HDMI Color Space Question.

Alrighty so I'm a graphics nut who likes to try to get the BEST picture out of anything and will spend hours on end tweaking stuff just to make it look pretty on my nice little Dynex 42" LCD. I've got my 360 rigged through HDMI, with the reference levels set to expanded, but when I go to tweak the color space, I don't really notice a difference unless I switch the reference levels back to standard, and even then, it only looks good when you set it to the YCbCr709 and YCbCr601 settings, so let me wrap up my babbling and get straight to the point.

Could someone please provide more detail of what this setting does (aside from restating the breif, somewhat vague, descriptions I can see when I'm setting it up), and give a recommendation on what would probably be best for providing a vivid, clear picture. I've got my Tv set to default settings, and all picture enhancements (or enhancement, seeing how there's only one) are turned off for the moment and I'll fiddle with that later.

QUICK VERSION: HDMI Color Space. What's the best. Make it pretty. Go.


Discussion Info

Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 70 Applies to:

My best advice, short of a full-on professional calibration is to get a calibration disc like Video Essentials or Avia & use it to properly adjust your picture. Just use the Color Space setting that gives the best results. To be honest, if you're currently using default settings, your picture is probably WAY off. My guess is that a properly adjusted picture won't look right to you. At least not at first.

The color space setting should usually be set to either Auto or Source.

RGB carries the picture across in the primary colors red, green, and blue. This is what games use.

YCbCr carries the picture across recalculated as luminance and color difference. This is used for video material as it allows the color information to be stored at a lower resolution to help save space. The BT.601 flavor is used for standard definition, and the BT.709 flavor is used for high definition. Being able to use either flavor regardless of the output resolution is something that is only useful in extremely rare cases. Using BT.601 together with a HD resolution will give inaccurate color reproduction.

Unlike RGB, YCbCr always uses video range levels and is unaffected by the Reference Levels setting. Your display should however not expect full-range (expanded) video levels when fed YCbCr, unless it has been forced to through a setting (some displays allow that for whatever reason).

The best starting point is setting the color space to Auto and the reference levels to Standard. This will switch the Xbox 360 between RGB and YCbCr based on the content, and automatically pick the appropriate YCbCr flavor based on output resolution.

On a monitor I noticed that using standard everything just looks dull but when I switch to Expanded Color actually pop but dark areas are just well too dark.  Any ideas as I may be doing something wrong and this is with a new hd monitor with hdmi.

It could just be duller colors in the game your playing.  I found standard reference levels are the best for me and most people.

If you want the colors to pop that's your prerogative.  If the game in question is BF3 I'd recommend using the standard.  Cause when you go inside buildings after the sunburn effect drops off, its hard to see people stalking in the shadows W/O standard black levels.  On expanded it just makes the darker shades of grey, black.


Imagine your looking at a bar that slopes from white to grey to black, with even parts black and white at either end. Then you change to expanded, you'd see the black side of the bar expand further to the grey zone and the whole grey zone would be blacker.


Now balancing the white is tricky its hard as some settings effect the dominant color in white to make it "brighter" usually a higher brightness / contrast will add too much blue to your white.  Just remember white is not a "bright color it is just a neutral surface that reflects all colors equally. Which is what your trying to replicate, if your trying to replicate a flashlight then your doing it wrong.