63 comments

A Closer look at what HDR in 4K TVs really means

by on October 5, 2015
 

Stephan Jukic – October 05, 2015

We talk about high dynamic range, also known as HDR, here at 4K.com and with good reason, since it has become one of the major pieces of technology lingo when it comes to talking about 4K UHD TVs in recent months.

For starters, HDR has become one of the crucial technologies in the so-called quest for next-generation 4K content, which is supposed to (and quite honestly does) deliver a superior level of picture quality to even that of the first generations of 4K ultra HD video on LED/LCD displays. This development of HDR for TVs and content has manifested itself in the manufacturing of TVs with the expanded dynamic range of display contrast between brightest bright and darkest dark makes up display-end HDR.

This has been done so that said TVs can essentially more closely deliver the realism of real-world viewing by displaying content with high dynamic range encoded into it in a way that’s not possible with ordinary 4K or HD TVs.

All of this basically describes what we can call TV HDR –the Display and content side of high dynamic range. In essence, this type of HDR revolves around a display process.

The other type of HDR is that which exists in cameras themselves and this form of high dynamic range is a capture process, one in which a bunch of photo stills of a given scene are combined together to create a sort of realism that’s superior to what would be possible with a single simple take.

However, in contrast to the HDR of display technology, camera HDR doesn’t actually involve expanding the ranges of brightness themselves. It simply consists of joining together multiple exposures of a shot for a much better balance of clarity and detail in both light and dark areas of an image or video still.

Now, we’re going to go into more detail about TV HDR in particular but first, a quick bit of elaboration on high dynamic range as a general concept itself:

What is HDR?

High dynamic range, whether it is a capture process or a display process essentially involves three key things being created: First, a much broader amount of difference between the brightest bright spots and the darkest dark on a screen or in a photo, second, a much greater range of dark and bright levels between these two extremes of bright and dark, and third a high degree of precision in how and where all these different shades of bright and dark are applied to photos or displayed video.

The ultimate aim of all these core characteristics of HDR is the creation of an image that’s more realistic, or more in line with how something would look if you were actually seeing it with your eyes, in person.

Furthermore, this process of expanding or turbocharging dynamic range is being applied to display devices (mainly 4K TVs), the digitized content that gets shown on said display devices and in the cameras that are used to capture film or video.

Overall, HDR is part of the evolution towards superior, more realistic and more vibrant next generation content, most of which also happens to be in native 4K resolution.

HDR for 4K ultra HD TVs

With HDR in TVs, the fundamental concerns that manufacturers who want to create a real visual impact worry about aren’t simply about maximizing brightness and increasing darkness, they’re also about creating the most detailed possible range and precision of dark to bright spots in a piece of display content.

With this in mind, HDR-capable 4K TVs (because they’re almost exclusively also 4K TVs) work at creating a maximum amount of specific deeply dark local dimming zones for darker tones and high overall brightness where dimming isn’t activated. With the best LED 4K TVs, the resulting HDR effect can be truly impressive.

However, at least currently, the absolute master televisions for what is in effect an ideal HDR-effect are OLED 4K TVs, which currently aren’t even formally considered HDR TVs. These televisions, manufactured exclusively by LG until recently and now Panasonic as well, create superb, arguably unmatchable HDR-like effects because they can create perfect, total darkness with complete shutoff of internal screen light and deliver this or its opposite of variable brightness right down to the level of a single screen pixel, one of over 8 million that a 4K TV screen will have on it. Thus, you can imagine just how fantastically precise their level of localized dimming or brightening can be.

On the other hand, select models of these OLED TVs have only recently been updated as HDR TVs because they previously didn’t have the actual internal firmware capacity to correctly read and interpret content that has been encoded with high dynamic range, from sources like Amazon Prime or Netflix, among others that are being developed. Now, they do have this capacity thanks to the most recent firmware updates from LG and this is further augmented by their native OLED characteristics of perfect black and thus in effect infinite contrast.

