Many of us know High-dynamic-range (HDR) from digital photography, where HDR images are achieved either through computer rendering or merging multiple photographs with different exposures. Our visual system can adjust to dynamic changes in luminance, like bright sunlight and adjacent shade, but our cameras can not, either making the shade too dark or the sunny part too bright. The aim of HDR is to produce images with a range of luminance similar to that of what we naturally see. Very often HDR images look over saturated or surreal because we are not accustomed to seeing this broader range on pictures.
TV HDR, on the other hand, makes images look more natural, actively dimming the darker parts of an image compared to the brighter parts, it also produces a broader range of colors, making it easier to distinguish between different shades of the same color.
As Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony puts it
“ HDR changes the way movies and video content looks on your TV screen with a wider range of brightness and contrast. – You can really see a difference in bright and dark areas of your screen”
Specialists believe that in comparison, an HD TV with HDR will have a better image than a normal 4K TV.
TV manufacturers have already announced their plans to make 4K HDR television sets available later this year. At the moment there isn’t much HDR content to watch. To get HDR content to your TV screens, first film makers have to work with colorists to produce the appropiate material and then the additional information has to be transferred to compatible appliances. The newer 4K BD and streaming video services have the capacity to add the additional data (metadata) to their transmissions, paving the road for future HDR content.