Last year 4K TVs were the 'it' thing to own, but this year there’s a new buzzword in the world of television. HDR TVs are the next big thing to hit the market.
The acronym HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, a technology that heightens a picture’s dynamic range. To simply put it, it means better contrast, greater brightness levels and a wider colour palette. The idea is to make your films and TV shows look like you're watching them in real life.
What’s the big deal about it?
In reality, your eyes perceive brighter whites and darker blacks, which traditional TVs have never been able to produce but these HDR TVs aim to preserve details in the darkest and brightest areas of a picture. This gives you more natural, true-to life colours that are closer to how we see them for real. The images on this TV become punchier and expressive, enhancing brightness to give you more insight into dark areas, while the contrast highlights textures.
HDR and 4K UHD
When the 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV was launched last year, it was marketed to have better detailing too, which makes it sound much like HDR. But UHD and HDR are quite different technologies even though both of them are meant to improve viewing experience.
While UHD is all about increasing the pixel count, HDR is about making those pixels more accurate regardless of how many are there. That’s why 4K TVs are generally large screens, whereas, the size of the screen really doesn’t matter when it comes to HDR.
But don’t worry about picking between all these new technologies as 4K UHD TVs are more likely to come with HDR support. Currently there are a few 4K TVs that have already been launched with HDR and going forward, both these technologies will be integrated for good to give you stunning all-round image quality.
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How to watch HDR content?
You will need an HDR compatible TV like Samsung’s SUHD 4K or the QLED TVs. Apart from them there are a bunch of LG, Sony and Panasonic TVs too that support it. But having an HDR TV isn’t enough, your content source needs to be HDR-supported too. If you want to watch 4K HDR movies from a disc, you’ll need to use an UHD Blu-ray player. Microsoft's Xbox One S and Xbox One X also plays 4K Blu-rays. PlayStation 4 Pro isn’t 4K-supported, yet is compatible with HDR content.
Content streaming apps have also started supporting HDR. However, since the quality will be very high, you will need a very good broadband service to stream it.
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To buy or not to buy?
HDR is definitely the hottest thing to buy. Many content creators are producing HDR content too, so buying a HDR 4K TV right now is the smartest move if you want to keep up with the latest technology.
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Cover Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.com; Image via Best Buy
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