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# How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

First, education time, because most people still really don't get it.

1. Explanation of color depths

High Color (5/6-bit colour channels x RGB = 15 or 16-bit colour depth)
32,768 colours (15-bit depth) or 65,536 colours (16-bit colour depth)

• Go back 15 years or so, and you might remember this as an option in Windows XP's display settings panel.
• Nobody needs these modes any more

True Color (8-bit colour channels x RGB = 24-bit color depth). 32-bit colour is actually 24-bit colour with transparency)
8 bits of information per colour channel (24-bit color depth) = 16.7 million colours.

• Almost all computer displays and all current smartphone displays are 8-bit per channel.
• Has been the standard for many years.
• Each pixel's three colour channels (red, green, and blue) have 256 levels of gradation.
• Often results in unsightly 'banding', particularly noticeable in gradients. Certain tricks have to be employed to avoid these colour problems.
• Many video sources are 8-bit per RGB color channel

Deep Color (10/12/16-bit colour channels x RGB = 30/36/48-bit color depth)
10 bits of information per colour channel (30-bit color depth) = 1.08 billion colours.
12 bits of information per colour channel (36-bit color depth) = 68.71 billion colours.16 bits of information per colour channel (36-bit color depth) = 281.5 trillion colours.

• Many modern monitors and almost all modern TVs are actually able to handle 10-bit
• 10-bit is used in video formats (see Bluray or HEVC Main10)
• Deep colour's higher colour count eliminates 'banding' and various other visual artifacts
• 12-bit color is required for the HDMI definition of 'Deep Color'
• In 10-bit colour, each pixel's three colour channels (red, green, and blue) have 1024 levels of gradation.

2. The problem I am facing

1. How can I enable 10/12-bit color in linux? I am already running latest drivers on arch linux.
2. What about OSX or Windows?
3. Whoa, hang on, what the fu.. have I just found a PDF where you guys actually say there is NO OPTION despite full hardware/software support because there is 'no content'? What? I can't enable more accurate colour even though everything works, because Bluray 4K isn't out yet? Are you £\$%ing serious?

This document details the _full support_ of deep colour, but that UI options don't exist - so how do I enable this in linux (of which intel drivers lack UI anyway)?

FFS Intel. The drivers situation is appalling.

1. The driver versions ******** is still plaguing millions of machines

2. Haven't implemented 'custom' resolutions/refresh rates in Windows. After 5 god forsaken years.

3. And now, advertising features that should be supported BUT ARE DISABLED?

My stuff:

• 10-bit yamakasi IPS 1440p monitor, 3x panasonic TVs supporting 30/36-bit colour (tested with bluray player test modes)
• Intel i7 3667U laptop (DP)
• Intel i7 4710MQ laptop (HDMI)
• Intel i7 6560U laptop (DP)
• Intel Celeron 3150N (HDMI or DP)
• Windows 10
• OSX (3667u)
• Arch Linux (Celeron 3150N)
• ###### 1. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Replete,

I am going to work on this. I will try to have an answer in 24 to 48 business hours.

Regards,
Mike C

• ###### 2. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

So, a month later, what is the answer MikeC ?

• ###### 3. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Replete,

Deep Color is enabled in our driver by default. If an app which utilizes Deep Color is used, and the Hardware meets the requirements needed to utilize the app and Deep Color, then our driver will allow it to function.

The maximum supported bpc are the following, there is a Bandwidth limitation to offer more.

1. 1920x1080p can be achieved with 12bpc.

2. 4k@30p resolution needs 297 Mhz with 8bpc, so will need ~450 Mhz with 12bpc.
Native HDMI port can’t support this, only LSPCON port can.

3. 4k@60p resolution need 600Mhz clock, on 8BPC, so it will need ~900Mhz with 12BPC.
Neither native HDMI nor LSPCON can support this.

