The Xbox One S makes a great 4K set top box. It’s a rare box capable of handling HDR, a part of the Ultra High Definition format that allows for better details in scenes of extreme brightness or darkness. But the HDR on the Xbox One S is currently experiencing some significant bugs that firmly drop the console from best in class.
The issues are two-fold. First, there’s a known issue with Netflix wherein the HDR mode is activated even when content isn’t HDR. This leads to the content looking washed out and orange. It was a problem back when I reviewed the Xbox One S in August, and I’ve been suffering with Oompa Loompa onscreen ever since.
The second issue, reported on Reddit, revolves around HDR mode in Ultra High Definition Blu-Rays. Whereas Netflix is eagerly engaging HDR in all content, the Blu-Ray app is not properly engaging HDR mode for content with HDR in it. This is leading to dreaded “light bleed” where points on screen are brighter than they should be.
In the case of the Xbox One S this presents at the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen being much brighter than they should be.
Like the Netflix bug, this new Blu-Ray bug isn’t a deal breaker, but is definitely irritating and unattractive. It’s also nearly ruinous if you’re the kind of person who has dropped thousands of dollars on a UHD TV and Xbox Ones S and would like it all to play back exactly right.
Fortunately, both bugs can be resolved with a software update from Microsoft. Yet, with the Netflix bug having been around since launch in early August, it’s anyone’s guess when the bugs will be resolved.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment and will update as soon as we hear back.