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Why HDR is Important for your TV9/3/2021 9:39:41 AM GMT
HDR - Not more pixels, Better pixels.
Are 4K UHD TVs better than 1080p HD TVs?
Approximately 96% of all TVs available today with a screen size of greater than 32 inches feature 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) screens, with double the vertical (and horizontal) pixels of the older 1080P High Definition (HD) standard. The 32" screen size demark is not a coincidence, as the pixel density of 4K UHD offers little marginal value to viewing enjoyment on smaller screens.
But for all other TVs, there is a major jump in the brightness, details, and colors of a 4K UHD television that provides the viewer with a greatly enhanced viewing experience. As technology marches on, one might assume that the next major jump in picture enhancement will come from 8K UHD TVs, where vertical and horizontal pixel density is doubled again. But not so fast, as 8K content is years from becoming readily available and prices for 8K TVs put them out of reach of most consumers.
Why is High Dynamic Range (HDR) important?
As competition among manufacturers for greater market share remains fierce, they have turned to providing enhancements to the 4K UHD experience, with the most impactful technology being HDR (High Dynamic Range). Rather than improving pixel density, HDR works on improving pixel quality. More specifically, HDR increases a 4K TV's contrast range by expanding the range between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites in a TV picture.
An additional benefit to boosting picture brightness is that colors are more vivid. HDR's enhancement to picture quality is clearly visible regardless of the distance from the TV. The ability to employ HDR functionality on a TV is dependent upon information encoded in the shows and movies provided by content creators, which is then decoded on the TV. Non-HDR Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) TVs simply ignore this picture enhancing encoded information.
Non-HDR Standard Dynamic Range vs. HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Are there Different HDR Formats?
A format called HDR 10 is the industry standard HDR format for the Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. HDR 10 is a "static" approach, in that the encoded HDR information establishes picture settings at the beginning of the movie or TV show, and these settings remain constant. All 4K UHD TVs with HDR support the HDR 10 format.Another widely supported static HDR format is Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG).
Further advancements in HDR encoding have progressed to the point where the encoding is becoming "dynamic", whereby picture settings are constantly changed on a scene-by-scene basis to deliver a truly stunning picture. Although not yet an industry standard, the most widely used and supported "dynamic" format is Dolby Vision™ from Dolby® Labs. Other notable dynamic formats, though with significantly less support, are HDR 10+ and Advanced HDR.
Does it matter which HDR my TV has?
HDR 10 and Dolby Vision™ are prominently used for streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc.), Ultra Blu-ray discs, and video games; while HLG is intended for broadcast, cable, and satellite TV content. Both 4K UHD TVs and video sources need HDMI 2.0a connections to support HDR.
Unless its just not practical, any new TV you purchase should have least basic HDR. If you can pay just a little bit more for dynamic HDR (like Dolby Vision™), then you can access the best online and 4K Blu-ray content available today and get a bit of future-proofing as more dynamic HDR content becomes increasingly available.