LG's OLED 4K TVs by default offer HDR dude to their creation of perfect black tones

LG’s OLED 4K TVs by default offer HDR dude to their creation of perfect black tones

Thus, we get an interesting situation in which the best levels of dynamic range and lighting precision come from a series of what were until recently non-HDR TVs while formally HDR-enabled 4K TVs can’t quite match that same OLED screen lighting precision or contrast levels. Why? Because in contrast to OLED, even the best LED TVs with the most precise level of local dimming can’t quite match the same level of perfect light emission and dark control that OLED TVs manage when they activate or deactivate their organic light emitting diodes completely with the perfect precision of a single pixel.

The Content side of High Dynamic Range

Of course, HDR for TV isn’t just about 4K TVs themselves. It’s also got its fundamental content aspect in the form of video streams and hard media content with HDR metadata encoded into it, as a sort of range enhancement instruction for TVs capable of reading and displaying a given piece of content’s dynamic range enhancement.

Sources of HDR-encoded content include Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix and the upcoming 4K Blu-ray media players and discs we’re all expecting to finally show up on the home entertainment scene by the end of 2015.

Furthermore, there are several competing standards of HDR dynamic range being developed, from players like the newly founded UHD Alliance, which includes Netflix, Disney, and Fox, or Dolby Vision, which is partnering with companies like Sony, Toshiba and Philips for its own version of UHD. None of these players have yet formally agreed for an across-the-board standardized version of HDR and this is affecting the technology’s implementation in TVs themselves. Though we are seeing forward movement on this with developments like the UHD Alliance’s acceptance of Dolby’s HDR spcs as an option for future devices that come out from the manufacturers working with the Alliance.

Dolby Vision's version of HDR is just one of the possible standards that will dominate this technology in 4K TVs

Dolby Vision’s version of HDR is just one of the possible standards that will dominate this technology in 4K TVs

This in fact is why HDR is rarely named by manufacturers themselves when one of their HDR-capable TVs is being promoted. Companies like Sony, LG and Samsung all have their HDR-capable models but only mention the technology by its technical name in their promotional materials and not their formal TV specs.

In essence high dynamic range for TVs, digital TV content and possibly other display devices is still very much in its baby stages and nobody really knows how it’s going to develop or which formal standards will be adopted and cemented throughout the industry. What we do know however, is that this new technology that’s aimed at a much better viewing experience already creates content that looks genuinely stunning and that the Wow-factor of HDR is only going to get better from now on as high dynamic range truly improves and matures.

Story by 4k.com

63 comments
 
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  • Ty
    November 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    So what current models of Sony and Samsung models have HDR? I need to purchase two ~75 inch 4K tvs and I don’t want them to be obsolete in a couple of years.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      November 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Hello Ty, For Sony TV’s the models which now support HDR content (as of the Fall) are the X930C, X940C, X850C, X900C and X910C

      As for Samsung’s which support it: The JS9500 and the JS9000. However, the highest quality of HDR for Samsung lies in the JS9500, which reaches 1000 nits of brightness instead of the 9000’s 600nit.

      I doubt any of these will be obsolete in the next couple years, even if a few new technologies emerge and Samsung’s TVs are particularly future-proofed because of their external and replaceable One Connect box for all ports.

      Reply

      • Benigno Osuna
        December 22, 2015 at 10:55 pm

        Hi Stephen.

        I would like to add some info about Lg´s tvs. I think the “ColorPrime” series also support HDR with the latest firmware. I have a LG 58UF8300, and when I play HDR demos, the tv display a banner that says “HDR Mode ON”. At least I can confirm it is compatible via media storage and probably streaming.

        Reply

        • Pedro
          December 27, 2015 at 9:40 pm

          Hello, I am interested to purchase the 58UF8300, would like to know if by compatible you mean this TV just have the ability to play HDR files (without the image improvements) or it really PLAYS with all the colors and contrast enhancements announced by HDR videos? In another words, do you see the difference between these HDR demos and common 4k with no-HDR? Thanks in advance

          Reply

          • Stephen
            Stephen
            December 28, 2015 at 10:20 am

            Hello Pedro. The UF8300 will play HDR 4K video files to the best of our knowledge. They’ll function on your TV display whetehr they come from a source like Netflix, Amazon or a physical media player or set-top streaming platform. However, because this model does not come with HDR technology enabled, it will not display the enhancements caused by HDR in their screens. To my knowledge, HDR is not coming for the UF8300. If you’d like a relatively reasonably priced model with HDR enabled, I’d suggest Sony’s X850C 4K UHD TV. It does include HDR now.


