HDR Movie Letterbox Colors

#1

I received the Vero 4K+ yesterday. The main reason I bought the Vero 4K+ was to play 4K Atmos movies (.mkv files) in my home theater from an attached USB hard drive. I needed this because my Roku Ultra does not support Atmos audio (except for Hulu). Roku does not even support Atmos audio from my Plex server. Also, I have a HTPC running Windows 10 (with the optional Microsoft Atmos home theater module) and after much effort, and many tweaks, I was not successful getting Atmos audio to pass through an HDMI cable to my Denon receiver.

I have a 5.2.2 channel surround system with 2 subwoofers and two front Atmos upfiring speakers. I tweaked the Vero OSMC audio settings until it is now successfully passing the Atmos audio signal to my Denon receiver.

Most 4K movies play well from the USB drive except for a couple of 10-bit 4K movies that stutter & freeze.

My main problem is with 4K HDR movies. Non-HDR 4K movies play well. However, all HDR movies have an issue where the bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) is not black but is filled with colors that change according to the movie content. This is very distracting.

I have tweaked various OSMC video settings with no luck. I have changed the hard drive from one USB port to the other USB port with no luck. I have changed to different high speed HDMI cables with no luck. I have re-booted the Vero 4K+ several times (disconnected & reconnected power) with no luck.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get rid of the multicolored letterbox bar at the bottom of HDR widescreen movies? I have searched for a solution on this forum. A couple of other forum members have had the same problem but I did not find a solution to this issue.

The Vero 4K+ is plugged into my Denon receiver with a high-speed HDMI cable. The Denon receiver is connected to my LG 4K HDR television with a high-speed HDMI cable. The USB hard drive is a Western Digital 4TB USB3.0 drive.

Thank you.

#2

A few things to try here.

First, make sure that the GUI is set to 1080.

Try turning on Settings > System > Display > Force 422 colour sampling. This is needed for some LGs

If that doesn’t help, what happens if you connect the Vero directly to the TV?

Have you tried another HDMI cable?

One other thing, is the USB drive self powered?

#3

A video of the problem would be good to see

#4

Thank you for the forum replies from brian_millham and sam_nazarko. I was surprised however that I only received 2 replies from all the forum members.

I have spent countless hours over the last couple of days working on my problem with the Vero 4K+. Nothing I have done has corrected the problem in any way. I have never spent so much time & effort trying to get a media player to function properly.

However, this problem with my new Vero 4K+ has me totally stymied.

This site would not allow me to upload a video file that shows the problem. Here is a link to my OneDrive account where you can view or download the video [Vero 4K HDR10 Problem (720p).mp4]:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AumcCuyWnbhquC-vUOr2fIERLqHp?e=ZLz6xc

To reiterate the problem: I am trying to play 4K movies from a USB drive connected to the USB ports on the Vero 4K+. All 4K HEVC HDR10 movies have an issue where the bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) is not black but is filled with pulsing colors that change according to the movie content. This is extremely distracting and make the movies essentially unwatchable. 4K movies in AVC format that are not HDR10 all play perfectly (with Atmos audio).

I have 24 Atmos 4K movies in mkv format. 16 of the movies are 4K HEVC HDR10, and 8 of the movies are 4K AVC format. These movies range in size from 10 GB to 26 GB. The 8 4K movies that are not HDR10 play perfectly from the USB drives. All of the 16 movies in 4K HEVC HDR10 have the bottom letterbox bar filled with changing colors (although they do otherwise play well). When a 4K HDR10 movie begins the [ HDR ] logo displays briefly in the top right corner of the TV.

Here is a new phenomenon I just discovered. If I press the [OK] button on the Vero remote while a movie is playing:

(a) For 4K Non-HDR10 movies: A menu bar appears in the bottom black letterbox bar showing symbols for Back, Pause, Stop, Next, Video Settings, Audio Settings, Subtitle Settings & Bookmarks (see PHOTO 1).
PHOTO 1::

(b) For 4K HDR10 movies: The menu bar does not appear. It seems to be masked by the flashing color letterbox bar (see PHOTO 2).
PHOTO 2:

This is the same phenomenon described by forum member Via321 in this forum on March 15. However, his solution (disabling HDMI-CEC options) did not work for me.

