High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an imaging technology that can help you see more details in the darkest and brightest areas of a picture. It does this by offering a wider range of colors, brighter whites, and deeper blacks on your TV screen. If you're curious about what HDR is all about—and why it matters—here are 5 things you need to know.
TV manufacturers are all hyping up the high-dynamic range, or HDR
HDR is the next big thing in TV technology. It's not a new standard, but it's an upgrade to the current standard, 4K. What does that mean? HDR offers richer and more realistic colors and contrast on your screen—so you can feel like you're right in the scene with your favorite characters.
HDR is making its way into all kinds of devices as well: game consoles, streaming players (like Roku Ultra), and set-top boxes (like Apple TV 4K).
What does this mean for you? If you already have an HDR-capable TV, you'll be able to enjoy more vivid and lifelike images on your screen. And if you're thinking about buying a new TV, look for one that supports the HDR10 standard—it's the most common type of HDR today. Check out TCL P635 4K HDR Google TV now!
What do you need for HDR?
- First thing first, to see HDR material, you need a TV that supports one or more HDR formats, and almost all TV manufacturers already produce HDR-compatible TVs(Like TCL!!). HDR is supported in some capacity by all flagship and premium 4k or 8K Ultra HD TVs.
- Second, the source of the media must also be capable of providing a high-quality signal such as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, streaming device, gaming console, or another device that supports HDR.
- Third, you will need content that is produced using one (or more) of those HDR formats. We will talk about those formats later, so keep reading.
The many versions of HDR
There are a few different versions of HDR, and they’re all competing for your attention. Here are the basics:
- HDR 10: HDR10 is the oldest and most widely supported version of HDR, found in many TVs (TCL P635 4K HDR Google TV) and Blu-ray players. It’s also the easiest to work with because it’s an open standard that doesn't require any additional equipment or software to use.
- HDR 10+: HDR10+ builds upon all of HDR10's positive attributes, as the name suggests. The contrast also rises as the maximum brightness is quadrupled to 4,000 nits. This newest high-dynamic range technology allows for videos and images with much greater brightness, contrast, and better color accuracy than what was possible in the past. The TCL C935 and C835 TV support the HDR 10+ standard, which means you can enjoy a more detailed and immersive picture on your TV.
- Dolby Vision: Dolby Vision is an advanced HDR format. Dolby Vision is very similar to HDR10+ in that it uses dynamic, not static, metadata, giving each frame its own unique HDR treatment. However, Dolby Vision provides even greater brightness and more colors too. The TCL P725 is a 4K TV that supports Dolby Vision. This means that it can display a wider range of colors and more realistic shadows and highlights than other TVs.
- Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG): HLG is an open-source standard HDR video format. It is used primarily for broadcasting live events like sports games or concerts over broadcast television channels like BBC Four HD or ABC Australia HD+.
Are all HDR TVs equal?
Not exactly. You'll find HDR TVs in a range of sizes and prices, but the picture quality can vary dramatically. A few things to look for include:
- The number of local dimming zones. Dimming zones refer to how many areas on a TV's screen are independently lit, which helps create a more detailed contrast between dark and light areas in a scene. The more dimming zones, the better—but at least 16 is good enough for most people (and significantly better than none).
- HDR compatibility. That's where an HDR-compatible TV can show off its full potential—but it's not required for casual viewing or gaming purposes.
- The range of the color display. Most TVs can produce millions of colors, but a QLED TV or Mini LED TV offers an infinite range of colors that's closer to what you see in real life.
- The screen size and resolution. A larger screen can make for a more immersive viewing experience, but it also means you'll have to sit farther away from the TV. The difference between 1080p and 4K resolution isn't as noticeable on smaller sets (like those under 50 inches), so don't worry about that unless you're planning on buying something bigger than 65 inches.
Worth the hassle
You might have heard that HDR content is all about brighter highlights and darker blacks—and that's true, but it's also much more than that. HDR TVs can display much more detail in the shadows (think dark clothing), which allows them to show you what's happening onscreen without washing out darker parts of an image. They also produce brighter whites without losing detail or over-exposing bright areas so they lose detail as well.
HDR TVs also have a wider color range than non-HDR TVs. This means they can display more accurate colors, which makes for a much more realistic picture.
The best part of all? Even if you don't have a 4K TV yet, HDR content will still look better on your current set.
We hope you now have a better understanding of what HDR is, how it works and why it’s so important to the future of TV. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about bringing your favorite movies and shows to life in ways you never thought possible.
Check TCL’s HDR TVs now to create an immersive viewing experience for your home entertainment!
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