We predicted that 4K TV would be a big focus at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show. It looks as though our prediction was correct, as most every company announced their version of the technology. Now that all the excitement of CES 2015 has worn off, it is time to look at what other developments are in the works this year. The expansion of technology makes these improvements almost commonplace in the market. Undoubtedly, you will see a lot of 4K throughout 2015, but we also think HDR will garner plenty of attention as well.
What is HDR?
HDR stands for high dynamic range and up until now has mostly been used by high-end cameras and smartphone apps. For cameras, this technology is able to combine several photos taken in a single burst for the best lighting conditions and exposure. When it comes to HDR video, the shooting process is done with an expanded range. The process is able to capture and separate lights and darks, rather than combining them. This allows a much wider array of color possibilities on the screen.
What makes it so great?
While 4K technology does a great job at providing more pixels to the viewer, HDR is different because it actually changes the picture. HDR technology has the ability to allow the viewer to see images as the human eye would. This means more vivid colors, deeper blacks and brights, and objects that stand out more. Scenes which are shot with HDR compatible cameras will be clearer and much more realistic.
What makes it so real?
The key to HDR technology can be thought of in terms of brightness. Most TVs have a typical brightness of 400 nits (the unit used for measuring brightness) and some of the newer versions have up to 750 nits. HDR TVs can have a maximum of 1,000 nits. The increased brightness gives viewers a larger color scale, and brightness that mimics actual sunlight.
When can you get one?
Although we predict HDR will be massive in years to come, this technology is still in the experimental phase for both movies and TV. Several companies are already in the process of incorporating HDR technology into their Ultra HD TVs, but it could be a while before we see these on shelves. This is great news for the few companies such as Netflix and Warner Bros. who are already experimenting with HDR content. Our prediction is by 2016, the viewing standard will have made a heavy shift toward HDR.