Xbox One S and X users get hdr calibration tool

Xbox One S and X users of the Xbox Alpha Skip Ahead program have received an update that adds an HDR calibration tool. This means that the display of hdr in a game can be set once in the system, instead of doing that per individual game.

The presence of the hdr calibration tool is among others confirmed by hdr expert Evil Boris, who announced the arrival of this a few weeks ago predicted based on discovered code. A photo published by him shows that the HDR Game Calibration tool is a setting in the menu of his Xbox console.

The user can calibrate the image so that the HDR display should come out better. This is accompanied by a kind of chessboard display that is used to adjust the brightness, which responds to the maximum brightness of the television used. The result can also be seen, showing a comparison between the calibrated and uncalibrated image.

The idea behind this is that users can calibrate the way in which HDR is displayed on their specific TV and no longer have to do that per individual game in the settings of those games. Based on some comments from users who have tried the tool, it leads to a little less clipping in the highlights, so that more details become visible in very bright areas, such as clouds illuminated by the sun.

Pictures from Adam Fairclough, better known by the nickname Evil Boris.

This tool probably stems from the collaboration between Microsoft and Sony in the interest group founded two years ago called the HDR Gaming Interest Group. The aim of this collaboration is to improve the HDR experience while playing games and to keep it as consistent as possible for games, regardless of what television the players use.

Ultimately, the idea is that a television transmits its capabilities such as the maximum black values, the peak brightness and the color range to the console via HDMI. If the console has a database with the image properties and the tone mappinginformation from a variety of TVs, the video output can be automatically adjusted to suit what the TV can handle. This will really get off the ground with HDMI 2.1 televisions, because the standard is suitable for this.

Such a tool became available as a beta a year ago for the PS4 console and LG OLED TVs from 2019 and 2020 have special HGiGpicture modes. Users of those televisions can choose to set such a picture mode after using the calibration tool in the console. This means that the television does not even apply its own tone mapping when displaying the game images, because through this tool the representation of the images has already been made suitable for the specific capacities of the television. Games must support HGiG, so that the console can pass information about the television to the game software. Few games support this, including No Man’s Sky and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, released last year.