Watching the football – why is the picture dark?

Note: This article was written by a customer

Sky has begun broadcasting some sports in a new format to enhance viewers experience.

This new format is called HDR which stands for High Dynamic Range.


Please see this link for more information about its introduction on the Sky platform

HDR Sport announcement 


HDR material has become increasingly available in recent months for films and general programmes but Sky have only recently (mid-August 2021) introduced HDR for Live Sports


Using this new format has, however, caused some viewers to have a very dark or slighty subdued image when watching.


Here are some FAQs and answers


Why has this just started?

Although Eurosport used HDR on the Sky platform to bring us the Olympic coverage, Sky have only just begun to use HDR for some live football.



Why is my image very dark?

Some TVs, whilst technically capable of delivering HDR, may not be capable of delivering an acceptable image for you. There are a few factors involved but one of these is that to deliver good HDR TVs need to be capable of a bright enough peak brightness



What can I do to improve the image?

Depending on what your TV is capable of, you may be able to adjust the image by using your TV’s Picture settings to your liking. These will vary by manufacturer and model.


If, however, you find you cannot adjust the image to your liking then you can change your SKY box to deliver the SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) feed which is how the games were broadcast last season.


To do this go to :

Settings – Setup -  Audio Visual – Picture Resolution

And  change the setting from 2160p 10 bit to 2160p 8 bit

Alternatively you may be able to change your TV settings to switch off HDR 



I can watch other HDR sources OK so why is Sky’s HDR different?

There are a few different technologies in use to bring us content in HDR.

Sky use  a specific technology called HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) which was developed partly by the BBC and the Japanese Broadcaster NHK which allows the same feed to be watched in SDR & HDR and is suited to live broadcasts. Some TVs handle other technologies used for HDR better than they do HLG.




Why is the image for Football dark when it is bright for other Sports in UHD such as Cricket?

Other sports are currently being provided in UHD/SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) only.



Why is it dark now when it was working previously?

SKY have only recently introduced the use of HDR for some Football matches.



How do I watch the Football matches in UHD as I did before?

You can watch the UHD/SDR feed by changing your SKY box settings.


To do this go to :

Settings – Setup -  Audio Visual – Picture Resolution.

And change the setting from 2160p 10 bit to 2160p 8 bit.



If I set my Picture resolution from 10 bit to 8 bit won’t I be losing out?

Of course, technically by having 8 bits compared to 10 bits there is less data being used but with SDR feeds the extra bits (when used) are used to extend the colour palette which provides a more gradual transition between colours but it is very unlikely that the very subtle difference is noticeable.



I don’t have an HDR capable box why does my image seem darker and slightly more subdued?

It seems that the SDR feed provided by the 10-bit feed used for HDR  may currently appear slightly darker and subdued.


This can probably be made more to your liking by adjusting the TV’s picture settings – alternatively, you can change your SKY Q  box to use the normal SDR only feed.


To do this go to :

Settings – Setup -  Audio Visual – Picture Resolution

And  change the setting from 2160p 10 bit to 2160p 8 bit

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