Regards,
Mike C

• ###### 4. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

What about the HDMI 2.0 port on the Skull Canyon NUC? Technically, HDMI 2.0 does support 10-bit and 12-bit color when using the YCbCr 4:2:2 pixel format. For example, the newest NVIDIA cards (GTX 900 and GTX 1000 series) support this:

1 of 1 people found this helpful
• ###### 5. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Hifihedgehog,

Let me review the specifications of our Skull Canyon with my upper level. I will try to get an answer in 2 to 3 business days.

Mike C

• ###### 6. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Hifihedgehog,

Thank you for your time. I have confirmed the latest graphics driver still support the same Deep Color specs. The engineers are working on this so we can expect an improvement soon.

The maximum supported bpc are the following, there is a Bandwidth limitation to offer more.

1. 1920x1080p can be achieved with 12bpc.

2. 4k@30p resolution needs 297 Mhz with 8bpc, so will need ~450 Mhz with 12bpc.
Native HDMI port can’t support this, only LSPCON port can.

3. 4k@60p resolution need 600Mhz clock, on 8BPC, so it will need ~900Mhz with 12BPC.
Neither native HDMI nor LSPCON can support this.

Mike C

• ###### 7. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Hifihedgehog,

The HDMI 2.0 port provides with the same features.

Mike C

• ###### 8. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

MikeC, that does NOT answer my question - at all.

Remember the slider in Windows graphic properties that lets you select High Color, True color? There is no DEEP COLOUR option.

True colour is 8-bit.

If your desktop is configured for 8-bit color, an app is NEVER going to display deep color (10-bit or higher). There are software dithering options, but that is not deep colour.

EDIT: See my latest comment, it's complicated.

• ###### 9. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

So all you have told us MikeC is that it is 'supported'.

But there is NO KNOWN WAY to enable the feature. Can you please confirm if there is a way (and by way I mean, UI configuration or something).

Literally, how do we make this work? I have a 10-bit television, 10-bit video files, hardware advertised as supporting 10-bit (like you told me) but NO WAY to actually use it.

• ###### 10. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Replete,

I will be updating your case as soon as possible.

Regards,
Mike C

• ###### 11. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Intel Community,

We are doing some improvements on our graphics drivers and we need to get applications that confirm support for 10bit (deep color). Please include the name of the application and website if it is possible.

I would really appreciate your help.

Mike C

• ###### 12. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

Mike C,

I'm not sure how you improve something that doesn't exist, such as your driver support for 'Deep Color'?

Are you seriously asking me to give you a list of applications that support 10-bit colour?

This has nothing to do with 'applications supporting 10bit color' and EVERYTHING to do with your DRIVER being able to run a 10-bit monitor at 10-bit colour.

> Bryce@Intel - I am not getting anywhere with this, could you find someone technical to respond? It seems my careful explanation is not enough.

CAN SOMEONE WITH SOME COMMON SENSE PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS THREAD EXPLAINING HOW WE USE THIS SUPPORTED FEATURE????

• ###### 13. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?
This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

Hi Replete,

Your case is already escalated and our specialists are requesting those applications.

Mike C

• ###### 14. Re: How can I use Deep Colour (10/12bpc = 30/36-bit color depth)?

Wow, this is frustrating. Let's try again:

10-bit applications (e.g. Photoshop or VideoLAN) require the Operating System (Windows or Linux) to be able to run a monitor at 10-bit color depth. Currently, with Intel hardware, this is not possible.

You can't drive a car without turning the engine on. In the same manner, you cannot run a supported application in 10-bit mode without the display driver enabling 10-bit colour mode in the OS.

MikeC - Do you understand what I am saying? If Windows doesn't run a monitor at 10-bit, then no application running on it will be able to magically achieve 10-bit color depth.

As a user, I want to know how to use this supported feature on any of my 5 Intel computers. None of them are able to drive any 10-bit monitor.

There are only two acceptable answers to this question:

1. "This feature is not working as expected, so you cannot use 10-bit colour mode."
2. "You need to follow these instructions to enable 10-bit colour mode.. (URL or detailed list of instructions to enable 30-bit color depth (10bpc))"
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