If you have decided to buy a TV, it is quite likely that you want it to be 4K (UHD) and HDR. Beyond the specific specifications you are looking for, it is essential that you pay attention to which HDR standard you will have access to depending on the make and model of TV you buy.
So you do not get confused when buying an HDR TV, here is a brief guide on the different HDR standards.
The different types of HDR on your TV
While the quality leap in content viewing is very large and will allow content creators a powerful resource that enhances the user experience, there has been no unanimous agreement on the standard to apply to bring the HDR mode to TVs.
That’s why we currently have two great standards that try to impose themselves some more promoted by companies individually and even name alterations that come from a brand of televisions. Like many beginnings of diverse technologies, there is an established standards war.
HDR10 and Dolby Vision are the two standards struggling to master the HDR of your TV. The second is the most complete but owner and for now only available in the high range
The differences between the different types of HDR are basically in the brightness and color depth with which they can work.
What is HDR 10?
It is the most widespread standard but at the same time, the most confusion produces because it almost never appears as such in the specifications of our televisions. To ensure that the HDR that promotes a particular brand for your TV is really the HDR10 standard, you must seek Ultra HD Premium certification.
The HDR10 standard, supported by most manufacturers, distributors and content creators, is an open standard that can be used without paying license fees. At the technical level, they require a 10-bit panel to achieve a higher color depth than the current panels. As for brightness, the theory of the specification is the same as in Dolby Vision, but in practice, its brightness stays below 1000 nits.
Some brands have gone a step further and include a proper name for the HDR of their televisions. The clearest case is Samsung, in whose model we can see the HDR10 referenced HDR1000. We are actually talking about it being compatible with HDR10 but Samsung brings more brightness (1000 nits) and color enhancement with use of nano-particles.
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What is Dolby Vision?
The standard that Dolby proposes is the most advanced currently but also the most exclusive to require a chip and both player and screen are certified. It is available exclusively on high-end televisions and the manufacturer must pay Dolby for using it.
The Dolby Vision specs focus on a maximum brightness of 10000 nits and a color depth of 12 bits, which on paper leaves a more complete HDR mode. But even more important is the fact that with Dolby Vision each picture box has individual information on how to work the dynamic range while the HDR10 is global. It is the great advantage of Dolby and why the creators of content sigh because of their possibilities for each scene.
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Compatibility between HDR10 and Dolby Vision
What HDR is capable of playing my TV? It is the key question. For now only the high range of OLED and LED TVs are prepared for Dolby Vision content because their
panels need cutting edge technical features as well as processing. These televisions are also able to identify and reproduce HDR10 content without problem.
But the opposite is true, so if your TV is UltraHD Premium that is, it supports HDR10, if you do not have the Dolby Vision logo, you will not be able to play content under that standard.
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Other standards that begin to arrive
Although HDR10 and Dolby Vision have the majority support of the entire content creation, distribution, and playback chain, there are solutions that try to break through. Its acronyms and compatibility we can see integrated in some of the new TVs and players in the coming months.
Technicolor HDR: Proposal of one of the technological giants directly associated with the cinema, and that for now has a reception almost null, but with the support of content creators.
HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma): This is a standard sponsored by the British public radio chains and the Japanese NHK. It supports both SDR and HDR, an advantage, and those who want to use do not have to pay anything for it.
What about content?
Okay, you already have the HDR TV you want or even already have and understand the difference between HDR standards. Where do I find HDR content that takes advantage of the image enhancement that promises this technology?
The main content services streaming with Amazon Video or Netflix already have a part of its catalog in HDR. It will depend on the particular production that is available in one type of HDR or another. In Netflix and Amazon Video, we found both HDR10 and Dolby Vision content. In each case, it is indicated in the information of each title.
Also on YouTube (for now very few and can only play with Chromecast Ultra) or Vudu we have available HDR content. And if your choice is the physical format, Ultra Blu-Ray are already incorporating content in both HDR10 and Dolby Vision.