Question HDR results in either near-black/white, normal colors but jagged text, or washed out colors ?


Apr 3, 2013
For about 6 months, I've been using my TCL 50S425-CA as my monitor with no issues. However, out of nowhere today it started acting up.

Before the issues I had normal color (not HDR though) and normal text. No issues compared to my other monitors.

The issues there's three modes that it switches between:
  1. Washed out color, normal text. This is usually initiated when a video starts playing. The colors turn very dull like they're using a narrower color range and blend into each other too much (assuming from lack of color range) SATURATION is the word I was looking for. Windows still reports this as SDR, my TV also does not recognize it as HDR, though the display turns black for about half a second as if it is switching to HDR.
  2. When #1 occurs, my temporary solution is to go through all of the Windows 10 HDR switches, turn them on, then turn them off again. While this fixes the color issues, it creates an issue with all text on my display (Windows wide, not program specific) where the text becomes blurry and jagged. I'll include a picture example with the worst spots underlined in red.
  3. The color band becomes even narrower coming to nearly black/white/grey, with maybe like 3 types of each color so it looks like those over exposed memes like this:
Issue #1 is caused by starting a video (any format/website)
Issue #2 is caused by resetting the Windows 10 HDR switches from off to on and back to off again
Issue #3 is caused by switching certain specific HDR switches to on

#1 and #2 are far more common though and the bigger issues.

HDR is enabled on my TV (can't turn it off), however, with the Windows 10 HDR settings turned off, my TV never actually goes into HDR mode (verifiable through its status), despite the appearance of 'switching into HDR'. This fake HDR switching turns the display state from #2 (good colors, bad text) to state #1 (bad colors, good text).

This is what the text looks like in state #2: View:

The jagged text might be hard to notice in the screenshot, however, it's very noticeable and a huge PITA in everyday PC work.

Windows ClearType did not fix this. Updating Windows did not fix this. Updating my GPU driver not fix this.

Specs: Laptop, i7-7700K, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, Windows 10 Home (up-to-date), 16GB RAM.

What is happening and how can I fix this?

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