What Is HDR TV & Why Do You Need It

Even though this technology has been available for quite some time, there are still some people who are unaware of what HDR TV is. They might be even baffled by the concept. Also, there are chances that those who own HDR TV may not know what it is and how to experience it. Truth be told, it is a complicated topic, especially with different content creators, and manufacturers implementing and developing various varieties of HDR. However, it is worth preserving it. Why? Simply because a well-implemented HDR has a big effect on the picture quality. This could be even more so than advancing from HD to 4K.

There are many internet services today that support HDR content including Spectrum mobile plans But what is it exactly? And how can it drastically improve the picture quality? Well, read on to get the answer to those questions.

What Is HDR?

The term HDR is an abbreviation of  High Dynamic Range. It originated in photography and is a technique that can heighten the dynamic range of a picture i.e. improving the contrast between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites. The theory behind this term is that the higher the dynamic range gets, the closer a picture would resemble real life. HDR for television is conceptualized with a similar idea.

What Makes HDR So Good?

Televisions usually have a limited dynamic range which makes it difficult to illustrate the details in brightness. This means that you won’t be able to view some nuances that otherwise should be present. However, there is no denying that in recent times TVs have become really capable thanks to this tech which delivers up to 5000 nits of brightness. Here, one nit is equal to the light that is provided by a single candle. This lets you view more details such as sunlight will gleam off the windows properly, the colors will be much richer, and gradations would be much more improved. Also, you will observe greater shifts in tone. In a nutshell, the picture on your television would appear to be lifelike.

How to Watch HDR Content?

You would be happy to know that almost all big companies such as Samsung and Sony support HDR video. However, to enjoy your favorite television shows, you will need to invest in a 4K TV. Other than that, if your HDR content is on a disc, then you would need to get an Ultra HD Blu-ray player to enjoy it. If you are a gamer and own Xbox One X or Xbox One S then you can use them to play HDR content. These devices also support HDR 10, and Dolby Vision.

In addition, there are different streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix that lets the users enjoy HDR video. TVs these days normally have these services installed in them but if in case yours doesn’t have then you can always add a separate video streamer like Apple TV 4K, and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.

Content Availability

Here’s the thing; you will only be able to enjoy HDR footage on an HDR TV only if it is shot and mastered in HDR. Watching ordinary content that is not filmed in HDR won’t have any effect. Amazon Prime Video became the first streaming service to offer shows in HDR like Transparent. Now, there are other platforms that shoot the series in HDR including Netflix which also provides content in Dolby Vision such as The Witcher, GLOW, Ozark, and Stranger Things.

These shows are also available in 4K but keep in mind that it is not always the case. For instance, American Gods can be enjoyed in 4K but not HDR. Similarly, Star Trek: Discovery can be viewed only in HDR and not in 4K.


In a short time, HDR has conquered the market and people are slowly becoming more aware of this technology. It has certainly become something that people now consider before investing in a television. How this tech allows users to view the content with rich details makes it absolutely worth having. Moreover, if a TV contains a combination of both 4K and HDR then you can expect to get a crisp picture quality that is super dynamic and super sharp. It’s a welcoming change and many people are embracing it!