SDR vs HDR Examples?

Recently received a vero 4k to use with a Sony VPL-VW285ES. To test out 4k and hdr I had the Vero connected directly to the PJ. I was using batman begins as my SDR vs HDR and I was a bit surprised and disappointed the SDR looked better. (SDR came in as 709). The SDR version had better detail in the shadows and highlights, and better color saturation. This is easily seen in the first 2 mins:

-when Bruce and Rachel are playing the garden/green house. The flowers have much more color, the shadows of the bushes have much more detail.
-When they cut to Rachel running up the steps to Wayne manor, the details in the highlights where the top of the house meets the overcast sky are better in the SDR, the SDR has much more tonal variety. The HDR is a weird mix of flat through the mid range, crushed blacks, and shallow highlights.

and again at 11-ish mins

  • when Bruce’s dad is carrying Bruce in with Alfred. When it cuts to them walking at the camera inside, their coats have nice detail in the SDR. in the HDR they are mostly black silhouettes.
    -When Bruce is fighting the other prisoners, they’re prison garb / solder uniforms have more color to them whereas the HDR its all muted drab.

I did some searching on the forums and used the 444,10bit echo change, validated the PJ was indeed seeing 2020/10bit. HDMI set to enhanced, HDMI range at auto (sensed to limited). I also realized, I’m not sure what I should be expecting, I’ve never knowingly seen an HDR image, especially with the real SDR version to compare against and not some simulate demo.

Before I start troubleshooting too deeply I first wanted to ask if anyone had a good movie to use to showcase HDR vs its SDR variant. I pulled some HDR samples (life of pi, nyc, exodus) off of 4kmedia/ but would like to find something easier to A/B with.

Would love to hear some recommendations.


First, there are two things at work. The UHD disc is both Rec.2020 color gamut and HDR, while the BluRay is Rec.709 and SDR. To figure out exactly what the issue is, you really need to find a non-HDR Rec.2020 source and see how it looks. If it is OK, then it’s HDR that is the cause. Otherwise, it’s a color gamut issue.

In either case, though, I’d suggest you have your projector calibrated, as it’s quite likely that the out of the box settings won’t exactly match the screen you use. You will also then know if there is a hardware/firmware issue with the projector.

Once you know for sure your projector can correctly display HDR and Rec.2020 from the calibrator’s hardware, then try using a UHD BluRay player and your discs, and finally compare to the Vero 4K.

Thanks for the reply. Good point on gamut vs color space, despite reading a few threads on that it didn’t sink in. I will see if I can find a set of 2020 sources without hdr.

Calibration is something I’ve looked into but most reviews had pretty favorable comments for the out-of-the-box settings so i was running under that assumption for now. There are however some threads on improving the Sony’s hdr image. I’m just trying to separate my hdr expectations, from the media’s image, from potential Vero color space fun,from projector capabilities. I know there are quite a few factors to producing the ideal image with a projector and hdr is not easy or even possible in some setups.

I will take a more serious look into calibration and the other source material like you mentioned.

I’d still love to hear from anyone that has watched Batman Begins in hdr vs sdr for their impressions and any good examples of sdr vs hdr.