Here are some of the things I have tried without success:

(1) I verified that my OSMC GUI display was set (by default) to 1920x1080i resolution with 60.0 refresh rate. The other available resolutions were 4096x2160p, 3840x2160p, 1920x1080p, 1280x720p, 720x576p, 720x480p. However I apparently could not change the settings to any of the other resolutions: The screen would change to solid black for 5 sec. and then ask “Would you like to keep this change? No or Yes.” I was hesitant to answer ‘Yes’ to keep the black screen so it reverted back to the default of 1920x1080i .
(2) I turned on ‘Force 422 colour subsampling’.
(3) The ‘Display refresh rate’ was ‘Off’ by default. I set display refresh rate to ‘On Start/Stop’ and then set it to ‘Always’. None of the settings corrected the problem.
(4) I also tweaked several over settings in the OSMC video menu (none helped so I reset all to default).
(5) I changed the HMDI cable from the Vero 4K+ to my Denon receiver to another high-speed HDMI cable.
(6) I changed the HMDI cable from my Denon receiver to my LG TV to another high-speed HDMI cable.
(7) I connected the Vero directly to my LG TV to HDMI port 2 (CEC port).
(8) I connected the Vero directly to my LG TV to HDMI port 1 (Non-CEC port).
(9) I connected a Western Digital 4TB USB3.0 hard drive to each USB port on the Vero & tried to play 24 4K movies on the drive. The drive is self-powered. Only the non-HDR10 movies played correctly as explained above.
(10) I connected a SanDisk 128Gb USB3.0 (NTFS format) thumb drive to each USB port on the Vero. Only the non-HDR10 movies played correctly as explained above.
(11) I connected a Lexar USB2.0 (NTFS format) to each USB port on the Vero. Only the non-HDR movies played correctly as explained above.
(12) I disabled the OSMC HDMI-CEC options, powered off all devices, removed power cable and HDMI cable from Vero, waited a few minutes and then powered it back on. (This had fixed the same problem as mine for Via321 who posted on this forum on March 15). This did not correct my problem.
(13) Additionally I connected the Vero directly to an HDMI port on my other LG (49UH6100) 49” 4K HDR TV. Only the non-HDR10 movies played correctly as explained above.
(14) Additionally I connected the Vero directly to an HDMI port on my Westinghouse (WD32HB1120) 32” 720p TV (not 4K and not HDR). Only the non-HDR10 movies played correctly as explained above. Even on this 720p TV, the 4K HEVC HDR10 movies had the bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) that was not black but filled with pulsing colors.

None of the things I tried solved the HDR10 movie display problem. No matter what I did, all 4K HEVC HDR10 movies continued to display the bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) that was not black but was filled with pulsing colors that changed according to the movie content.

There appears to be no solution to this 4K HDR10 movie problem. It appears that my new Vero 4K+ (only few days old) contains either defective hardware or defective software. Otherwise there would be many more complaints about this problem on this forum.

Via321 described this same problem in his post on this forum on March 15. His solution did not work for me (disabling HDMI-CEC options).
No Atmos and playback not smooth

dogsrus described this same problem in his post on this forum in March 11. No solution was posted.
No Atmos and playback not smooth

AndreF described this same problem in his post on this forum in July 2018. No solution was posted.
Three general questions and problems with VERO 4K

================================================================================
And now my next problem with the Vero 4K: Plex Streaming

My scenario:

I have fiber gigabit Internet service that is currently showing 875 Mbps download and 935 Mbps upload speed. I have a Linksys gigabit tri-band router with 4 gigabit Ethernet ports. I have a Netgear 8 port gigabit Ethernet switch.

