Unfortunately, there is nothing consistent. Media players will manage the color in different ways and that’s what you are struggling with. If you export an MP4 and play it back through a media player like Switch, you will see an image that’s largely reliable. It won’t necessarily look like the image looks in the Premiere Pro viewer nor on YouTube, Vimeo, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, etc. That’s unfortunately just the way it is. When editors only dealt with broadcast TV, there was generally a common standard that everyone tried to achieve. Online content is a whole different ballgame.
Great article. I ran into this when finishing a PP project this week. (Usually, I work in Avid, or someone else does the finishing.) My display was set to Rec. 709 Gamma 2.4; Media Encoder made H.264 deliverables that were a bit washed out no my dipslay. I tried the QT Gamma Compensation.cube fix, and it worked well. Unfortunately, when I delivered the files (for web, not TV) the client thought they were too dark; basically, all the people doing approvals used computer monitors set to the default.
So I tested several workflows. The one that gives a great match is to set my display (MacBook Pro) to the Apple Color LCD default, color-grade with Lumetri, then apply the gamma-compensation LUT in Media Encoder. Now the deliverables looked perfect on a computer set to the Apple default — just like I saw in the Premiere monitor when color grading. As long as the deliverables are for the web, I don’t see a problem with that workflow.