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Microsoft: This new Windows 11 app will tune your HDR display

Microsoft brings its Xbox HDR calibration app to Windows 11 PCs.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
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Image: Getty Images/10'000 Hours

Microsoft has released its "Windows HDR Calibration" app, which promises to improve high dynamic range (HDR) displays with better color accuracy and consistency. 

Spotted by Thurrott, the app has now appeared on the Microsoft Store, offering Windows 11 users who have an HDR display a straightforward display-tuning tool for adjusting both HDR and SDR (standard dynamic range). 

"Calibrate your HDR (high dynamic range) display for a better experience with HDR content on your Windows 11 PC. The Windows HDR Calibration app helps you improve color accuracy and consistency. It also lets you customize how vividly colors will appear for both HDR and SDR (standard dynamic range) content when HDR is turned on," Microsoft says on the support page.

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It is aimed at Windows gamers but also benefits other HDR content on Windows 11 PCs when watching movies or creating content. 

Microsoft announced the HDR utility in a blogpost in February, explaining it was making it because Windows 11 users wanted the Xbox HDR Game Calibration app for Windows PCs, so they could improve the accuracy and consistency of PC HDR displays.     

Microsoft gave the Windows 11 app extra functionality by allowing users to customize the color saturation of all content when HDR is turned on. This helps make the content more vivid when HDR is turned on. The app's Color Saturation menu lets users customize how colors will appear on a screen.

The app has three test patterns that determine the darkest visible detail, the brightest visible detail, and how bright a display can be. It features a slider, so the display can be adjusted until the pattern is no longer visible. It also lets users create various color profiles and delete any of them using Color Management in Control Panel. 

Microsoft released the app because often, on displays without HDR certification, the content can be brighter than a display's maximum supported brightness or darker than its minimum supported brightness. This causes a "clipping" effect where you won't see any detail in the highlights or the shadows of a scene, Microsoft explained. 

Microsoft provides instructions and tips on how to use the app in its new blogpost.   

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