I have a dedicated PC Plex media server attached to my home network. The PC server is a Dell OptiPlex Intel i7-3770 CPU @ 3.4 GHz with 8 GB ram and a Windows 7 64-bit operating system. It contains two 4TB hard drives.

I use Cat 6 Ethernet cables. In my office, the Plex server is connected to one of the router’s gigabit Ethernet ports. The gigabit router is connected by Ethernet cable to the Netgear gigabit switch in my adjacent home theater. In my home theater, the Vero 4K+ is connected by Ethernet cable from its Ethernet port to the Netgear switch.

This would appear to be an ideal wired network and Plex server environment.

I installed the official Plex player add-on on the Vero 4K+ and connected it to my Plex server network. The Vero Plex player will stream my 1080p movies and my 8 4K movies that are not HDR10 —and will stream the Atmos audio to my Denon receiver. However, the Vero Plex player will not stream my 16 4K HEVC HDR10 movies without extreme buffering which makes them all unwatchable. The good news is that the parts of the 4K HDR10 movies I could actually see had a solid black letterbox bar at the bottom (no pulsing colors). The smallest 4K HDR10 movie was only 10 GB but it would not play without extreme buffering. It was interesting there was no problem playing a 1080p movie (with Atmos audio) that was 26 GB and another 1080p Atmos movie that was 23 GB.

Bottom Line: The Vero 4K+ fails again to play 4K 10-bit HDR10 movies.

I don’t know how to check the network speed of the Vero 4K+ but my HTPC connected to the same Netgear gigabit switch tests at 350 Mbps download and 250 Mbps upload speed (by Ookla).

Based upon my experience, the Vero 4K+ is not capable of playing acceptable 4K 10-bit HDR movies from a USB drive or from the OSMC Plex player add-on.

The Vero 4K+ OSMC web site advertises that: “ The new powerhouse can play back your 4K, 10-bit HDR content without breaking a sweat.https://osmc.tv/vero/

My primary goal was to buy a media player that would play 4K 10-bit HDR10 movies (with Atmos audio) on my home theater system. I debated between the Vero 4K+ and the Nvidia Shield. I may have made the wrong choice.

I would love to hear from forum members about any of their similar experiences or any other suggestions.

It appears that my new Vero 4K+ contains either defective hardware or defective software. If the 4K 10-bit HDR playback problems cannot be resolved I will need to contact Vero OSMC about a replacement or a return.

#5

Thanks for your response.

This is a community forum, so you may not get a lot of replies from other forum users, but rest assured, we are here to help. You can also raise a support ticket at any time if you wish to do so.

I won’t speculate on other products, but there’s a few reasons people pick the Vero over the Shield.

It’s extremely unlikely you have any defective hardware unless you are experiencing other issues. It is possible that you are using your Vero with a slightly quirky display however. To proceed, we’d really need a debug log when you experience this problem. You can send us one by going to My OSMC -> Logs and giving us the URL after reproducing the problem.

As for streaming:

  • How are you streaming these files? NAS? Which protocol?
  • Have you tried streaming independently of the Plex add-on?

I hope we can get this working for you shortly.

You are of course more than welcome to return the product if you wish to do as per our money back guarantee, but it’d be good to get you up and running. There are teething issues with any product, so we can appreciate your frustration and eagerness to get things running.

Cheers

Sam

#6

On the Kodi Plex app make sure you have the option disabled for encoding 4K, you want it to direct play

#7

The first thing I would try is to play the file independently of Plex.

#8

Thank you Sam Nazarko for your speedy response & also thanks to mattmarsden for the Plex app suggestion.

I did lots of research and read lots of reviews before deciding that the Vero 4K+ was today’s best media player, and also the ideal solution for me for playing my collection of 4K HDR 10-bit Atmos movies.

Hopefully the playback problems I am experiencing can be resolved soon.

I thank I will concentrate on overcoming the Vero USB drive playback issues before tackling the Plex add-on buffering issues.

