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

In recent months, a bigger focus has been placed on 4K and HDR gaming than ever before. But with growing list of games adding HDR support for the Xbox One S, now is a better time than ever to take advantage of its benefits. Here's how to get started with HDR gaming and video on Xbox One.

What is HDR?

High Dynamic Range (often abbreviated to HDR) is technology becoming an increasingly popular in today's highest-end displays. Using the technique, tones in an image can be displayed with a higher contrast ratio, supporting a broader range of colors. HDR TVs can display brightness up to 1000 nits, which gives supported content a more vivid, life-like appearance when it comes to lighting and shadows.

Although this benefit is limited to specific HDR-compatible content, the technology is becoming a stronger focus for both gaming and video content. When paired with the resolution bump from 4K displays, the end-experience can be quite striking.

How can I experience HDR?

If you're wanting to experience HDR content today, you'll need to get your hands on an Xbox One S hooked up to an HDR-compatible TV.

Picking up an Xbox One S is relatively easy nowadays, with a wide range of deals available on various variants of the console. Supporting both 4K HDR video playback and HDR gaming on select titles, the Xbox One S is an affordable package for all your entertainment needs. If you're yet to pick up the console, take a look at the latest bundles and deals to save some cash.

Getting hold of an HDR compatible TV is also becoming increasingly straightforward, too, as the technology continues to be adopted rapidly. However, picking up a 4K HDR display won't come cheap, as the technology is still quite expensive. When looking for HDR compatible TVs, look for displays compliant with the HDR 10 standard. This is critical for the Xbox One S, which doesn't support other HDR standards. Naming can differ between models and manufacturers, so make sure to check online user reviews to guarantee compatibility. If you're looking for the best 4K HDR TVs for your Xbox One S, make sure to take a look at our round-up!

What HDR content is currently available?

To get the full benefits of your HDR display, you'll need to seek out HDR-enabled content. In terms of games, this is limited to a small subset of the Xbox One's library, with an ever-growing list of third-party developers hopping on board. However, with HDR becoming a common selling point for both PlayStation 4 and PC, we can expect to see more titles supporting the feature in the coming year.

Here's a breakdown of all titles that currently support HDR on the Xbox One S. We'll make sure to keep this list up to date as new titles receive support!

  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Hitman
  • NBA 2K17
  • World of Tanks
  • Pure Chess Ultra

When it comes to movies, today's pool of available HDR content is also relatively limited. A small range of titles is currently available with support for the technology, with more continuing to release as adoption increases. Although no HDR video is currently offered digitally through the Xbox One's Movies and TV app, look out for '4K Ultra HD' Blu-ray movies with HDR support on Amazon and other outlets. Netflix currently supports a range of 4K content on the Xbox One S too.

4K HDR movies on Amazon (opens in new tab)

How to set up HDR with the Xbox One S

Once your Xbox One S is set up alongside an HDR compatible display, HDR should be automatically enabled on your console. If your console isn't automatically switched over to output in HDR, make sure to check that both your Xbox One S and TV have HDR enabled in their settings menus.

TV settings can vary between models and manufacturers, so some additional research may be required to check HDR is enabled on your display. Search for "How to enable HDR on

[[ tv model ]] " in your preferred search engine. Also, note that some TV models with multiple HDMI ports may only support HDR from certain sockets.

To check that HDR is enabled on your Xbox One S console, just follow the steps listed below.

  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 > Video output.
  5. Choose Advanced video settings.
  6. To enable HDR, ensure both the Allow 4K and Allow HDR checkboxes are filled.

If you're having issues with enabling HDR, try using the HDMI cable included alongside the Xbox One S. If using a low-quality or defective cable, there may be issues when outputting a 4K HDR image to your display.

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Games Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

