How to Enable HDR on A 4K Monitor?

21 minutes read

To enable HDR (High Dynamic Range) on a 4K monitor, follow these steps:

  1. Check compatibility: Ensure that your monitor supports HDR. Not all 4K monitors have HDR capabilities, so confirm this by referring to the monitor's specifications or documentation.
  2. Update graphics drivers: Make sure your computer's graphics drivers are up to date. HDR requires the correct drivers to function properly, so visit the website of your graphics card manufacturer to download and install the latest version of the driver.
  3. Enable HDR in Windows: On a Windows PC, go to the "Settings" by clicking on the "Start" button and selecting the gear-shaped icon. In the settings menu, click on "System" and then choose "Display" from the left-hand side menu. Look for the "Windows HD Color settings" link and click on it. Toggle the "Play HDR games and apps" switch to enable HDR.
  4. Adjust color settings: To fine-tune the HDR experience, you can adjust the color settings. Within the "Windows HD Color settings," click on "HDR and advanced color settings." Here, you can customize the HDR brightness, contrast, and saturation to suit your preference.
  5. Check software compatibility: Ensure that the software or application you want to use supports HDR. Some applications, such as video players or games, need to be specifically enabled for HDR output.
  6. Use the correct cable: Make sure you are using an HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.4 cable to connect your computer to the 4K HDR monitor. Older cables may not support the necessary bandwidth for HDR.
  7. Test HDR: To check if HDR is working correctly on your monitor, you can play HDR-supported content, such as HDR videos or games. You should notice improved color depth, contrast, and highlights when HDR is enabled.

Remember that the exact steps may vary slightly depending on your specific operating system version and monitor model. Always refer to the documentation provided by your monitor manufacturer or consult their support channels for any additional guidance.

Best 4k Monitors of 2024

SAMSUNG UJ59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) Computer Monitor, HDMI, Display Port, Eye Saver/Flicker Free Mode, FreeSync (LU32J590UQNXZA),Black

Rating is 5 out of 5

SAMSUNG UJ59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) Computer Monitor, HDMI, Display Port, Eye Saver/Flicker Free Mode, FreeSync (LU32J590UQNXZA),Black

  • WIDESCREEN UHD: With 4x the pixels of Full HD, get more screen space (vs 16:9 screen) and UHD images; View documents & webpages w/ less scrolling, work more comfortably w/ multiple windows & toolbars, and enjoy photos, videos & games in stunning 4K
  • A BILLION COLOR SHADES: Supporting a billion shades of color, the UJ59 delivers incredibly vivid and realistic images; Its color accuracy means colors appear true to life, making the UJ59 ideal for photo, video and graphics applications
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  • SMOOTHER GAMEPLAY: AMD FreeSync synchronizes the refresh rate of your graphics card & monitor to reduce image tear & stutter; Low Input Lag Mode minimizes the delay between mouse, keyboard or joystick input and onscreen response for smooth gaming
HP OMEN 27k UHD 144Hz Gaming Monitor, 4K UHD Display (3840 x 2160), IPS Panel, 99% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3, 16:9, OMEN Gaming Hub, 27k (2023),Black

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

HP OMEN 27k UHD 144Hz Gaming Monitor, 4K UHD Display (3840 x 2160), IPS Panel, 99% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3, 16:9, OMEN Gaming Hub, 27k (2023),Black

  • UNCOMPROMISING PERFORMANCE - Get lost in the captivating definition and ultra-precise details of 4K resolution on this 27” diagonal monitor. The pixel dense 3840 x 2160 resolution transforms your game into a remarkable, lifelike experience
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ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A 28” Monitor, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), IPS, Adaptive-Sync/ FreeSync, Eye Care, DisplayPort HDMI, DCI-P3 HDR 10, Shadow Boost, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A 28” Monitor, 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), IPS, Adaptive-Sync/ FreeSync, Eye Care, DisplayPort HDMI, DCI-P3 HDR 10, Shadow Boost, Black

  • 28-inch 4K (3840x2160) IPS DCI-P3 grade gaming monitor for stunning crisp and detailed visuals.Specific uses for product - Gaming
  • Compatible with industry-standard HDR10 high dynamic range for color and brightness levels that exceed the capabilities of ordinary monitors
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  • Supports both Adaptive-Sync with NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards and FreeSync with AMD Radeon graphics cards Compatible with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series, GTX 16 series, RTX 20 series and newer graphics cards
  • What's in the box: DisplayPort cable, Power cord, Warranty card, Quick Start guide
Dell S2721QS 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Ultra-Thin Bezel Monitor, AMD FreeSync (HDMI, DisplayPort), VESA Certified, Silver

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Dell S2721QS 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Ultra-Thin Bezel Monitor, AMD FreeSync (HDMI, DisplayPort), VESA Certified, Silver

