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What is HDR TV and What Does It Mean For The Future of TV?

HDR TV is expected to be the next technological advance for television. While this technology has been in the works for years, it is finally starting to reach the marketplace. HDR televisions will begin appearing in 2016 with the ability to stream television shows and movies. Ultra HD Blu-ray discs will hit shelves that contain HDR titles and the types of players that can use them. You might be wondering what is HDR TV?

What is HDR TV: High Dynamic Range TV

The main aspects of a television are the contrast ratio and color accuracy. Contrast ratio refers to how dark or light the television can get while the color accuracy represents how close the television can mimic the colors of real life. If two televisions are placed next to each other, the casual viewer can pick out which television has a better resolution and contrast ratio.

HDR expands the contrast and color of current televisions, so brighter images can appear brighter. This gives the images more depth, and there are more color options available to represent the images. A number of colors will suddenly be able to appear that were unavailable on televisions before. This creates a more realistic looking picture and a color combination that looks like real life.

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Photo HDR vs HDR Television

While they may share an acronym, photo HDR and HDR TV are not the same thing. Photo HDR is basically a gimmick that allows multiple images to be combined. This is done to give the resulting combination image a deeper color range from the multiple exposures. Meanwhile, HDR TV actually expands the color palette and contrast ratio for a more realist image. While Photo HDR looks different than a typical photo, HDR TV just looks better. The demonstrations of HDR TV show an impressive color palette and depth that is not available with any other television on the marketplace.

How Does HDR TV Work?

The initial requirement is for a television that can produce more light than a normal television. Similar to local dimming, this allows the television to have a greater range of colors. Many televisions are actually capable of doing this already and have WCG, or wide color gamut. The only reasons these televisions cannot actually use their color range is because HD downloads and Blu-ray discs do not use the entire range.

Due to this, the main problem is getting the content for the television. For the optimal picture, the HDR TV needs to have HDR content to play. Currently, this content is unavailable. Television shows and movies that use 4K resolutions are very rare, and HDR shows are even rarer. The only company that is releasing these shows on any scale is Amazon. Netflix has also joined the crowd, but other content providers will be needed.

In reality, it is actually fairly easy to create HDR content. When a television show or a movie is created, the director works with a colorist to give the images the right look. Movies are able to use a wider palette, so these images are created first. When it is time to play the movie on a television set, the colors have to be muted to match the colors that an average television can portray. The colorist team basically has to remove the dynamic range to limit the colors that appear.

If the television is set to cinema or dynamic mode, the television set basically enhances the colors according to its programming. The television is unable to actually show the movie’s original colors, and it just chooses its own version of the colors instead. Now, 4K BD, streaming videos and HDR TV will allow the television to actually mimic the colors that would be used in the movie. The additional transmission and storage abilities of 4K BD and HDR TV allow the actual color data to be sent to the television. Instead of making up enhanced colors, an HDR TV can use the actual metadata to create the deeper colors and images.

The Future of Television

Most technology experts are excited about the new HDR TVs and content that are available in 2016. These new options offer better images and better pixels than current television sets. Beyond just HDR TVs, new technology will allow giant screens with 8K resolution and rollable displays. CES technology allows television sets to become as thick as four credit cards, so they can be rolled into a single cylinder. Transparent screens are now possible through OLED technology, and ultra-thin sets will be as small as just 2.57 millimeters thick. When combined with HDR TV, these new sets offer heightened colors and futuristic designs that look like something out of the Jetsons.

For television, the future is looking bright and filled with colors. HDR TV is the latest offering for watching realistic movies and shows at home. This next-generation offering is finally starting to hit the marketplace, and more HDR content is soon to follow.