Visual experience when using a phone, a monitor, a laptop, or a TV greatly matters in more aspects than one would expect. With technology improvising at an insane rate, the quality and visual experience these electronic displays offer has been game-changing. High dynamic range, briefly and more commonly known as HDR, is famous for displaying videos and imagery with more colors, better contrast, natural tones, and plenty of details. In this article, we’ll learn how to use the all-new Windows HDR Calibration app in Windows 11.
What Is HDR in Windows, and How Does It Alter the Viewing Experience?
HDR is a way of viewing images and videos with better lighting and vivid colors that significantly contribute to the overall visual experience. Depending on the hardware and software, HDR can be executed on several levels, all of which look nice to the human eye. HDR makes the dark even darker and bright even brighter, all while boosting colors exceptionally well and retaining all the details. With a perfect blend of saturation, ambiance, highlights, and contrast, HDR works to make the imagery look stunning to the eye.
HDR has already been around for quite a while. In mobile photography and cinematography, smart TVs, and high-end displays for smartphones and computers, HDR is present, all of them to enhance the user’s viewing experience. However, controlling the level of HDR applied to the video and image content is a rare feature. Windows 11 comes with an application to calibrate the HDR on Windows, and in this article, we’ll discuss how to download and use this application.
Installing the Windows HDR Calibration app
You’ll need to install the application on your Windows computer to use HDR calibration. However, before that, we need to ensure that our system is compatible with it or not. Here are the requirements you’ll need to run the Windows HDR Calibration app:
- Windows 11
- Display that supports HDR (you can check this by going to System Settings>Display>HDR)
- Display driver WDDDM 2.7 or later
- App mode
- GPU – RX400 or later and GTX 10xx or later (the processors paired with these GPUs will mostly be well over what’s needed for HDR Calibration)
So now that you’ve made sure that your laptop/computer has everything that it needs to display HDR content and support calibration for the same as well, you can install the Windows HDR Calibration application from the Microsoft Store for Windows 11.
How To Use the Windows HDR Calibration App?
Windows can display HDR content in videos and video games, and the new Windows HDR Calibration app helps us calibrate the HDR as per our preferences. In this section, we’ll briefly review the basics of the Windows HDR Calibration app and how you can use it to enhance the overall viewing experience when gaming and watching videos.
1] Calibrating HDR In Windows
Windows HDR Calibration app has three tests that determine bright details, dark details, and the overall brightness of your display. These three tests have their patterns, and you have to calibrate them in your HDR-supported monitor till these patterns are no longer visible in their slots.
As mentioned before, these three tests determine maximum luminance, minimum luminance, and the overall brightness of your display, so calibrating them to the point the pattern of the test isn’t visible anymore is probably the best calibrated HDR level for your display. Here’s how to calibrate HDR in Windows:
- In the first pattern, you want to adjust it so that the screen becomes a solid black.
- In the second pattern, you want to adjust it so that the screen becomes a solid white.
- Again, in the third test pattern, you want to adjust it until you gain a solid white screen.
- These three tests aim to calibrate the light and the dark in your videos and games. Once you’re done with calibrating these elements, next come the colors and vibrance of your display.
- While adjusting the color settings, you’ll work with saturation, vibrance, and warm and cool tones of the imagery. Keep checking the on-screen display of how your adjustments appear to you, and thus you can set the color settings as per your preferences.
- Finally, when you’re done adjusting all the elements of your display, it will show you a screen with all the calibrations you’ve just made. You can save these settings or go back to the three tests or the color adjustment screen to make changes.
2] Important Points About HDR Calibration In Windows
- Displays that support HDR don’t need any calibration and are ready to provide the best visual experience out of the box. However, you can still use the Windows HDR Calibration app to make changes per your requirements and preferences.
- It is best to carry out the calibration process in the same lighting environment where you use your default HDR display the most.
- Though boosted colors may be a preference for many, overdoing it might make the display look oversaturated and unnatural.
- You can save and delete color profiles in the Windows HDR Calibration app, and that’s a cool feature that’ll save you the time of calibrating your display repeatedly.
- You have to calibrate each display separately in case you run a setup involving multiple monitors. You can switch displays from within the app itself.
- The default post-processing of an HDR display may or may not interfere with calibration changes, and depending on the computer, one can choose to turn off post-processing.
This article briefly examined how HDR can significantly impact our visual experience when watching or playing video games. Although displays that support HDR look beautiful, some personal customization is always lovely. Windows 11 comes with the support for manual HDR calibration using the Windows HDR calibration app. This article aims at helping you get a better hang of Windows HDR Calibration, and we hope that it was of help to you.
Can I Install An Application To Make My Windows Computer Support HDR?
The HDR support is a hardware-controlled feature, and you cannot install any application and make your computer support HDR. If your computer’s display supports HDR, Windows will automatically detect it, and you’ll be able to control it from Windows Settings > System > Display > HDR.
Does HDR On Windows Increase Battery Consumption?
Yes, HDR on Windows will increase battery consumption, and your battery will discharge faster. HDR puts more strain on systems’ graphic resources and other components, leading to more battery usage.