Curious about What Is HDR? If you know today the term HDR (High Dynamic Range) is very often mentioned. What exactly is HDR? and is it important?
In this post, we will explain about HDR (High Dynamic Range) in detail. We hope with this post you can understand what HDR is for.
So, Let’s get started!
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Although there have been many improvements in recent years, High Dynamic Range (HDR) may be the most intriguing. HDR makes use of the current hardware to create images that are more colorful and lifelike, where technologies like Ultra-HD can give you a more accurate picture and where resolution increases the number of pixels used for an image.
HDR creates sharper, more lifelike visuals on television screens by leveraging information in the video file to more precisely indicate shades of brightness and color. Additionally, the majority of TVs now being produced and marketed contain the hardware necessary to produce HDR images.
High dynamic range is a brand-new and fascinating field, and the market for its technologies is just now becoming fully saturated. A number of blockbuster movies and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have already entered the fray. It’s anticipated that most generated video will soon adhere to the HDR standard, as will virtually any device with an HD screen intended for viewing it.
What Is HDR and How Does It Work?
A director or producer of a movie or television show has a vision for how that content should look, and this is the greatest place to start when trying to comprehend HDR. The video is first shot, then edited in post-production before being presented to you on a screen. The specific colors and brightness levels are now set in post-production.
After that, the visual signal basically takes two distinct paths to reach your screen. Prior to HDR, the signal would arrive at your television and would appear, well, just as it ended up appearing, depending on the hardware and color capabilities of the television.
Advanced post-processing adjustments (color ranges like “dynamic,” “vivid,” etc.) may even be used by some brands, like Samsung, to further alter the colors and brightnesses. Therefore, there is a good chance that what you are viewing is not what the content producer had in mind.
The constraints of the Television or image post-processing are no longer controlling how the image appears thanks to HDR, which gives content creators complete control over how bright and what color each pixel should be. After then, the video source incorporates this information.
When we use the metadata—information about the image data—that these improvements are saved as, we’re back to talking about hardware: You need a receiver or media device that can transmit this metadata on to the screen from the receiver in order to use it, as well as a television that can decode the data and produce the necessary brightness and color levels.
An Important Note about HDR
It’s crucial to understand that HDR is distinct from boosting the contrast and brightness on your display device. Contrast maintains the same spectrum of colors on your display device even while it makes some colors brighter and darker. However, beyond what you can change in the screen settings, the HDR information can specify specific brightness and color tones.
Additionally, your display device decides how to apply the contrast when you change the contrast on it. The editorial crew and director of the movie apply HDR, and some directors might select various brightness levels for certain sequences. Some people might only use HDR in specific scenarios.
Contrary to contrast, HDR is a technology that content creators employ to specifically improve your visual experience. Beyond turning on the HDR functionality of your display device, there are no settings to change. This is actually a significant additional benefit because once HDR is enabled, everything is already calibrated and you don’t need to worry about anything else.
Another benefit is that this is a straightforward standard to apply; several panels with reasonable pricing, like as the Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA 43-Inch 4K (available on Amazon) and the TCL 65′′ Class 5-Series 4K (also available on Amazon), both have HDR at very accessible rates.
What is HDR on TVs?
The contrast of a television is how dark or bright it may be. The term “dynamic range” refers to the extremes of that disparity and the amount of detail that may be displayed in between. HDR essentially broadens the contrast that makes up dynamic range in displays.
However, increasing the contrast between bright and dark areas alone won’t help a picture’s detail. Regardless of a panel’s brightness, which can range from 200 cd/m2 (relatively dim) to 2,000 cd/m2 (extremely bright), or its black levels, which can range from 0.1 cd/m2 (washed-out, nearly gray) to 0.005 cd/m2 (extremely dark), it can only display a certain amount of information based on the signal it is receiving.
Many common video formats, such as broadcast television and Blu-ray discs, are constrained by standards created to work with the physical limitations of earlier technologies. As Christopher Guest so beautifully put it, “it could become none more black,” thus black is set to just so black.