30 Comments
  • Using a LG 43UH6500 ($480 after taxes). Works well. Have to enable HDR for each port under "General" settings at the bottom. Can't wait for Wildlands (hopefully HDR) and next Tomb Raider end of this year. So stoked!!!!
  • That's not quite everything.
    You did not cover subsampeling at 420 and 422 on the standard setting or uncompressed color which also unlocks unused video space above white and below black. This setting is also for non hdr games and better for deep color. It is called PcFullRGB. Example standard 8 bit is 235 shades from black to white. Full is 255 Example hdr and 10bits is 960 while full is 1024. 12 bit only works at full, or Dolby vision 422 either way its 4096 shades. If your tv supports it in full mode. (only vizio r series does has support for this and only inDV mode and the Xbox does not support dv. But the option for full is selectable...it just doesn't do anything because no TV can. Basically, the more shades, you have from black to white the Better the detail in your image before the color applies. The shades also apply to color so the more shades of colors within a base color that Your tv can generate the deeper the color volume that you can produce. An example of that is how in Oled. televisions they produce a color volume for DCI P 3. Around 69%, Whereas an LCD will produce a color volume closer to 99%. That means if the sun is yellow and it's part of the HDR image you will not see that correct shade of yellow as intended by the director on an Oled.. The same goes for black volume where in an Oled you would see more blacks than your standard 8 bit or 10 bit television. Of course this only applies to a 100% blacker than black viewing environment. However, an LCD at 12 bits feeding a 12 bit video would be able to produce deeper blacks due to shear bit depth. It would also need more finite led control so slim Oled are out and no Oled even support full 10bit panel tech. ( though no one seems to wanna test Dolby Vision on the Vizio Reference Series against an Oled with the same source? That, however, is a rant for a different time.) Note the new 422 option is now available to alpha beta testers but it'll be coming soon. That will come along with several Atmos options for both headphones and other apps not just Blu Ray. Additionally the hrtf supported by holo lenz which generates atmos type headphone audio on the fly(with out pre encoding i believe) is also available. All that is all part of the UHD spec. Not just HDR. Sorry to rant on.
    Go Xbox One.S
  • 8-bit broadcast only uses 220 values from 16-135 (not 16-255).  But Blu-ray, video games, etc. are perfectly capable of using all values from 0-255.  10-bit is similar -- 64 to 960 for broadcast, but 0-1023 for everything else. It seems your OLED information is out-of-date.  My 2016 LG OLED TV's panel is true 10-bit, and produces more than 100% of DCI-P3.  Both the product specifications and technical reviews say that.  It also produces much more accurate colors than ANY LCD.  Countless reviews of the TV point that out.  They all consistently say that LG's 2016 TVs produce the most accurate picture of any TV, period.  The only advantage that some LCDs have is brightness.  But at 800 nits peak, the 2016 models aren't exactly dim, and for 2017 they are closer to 900 nits. From DisplayMate: "The third generation 2016 LG OLED TV performed exceptionally well throughout all of the Lab Tests and Viewing Tests. It has a Truly Impressive OLED display, with absolutely stunning and beautiful picture quality across the board, even at large Viewing Angles. It is unquestionably the Best Performing TV that we have ever tested or watched… In terms of picture quality the LG OLED TV is Visually Indistinguishable from Perfect. Even in terms of the exacting and precise Lab Measurements it is close to ideal, and it breaks many TV Display Performance Records." ... "The LG OLED TV is far better than the best Plasma TVs in every display performance category, and even better than the $50,000 Sony Professional CRT Reference Studio Monitors that up until recently were the golden standard for picture quality. In fact, based on our detailed lab tests and measurements the LG OLED TV has the highest Absolute Color Accuracy, the highest Absolute Luminance Accuracy, and the highest Contrast Ratio with perfect Black Levels of any TV that we have ever tested, so it even qualifies as a Reference Studio Monitor."
  • unfortunately I believe you are confusing color space with color volume which I tried to explain before so I will go into more detail this time OLED produces 100% dci p3 color space. And 69% of it's color volume. Part of that issue is caused by its white pixel. I won't get into it too much deeper as I already have. instead I will give you a real world example
    You can test this for yourself on your own o LED versus in HDR capable LEDTV.
    In HDR playback the sequence of doomsday, exploding from Batman V, Superman. On oled there is a significant amount of colors, missing in the spectrum of the explosion coming out of doomsday. A lot of it ends up white washed and there's a serious amount of detail lost LG admit this is the case they've even stated to the press at ces 17 that in future years oled will get to wear LCD is today in relation to color volume by removing the white sub pixel.
