High Dynamic Range Explained

HDR Explained

UHD, 4K, HDR, We’ve all heard these buzz words banded around for the past 18 months and as per usual the tech companies have been constantly upgrading hardware in their latest gadgets to meet demand not only of the public, but of vast of emerging new video formats to the market.

HDR, What is it?

Well, High dynamic range (HDR) has been around for longer than you probably think, its been big in the camera scene for years and all new high-end smartphones come equipped with it via their on board cameras. The idea is the camera can capture far more colours, contrast and brightness from one shot than previous technologies ever could, enabling an almost true to life photo.

But what does this mean for TV’s?

It’s essentially the exact reverse of what a camera does, high dynamic range on a TV gives a far more true to life colour depth and contrast, allowing for a much more immersive experience when watching TV. Ever watched the sun coming up on a nature show and squinted at the TV like you would if you were actually there? Probably not, but with HDR you will, giving a more true to life experience, more like you’re looking out of a window rather than at a TV screen.

What about the BBC?

The BBC have been quite slow in adopting the technology and everybody’s been wondering what they’re up to, speculating that they’re years behind the likes of Amazon and Netflix who were early adopters of the technology in their online streaming services. As it turns out they’ve been working on their own technology since 2014 under the name of ’Hybrid Log Gamma’ (HLG) and have a master plan to push high dynamic range content to the masses very soon.

Are all HDR TV’s the same?

No, just to throw a spanner in the works, not all HDR TV’s have the same processing abilities, and the safest bet at the moment if you’re in the market for a new TV is to look for one labeled with ‘Ultra HD premium’ as this should ensure that it has the capability of playing the new content due for release this year

It appears that HDR is the future of how we watch TV and it’s not going to be a passing craze like 3D was a few years ago. It should definitely be planned for when looking at upgrading and installing new AV tech in the coming months.

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