Similar to this, white could only be made so bright using current display technology. That spectrum is now expanding thanks to organic LED (OLED) and local dimming LED backlighting solutions on more recent LCD panels. They can go to even greater lengths, but video formats cannot benefit from it. A TV with the ability to go beyond those boundaries still needs to stretch and make do with the information that is supplied in the signal, which has a finite amount of information.
How does HDR for TVs work?
The TV and the source are the two components of the HDR system.
The TV is actually the simpler of the two parts. The TV must be able to emit more light than a standard TV in specific parts of the image in order to be HDR-compatible. Similar to local dimming in many ways, but to a larger degree
Wide color gamut, sometimes known as WCG, is related to HDR. Since many years ago, TVs have been able to display a wider variety of colors than Blu-ray players or download/streaming services can. The issue is that you don’t want the TV to randomly generate those colors. The choice of how the colors of a film or television program should seem should be left to the director, not a TV whose color-expanding process may have been created in a matter of days 6,000 miles from Hollywood. I will return to this shortly.
Increasing the brightness and color of TVs naturally costs money, and some HDR TVs will provide images with higher quality than others. In our experience, OLED TVs and LCD-based models with local dimming deliver the finest HDR performance. Even while a non-HDR TV can look better than one with those capabilities, the difference won’t be as obvious.
The only true meaning of the HDR certification is that the TV will be able to show HDR movies and TV programmes. It is unrelated to how well it can display those images.
The challenging aspect is the material. An HDR TV needs HDR content to look nice. Thankfully, the amount of HDR content is expanding quickly. HDR material is available on major 4K streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon. many others also do.
Physical discs are another source of HDR. The most recent physical disc format is Ultra HD Blu-ray. Your current Blu-ray and DVD discs will work on the new players, but you’ll need a new 4K BD player to play these discs. The majority of 4K Blu-ray discs also support HDR.
What Is Color Gamut?
This is when HDR becomes a little bit more muddled. Another feature seen on high-end TVs is wide color gamut, which is even less defined than HDR. It also has an indirect relationship with HDR. HDR deals with brightness, or the amount of light that a TV is instructed to emit. Chromaticity refers to the spectrum and value of color, which are defined independently of light. They are two distinct values that interact with one another in various ways while remaining separate.
Since the difference between light and dark on a screen is what dynamic range is, technically, HDR simply addresses luminance. Regardless of the video format, color is a distinct value based on absolute red, green, and blue levels. However, they are related because of how we interpret light; the range of light affects the range of colors we can see. Due to this, TVs with HDR capabilities can frequently display “wide color gamut,” or a spectrum of color that differs from the typical color values used in broadcast TV (called Rec.709).
This does not imply that HDR ensures a greater variety of colors or that they will be constant. Because of this, we evaluate both contrast and color on every TV. The majority of modern TVs can display Rec.709 values, however there is still a great deal of color that such TVs are unable to display. It is substantially wider than DCI-P2, which is the standard color space for digital cinema. The best color space for 4K TVs is Rec.2020, which is broader yet (and we haven’t seen any consumer TV that can achieve those levels). The real surprise is that Rec. 2020 is applicable to both SDR and HDR as HDR doesn’t specifically handle color values.
The figure above depicts the three color areas we stated as triangles and the range of color the human eye can perceive as an arch. Each builds very dramatically on the one before it, as you can see.
Even while it could all seem convoluted, the bottom line is that HDR doesn’t ensure that you’ll get greater color. Wide color gamuts are present in many HDR TVs, but not all of them.
What You Need for HDR?
HDR is more than just 4K. While some 4K TVs support HDR, not all of them do. The additional information in the signal won’t be utilized if your TV doesn’t support HDR, and even if it did, the panel isn’t calibrated to handle that information. Even if the TV can handle the signal, it might not necessarily offer a better image, especially if it’s a more affordable TV.
For some of their 4K material, the majority of the major streaming providers, including Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, Vudu, and YouTube, now support HDR. While some of these services also support Dolby Vision or other formats, HDR10 is largely ubiquitous across them. Of course, UHD Blu-ray discs exist as well, and they frequently include HDR10 or, less frequently, Dolby Vision HDR.