  • IMMERSIVE DISPLAY: Experience stunning 4K UHD with a three-sided ultrathin bezel design, providing immersive viewing with 4 times the resolution of Full HD. Supports HDR content playback for a lifelike visual experience.Specific uses for product - Gaming.Pixel Per Inch : 163. Brightness : 350 cd/m².Horizontal Viewing Angle : 178°. Vertical Viewing Angle : 178°
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SAMSUNG 43" Odyssey Neo G7 Series 4K UHD Smart Gaming Monitor, 144Hz, 1ms, VESA Display HDR600, Quantum Matrix Technology, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, LS43CG702NNXZA, 2023, Black

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

SAMSUNG 43" Odyssey Neo G7 Series 4K UHD Smart Gaming Monitor, 144Hz, 1ms, VESA Display HDR600, Quantum Matrix Technology, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, LS43CG702NNXZA, 2023, Black

  • QUANTUM MATRIX TECHNOLOGY: Quantum Matrix Technology w/ Quantum Mini LEDs create controlled brightness and impressive contrast for games to come to life; Plus, advanced 12-bit back light unit allows detailed HDR control for unmatched picture quality*.Power Supply Type : AC100-240V 50/60Hz. Power Cable Length : 1.5 m
  • VESA DISPLAY HDR600: Experience a new level of multi-entertainment with life-like visuals; With 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and VESA Display HDR600, both videos and games deliver abundant, deeper blacks and greater color detail*Sync Premium Pro
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Dell S2722QC 27-inch 4K USB-C Monitor - UHD (3840 x 2160) Display, 60Hz Refresh Rate, 8MS Grey-to-Grey Response Time (Normal Mode), Built-in Dual 3W Speakers, 1.07 Billion Colors Platinum Silver

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Dell S2722QC 27-inch 4K USB-C Monitor - UHD (3840 x 2160) Display, 60Hz Refresh Rate, 8MS Grey-to-Grey Response Time (Normal Mode), Built-in Dual 3W Speakers, 1.07 Billion Colors Platinum Silver

  • SUPERIOR SCREEN: With a three-sided ultrathin bezel design that lets you to see more without interruptions, high functionality meets superb style. Enjoy crisp visuals with an impressive 4.0ms response time.Specific uses for product - Business.Pixel per inch (PPI) : 163. Operating Temperature : 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
  • COMFORT COMES FIRST: Customize your views with a height-adjustable stand and a monitor that tilts, swivels and pivots so you look your best and feel your best during work sessions or movie binges.
  • VERSATILE CONNECTIVITY: Easily charge and connect your laptop on this USB-C monitor. This single-cable solution reduces clutter on your desktop and transmits power, video, audio and data—all at once.
  • INTEGRATED SPEAKERS: This usb-c monitor comes equipped with everything you need including built-in dual 3W integrated speakers.
  • PERSONALIZED COMFORT: Customize your views with a height-adjustable stand that tilts, swivels and pivots allowing you to view at your most optimal position.

What is the difference between HDR10 and Dolby Vision?

HDR10 and Dolby Vision are both high dynamic range (HDR) formats used in newer TVs and content for better image quality. While they aim to achieve similar goals, there are key differences between the two:

  1. Standardization: HDR10: It is an open standard HDR format widely supported by various manufacturers and content producers. It provides a baseline HDR experience. Dolby Vision: It is a proprietary HDR format developed by Dolby Laboratories. It requires licensing and specific hardware/software support.
  2. Metadata: HDR10: It uses static metadata, which means the HDR data is set at the beginning of the content and remains constant throughout. Dolby Vision: It uses dynamic metadata, allowing frame-by-frame optimization of HDR content. This means every scene can have its unique HDR settings, resulting in potentially better picture quality.
  3. Color Depth: HDR10: It supports a 10-bit color depth, allowing for a wide range of colors and shades. Dolby Vision: It supports a 12-bit color depth, enabling an even wider and more precise range of colors.
  4. Brightness: HDR10: It supports peak brightness of up to 1,000 nits. Dolby Vision: It supports peak brightness of up to 10,000 nits (although current TVs can't reach such high levels). This extended brightness range can enhance highlights and details in bright scenes.
  5. Compatibility: HDR10: Due to its open standard nature, it is supported by a wide range of TVs, media players, and streaming services. Dolby Vision: It requires specific hardware and software support. While many TVs support Dolby Vision, not all playback devices and streaming services do.

Overall, Dolby Vision offers potential advantages such as dynamic metadata and higher color depth, resulting in a potentially better HDR experience. However, HDR10 is more widely supported and does provide an HDR enhancement over standard content.

How to ensure HDR compatibility between a graphics card and a 4K monitor?

