Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  High Dynamic Range is the new black

High Dynamic Range is the new black

hdrtv

Rather than just cramming more pixels into their screens, TV makers are also adding more detail to reveal what lurks in the shadows thanks to “Ultra HD Premium”.

When it comes to picture quality, contrast refers to the difference between the darkest black and the brightest white the screen is capable of producing. The higher the contrast, the more detail you see in the very bright and dark areas of the screen. These areas look like washed out blobs on a screen with poor contrast.

The concept of High Dynamic Range has been around in photography for a while but it’s only come to televisions in the last few years. It basically refers to boosting the contrast to add more shades of grey. Not only does this add more detail in the highlights and shadows, it also makes the picture look more vivid and can give it greater depth to help it look more realistic.

HDR is finally ready for prime time, with Samsung, Sony and LG all spruiking their new HDR-capable televisions at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. HDR is only available in their top-shelf LED and OLED televisions, which are capable of displaying much deeper blacks than traditional LCD.

The TV makers have started calling HDR technology “Ultra HD Premium”, which kind of confuses the issue because Ultra HD refers to screen resolution – the number of dots in the picture – rather than contrast. Ultra HD is four times sharper than the Full HD resolution used on Blu-ray discs.

To make the most of HDR you need both an HDR-capable television and HDR-enhanced content. Right now Australia’s only source of HDR-enhanced content is Netflix Originals programming like Daredevil and Marco Polo. Amazon and Sony offer Ultra HD HDR streaming in the US but there’s no word of them expanding to Australia.

You need download speeds of at least 20 Mbps to do Ultra HD justice, but thankfully HDR is controlled by Netflix’s adaptive streaming technology which adjusts the picture quality according to your internet connection. This means you can still benefit from HDR even if your internet connection can’t handle Ultra HD video. On a screen smaller than 60 inches you’re more like to appreciate the contrast boost of HDR than the resolution jump from Full HD to Ultra HD.

After Netflix, Australia’s next source of HDR content is likely to be the new Ultra HD Blu-ray disc standard. The first players and discs are likely to arrive this year, but HDR is optional under the new disc standard so it remains to be seen if movie makers will bother to take advantage of it.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

snapdragon

Ever since the computer market shifted from desktop PCs to laptops, there’s been a significant balancing act going on between the needs of computer users for processing power to run programs, and the needs of those same users for battery power to keep their laptops going. At a simplified level, the harder you push a… More 

Apple-Apple

For the longest time, the generally accepted knowledge was that Apple’s Mac computers didn’t get malware or viruses. Apple even went so far as to mock its PC opposition in the famous “Mac vs PC” ads for the issues they had around security and malware, to a fairly solid effect. While Apple’s Macs do still… More 

intel

Quite often these days when we hear about a major security flaw, it’s to do with the underlying software that we’re running on our PCs, whether it’s a dodgy browser exploit, some kind of flaw in productivity software or even “free” content sites that are awash with malware. It’s not quite so often that we… More 

kindle

I’ve recently spent some time checking out Amazon’s latest Kindle e-reader, the 2nd generation Kindle Oasis. It’s the “luxury” choice in Amazon’s e-reader lineup, with a luxury price to match and a few new features to try to lure in those who love reading above other pursuits. One of the key new features is the… More