Previously I had played 4K HDR 10-bit movies from a USB3.0 hard drive, a USB3.0 thumb drive, and a USB2.0 thumb drive. I also swapped back and forth between the two Vero USB ports. All these movies displayed the problem where the bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) was not black but was filled with pulsing colors that changed according to the movie content.

I had concerns that the USB ports on my Vero 4K+ might be malfunctioning. So today I loaded several of the same 4K HDR 10-bit movies onto a MicroSD card and tested them. All the movies displayed the same problem where the bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) was not black but was filled with pulsing colors that changed according to the movie content.

So now I at least know the display problem is not isolated to the Vero USB ports.

Per Sam’s instructions, I enabled ‘Debug Logging’ & then played approx. 1 1/2 minutes of the 4K HEVC HDR 10-bit movie titled “Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)”. This movie was played from a 128GB SanDisk thumb drive. This is one of the movies that displays the bottom black letterbox bar that is not black but is filled with pulsing colors that change according to the movie content.

I then uploaded the Kodi log to:
https://paste.osmc.tv/elureyoruf

This is the first log I have created & uploaded so let me know if it was not done correctly.

I am beginning to think I might need to do a Factory Default Reset on my Vero 4K+. Would that totally reset the device so I could just try starting completely over?

Let me know what you think.

If the reset would not work I may need to find out how I can raise a support ticket.

Thanks.

#9

You can reinstall OSMC from https://osmc.tv/wiki/vero-4k/reinstalling-osmc/

#10

Are these encoded files? Or untouched files from UHD Discs? Because when its encoded they can always be issues and it looks like that because normally UHD BDs are uncropped in 16:9 format, when someone is encoding them (or yourself) you normally crop the letterbox parts and add the right Aspect Ratio to the MKV header. Unfortunately sometimes the encodes are not that “well” encoded and something like this above can happen.

2 Likes
#11

encoding 4k hdr masters to 4k hdr encodes is a can of worms

1 Like
#12

For Sam Nazarko:

You asked me to upload a video showing the display problem I was having. This forum site would not let me upload a video file, so I shared a link to my OneDrive account where you can view or download the video [Vero 4K HDR10 Problem (720p).mp4]:

(https://1drv.ms/u/s!AumcCuyWnbhquC-vUOr2fIERLqHp?e=ZLz6xc)

Have you had an opportunity to view the video you requested? If so, what are your thoughts about this anomaly?

You also asked me to upload a debug log. Per your instructions, I enabled ‘Debug Logging’ & then played approx. 1 1/2 minutes of the 4K HEVC HDR 10-bit movie titled “Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)”. This movie was played from a 128GB SanDisk thumb drive. This is one of many movies that displays the bottom black letterbox bar that is not black but is filled with pulsing colors that change according to the movie content.

I uploaded the Kodi log to:

https://paste.osmc.tv/elureyoruf

Have you had an opportunity to view the log you requested? If so, do you see problems that would offer solutions to my problem?

Thanks.

#13

2019-06-11 14:55:51.186 T:3724374752 INFO: ffmpeg[DDFD72E0]: Stream #0:0: Video: hevc (Main 10), yuv420p10le(tv, bt2020nc/bt2020/smpte2084), 3840x1604 [SAR 1:1 DAR 960:401], 23.98 fps, 23.98 tbr, 1k tbn, 23.98 tbc (default)

Thats what iam talking about its an encoded file.

Untouched the File would be 3840x2160p

can you post mediainfo? Maybe libzip is active.

#14

Do you have any UHD HDR files that you ripped yourself so you know the quality of the file? I have 59 4K movies and 23 different TV episodes and none of them exhibit this problem.

#15

I have 24 4K movies in mkv format. 16 of the movies are 4K HEVC HDR10, and 8 of the movies are 4K AVC format. The 4K movies that are not HDR10 play perfectly from USB drives. All 16 movies in 4K HEVC HDR10 have the bottom letterbox bar filled with changing colors.