If your TV is HDR-capable, it undoubtedly has access to at least a few HDR-capable streaming services. But not all of them might be included, so you might wish to purchase a different media streamer. The HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG formats are supported by the Amazon Fire TV Cube and Fire TV Stick 4K. The Premiere+ only supports HDR10, but the Roku Ultra supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG.
Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X support HDR10 and Dolby Vision for UHD Blu-ray playing and streaming apps. Obviously, the all-digital versions of the consoles cannot play UHD Blu-ray discs because they lack optical drives, but they can stream 4K HDR content.
Photo and Camera Phone HDR Different from HDR TV
The fact that HDR for TVs is different from HDR for photography is among the most crucial things to understand about HDR TVs. Unfortunately and perplexingly, these two completely different objects just happen to have the same name. similar to football and football
The primary conclusion from my in-depth analysis of the differences is that HDR for TVs is not a gimmick that degrades the quality of the image. It most certainly isn’t that.
- Expanding the TV’s color and contrast range to provide an image that is more realistic and natural-looking than what is now feasible with HDTVs.
- Photo HDR: The process of combining several pictures taken at various exposures to produce a single picture that simulates a wider dynamic range.
A more realistic image with increased contrast, brightness, and color is what HDR for TVs wants to deliver to you.
High-dynamic range in this context does not refer to a photograph shot with a camera or an iPhone. The image lacks the dynamic range that genuine HDR technology can achieve. It still has a conventional dynamic range, but the additional exposures have given it some more information.
The appearance of a TV HDR image won’t change from that of a photo HDR image. Simply put, it looks better.
The Different of HDR Versions
There are a variety of new HDR-compatible devices available for purchase. Since the only requirement for HDR is that the image be “darker” and “lighter,” there are a number of various factors that affect which HDR versions are best and why.
You may come across the following variants of HDR:
- Dolby Vision
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)
And regrettably, the various HDR versions are incompatible with one another. As a result, you must ensure that your media source and display are compatible (streaming Netflix, linking to an XBOX, etc.)
The TV, for instance, won’t be able to read the HDR of the Blu-ray and will only display a standard dynamic range, or SDR, if your Blu-ray has one type of HDR and your TV has another.
Although it is anticipated that most media will eventually use various kinds of HDR and that most display devices will support multiple forms of HDR in the future. You currently have to select, and each format has unique benefits and drawbacks.
1. Dolby Vision
The best image quality at the moment is Dolby Vision. This is because Dolby Vision, in contrast to other standards, uses “dynamic” metadata. This means that, unlike other formats, Dolby Vision enables the metadata to be changed between shots or even frame-by-frame. Other formats allow for static metadata to instruct your display device how to show your material over the course of the entire movie or show.
But because Dolby Vision is a proprietary format, anyone wishing to use Dolby’s technology must first obtain a license from the company. Less media and display equipment is therefore Dolby Vision compatible.
2. HDR10 and HDR10 Plus
If you want to see as much HDR content as you can right now, HDR10 is the recommended format. Since HDR10 is an open format, there are no additional costs associated with using it. There is less control over how HDR10 will be used, even if this means there will be more content and display devices available with it.
By using Dolby Vision, media creators and hardware manufacturers are held to a standard that ensures that the video will have the same visual quality regardless of the display device. Due to the lack of such regulation in HDR10, the HDR material may seem differently on different HDR10-compatible devices.
HDR10 includes static metadata, which is significant since it prevents the metadata from dynamically adjusting the settings for scenes with particularly darker darks or brighter brights. This is addressed by HDR10+, which enhances the standard with dynamic metadata, but it has not yet gained as much traction.
3. Hybrid Log-Gamma
A more recent HDR standard called Hybrid Log-Gamma, or HLG, has one major advantage over the other two: it is backwards compatible. This means that even if you only have an SDR display device and HLG material, the video will still display with just as good image quality as if you had purchased it in SDR.