          • Benigno Osuna
            December 29, 2015 at 12:45 am

            Actually the HDR demos looks awesome when played on the smarthshare app (from and hdd or usb). Here is a proof:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaXEv-1DH9g

            About Stephen´s comments about not taking advantaged of the enhancements, at least in my testing, playing the demos directly from a computer (HDR OFF) the videos looks oversaturated on contrast and bright. But as I mentioned before, when the demos are played directly from the tv with and HDD or usb (With the tv displaying the banner “HDR MODE ON”), the image looks awesome.

            But I´m not an expert so really looking forward to know more about this model (58UF8300) because I haven´t found any reviews about it. I think is a really nice tv for the price.


          • Pedro
            December 30, 2015 at 9:07 am

            Thanks for the info Stephen and Benigno.
            I am not 100% sure about the HDR capabilities of the entry models by LG UF8300 and Sony X850C and also Samsung JS 7000/7200.
            Will have to go in a store and compare the three models to decide wich one actually have the HDR enhacements active, as well as compare the HDR demos with no-HDR 4k videos.
            Will let you know my impressions when I did the comparisson.
            Cheers and regards
            Pedro


          • Stephen
            Stephen
            December 30, 2015 at 10:28 am

            By all means Pedro. Whatever impressions you can bring back from observing them in action are definitely welcome to the discussion. thanks


          • Benigno Osuna
            December 30, 2015 at 10:00 am

            Hi, Pedro.

            About the UF8300, I think it´s not a entry level among all the models of LG Tvs. Because this tv has the “Prime Color” technology, that means it uses quantum dots. Just like the SUHD tvs from samsung. What I can tell for sure is, the UF8300 is the entry level of the “Color Prime” series. That means no 3D, no Harman Kardon sound, etc. What I found really interesting about UF8300, is that apparently it uses a MVA panel, which to my surprise looks very very good (great black levels and contrast) and the viewing angles are just very good. Also the response time is very good, considering I´m using this tv as a PC monitor too. Considering the price ($950 when I bought it) I think it´s a really nice tv for the price.

            I hope you can find more info. Let us know what you find. I´m really interesting to know more about the that specific model.

            Saludos


          • Pedro
            January 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm

            Wonder if the LG 58UF8300 and SAMSUNG 55JS7000 meet the specs below? I learned that the SONY XBR 55X855C has what it needs to have the HDR Logo.
            ” In order to receive the UHD Alliance Premium Logo, the device must meet or exceed the following specifications:

            Image Resolution: 3840×2160
            Color Bit Depth: 10-bit signal
            Color Palette (Wide Color Gamut)
            Signal Input: BT.2020 color representation
            Display Reproduction: More than 90% of P3 colors
            High Dynamic Range
            SMPTE ST2084 EOTF
            A combination of peak brightness and black level:
            More than 1000 nits peak brightness and less than 0.05 nits black level”


          • Stephen
            Stephen
            January 23, 2016 at 10:52 am

            They don’t unfortunately. Neither of these two TVs offer HDR support and while their color coverage is wider than normal thanks to quantum dot technology (ColorPrime in the LG and Nano Crystal Color in the Samsung), the colors might not quite match the exacting UHD Premium standards listed, and either way, the contrast issue is the major weakness in both models.


      • Tom
        February 25, 2016 at 9:41 am

        You missed Samsung JS8500

        Reply

      • Donald H
        October 16, 2016 at 8:26 am

        Sony doe not support Dolby HDR.

        Reply

  • Rebin
    December 1, 2015 at 7:20 am

    So what current models of Philips models have HDR?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 2, 2015 at 7:31 am

      Hello Rebin, to the best of my knowledge, the only Philips model which right now has actual HDR (and full array LED backlighting) is the Philips 65PUS9600, revealed originally at IFA 2015. I’m not sure about its availability in certain markets though.

