for very long time I have used two machines - one with good monitor for work and one with "ordinary" monitor for fun/movies/games.

Recently I unified this with high end mobile workstation with very good display with almost full sRGB coverage.

I immidiately noticed significant color banding in Youtube and movies. For Youtube I am sure that this is caused by compression and color space conversion.

But is this usual to happen in standard commercial movies? Especially animated movies with very dark scenes/moon light looks really bad on my new monitor. I compared same movies with old monitor and it looks that its limited color space sort of "smooth" these artefacts out.

Are movie studios really that desperate to save streaming bandwidth and disc size to hope that there are not many people with eagle eyes who will criticize those few dark scenes in movies?

I know this is sort of subjective question, but hope someone have other/another opinion from experience.


It really depends on the distribution medium. Many are very low quality.

Most consumer distribution is 8 bit, but when a studio masters a DVD, they'll put a lot of effort into making that specific content look good. That doesn't happen for streaming.

  • Does this also apply to Blu-Ray ? I no longer have a Blu-Ray drive so cannot compare to original non ripped video quality. But copies I have in h264/HEVC seems to have still quite solid color banding.
    – HeliTux
    Dec 15 '19 at 13:44
  • Yes, any distribution medium that the producers of an individual creative work have control over will generally have corrections applied to make sure they're happy with how it looks. They might not be entirely successful, and there are always quality trade offs.
    – user25890
    Dec 15 '19 at 17:33
  • Low bit depth plus low bit rate means noticeable macroblocking and banding. Some of these issues can be alleviated by a TV set. Just like better TVs have better deinterlacers, they also have better digital noise reduction and artefact removal systems.
    – Rusty Core
    Dec 18 '19 at 1:27
  • Thank you both! Few hours ago I had opportunity to make some comparisons. I also discovered that very important is SW and OS. I sadly discovered that in my configuration with Ubuntu Linux colors in videos look much worse than in Windows 10 (that I cannot use because of performance and security issues). There are probably some errors in nVidia drivers because I have 30bit color output active.... I am leaving here this comment if someone will find it useful later.
    – HeliTux
    Dec 25 '19 at 14:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.