I'm currently using Win7 (hate Win10/11) + Potplayer HDR-to-SDR mapping with my onboard HDMI 1.3 port to play HDR movies on my TV.
I consider the option of running a small version of Win10/11 off an USB memory stick (native HDR support) and buying an USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter (my USB-C interface is not working on Win7) with HDR support. Would this offer me a better Image experience to let my HDR capable TV display native HDR?
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Your TV has an USB 3.0 port?
If so, put your HDR movies on a USB 3.0 stick and play them with the TV player.
I use a DP 1.2a to HDMI 2.0 active adapter on one of my PCs running Windows 10. It does provide HDR-10 metadata if one is using a software player that supports HDR-10 pass-through and a display that accepts HDR-10 metadata. However, I have never tried running any Windows OS from a USB stick.
The improvements in quality that you see depends on the display properties. Most HDR-capable displays also employ to tone-mapping to some degree but some are capable of displaying more colors or greater brightness than others.
Are you certain that your USB C port supports DP Alt-Mode?Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
PotPlayer. I could also use my Android TV Box capable of HDMI 2.0 HDR 4k60hz, but I couldnt find a reasonable DAC with 5.1 analog output at a reasonable price and comparable sound quality output as my old Creative Audigy 2 NX. Upgrading everything to digital is not an option at least at the moment.
As an example, I recently bought my first 4K HDR TV, which has an 8 bits + FRC panel (10-bit equivalent). However, for several years I have used a 1080p PC monitor with a 6-bit + FRC panel (8-bit equivalent) which can accept 4K HDR-10 input. Both the TV and the monitor do tone mapping, but the TV's panel obviously supports a wider color gamut than the monitor. All other things being equal, the TV should provide more accurate colors than the monitor. Sadly, according to rtings.com, the TV's tone mapping is incorrect for bright colors although I may never notice without another similar TV that does accurate tone mapping for comparison.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329