      Reply

  • Paul
    December 3, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I have a Sony xbr-55X850B and I am trying to find out if it will eventually have an update for HDR. Does anyone have any info? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 4, 2015 at 10:06 am

      Hi there Paul, To the best of our knowledge, there is no HDR update for the X850B in the works since this is just about a 2014 TV model from the end of the last year/beginning of 2015. Sony added these updates to some of its main 2015 4K TVs and these consist of the X940C, X930C, X910C, X900C and now the X850C but at least as far as we know to date, the X850B, as an older model will not be getting HDR at least any time soon.

      Reply

  • Jon
    December 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Hi, am interested in the Sony X930C as it is one of the HDR capable models, but do you know if it’s possible for Sony to provide patches/updates for the TV as HDR standards change or improve? Really what I’m asking if whether by taking the plunge on this TV set, there is a decent chance of being able to software update it to take advantage of future HDR improvements?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Hello Jon. First, yes the X930C is HDR-capable and even with its existing capablity, it is likely to stay completely up to date for some time to come. As for future firmware updates, I can’t guarantee anything since I don’t work for Sony but it is a very likely thing to be provided by Sony or this TV down the road. The X850C, for example, did not originally come with HDR-capability but now does thanks to a recent update by Sony, so it is definitely something they do for their premium 4K TV models.

      Reply

  • David Guerra
    December 10, 2015 at 3:45 am

    “perfect black and thus in effect infinite contrast” Percentually yes, the contrast of any light against black will be infinite, such as any number against zero will be. However, even with perfect blacks and the subsequently infinite contrast ratio, there is a very important variable, which is what maximum brightness the screen can achieve. For a perfect life-like image each pixel would have to be able to shine as brightly as the sun and from what I have seen, current values are still a very small fraction of it. Oleds namely, still don’t offer a lot of brightness compared to other technologies. I see maximum pixel brightness as being the next “sell-value”, as that is what will ultimately allow reflections and contrasts on the image to look really life-like.

    Reply

  • Paul
    December 10, 2015 at 7:46 am

    I purchased the Sony 85inch XBR 950B ‘flagship’ television earlier this year – it has a fantastic picture due to the full array LED backlighting. However, I understand that it is not ‘HDR’ capable and therefore was wondering if Sony will be issuing me with a firmware or software release to update it to be HDR capable ?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 10, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Hello Paul. To be honest, the best of our knowledge indicates that 4K TVs from Sony’s 2014 models (of which the entire B line of TVs belongs) will not get firmware updates for HDR. This seems to be applying only to the XBRC TVs from 2015. However, please bear in mind that this is not a negation of the possibility, we simply haven’t heard back from Sony that models like the 950C will indeed be updated for HDR. We will however look into this and shortly try to post a detailed news piece on HDR for older Sony and possibly other brand models of 4K TVs.

      Reply

      • Paul
        December 11, 2015 at 12:41 am

        Great thanks !. Looking around the web some are saying that even though it does not have HDR it could still provide a better picture than a true HDR enabled Sony – as it has a full array backlit screen. Is that true – am confused ?! As it would not be able to decode the information from the discs ?! Sorry – am not very technical !

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          December 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm

          Hi again Paul, In comparison to an edge-lit HDR-capable 4K UHD TV, the model you’re talking about could possibly offer better contrast due to its full-array lighting, but this is a tough comparison to make. Sony’s 2015 4K TVs are indeed excellent and in many ways better than their 2014 counterparts. As for decoding the information from Blu-ray discs (with HDR I assume), as far as we know, they should work fine on this model and if 4K Blu-ray with HDR emerges soon, the HDR aspect simply won’t play on a non-HDR TV while you’ll still get to enjoy the resolution and other visual aspects. If I understood your last question correctly.

