Many photographers know High Dynamic Range, or HDR for short, from their camera. Several shots are put together to form a single image, and the result is extremely high-contrast, often brightly colored images that have a very wide tonal range with detail in the blacks and no burnout in the highlights. This is now also available for televisions. Ultra HD with 4 times the resolution of Full HD material is the state of the art today and HDR takes it to the next level: more sharpness, more colors, more contrast and more details.
Normal UHD content distinguishes 256 brightness gradations per color channel, HDR manages up to 1000!
SAMSUNG, LG, PANASONIC and SONY are HDR-capable in their top models.
What is the technology behind it? First, the LED or OLED panels must be able to handle a high bit rate (min. 10 bits), have a maximum luminosity of 1000 candela, and have an HDMI2.0a connection to the source device. The new industry standard is the SMPTE code, which is already used in Ultra HD Blu-ray players. In the free-to-air TV market, it will be some time before you can receive HDR broadcasts. Dolby Vision might be able to change this, as the HDR signals are added as additional data to the HDTV data, but then a Dolby decoder is necessary, which has to be installed in the TVs.
Streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Instant Video have an easier time, as they can simply retrieve HDR broadcasts from the server.
Of course it’s a pleasure to look at your own photos from the camera on the TV, with HDR you won’t see any pixels anymore and experience a color depth that will blow you away.