The BBC and NHK Japan jointly created HLG. To avoid needing to create multiple channels for the same programming, as some do with high-definition broadcasts, HLG is now primarily intended for broadcast TV.
This backward compatibility is a clear benefit, particularly if you have a variety of display devices but don’t want to upgrade them all. However, what you gain in backward compatibility comes at the cost of range. Simply put, Dolby Vision and HDR10 offer a wider spectrum of brightness and darkness than HLG offers.
HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ
The fact that HDR video transmission is mostly reliant on the TV’s brightness is one of the main issues. Many manufacturers offered the choice to have brighter to dimmer HDR after outlining how HDR will determine the brightness for you via metadata, therefore undermining the concept.
That highlighted a larger issue, which was that watching occurs in a variety of environments, and TVs frequently have ambient light sensors to adjust to the setting. This is where adjustments like HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ come in, both of which try to take ambient light levels into account in order to offer the correct presentation of the material without it being overly bright or too dark due to the viewing environment.
Systems like Filmmaker Mode are emerging in an effort to offer the director’s original vision, but there is still a significant conflict between how consumers want to watch things and how the content’s original makers believe it should look.
Moving on from viewing TV, Vesa declared in late 2017 that it was bringing forth a new HDR standard. The justification was that, in Vesa’s opinion, the PC industry lacked a uniform criteria for certifying equipment. This was intended as a straightforward method to establish a consistent standard across monitors from various manufacturers, as many monitors boast HDR capabilities. This is true for both built-in and external monitors, such as laptops.
The Vesa DisplayHDR standard has three tiers:
- Entry-level DisplayHDR 400 features 8-bit global dimming, 400cd/m2 brightness, and color enhancement over SDR.
- Enthusiast DisplayHDR 600 features 10-bit local dimming, 600cd/m2 brightness, and color enhancement over DisplayHDR 400.
- Professional DisplayHDR 1000 features 10-bit local dimming with a 2x contrast increase over DisplayHDR 600, and 1000cd/m2 brightness.
Numerous companies joined, and approved monitors have been released. The Samsung CHG90 QLED gaming display was the first to use the DisplayHDR 600 standard.
Which version of HDR is the best?
The most generally used format at the moment seems to be HDR10. By choosing an HDR10 compatible display device, you will be able to get the most of your gadget.
Due to Dolby’s control over its implementation, Dolby Vision is still recognized as the superior standard. If you have several display devices in your home but simply want to update some of them, HLG is an excellent option.
It may make sense to wait to adopt HDR until the technology is more widely available and less expensive, as it is anticipated that most display devices and media will be multi-format compatible in a few years. Given the rapid adoption of HDR in both media and hardware, its widespread use may arrive sooner than you might expect.
How Do I Use HDR?
It is fairly easy to use HDR. All that is needed is HDR content, a TV or projector that can display HDR content, and HDR compatibility for any device in between.
You need a Premium HDMI cable to fully enjoy HDR because it only works with HDMI. You must make sure HDR is enabled on your devices. You should then be ready to go. Here are some steps to follow in order to enable HDR on some of our favorite gadgets.
HDR on Samsung TVs
On a Samsung TV, enabling HDR is a rather simple process. Find “Picture” on your menu by opening it. Pick “Expert Settings” from the Picture menu. From here, select “HDR+ Mode,” scroll down to turn it on, and then turn your TV back on.
HDR on LG TVs
Scroll to “HDMI” by clicking the “Home” button. From here, pick “Settings,” then select “Advanced” from the menu that appears. Choose “Picture” then “HDMI ULTRA DEEP COLOR” from this point on. Restart your TV after turning on this function.
HDR on Sony TVs
Then click “Settings.” Choose “External Inputs” and then “HDMI Signal Format” from the menu. Select “Enhanced Mode” and the HDMI input for the SHIELD. Your TV should restart on its own.
HDR on Windows 10/Windows 11
HDR10 media is already compatible with Windows 10. The “Start” button, which resembles a window in the lower left corner of the screen, must be clicked to activate HDR. Choose “Settings” from here, followed by “System” and “Display.”