          Reply

  • John franklin
    December 17, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I am really thinking about buying a panasonic tc – cx8oou. But it not available in mainstream stores. I like to walk into a store see a tv before I buy it but this model might change my mind how does this compare to Sony 850c. . Is cx85ou worth the wait. I don’t think I can afford it but spec. Are unreal.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 18, 2015 at 2:31 am

      Hey there John, If you don’t mind waiting and really do prefer seeing the TV with your own eyes before purchasing it, then I’d suggest holidng off or contacting major retail chains in your area to see when they’ll have one of these models in stock. Panasonic gets less attention than Sony or Samsung and LG often do but its TVs are very much in the quality range. It’s just a shame that they’re also often oddly hard to find.

      Reply

  • Eugene Stilianopoulos
    December 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I have a JU6400 and know that the tv has HDMI 2.0 but have read that Samsung is upgrading via firmware all their 2015 UHD tvs with HDMI 2.0a. I have not been able to confirm that the JU6400 has or will receive this firmware upgrade. Since this tv is not equipped for HDR, what effect would the upgrade to 2.0a have on the JU6400? Would it allow some ability to decode HDR or at the minimum allow us to play UHD Blurays without the full extent of HDR?

    Reply

  • Eugene Stilianopoulos
    December 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I have a JU6400 and know that the tv has HDMI 2.0 but have read that Samsung is upgrading via firmware all their 2015 UHD tvs with HDMI 2.0a. I have not been able to confirm that the JU6400 has or will receive this firmware upgrade. Since this tv is not equipped for HDR, what effect would the upgrade to 2.0a have on the JU6400? Would it allow some ability to decode HDR or at the minimum allow us to play UHD Blurays without the full extent of HDR?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 18, 2015 at 2:10 am

      Hello Eugene, To the best of our knowledge and experience, basically, unless your 4K TV is designed to be HDR-capable, the upgrade to HDMI 2.0a won’t create any difference from the original HDMI 2.0 as far as the JU6400 is concerned. Whether your TV has or doesn’t have a 2.0a upgrade will create an identical content viewing experience that fits the TV’s capabilities from any external HDMI-connected content sources you watch. In other words, sorry, but whatever HDR 4K content you go get your hands on will render as normal content because of your TV’s internal inability to render the metadata of high dynamic range, even if it were to arrive to your TV through an HDR-capable HDMI 2.0a connection from 4K Blu-ray or another source.

      The same will apply to streamed HDR 4K content from Netflix or Amazon Prime. Unless you own one of the TVs which are compatible with their HDR content at the moment, no dice. It will display as SDR 4K video (which is still great, all things considered, and especially on a 4K TV with solid non-HDR contrast specs).

      Reply

  • David
    December 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    I have the Samsung 55″ JU6400 Series 4K UHD Smart TV. I see the option to buy ‘The Martian’ in UHD with HDR on my M-Go app. Will my tv play the movie or is it not compatible? Trying to figure that out before I make the $29.99 purchase. Also, I’ve heard this TV is “Future Proof”, so does that mean that it’ll receive an update to HDR update anytime soon? Or will I have to upgrade my TV soon?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Hello David, my apologies for the delayed reply. Christmas holidays got in the way. To the best of my knowledge, your purchase of the movie from M-Go should be perfectly compatible. Partly because it’s being offered through the TV’s app (it stands to reason that it would not be on offer if it lacked compatibility) and partly because M-Go’s 4K content has had 4K compatibility with Samsung UHD TVs in particular for quite a long time now.

      Reply

  • Gary
    December 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I’m thinking of buying the sony xbr950b
    Will it be hdr compatible

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 28, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Hello there Gary. Two key points should be kept in mind for this TV:

      First, to the best of our knowledge, no it will not come with a formal HDR update like those which have been given to Sony’s 2015 models like the X900C, X940C, X930C and X850C. So in terms of HDR by its formal name, you’re likely out of luck with this excellent 2014 TV (the X950B)

      Second: However, the X950B is one heck of a fine 4K UHD TV and was easily one of the very best TVs of 2014 and reamins on par with most of the best 2015 4K TVs. Furthermore, its full-array LED backlighting and XDR Pro engine mean that its native contrast capabilities are nearly as good as full HDR. You’ll likely barely notice the difference. In other words, in all other regards except true HDR, the X950B is great piece of home entertainment technology. It also offers some truly superb color quality.

