Diablo IV Open Beta Review: HDR problems

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Well, after testing the Diablo 4 Open Beta, I, like many others gamers, noticed the problems of playing with HDR. Testing was carried out on version 1.004.000 for PS5.

Diablo 4 Beta HDR Settings

The game, as expected, does not support the console's HDR system settings, but the in-game calibration settings are also a problem. The main question that arises at the first start: "What's wrong with the black level?" Yes, everything looks like washed out colors and lacking contrast. The easiest way to show this is by looking at the wavescope of the signal. The lower limit of the signal should approach zero, but this signal is far away here. The game has a black level slider, but even the lowest setting won't lower the black level any further.

Diablo IV Open Beta HDR problems

Similar identical black level problems like in Hitman 3 or Callisto Protocol make me think that maybe the problem is that this is originally a HDR signal in a limited range (64-940), although it should be in the full range (0-1023). This leads to the fact that in the case of using HDMI 2.0, your console-tv interface will re-convert the signal to limited, thinking that initially it is full range. Because of this, the black level and brightness levels break down. If your console and TV have HDMI 2.1 and VRR is not active, then in theory you can set the console settings to limited range and TV settings to full range, which should improve the situation. Well, or you can adjust the black level using your TV settings.
The next problem is that the game seems to get confused which slider should adjust which parameters. Looking at the sliders, you might guess that the White Point slider controls the peak brightness and the Brightness slider controls the exposure level, but that's not quite right. The White Point Slader seems to increase the peak brightness to about 800 nits but then the peak brightness stops increasing. The brightness slider increases the overall exposure of the image, but it also increases the peak brightness and worsens the black level even further. That is, this is a mid point setting, but it should not change the peak brightness.

The situation is also complicated by the fact that the images on the test screen give an incorrect idea of the real game. The third image (the brightest one) should show the maximum brightness source to adjust the peak brightness, but even if you set Brightness=1000 and White Point=4000, the peak brightness of the third image will not exceed 1000 nits.
There are also some questions about the correspondence between the set settings and the actual level of peak brightness. The best pick solution is to use your TV's tone mapping modes. Well, let's wait for the fix in the release version.

Update: Diablo IV - HDR settings of release version https://www.hdrgamer.com/2023/06/diablo-iv-hdrsettings.html

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