I have uploaded the export report from MediaInfo, for one of the 4K HEVC HDR10 movies, to my OneDrive folder. Here is the link:

https://1drv.ms/t/s!AumcCuyWnbhquDKhNB8_GGxzUslv?e=76cCmG

I can upload the MediaInfo reports for the other 15 4K HEVC HDR10 movies if you would like to see them.

If you look at my entire forum posting you will see that I cited 3 other forum members that posted about this same problem so I think we can agree it is not just a unique issue that I have.

#16

Set the GUI resolution to 1920x1080p, not 1920x1080i.

#17

Only one the the posts covered the issue with colors in ht LB. And there was no solution because the OP never responded to Sams request.

The other post seems to be about Atmos issues. EDIT: I missed that at the very end of that the letterbox issue is mentioned. And the posters never responded to requests for more information.

You didn’t answer me; Did you rip the HDR10 files yourself or are the encodes from ‘other’ sources where you have no control or idea of the quality of the encode?

I can say for sure that properly ripped HDR10 works fine on my 4K. (However my TV is not HDR10 compatible so I don’t know if that would make any difference).

#22

Thank you to everyone that responded to my posting. You have given me several things I need to respond to.

First off, to Bryan Millham, I really appreciate your help but you are totally wrong about the 3 postings I cited about the same problem as mine. All 3 postings were about the exact same problem I am having.

dogsrus described this same problem in his post on this forum on March 11. Here is his exact quote:

“But I still have yhe playback issues with Vero 4K plus, bottom letterbox bar flashes colour and seems to follow the main screen, i.e. when a scene is dark so is the bar, light scenes same for the bar and it varies as the scene does like a overscan or back ground but only affects bottom bar and only on 4k movie, others ok as HD.”

Via321 described this same problem in his post on this forum on March 15, but his solution did not work for me. Here is his exact quote:

“I was struggling with this as well. For 4K movies, a flashing bar appears at the bottom of the playback screen. When I press play or pause, the scrolling bar at the bottom doesn’t appear, it’s almost ‘masked’ by the flashing bar.

I tinkered a few settings and it fixed it. Try disabling HDMI-CEC options (if you have them on), powering off all devices, removing power cable and HDMI cable from Vero, waiting a few minutes and then powering it on. This fixed the issue for me.”

AndreF described this same problem in his post on this forum on July ’18. Here is his exact quote:

“Second , when playing 4K UHD HEVC releases, the bottom black (as when playing widescreen you have black top and bottom) is filled with colours that move according to the colors of the film. I’ve tested quite many 4K UHD releases and this problem always occurs. Some lag occur sometimes in very colourful sequences as well.”

In response to AndreF, Tom_Doyle stated :

“2nd - I think this is being looked in to.”

In response to AndreF, tor.gunnar.berland stated:

“Never ever heard of the 2nd one either, and I have seen a lot of UHD releases. This must be a defective device or something else effecting the result.”

In response to AndreF, sam_nazarko stated:

“I’m not aware of the 2nd issue being reported anywhere before. I would need some more logs; a small sample to reproduce and a photo to understand what’s going on ideally.”

“I need a video recording of the problem as well as a sample that can reproduce it. Then I am sure we can take care of it.”

Sam Nazzarko also requested logs, and a video recording, of this problem from me as well. I provided a Kodi debug log, a video recording sample showing the problem, and 2 photo screen shots. I have had no response from him about any of these.


From graham: You suggested that I set the GUI resolution to 1920x1080 p , not 1920x1080 i.

