Gamma control is useless…

…with wrong screen settings.

You probably know that Gamma control among the whole production chain (3rd party tools, level builder, final platform rendering on monitor, …) is a hot and recurrent presentation topic in Game Developer Conferences & Co (I recommend Naughty Dog’s one at GDC10, fairly basic but well illustrated and understandable).

But, here is an extract from the Crytek ‘s Crysis key rendering features document:

“Any color/contrast/brightness differences are most likely due to an improper HDMI setup for the user’s display. To ensure a correct set-up, the user can follow these simple steps:

  1. If the TV supports HDMI 1.3 or higher:
    • 360: pick “Expanded” in console dashboard display setup, in reference levels
    • Ps3: enable “RGB full range” in console display setup
    • If incorrect settings are used, the brightness calibration icon might be always visible (too bright), resulting in a lack of contrast (insufficient darks) and visible (color) banding. This very likely also means the TV does NOT support HDMI 1.3 and higher, or is not properly detected by hardware.
  2. If the TV does not support HDMI 1.3 or higher:
    • 360: pick “Standard” on console dashboard display setup, in reference levels
    • Ps3: disable “RGB Full range” in console display setup
    • If the user has the wrong setting, the brightness calibration icon will always not be visible, or almost invisible, resulting in crushed darks.
  3. Another common mistake from users is not picking the correct resolution to match the display’s native resolution, resulting in an additional image upsample from the TV. If the display monitor’s native resolution is 1080p, the user should pick it as default on either XBox 360 or PS3.

This is something I didn’t know, as a rendering programmer, so I guess most players don’t too… It’s curious if consoles can’t retrieve HDMI protocol version used by the display they are connected on and automatically choose te correct settings.

Now, all I have to do is to find the detailed specifications of my old LG 26LC45 to know if HDMI 1.3 is supported or not…that sounds like an impossible task. Anyone can help ? ;)

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