High Dynamic Range (HDR) features don't always work out of the box. Here's how to use the tech on a selection of popular 4K HDR TVs.

With the most recent revision of Microsoft's flagship home console, the Xbox One S, support was added for High Dynamic Range (HDR) content across both games and video playback. Using this technique, images can be displayed with a higher contrast ratio and a wider gamut of colors. This is limited to a select range of HDR content but when enabled, it makes for a richer viewing experience.

Everything you need to know about enabling 4K HDR on Xbox One S

In order to take advantage of the feature, you'll need to own both an Xbox One S and a 4K HDR-compatible display that's compliant with the HDR 10 standard. While these are becoming more accessible with time, there's still only a relatively small range of TVs that support the feature. If you've yet to pick up a 4K HDR display, we previously rounded up our favorite 4K displays compatible with the Xbox One S.

Once getting the required hardware, there are still a few small set-up steps for both your Xbox One and TV. We broke down the steps to enable HDR on the most popular displays currently used by Xbox One S users.

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Configuring your Xbox One S for HDR

Before tweaking any TV settings, you first need to check that your Xbox One S is configured to output 4K HDR content. Enabled via the system's settings, this will ensure your console is attempting to output an HDR image to your display.

  1. Double-tap the Xbox button to open the Xbox guide.
  2. Scroll down to the Settings tab.
  3. Select All Settings.
  4. Select Display & sound and then Video output.
  5. Choose Advanced video settings.
  6. To enable HDR, ensure both the Allow 4K and Allow HDR checkboxes are filled.

Configuring your TV to output HDR

Once you've got your hands on a compatible TV, it's more than likely that HDR isn't actually enabled out of the box. Although all that's needed is a quick settings check, variations in TV software can sometimes make that a tricky process.

Samsung KS series (2016)

Samsung offers some of the leading 4K HDR-compatible displays available today, with a range of different models. Keeping things simple, all 2016 KS models come with the same onboard firmware, making it relatively easy to get started with HDR on your Xbox One console. These steps apply to all KS series models, including the KS7000, KS8000, KS8500, KS9000 and KS9500.

Firstly, we recommend enabling your TV's Game Mode, a feature that will ensure the display's latency stays reasonably low. While other modes are fine in terms of picture quality, the delay between the console and outputted image can make for a jarring experience. Here's how to enable Game Mode on KS series displays:

  1. Press the Settings button on your TV's remote.
  2. Select Picture.
  3. Navigate down to Special Viewing Mode.
  4. Select Game Mode.

Next, to use HDR on your display, you'll need to turn on "HDMI UHD Color" within your TV's settings. Bear in mind that these settings are applied on a per-port basis, meaning you'll have to manually enable the feature for each HDMI port.

  1. Press the Settings button on your TV's remote
  2. Select Picture.
  3. Scroll all the way down to Expert Settings.
  4. Navigate to the HDMI UHD Color section. Each of the available HDMI ports should now be listed on screen.
  5. Next, turn on HDMI UHD Color for the ports of your choosing. Although enabling this with standard content may lead to some minor issues, it's usually safe to turn on the feature for all available ports.

LG 2016 models

LG's 2016 series is comprised of four OLED displays, each of which supports both 4K and HDR. These TVs all come with the same in-house onboard software, making it relatively easy to enable HDR on any of these devices. The following steps apply to the LG G6, LG E6, LG C6 and LG B6, all released in 2016.

By default, HDR is disabled across all LG G series displays and must be manually enabled through the TV settings. Like many other displays, HDR is applied on a per-port basis and must be activated individually for each HDMI port.

  1. Press the Settings button.
  2. Scroll down to All Settings.
  3. Navigate to the General tab.
  4. Select HDMI ULTRA HD Deep Color. Each of the available HDMI ports should now be listed on screen.
  5. Enable the feature on the ports of your choosing.

Vizio P series

Vizio's P series also comes with HDR functionality across the entire range, which includes the P75-C1, P65-C1, P55-C1 and P50-C1. However, with HDR 10 support having been quietly added via a recent update, you'll have to ensure your TV is running the latest firmware version.

It should also be noted that while HDMI ports one through four all allow for 4K HDR, port five's HDMI 1.4 technology doesn't support this content. Here are the steps for enabling HDR on the Vizio SmartCast app.

  1. Open your SmartCast app.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Next, choose Inputs.
  4. Select HDMI Color Subsampling. Each of the available HDMI ports should now be listed on-screen.
  5. Enable HDR on the ports of your choosing.

Sony X850D/Sony X800D/Sony X700D

Both Sony's X800D and X850D have also found their places with many Xbox One S owners. While both devices support 4K and HDR 10, you'll have to stick to HDMI ports two and three. Here's how to enable HDR on both devices.

  1. Press the Home button to open the menu.
  2. Scroll down to Settings.
  3. Select External Inputs under the TV subsection.
  4. Next, choose HDMI signal format.
  5. Switch your signal format to Enhanced format. By default, this will have been set to Standard Format.

Which TV do you use?

If we're missing a popular TV that you currently use, make sure to let us know in the comments. We'll take a look and include them with future revisions of this guide.