Very unusual color difference between exports/conversions (seemingly NOT the typical HDR problem)

New Here ,
Oct 24, 2020

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I think the answer to my question is going to hinge on some very specific details.

Below are 4 questions in bold, if you lovely people don't mind help finding the answers. 

Question (4) is the most important question.


I am experiencing a color problem with HDR video, but it may not be what you expect.


I exported an HDR 4K video from Premiere.  It looks washed on quicktime (as expected), but the colors look great when I view it in Premiere pro.  Things normal up to this point.


Then I convert it to 1080p with the below settings in Handbrake (note: including using MAIN as the color profile).  It looks GREAT when I play it in Quicktime.  But colors are washed/desat in Premiere (the exact opposite situation as with the original 4K HDR export).


I investigated, and hit "get info" on my mac for each file.  The 4K HDR export has no reference to Color Profile in "get info", but for the 1080p Handbrake export with MAIN as the color profile - the get info report says "Color Profile: BT. 2020 PQ (9-16-9)". 


(1) So handbrake still used the HDR profile? 

(2) Even if this is so, why does Get Info not have reference to BT2020 for the original 4K HDR export while this one does?


(3) And aside from those questions, why would the 1080p export look bad in Premiere, and good in Quicktime - while the original 4K HDR export is the exact opposite? 

(4) How can I end up with a non-washed looking 1080p export (doesn't have to be HDR) that looks good in both Quicktime and Premiere? 

IMPORTANT: I cannot just export the original project as 1080p non-HDR from Premiere because that is causing some serious banding issues that I have been unable to mitigate.


note: this video is being submitted for a livestream, and I am unsure what video player they are using to play my video, so I want to make sure the 1080p result looks fine on every platform.




Handbrake settings when converting from the original 4K HDR Premiere export:

Format: MPEG-4 (avformat), Chapter Markers


Range: Title 1, Chapter 1


Dimensions: Source: 3840x2160, Output: 1920x1080, Anamorphic: 1950x1080 Auto, Modulus: 2, Crop: Auto 34/0/0/0 Keep Aspect Ratio


Filters: Decomb (Default)


Video: Encoder: H.264 (x264), Framerate: Peak 30 (may be lower), Bitrate: 25000 kbps

Video Options: Preset: fast, Tune: none, Profile: main, Level: 4.1


Audio: 0: English (AAC LC) (2.0 ch) (317 kbps) ▸ Encoder: AAC (CoreAudio), Mixdown: Stereo, Samplerate: Auto, Bitrate: 320 kbps

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