    the issue is inherently baked in to oleds technology. because the pixel brightness can only be 75% of blu rays rec 709. can't even come close to hitting 100% of HDR spec. that makes oaled the best possible standard dynamic range display you can buy. It's still pretty good with HDR because dynamically the difference between black and white is immediate from pixel to pixel. However. Mathematically. from 005 minutes to 2000 minutes across the entire range of colors and not just the white color. LCD is vastly more capable In the measurement of color volume. Simply speaking. color space represents the total number of colors a display can hit if and only if each color remains at 75nits. color volume represents the capable color space that colors can hit when that color can transmit from one to 2000 nits and above. As of this moment, no TV reviewer has reviewed color volume. you'll see those reviews this year and you will see in relation to LCD how oled performs. As for the panel tech. At CS 2017. LG display the company that manufacturers the old LED panels for both LG ansoni as well as panasonic said that a full 10bit display is on its way due by the end of this year. Based on that statement there are no 10bit OLED. panels in existence. however if a panel is capable of accepting attend it signalen uses attendant CPU then it is 10 bit compliant and it can dither 8 bit color to 10 bit. this has been going on for a long time. it is for example the difference between the vizio M series and P series. however unlike vizio LG likes to hide which display is 8 bit. Mark my words next year, LG will announce the world's first 10 bit oledb panel with 100% color volume in the DCIP 3 colors space. my statement is just that LCD TV has supported that for some time. again I'm sorry if I have offended anyone I was simply stating facts.
  • Yes, LCD manufacturers are trying to push tests to use color volume for testing this year.  Because that's the only area in which they may have an advantage over today's OLED models.  In terms of overall contrast, viewing angles, color accuracy, black levels, refresh rates OLED destroys LCDs. A few top-end (very expensive) LCDs might do fine in terms of color accuracy, but they still really suffer in other areas, even with local dimming.  And the few sets with good color accuracy have very serious viewing angle problems. If you compare LG's OLED TVs against a color volume based on 2000-nits, sure OLED is going to come up short since it just can't produce that kind of brightness today.  (And brightness isn't everything, especially in rooms with even limited control over lighting.)  According to LG the color clipping you're talking about only occurs with signals are meant to be displayed at more than 1000 nits.  That almost never happens.  Also, are you sure your numbers are correct for the 2016 models?  LG increased brightness considerably over the 2015 models, increasing color volume significantly.   I'm familiar with the scene you're referencing. It looks WAYYYY better on my LG OLED than my Sony XBR HDR TV.  The Sony XBR clips colors to white long before the LG does.  Everything that is supposed to be bright is just a big white mess on my Sony, but actually retains quite a bit of color and detail on my LG.  I'm also not sure that movie makes a particularly good reference, though... on the whole it looks absolutely horrible on both of my TVs.  The whole thing is terribly washed out. Easily the worst of the Ultra HD movies I've seen. Even assuming that the 69% number is correct, for real-world material the OLED TVs blow LCDs out of the water.  Only under very specific, uncommon circumstances would that shortcoming be an issue.  Black levels, color accuracy, contrast, response times, and viewing angles make much more of a difference for every day TV/movie watching than a few washed out pixels in a few select scenes of nearly non-existent HDR material.  In the real-world that just doesn't matter.   And FYI, every single source I'm finding says that the 2016 LG OLED TVs use 10-bit panels.  Right in LG's press release it states "10-bit panel." http://www.lg.com/us/PDF/press-release/CES2016_LG_NEW_4K_HDR_ENABLED_OLE...
  • Long reply so here goes....
    Lg ill reference the exact lg statement when I get home. At work now so searching for it is tight. That is in regards to the panel. Second. I agree with your statement almost compleatly, however I wanted to bring to light one of the OLED limitations in view of people referring to them as perfect displays. Yes led has flaws like low end dimming solutions and their own 8 bit displays bu a really great display ca be had at full retail for about 1k less than an OLED and since our article and conversation is around hdr...and it's hdr content we are talking about specifically it would be responsible to discuss the color limitation.
    Separately of course led mfgs state color volume but they do so as lg states blacks...same same. As far as superior display goes...that is subjective...and that's my point. I have a friend with a b6 OLED and I have a vizio r65. In Dolby vision mode certain movies look better on mine and others look better on his.
    Interestingly dv on vudu always looks better than the hdr10disk so I can not wait to see what dv on a disk does. Mad max, batman v Superman, Lego movie look better on r65. Good fellas, looks better on the OLED. Most of that comes down to the color volume. And yes we are testing the OLED in a blacked out room against the r65 in the same room. With current firmware we are not seeing blooming on r65 with the exception of gravity bluray. Again OLED is always better in non hdr. Basically. If u watch tv with lights on or have Windows or ambiant lighting the LCD will have colors that do not wash out to compensate. But In a very intentionally dark room you see deeper into OLED s blacks that even one of the best lcd's ever. One note though. During the shootout ly. Nearly all rated content was sd or hdr 10. Vizio r65 was built from the ground up for dv. I wonder how the testing would have cared with Dolby vision content. But they did not try. I do wanna say you made some good points in this was a good debate there is a TV out there for everyone.