      Our review of the TV http://4k.com/tv/a-review-of-the-sony-xbr65x950b-65-inch-4k-ultra-hd-120hz-3d-smart-led-tv-2014-model/

      Reply

  • Ran
    January 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I am interested in buying a HDR capable 4k TV, but it seems like there are not that much selection at this moment, I realized that after a few months, there will more models coming, but my concern is the price. For 65 inch, what are the price range can be for a HDR capable TV?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Hello there Ran, some of the best priced HDR-capable 65 inch models on the current market are the Sony X850C, the Samsung JS8500 and in terms of truly superior overall value, the LG OLED EF9500 (which is the most affordable OLED HDR 4K TV on the market right now.

      The X850C from Sony goes for $1,998.00 in the 65 inch bracket

      The JS8500 65 inch model sells for $2,497.99

      and as for the OLED EF9500, it’s pricey but not too expensive by OLED standards if you really want some extraordinary overall picture quality and top-notch HDR to boot. It sells for about $2,997 in the 55 inch range. Yes, this is a smaller TV than the others above but the combination of HDR and OLED makes the size reduction much less of a problem in our opinion.

      Reply

      • eddie willers
        February 5, 2016 at 5:45 pm

        Hi Stephen,

        Perhaps you can find this out for me. I bought an LG 55EF9500 last December and had it hooked up to my Dish Hopper with Sling.

        Monday I upgraded to the new Hopper 3 which is a 4K model. Once hooked up to my TV, the “HDR is now on” banner popped up and even in the ISF Expert mode, the Contrast and OLED Backlight controls are grayed out. (just like it would do when I went to the Amazon app from the TV)

        As I found from your site, LG is planning to come out with new sets with an HDR conversion technology through an internal reprocessing engine that will “upconvert” SDR to (an imitation, I suppose) HDR.

        Is it possible that LG already put this engine into the EF9500 series but kept quiet?

        Enquiring minds want to know.

        Thanks

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          February 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm

          Hello Eddie, while we haven’t yet reviewed the Hopper and can’t be sure of its particular details, I do know that the EF9500 is an HDR OLED 4K TV from LG, so what you’re possiblyy seeing (based on your brief description) is the TV’s own HDR settings and specs at work. To my knowledge, this model doesn’t yet have LG’s HDR conversion technology, though we will be looking further into the matter very shortly. It bears deeper investigation.

          Reply

  • Simon
    January 22, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Hi

    I have a Sony 55 inch S8005c do you know if that has the HDR update or if one is coming and if not will the picture quality when playing a 4k uhd blu-ray be significantly better than blu-ray without the HDR or will it look half as good as a HDR set?

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 23, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Hi Simon. To our knowledge, the TV you mention (a UK version not found in the U.S market) does apparently have an HDR update already available for it through the Android TV update that Sony released in 2015. You should look into this. The specific model you refer to is covered by the upgrade, which moved this and other TVs to run Android TV 5.1.1, and one of its features is HDR capacity.

      As for whether HDR creates superior viewing, in our observation, the answer is definitely yes. In fact HDR is more notable in a 4K TV than the extra resolution itself, though non-HDR 4K models with particularly good contrast ratios and color specs also provide superb picture quality that won’t likely disappoint.

      The update also offers the following:

      Netflix support for 5.1 surround sound
      HDMI lip sync issues
      Green screen displayed
      Increased responsiveness while using your TV
      General bug repairs
      support for Opera TV store
      support for HDR video mode (only on select 4K models)
      Support for Astra’s 4K test signal
      Adds a new ”restricted profile”

      This is the latest we know for the moment though i’ll update my comment if more info should be found.

      Reply

      • Simon
        January 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm

        Oh good thanks I was worried I’d bought a TV without HDR capabilities as the main reason I upgraded to 4k was for the UHD 4K Blu-rays! Also do you know when UHD blu-rays and players will be released in the UK? I know in the U.S. the Samsung player is out next month and then the UHD blu-Rays are being released from 1st of March but I haven’t heard any news of when they will release in the UK yet.