Select the HDR-compatible display under “Select and Rearrange Displays” if you are using several displays (such as a multi-monitor configuration or a laptop connected to another display device).
Choose “Windows HD Color Settings” from this menu. Make sure “Play HDR Games and Apps” is checked off under “Display Capabilities.” Select the switch next to “Play HDR Games and Apps” to enable it.
HDR on Xbox One X
The Xbox One X is compatible with HDR10 media, much like Windows 10. Press the Xbox button to bring up the Xbox guide and turn on this feature. Select “All Settings” from the “Settings” tab by scrolling down. Choose “Display & Sound” from here, followed by “Video Input.” Then select “Video Modes.” Check that “Allow 4K” and “Allow HDR” are both selected.
HDR on PlayStation 4
Connect the console to the appropriate HDR-compatible HDMI port on your display device using a Premium HDMI cable. It cannot be connected to a receiver or switch box; rather, it must be connected directly to the display device.
Go to “Settings,” “Sound and Screen,” and then “Video Output Settings” on the PS4. Set the “HDR” and “Deep Color” output settings to “Automatic” in the video output settings menu.
You may adjust your HDR settings on the PS4 for a personalized viewing experience. Choose “Adjust HDR” from the Video Output Settings menu, then adhere to the on-screen directions.
Where to Find The HDR contents?
Both Dolby Vision and standard HDR formats are supported by the HDR material available on Netflix. With Marco Polo, it first began displaying this content, and a variety of stuff in HDR has since followed. Netflix HDR is accessible on consoles, streaming devices, and directly through HDR TVs; however, in order to access HDR, a top-tier Netflix subscription is required.
Amazon declared that HDR material was accessible through its video service in July 2015. In addition to a ton of other stuff, it now provides premium Prime users with episodes of its original series in HDR at no extra cost. Most streaming sticks and boxes, as well as TVs directly, let you access Amazon in HDR.
Disney+, Paramount+, Hulu, HBO Max, and Epix Now all have HDR material available.
Ultra HD Blu-ray
Undoubtedly, Ultra HD Blu-ray is a significant source of UHD and HDR content. Since HDR is a part of the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification, it can be found in movies released in this format.
On November 7, 2016, YouTube announced that it would support HDR. This indicates that Google’s video service is a source of HDR content in addition to 4K and 360-degree video. As there will be a free source of HDR content, this should greatly increase the visibility of HDR; nevertheless, as before, you must have a display that supports it.
Apple TV and TV+
When Apple introduced the Apple TV 4K, it also made the announcement that many iTunes-purchased movies will receive free upgrades. Dolby Vision content is readily available to stream on iTunes (or the Apple TV app), and in many cases, it is more affordable than competing streaming services. Naturally, you’ll need to use an apparatus that supports the Apple TV app, which is now generally accessible.
Given that Vudu supports Dolby Vision, which we already noted, some Vudu video can be seen in HDR with Dolby Vision. However, this is only supported on some Visio models. For more information on Vudu HDR support, see the help pages.
Google Chromecast and Play Movies
The Chromecast (Ultra or Chromecast with Google TV) can be used to stream HDR material from a variety of sources, including Play Movies, YouTube, or Netflix, assuming you have a TV that supports HDR.
There are numerous players on Roku that support HDR. Except for the Roku Express, most Roku players are HDR10 compatible. Only the Roku Ultra supports Dolby Vision.
Fire TV Stick 4K from Amazon
You can connect the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to a compatible HDR TV and watch video from a variety of sources, such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and Apple TV, because the stick supports HDR, including Dolby Vision.
Microsoft was the first to introduce HDR gaming, and games like Forza Horizon 3 offer incredibly bright gaming experiences that are enhanced by HDR graphics. PlayStation does not support Dolby Vision, however HDR has been an option on Xbox and PlayStation since the Xbox One S, both in games and on streaming services.
