What is 4K HDR and why is it so important in new TVs


4K HDR : In the last decades, after the evolutionary leap that involved the change from VHS to DVD, the televisions have focused their improvements in the increase of the resolution and the reduction of the thickness of the screen. First, we enjoy HD Ready TVs, and then reach the resolutions 720p, 1080p, or the current 4K Ultra HD TVs.

What is the HDR and why is it so important

Hard to believe, but in 2012 manufacturers like Sony already had 4K televisions. In 2016, the trend changes. The resolution is not the most important thing. Filmmakers, television content platforms and TV manufacturers have come to an agreement: the most important thing on a TV is the naturalness of the image.

If you go to a store to buy a new TV today, what should you ask for? A 4K TV? But a TV with HDR. The 4K resolution comes standard, as the new standard 4K HDR will become the reference of the television image during the next years. A real revolution in image quality as at the time was the change from analog to digital.

It may sound like HDR for its use in photography or video games, but it has nothing to do. The HDR applied to video is different from that of photography. You can see an introduction to this new standard is this video:

What is the HDR and why is it so important?

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a technology that improves image quality by adding a greater dynamic range of light and colors, bringing it closer to reality. It is used in photography, in computer graphics and recently in televisions. Although in all these cases the objective is the same, the techniques used are different. For example, in photography, the HDR is achieved by mixing captures with different exposures. There are people who do not like the HDR photographic effect, so it is important to understand that on a television, it is a different concept.

In the field of moving image, the HDR produces whiter whites and darker blacks, as well as a wide range of both light spectra. This is achieved by individually illuminating different areas of the screen. On conventional TVs, the sequences in the dark lose almost all the detail. With HDR technology, these scenes come to life by distinguishing between different tones of shadows and dim light. The greater dynamic range of the colors also allows obtaining more variations in them, obtaining a more natural image, much closer to the reality that we see through our eyes when we look through a window:

What is the HDR and why is it so important

This higher dynamic range is powered by 4K or Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), which offers five times more pixels than the current 1080p. More than 8 million pixels to preserve even the smallest detail.

Filmmakers and image experts confirm that the HDR is a very important qualitative leap in the image, giving a new dimension to films and television series.

Technology issue

We already know the theory of the HDR, but logically each brand uses its own technologies to apply the binomial 4K HDR to their televisions.

In the case of Sony, it has the privilege of working with the most important film directors and image specialists in the world, through the film production company Sony Pictures. The Japanese company manufactures the cameras and the professional material to film the films, and the filmmakers themselves are involved in this process. The result of this feedback has been the creation of technologies like X- tended Dynamic Range PRO, that precisely regulates the output of light throughout the screen, attenuating some areas and illuminating others to reveal a range of brightness three times greater than that of a Conventional LED backlit TV.

The Slim Backlight Drive system has two layers to guide the light where it is needed; allowing you to reduce the thickness to unthinkable limits on a 4K HDR TV:

What is the HDR and why is it so important

The Sony X1 4K processor adjusts the image with the 4K X-Reality PRO system, which analyzes each frame in real time and processes each pixel individually to assign exact color and brightness while eliminating excess noise. This achieves a striking clarity.

The TRILUMINOS screen uses a wider chromatic palette for more vivid colors and shades that are more natural.

All these technological innovations are captured in the new Sony Bravia XD93 4K HDR TVs, equipped with Android TV and available in 55, 65 and 75-inch panel sizes.

What is the HDR and why is it so important

A new world of 4K content

To enjoy the benefits of 4K HDR technology, the content must be compatible. Platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix or Sony’s streaming service already offer 4K series and 4K movies with HDR technology.

What is the HDR and why is it so important

In next articles, we will explain in more detail how 4K HDR technology works, what hardware is required to enjoy it, what are the best 4K HDR TVs, as well as the series and movies that are already available. For now, it is important to stay with the concepts, and understand why the HDR is a significant improvement in the image, and why we must ensure that, our next TV is 4K HDR if we want to enjoy the highest quality content in the coming years.