HDR made easy?

HDR is important in the development of 4K TVs and is a working trend moving towards brighter, more detailed, higher contrast pictures from your TV.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and is measured in a unit called ‘nits’.  Zero nits is the blackest black and 1000 nits and above is brilliant white.

Although this is a technical way to start the article, it is critical to understand when considering choosing a TV.  Luckily the boffins have done the work for us and provided a standard to follow:

Ultra HD Premium Logo

There are 3 things a TV must do to earn the UHD Premium Logo:

  1. Receive and process 10-bit colour depth;

  2. Display 90% of P3 colours;

  3. Meet a black and brightness level specification (in nits).

This is the best way of identifying a premium performance 4K TV set that will truly support HDR content.  The logo is mainly found on:

  1. OLED TVs;

  2. Samsung QLED Quantum Dot Technology TVs.

Here is the tricky bit.  Any TV that doesn’t earn the logo can still be advertised as HDR.  This is a technicality manufacturers are using to get around the system and is I think is extremely misleading.  In short, if the TV is capable of reading the HDR content it can be classed as a HDR TV; even though it can't necessarily do anything much with the information.  For now, for simplicity it is best to say no logo, no true HDR.

Premium HDR content can be watched from two main sources:

  1. Ultra HD blu ray players;

  2. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.


So my tips when looking to buy a new 4K TV in regards to HDR:

  1. The Ultra HD Premium logo is a sure sign of top quality.  However just because a TV doesn’t carry it doesn’t make it a poor set.  It just means you won’t get the full HDR experience. Many other factors play a part in picture quality so this doesn’t make or break the deal;

  2. If you are going for a true HDR TV carrying the logo, be sure to compare the QLED and OLED ranges.  The QLEDs will be brighter but the OLEDs will have better blacks. Just choose the one that you prefer;

  3. If you are unlikely to stream TV content or buy a UHD blu ray player then it may not be worth spending the extra money required for a TV that carries the logo.  You just might not see the true benefits.

HDR is an important development of 4K TVs and is adding a new layer of brilliance to TV capability.  The question is whether it is worth paying for?