        Thanks

        Reply

  • Simon
    January 27, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Hi Stephen,

    You mentionned : As for Samsung’s which support it: The JS9500 and the JS9000

    The JS8500 is also compatible with the HDR technologie right ?

    Reply

  • klepp0906
    January 28, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Disgusted I spent 8000 dollars on a x950b and I’m getting screwed on hdr

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 29, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Hello Klepp. I wouldn’t at all say that you’re getting screwed with the X950B. I’m not sure when you bought this particular TV but it remains one truly excellent piece of 4K home entertainment technology and is almost entirely as up to date today as it was when it came out, with the exception of HDR. Yes, it lacks this particular technology but the majority of 4K content on the market doesn’t yet include HDR anyhow and the difference between this technology and SDR, while certainly notable, also isn’t a deal breaker in any really well-built 4K TV. The X950B in particular offers some excellent specs for color and contrast, both of which are more than good enough to offer superb picture quality despite the lack of high dynamic range. These sorts of sudden new developments are common with frontier technologies (which 4K TVs were until very recently and still remain so in some ways) but with the particular and particularly excellent model you mention, the lack of HDR is far from a massive display failure.

      Reply

  • Erik
    February 3, 2016 at 4:32 am

    To me HDR looks like a marketing trick.
    First of I am watching this on a NON-HDR monitor and I can see clearly see the differences between both screenshots.
    The left image with low contrast between dark/light colors and the right image with high contrast.

    Today we call this contrast and I can change this with the contrast/brightness settings of my monitor/TV to get the exact same results.

    I’ve been watching these HDR screens and in all honesty, most of the time it looks just like when I put my contrast to the max value of my TV/Monitor.
    It didn’t impress me at all (yet).

    Reply

  • David Vargas
    February 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I have a question. I just purchased a 75 inch Samsung UN75JU7100. It does not have HDR capabilities and now I am reading all the articles about HDR and I am scared now my TV will be obsolete. Should I take it back and upgrade to a model that has HDR?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      February 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Hello David, I don’t think that’s necessarily something you’d need to do unless you don’t mind spending the extra money and are insistent on having HDR. High dynamic range does improve picture quality very nicely but that doesn’t mean that SDR 4K content isn’t great too, and the JU7100 is actually an excellent TV regardless of its lack of HDR. That said, unless the extra spending isn’t an issue, I think you could easily enjoy the JU7100 for at least a year as more HDR video sources in 4K hit the market, in the mean time, all 4K video should work just as well on your SDR 4K TV and simply won’t read the HDR metadata in any content. Basically, you’ll be able to watch all the same content as you would in a 4K TV as far as we know.

      Reply

      • David Vargas
        February 8, 2016 at 7:15 pm

        Hi Stephen. Thank you for your reply! You said I could enjoy it for a year at least but does it mean after that it would be obsolete. Do you think HDR capability will come in as a future download or by the mini connect box? I just want to have this TV for 5 years plus and have a future proof TV.

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          February 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm

          Hello David, no not at all. the JU7100 will still be a prefectly usable and decent 4K TV a year from now. Nobody should buy a 4K TV with a need to get rid of it a year later, and especially not now with all 2015 and late 2014 models which have far more standardized features than the first-run 2013 4K TVs did. The JU7100 likely won’t get an HDR update at any point in the near future or ever since the technology depends largely on the TV’s internal brightness capacity and not just on the type of HDMI connection it gets through an updated One Connect mini box but it will display all regular sources of 4K content with its built-in display quality (which is very good) and simply not deliver the HDR aspect of newer 4K UHD entertainment sources. Once again, even non-HDR 4K content looks great on a high performance 4K TV like the JU7100, so unless you really want to make sure you have HDR, feel free to go for the JU7100 as an option.

          Reply

  • ben redford
    February 21, 2016 at 3:20 am

    I have the samsung UE55HU7200U will there be an upgrade to hdr for this

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      February 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Hello Ben, to our knowledge, no, though the HU7200U is a UK model and not one of the U.S TVs we more typically cover. However, since Samsung has claimed to offer HDR addition for some of their JU-series (in the U.S market), which support HDMI 2.0a since their September, 2015 firmware update, then we can maybe assume the same about the HU7200U. However, bear in mind that the HDR-capacity of the JU TVs I mention is a bit suspicious.

