Tip!: HDR to SDR tone mapping support is currently available as a Plex Pass preview and requires an active Plex Pass subscription for the main Plex Media Server account.
This feature allows Plex Media Server to maintain high visual fidelity of content, by applying tone mapping to convert HDR (high dynamic range) color content to SDR (standard dynamic range) colors. This allows you to view the content on an SDR display without the colors being “washed out”, for instance.
This feature requires Plex Media Server v1.21.0 or newer in general. Some specific platform and hardware combinations may require newer versions of Plex Media Server, as noted below. The following platform support is currently available:
|Platform||Software (CPU)||Hardware (Intel)||Hardware (NVIDIA)|
|Linux||•||• 1, 2||• 1, 3|
|Docker||•||• 1, 2||• 1, 3|
|NAS||•||• 1, 2||• 1, 4|
Notes on requirements for the above:
- 1 Requires Plex Media Server v1.29.2 or newer.
- 2 Requires an Intel “Kaby Lake” or newer processor.
- 3 Requires NVIDIA GPU driver 470.141.03 or higher.
- 4 Requires NVIDIA GPU driver provided by the NAS vendor.
- 5 Only valid for the 64-bit release of Plex Media Server, v1.29.2 or newer. It does not work in the 32-bit release.
- If using Plex Media Server on Unraid with Docker and you wish to use NVIDIA hardware transcoding and tone mapping, you will need to be running Unraid OS version 6.9.0 beta 35 or newer, and have the NVIDIA GPU configured for your Plex Docker container.
- Plex Media Servers using Intel Coffee Lake or newer processors on Ubuntu require version 20.04 or later.
Tip!: Hardware-accelerated streaming is a premium feature and requires an active Plex Pass subscription.
This feature supports all video produced in HDR10, or in other formats that are backwards-compatible with HDR10 (including HDR10+ and DoVi content).
It’s worth noting that most HDR content will be in 4K resolution. If your platform has to use software transcoding to perform the tone mapping, then it may well struggle convert 4K content in real-time, unless you’re running on a very powerful system.
Related Page: Using Hardware-Accelerated Streaming
Transcodes that involve burnt-in subtitles may require more CPU resources, which could reduce performance.
Investigating Issues with Tone Mapping
First, keep in mind that real-time tone mapping will not be as good as professionally produced and color graded content. Still, you can expect that Plex’s tone mapping support should generally be able to produce good color mapping and help avoid the “washed out” colors that occur when converting HDR content without tone mapping.
If you do run into what you think is a legitimate issue with the tone mapping functionality, please help us investigate this. To do so:
- Post specific details in the appropriate Plex Media Server forum
- In the forum topic, attach full server logs of a single problematic playback attempt
- In the topic, also link to a small sample file that can be used to reproduce the issue
If you encounter issues and need to temporarily disable the tone mapping, you can do so using the Enable HDR tone mapping preference in the transcoder settings page for your Plex Media Server. You can find it under Settings > Server > Transcoder in the Plex Web App.
Related Page: Transcoder