Intelligent Home > Consumer Electronics Blog



High Dynamic Range TV: Beginning A New Era In TV Experience

by David Mercer | Nov 10, 2016

Ultra HD TV encompasses a number of improvements over the existing HD standard. The one which has attracted most attention is 4K, but the next phase sees the arrival of High Dynamic Range (HDR), which may prove to be equally, if not more, important. HDR allows for an improved range of contrast between whites and blacks. The related move towards Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) will improve colour accuracy. This may not sound like much, but if it is done well, and that means HDR-created content as well as HDR-capable displays, it can make TV more immersive by delivering greater emotional impact and adding details which are missing from non-HDR images.

HDR-capable TVs have been arriving on the market for the past year or so and HDR is becoming a critical part of the marketing message for leading TV brands. HDR content has been introduced by Netflix, Amazon and other online video services, and although it is quite limited today content players have made commitments to supporting HDR in future productions because they can now deliver an experience which is closer to “artistic intent”.

The cloud in the sky is the issue of technology standards. Because HDR is relatively new the technologies are still evolving and there is some debate about which ones to use and how to use them. Two fundamentally different approaches, developed by Dolby and the BBC, are being adopted.

These are important issues for content creators, but the good news is that most viewers won’t have to worry. My new report on the content and technology implications of HDR concludes that screens will not go dark. Two standards – HDR10 and HLG - are likely to dominate, and should live quite happily alongside each other. TV buyers can be confident that they can see the best picture possible, depending on the service they are using, the content they are watching and, of course, the TV they have bought.

David Mercer

Previous Post: Nintendo NX becomes the Nintendo Switch as the Japanese gaming giant unveils a hybrid console that could well revive its fortunes. | Next Post: Is Nintendo Switch Console the Game Changer for Japanese Game Giant?
Leave a comment