (MFNominalRange_0_255    = 1, MFNominalRange_16_235    = 2).

 

There's a setting to control nominal range. If it's not exposed in the UI, you can edit the XML file that contains the NominalRange setting to alter it to what your GPU is comfortable with.

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