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ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM - Why HDR looks bad

Level 9


I allow myself to create a conversation here to reference issues encountered with the HDR mode by users of the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM. Mainly the following: unnatural skin color (exaggerated yellowish/greenish tint), overall HDR color reproduction looks unnatural, bright and flat, the rendering lacks sharpness and appears lower res, banding effect for dark shades.
Can Asus fix HDR mode? Its rendering is still very bad even with MCM104 installed.

Here are some pictures that show how bad it is:

Happens regardless of the HDR preset (Gaming, Cinema and Console), Color temp. (6500K and 8200K), of the device (PC, PS5) and output used (DisplayPort, HDMI).
This monitor needs a big update to fix the overall HDR experience. It's a shame for that price.

The problem is there since the MCM102 version and nothing has been done to really improve the HDR mode except increasing the saturation to try to hide the misery.


Accepted Solutions

Level 9

As some of you have already said, the MCM105 firmware is now available to download via the official website. I took the opportunity to make a (very) short comparison which speaks for itself.

The skin color issue in HDR mode that I reported a few months ago is now fixed. I played for an hour with HDR mode and I can confirm that the overall result is now better.
The wait was long especially given the state of HDR mode at release. I appreciate seeing that Asus didn't abandon us in the end but I would still have liked a more transparent method of communication. The firmware released in ninja mode and no one knew if it was in development until now it's available.

Anyway, while HDR mode can still improve over time the main problem mentioned here is now resolved so the thread can be closed.

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Level 9

The hdr perfomance seems to be still lacking it definitly improved but asus needs to fix this issue completly hopefully on mcm105 

Level 9

Added more pictures.

Customer Service Agent

Hello, @Canaan 

After confirmation from the relevant departments, it has been determined that the changes in the firmware MCM104 version were indeed made to adjust the HDR saturation.
If you are experiencing excessive saturation on your display, we recommend trying to roll back the firmware update to the MCM103 version to see if it improves the situation.
Meanwhile, your feedback and suggestions have been collected and provided to the relevant departments for further consideration and evaluation.

Thank you.

sharing complete hardware info & software config details will help us better understand the issue 🙂

I have exactly the same problem.. After HDR is enabled, the skin tone looks a lot more yellow/red than the original color. ANDDD! The color banding issue is very very bad, particularly in dark areas. That's probably the cause for the halo effect. Please request them to fix it in 105!

Customer Service Agent

Hello, @RexCW 

May I ask if you are experiencing excessive saturation in the HDR display while using the ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM?
We recommend installing the firmware versions MCM103 and MCM104 to determine which one provides more suitable HDR colors for your current usage scenario.
This is because MCM104 is a version that optimizes HDR color accuracy and provides a 30% color saturation improvement, while for your specific scenario, MCM103 may be more suitable.

Thank you.

sharing complete hardware info & software config details will help us better understand the issue 🙂

I’m using mcm104. I fix the saturation problem by using bt 2020 color profile. But now I found out the color banding problem in both SDR and HDR mode, regardless of platforms. It is too obvious while I am watching movies. 


For your reference, this is how it looks on my macbook pro: 


Hey! This might be a dumb question but... what do you mean by using a BT 2020 color profile? Are you using a custom ICC file for the HDR to desaturate the overall rendering? In this case I imagine it doesn't solve the real issue here.
Anyway, I tried to reset the settings of the monitor and I left it completely unplugged for few minutes just in case but no improvement. I don't know what can be causing it.

Regarding the color gradient problem you talk about, go to this website:
The first bar at the top represents a bad gradient and those at the bottom are used for the test. Click on the gradients bar one by one and compare them with the bad rendering to see how it looks (you can do the test in SDR or HDR).
I note weird shades on the darker part of each color pattern but nothing excessive. If you have time to spare lol you can downgrade your monitor to MCM103 and repeat the test to see if the banding disappears to be sure if it's coming from MCM104.

I found out that my intel mac is retrieving the wrong default color profile after the 104 update, which causes the over-saturated colors. I figure that out because my M1 pro macbook is retrieving the BT2020 color space as the default with HDR on, so I think the monitor default color profile should be BT2020 under HDR mode. If you are on pc or ps5, I don’t think you have to worry about anything because those machines are supposed to retrieve the color profile correctly (as far as I have tested), the intel-macs are just exception maybe because of the compatibility issues…?


Regarding to the color issues you mentioned, I think it’s basically because the color accuracy are not fully fixed. It still has a delta E of ~6 which is far worse than the delta E <2 under SDR mode. On my screen, the white color sometimes looks too yellow and warm with HDR. But it’s closer to what it looks like on my macbook compared to 103… but still, the color accuracy is far from perfect. And the color banding is so bad under both modes, ASUS has to fixed this…


Edit: I will do more test on the color gradient later today.