    .
    However, the future of TV might actually be neither oh LED or LCD it may be quantum dot self emitting displays. Versus sony cleatus display. If they can figure out how to build a 65 inch for less than $2 Million that is.
  • Btw your right according to lg.....but for a fact red only gets to 75 nits. So when u look at the red sun on krypton the set has to tone map down to 75 nits at the brightest with the exception of white where as my vizio gives red 600 nits. To say you can't tell means you haven't seen them side by side. More to come...btw love this it fun.
  • wow a lot of long replies, stopped reading halfway!
  • Resident Evil 7 also supports HDR
  • Sorry to rant on
  • I guess people find HDR to be a huge thing. Personally it does nothing for me and does not improve my experience at all. I play Resident Evil 7 on both my Xbox One S and PC. Xbox enables HDR while my PC does not. Which do I enjoy more? PC version for it's sharper image quality and native 4K resolution. All HDR provides is a little better brightness. Honestly, I could care less about it because unless I'm studying 2 images side by I probably wouldn't notice any difference. But then again, why should a pictures brightness improve my experience? I feel like TV manufacturers have placed way too much emphasis on a feature that for the most part is useless. I for one actually used to enjoy watching 3D movies and games but now they are getting rid of this feature. To me that was more exciting than HDR but for some reason Xbox didn't offer any 3D games on the One this time around.
  • Deleted.
  • Interesting. I haven't seen this myself, but everyone on the net seems to rave on HDR. For me, the difference in resolution is unnoticeable, so was thinking HDR would be the difference maker. But judging by the comments here, seems no much difference. OLED is obvious...but at a pretty hefty price. 
  • Me too as I love all tech....but damn....3dtv is dead again....
    Dolby however has a test unit......with dv 8k and no glasses....but the pipeline HDMI 2.0a just doesn't have the juice so its not relevant tech I guess.
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  • I have the Samsung UHD player and XB1s. The only reason for the two outputs on the Samsung is if you have older equipment. I have the latest Onkyo receiver which supports 4K, I plug into the receiver and the receiver into the TV with no problem.
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  • Only true on old reciecers or for anyone with out a vizio r or p series as they pass ddplus atmos over HDMI arc. Not tru hd....but I dare u to tell the difference.
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  • HDR on my LG OLED TV is quite striking.  Friends (even those who aren't at all technically inclined) who come by instantly notice that there is something very different (in a very good way) with my TV when playing HDR content and always say something.  The difference between HDR and standard dynamic range is not subtle. However, HDR on my previous TV (a 2015-model Sony XBR 4K) didn't look much different than SDR.  So the TV can make an enormous difference.
  • Maybe it's only that noticeable on OLED. I have a Samsung 65" KS8000 and makes almost no difference to me whether it's enabled or not.
  • Did you enable subpixel sampling and uhd color and set the tv to movie/cinema as that is required on some sets. Also hdr 10 calibrated to one frame based on mfg spec. A dv set like the OLED is probably using a Dolby alogarythm for its calibrated setting. But that is the flaw with static metadata.
  • There's no subpixel setting as far as I know. UHD HDR for that HDMI port is enabled and it does show HDR enabled on the top of my screen when I play Forza, RE7, Gears 4 etc. But I'm not sure the improvement is mind blowing. I'd really have to see it side by side without HDR to see what I should be noticing.
  • depends on the certification. My bro has the 65" newest LG oled and man it is insane how amazing it looks. Scenes where there would be a lot of colour variation like sunsets etc look amazing. I have only tried it on movies. The movie has to support HDR. There's hdr 10 and dolby vision. Dolby vision is much better but content seems to be missing so far.
  • I think that's my issue. I have a newer Sony XBR that came out last summer, but it was more budget friendly, so the HDR isn't as noticeable as it would be on a $2000 HDR tv. That being said it still looks great, but I'm left wanting more.
  • I got my 2016 LG 55" OLED brand-new for $1450... and I paid $1500 for my 2015 Sony 55" XBR.  So my OLED was, ironically, actually slightly cheaper.
  • I disagree. I bought a budget 49" 4K HDR LG TV. And instantly noticed how much richer in colour Forza Horizon 3 was with HDR. The sky, water reflections, rain reflecting light, all looked significantly improved. The sky for example had wonderful tones of different blue. As opposed to just blue without. I really notice it when I play on my old Xbox upstairs in bed which is not hdr.
  • Maybe I need to turn off HDR in a game to see if it's that noticeable. So far I couldn't care less for this option.
  • The difference to colour and lighting is staggering. When you go back to no HDR you really notice the difference. HDR is now actually available on even sets at £499.99. My LG supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10. Bonus.
  • And hopefully if everyone goes to use voice and votes in the Dolby vision collection then well get that on Scorpio...