To ensure HDR compatibility between a graphics card and a 4K monitor, you need to consider a few factors:

  1. Check graphics card capabilities: Make sure your graphics card supports HDR output. Usually, modern high-end graphics cards from NVIDIA (GTX 900 series or newer) or AMD (Radeon RX 400 series or newer) support HDR. Ensure that your specific graphics card model has HDR capabilities.
  2. Verify monitor specifications: Look for a 4K monitor that explicitly mentions HDR support. Check the manufacturer's specifications or product details to confirm that the monitor supports HDR. Features like HDR10 or Dolby Vision certification are good indicators.
  3. Connectivity options: Ensure that both your graphics card and monitor have compatible HDR display ports or HDMI ports. HDR is typically supported on HDMI 2.0b or higher, DisplayPort 1.4 or higher, or Thunderbolt 3 ports. If the necessary ports are available, it should simplify the connection process.
  4. Operating system support: Ensure that your operating system supports HDR. For Windows 10, HDR support was introduced with the Creators Update (version 1703) and is continually updated. Check that you have the latest version installed. Other operating systems like macOS also have HDR support, so make sure you have the required version or updates.
  5. Enable HDR settings: Once your graphics card, monitor, and operating system are HDR compatible, you need to enable HDR in the settings. On Windows 10, go to Settings > System > Display > Windows HD Color, and toggle on "Play HDR games and apps." This will enable HDR and allow you to adjust other HDR settings as well.

By following these steps, you can ensure HDR compatibility between your graphics card and a 4K HDR monitor, enabling you to experience high-quality visuals with enhanced color, contrast, and brightness.

How to adjust HDR settings on a 4K monitor?

To adjust HDR (High Dynamic Range) settings on a 4K monitor, follow these steps:

  1. Open the display settings: Right-click on the desktop and select "Display settings" from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can access the display settings through the Control Panel.
  2. Identify the HDR settings: Look for an option labeled "HDR and advanced color" or similar. This option may not be available on all monitors, as it requires HDR capability.
  3. Enable HDR: Toggle the switch or checkbox to enable HDR on your monitor. This will activate the HDR functionality.
  4. Adjust brightness and contrast: HDR settings can vary depending on the monitor, so you may need to fine-tune the brightness and contrast levels. Adjust these settings according to your personal preference or follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  5. Color calibration: Some monitors allow you to calibrate the color settings to optimize HDR visuals. Look for options related to color balance, saturation, and color temperature to adjust the colors to your liking.
  6. Test and tweak: Play HDR content, such as HDR-supported movies or games, to observe the visual quality and make any necessary changes to the HDR settings. You may need to go back and adjust the brightness, contrast, or color settings until you achieve the desired HDR effect.

Note: It's worth mentioning that HDR settings can vary from monitor to monitor, so these steps may not be applicable in all cases. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions or user manual for specific guidance on adjusting HDR settings for your particular 4K monitor.

What is local dimming in HDR?

Local dimming is a feature found in some HDR (High Dynamic Range) displays, particularly in LED-backlit LCD TVs. It primarily aims to enhance the contrast and overall picture quality by adjusting the backlight brightness in specific areas of the screen.

Typically, LED-backlit LCD TVs have a grid of LEDs behind the screen that provides the backlighting. However, these LEDs illuminate the entire screen uniformly, resulting in limited contrast and potential blooming effect (where bright areas bleed into dark areas).

With local dimming, the LEDs in the backlight are divided into different zones, and each zone can be independently dimmed or brightened depending on the content being displayed. This allows for deeper blacks and better overall contrast by dimming the backlighting in darker areas of the screen, while brightening it in areas displaying lighter content. This dynamic adjustment helps to reduce blooming and enhance details in both dark and bright scenes, resulting in a more immersive HDR viewing experience.

It's important to note that not all HDR displays feature local dimming, and the effectiveness of this technology may vary depending on the specific TV model and implementation.

How to enable HDR in YouTube on a 4K monitor?

To enable HDR in YouTube on a 4K monitor, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have a 4K monitor that supports High Dynamic Range (HDR). If your monitor does not support HDR, this feature will not be available.
  2. Open up the YouTube website on your preferred web browser.
  3. Play a video that is available in HDR. You can search for "HDR videos" on YouTube to find content specifically created in HDR.
  4. By default, YouTube automatically adjusts video quality based on your internet speed. However, if you want to manually enable HDR, click on the settings icon (gear-shaped) in the video player.
  5. In the settings menu, click on the "Quality" option. If a video is available in HDR, you will see an "HDR" label next to the video quality options.
  6. Select the highest video quality option with HDR. It may have a resolution of 4K or 1080p with "HDR" mentioned next to it.
  7. After selecting the resolution with HDR, the video will continue playing in HDR on your 4K monitor.

Note: Ensure that HDR settings are also enabled in the display settings of your computer or monitor. Steps to enable HDR on your specific device may vary, so refer to the user manual or manufacturer's website for instructions.

What is HDR contrast ratio and how does it affect visuals on a 4K monitor?

HDR (High Dynamic Range) contrast ratio refers to the difference between the darkest and brightest parts of an image. It is a measure of the display's ability to produce deep blacks and bright whites simultaneously, resulting in a wider color gamut and more realistic picture quality.

On a 4K monitor, HDR contrast ratio plays a crucial role in enhancing the visuals. With a high contrast ratio, the monitor can deliver more details in both the shadows and highlights of an image, allowing for a greater level of depth and realism. Dark scenes appear richer with deep blacks, while bright elements stand out with vibrant whites. This improved contrast ratio adds to the overall visual experience, making colors appear more vivid and lifelike, enhancing image details, and providing better overall image quality.

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