HDR on smartphones
The smartphone is one relatively untapped platform for HDR multimedia viewing. One of the features that Samsung included in the doomed Galaxy Note 7 was “Mobile HDR.” The Note 7 was unsuccessful, but the LG G6, which debuted in early 2017, became the new leader in mobile HDR. Both HDR10 and Dolby Vision were supported by LG’s flagship smartphone, and this trend has persisted across smartphone launches.
In some instances, like Netflix streaming or through services like BT Sport, where HDR streaming was initially exclusively available on tablets and phones, before expanding to other devices, many phones now support HDR.
HDR doesn’t actually have the same effect on smaller screens as it does on larger ones.
Is HDR Worth It?
HDR is one of the most crucial characteristics to take into account when purchasing a new TV because 4K is currently the industry standard. Although it’s still not quite widespread, HDR10 and Dolby Vision have both shown to give some compelling contrast and color improvements over standard definition, and there is a ton of material available for both. HDR is a necessary feature if you want to upgrade to 4K and have the money for it.
So, What is HDR?
A fascinating new technique is HDR. It offers a lifelike media viewing experience that gives the image a realistic appearance. There are currently several devices featuring HDR technology, and its deep blacks and dazzling whites bring shadows, sun glare, and textures to life.
Not all HDR media is compatible with all HDR-capable devices, though. Making the appropriate device selection for the video you wish to watch is crucial due to the various HDR implementations.
The assumption is that as HDR usage increases, game consoles and display devices will be able to support a variety of HDR formats. As a result, it would make sense to wait to purchase an HDR-capable device until multi-format devices are more widely available and reasonably priced.
Most of the time, setting up your device to show HDR material is straightforward and only necessitates minor adjustments to your device’s settings. Before connecting your device, make careful to review the documentation because some devices, like the PlayStation 4, aren’t compatible with all HDR-capable ones.
HDR is still a young technology, so it will probably get better with time. Having said that, there is no reason you shouldn’t join in the fun right away and enjoy your favorite games, films, and television shows with gorgeous color ranges.
Are TVs with HDR better than 4K and Full HD?
Powerful television technologies with superior picture quality include 4K, HDR, and Full HD. They do so in incredibly different ways, though.
A more impactful TV viewing experience is provided with HDR and Full HD technology, which enhances the colors and contrast on the TV screen. In contrast, 4K offers a more realistic, shaped, and detailed image.
The good news is that HDR compatibility is frequently found in 4K and 8K TVs, allowing you to experience the brilliance of HDR with the quantity of UHD for an incredible viewing experience.
Is HDR good for gaming?
HDR technology is ideal for gaming because it can produce a strong contrast between light and dark areas on the screen. especially for console or PC gamers that prefer warzone, exploration, or intense games.
Do You Need Special Cables or Connectors For HDR?
For HDR, you probably won’t need new cables. Even if you do require new wires, they are quite affordable. HDR can be carried via modern High-Speed HDMI cables. Regardless of the cords you use, your source device (say, a 4K Blu-ray player or media streamer) and the TV must both support HDR. To send the signals from the source to the TV if you use a receiver, it must also be HDR-compatible.
Your equipment is probably HDR-compatible if you purchased it within the last five years. If you’re unsure, enter the model number and “HDR” after it into Google to see what results.
The 2.1 HDMI connection standard introduces a number of additional functions as well as some enhancements to how HDR is handled. Although it’s something to consider for your upcoming buy, your current equipment won’t become outmoded because it will generally be backward compatible (other than the new features).
Which TVs support HDR?
To see HDR material, you need a TV that is compatible with HDR, and almost all TV manufacturers already produce HDR-compatible TVs.
Since 2016, every premium Ultra HD (4K) or 8K television has included some type of HDR compatibility. As we’ve already mentioned, HDR is compatible with both LCD and OLED displays.
Although HDR specifications are included in Ultra HD Blu-ray, it’s crucial to keep in mind that HDR compatibility is not always included in older 4K/Ultra HD televisions.
Software can’t repair this issue; no matter how high the resolution, a screen that isn’t capable of displaying the colors or brightness won’t be able to do so.