      Yes, they support HDMI 2.0a and can thus capture Blu-ray HDR cotent and thus can possibly read HDR from other sources which deliver it via HDMI 2.0a but without the elevated in-TV luminance delivered to the standards found in the SUHD models with HDR, and without Peak Illuminator PRO or Peak Illuminator Ultimate (in the JS9500 only). In other words, calling the contrast capacities of the JU 4K TVs HDR seems suspiciously like a stretching of the definition of the spec. Something to keep in mind for the HU7200U as well, if it does get an HDR-capacity update.

      Reply

  • Hernan
    March 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    I’m between purchasing a 78″ Curve JU7500 and 65″ Oled Curve EG9600. I called LG and they told me that the EG9600 will be able to stream HDR but no able to play HDR by connecting it trough a player like the new 4K Samsung blue ray. Can you please explain me why? Also will I have the same problem with JU7500? Both are 4.999 now. Which one you think will be a better option for compatible sources on the near future and better image? Or should I wait until April for new TVs and will be them better and cheaper?

    Regards,

    Hernan

    Reply

  • Anonymous
    March 10, 2016 at 2:25 am

    Hi, I know the benefits of HDR but what I was interested in is if there is a max brightness that standard dynamic range content allows. In other words, if a scene in a SDR movie is just a full screen of 255 white, would it be shown at the tv’s maximum luminosity? Or is there some sort of limit to how bright the content of a SDR-encoded (not sure if this is the right word) can reach?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      March 10, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Hello Anonymous… Yes, SDR content does have a maximum brightness range which it allows and SDR TVs can only go to this level. Normally, for SDR content this maximum luminance sits at about 400 to 600 nits at the most. Beyond that and you’re starting to enter HDR territory. The UHD Alliance has set its own base HDR standards for UHD Premium qualification at 1000 nits for LCD HDR TVs and at more than 540 nits for OLED TVs (but with a much deeper dark range of 0.0005 nits. However, HDR could also go far beyond these levels, with planned ranges for Dolby Vision aiming at 4,000-10,000 nits of maximum brightness, which would come very close to simulating actual reality as our eyes perceive it. As for how SDR video would be shown on an HDR TV, well quite simply it won’t show the same range of dynamic contrast as actual HDR content would. Currently, HDR works with both content and display technology having high dynamic range and while you may notice some increased quality in SDR video on a new HDR TV, it won’t show to the same degree of maximum or dynamic brightness as actual HDR content.

      Reply

      • Anonymous
        March 10, 2016 at 11:30 pm

        I see, that makes sense.

        In response to one of the comments in this section, you mentioned that the JS9000 has a peak brightness of 600 nits (I’m going to assume this is something like 2% white square, as opposed to 100% of the screen). But if that’s the case, and you have an HDR-capable tv which its peak brightness doesn’t exceed the maximum brightness of SDR content, will you even notice a difference when playing HDR content on it?

        I personally have a JS9000, but can’t get any of the currently-available HDR content out there (everything’s region blocked…), so I haven’t been able to test it for myself. Just basically wondering if I should be on the lookout for one of Samsung’s new UHD Certified tvs.

        Thanks for the response.

        Reply

  • Thomas
    March 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I’m in the UK with a Samsung 4K TV (UE55HU8500) do you know if this will support the HDR function. In the event it does not, will a updated one connect box work, thanks.

    Reply

  • Donald Aebischer
    June 23, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I have a Samsung 55 inch 4k curved tv model UN55HU7200FXZA I got samsungs 4k k8500 blu ray player hooked up if get the Samsung connect one box will it upgrade my tv to HDR

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 24, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Hello Donald. No unfortunately it won’t. HDR is an integrated display feature of the TV itself and while you might be able to upgrade to HDMI 2.0a connectivity ports for reading HDR content, your TV model won’t display the high dynamic range of the video feed because the TV’s display itself is incapable of matching the necessary visual specs.

      Reply

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