I explained early in my posting that changing the display resolution was one of the first things I tried. In the initial setup of the Vero 4K OSMC box it automatically set the default resolution as 1920x1080i with 60.0 refresh rate. The other available resolutions were 4096x2160p, 3840x2160p, 1920x1080p, 1280x720p, 720x576p, 720x480p. However if I tried to change the settings to any of the other resolutions: The screen would change to solid black for 5 sec. and then ask “Would you like to keep this change? No or Yes.” I was afraid to answer ‘Yes’ to keep the solid black screen since it could render my device unusable so it reverted back to the default of 1920x1080i . This was not like you would normally see with most devices where the actual sample screen resolution would display for a short time. With this Vero 4K OSMC box all other resolutions, other than 1920x1080i, resulted in solid black displays.


For the question posed by Bryan Millham: “Did you rip the HDR10 files yourself or are the encodes from ‘other’ sources where you have no control or idea of the quality of the encode? I can say for sure that properly ripped HDR10 works fine on my 4K.”

I have 16 movies in the 4K HEVC HDR 10-bit format. I did not rip any of the movies but they are from numerous different sources and I have no way to identify the exact source for each movie. However let me say this:

I have an old HTPC running Windows 10 on an underpowered Intel I3 processor (3220 CPU @ 3.3GHz) with 4GB of memory. I have used Kodi on this box for many years and it is currently running Kodi v18.2 Leia. The HTPC is connected to my Denon receiver which is connected to my LG 4K HDR TV in the same way as my Vero 4K box. All 16 movies in the 4K HEVC HDR 10-bit format reside on this HTPC’s internal drive. The Kodi default video player plays all 16 movies perfectly. Unfortunately, Windows is very finicky about Atmos audio and even though I have the optional module installed for Microsoft Dolby Atmos for home theater, I have been unable to find any settings that allow passthrough of Atmos audio to my receiver. Most likely the HDMI port on this older HTPC is not robust enough to support Atmos audio.

The very reason I bought the Vero 4K+ device was to be able to play 4K HDR 10-bit movies with Atmos audio . The Vero 4K+ OSMC web site advertises that: “ The new powerhouse can play back your 4K, 10-bit HDR content without breaking a sweat.https://osmc.tv/vero/

The bottom line is that Kodi on my old HTPC can play all my 4K HEVC HDR 10-bit movies successfully, but the Vero 4K+ cannot.

On the Vero OSMC box all 4K HDR 10-bit movies have a bottom black letterbox bar (on widescreen movies) that is not black but is filled with colors that change according to the movie content. Not only is this very distracting but if I press the [OK] button on the Vero remote while a movie is playing a menu bar should appear in the bottom black letterbox bar showing symbols for Back, Pause, Stop, Next, Video Settings, Audio Settings, Subtitle Settings & Bookmarks. For 4K HDR 10-bit movies this menu bar is ‘masked’ by the flashing color letterbox bar so that it is impossible to adjust any of these settings.

I have had the Vero 4K+ for 1 week now. I have spent countless hours over the last week tweaking every possible setting trying to make it work properly. Although other forum members have reported the same problem it does appear to be a rather unique problem. I must now conclude that either the hardware or the software is defective on the Vero box I received.

I would welcome any other suggestions.

#23

You will notice that I edited my post to acknowledge that the other posts did mention the problem. And none of those people responded with logs and anything else that was requested of them. Hard to fix a problem without that information.

And I have HDR10 movies that I ripped myself, so I know the quality of that rip, and they all play fine.

It would help us to know if you have any HDR10 that you have personally ripped so you know that they are good quality. Many rips you find elsewhere are a poor balance of quality vs. size.

That implies a problem with your TV and/or Amp. Or something odd that they are advertising via EDID to the Vero.

We are trying to help, you have to understand that this is a very strange problem that just hasn’t been seen before (or at least we have no good past information from the past similar problems). Is your TV fairly new? Does it actually support 1080i? I would assume so if you are trying to play HDR10.

#24

I was able to reproduce this issue. It happens when you select 1080i for the desktop resolution and play 4K video with aspect ratios 2.39:1 or 2.4:1 (3840x1608/3840x1604). When you selct 1080i output, there is no resolution or refresh rate switch. Everything is output in 1080i and you get the dynamic colored bottom bar with anamorphic videos.