To HDR or not to HDR? That is the question!

I was planning on writing about the HDR world a bit later on, but it keeps popping up in front of me. So here we are, with so many questions! What is HDR? Why is it around? Why must I have it?

Let's start off easy. HDR stand for High Dynamic Range. Do not confuse this with anything to do with 4K. HDR is nothing to do with 4K, kinda. Any of the HDR (HDR10), HDR Advanced (HDR10+), Dolby Vision, and the latest HLG, are all about the video color and gamma formatting. What does that mean? If your TV has HDR anything or Dolby Vision, then when you are utilizing this, you will have a vivid and more realistic image than without. There is a difference and it is not a matter of having "an eye for it". It is very noticeable. Which is the best? Well, from many of the reviews I have seen or the test reports that I have read, Dolby Vision takes the quality "cake"! It offers a more wide range of color gamma and control than the other options. The downsides of Dolby Vision is well, its Dolby. To implement this format into items, there is a licensing fee. With that being the fact, not many TV manufacturers went down that road. Pre CES 2018 there were 2, maybe 3 brands that carried it and not many of there 4K models. You will see the HDR and HDR+ options more readily available because it is an open source format. This drives the cost down and makes it more appealing to manufacturers. You can find the HDR format in many different brands. My favorite is the Sony Brand of XBR TVs. Remember that with all this fancy enhanced formatting, you need a source that will offer this to you as well. Apple TV is one of them, as previously discussed in one of my other reviews. Other sources that support the format are Chromecast Ulta, PlayStation 4, Roku Premiere+/Ultra, and the Xbox S/X. There are several streaming services that are also offering content. Apple is offering movies in HDR, as well as through Netflix, Vudu, Youtube, Amazon Video, and a few others.

So back to the good stuff, must I have it? Should you scrap all the gear you have in your house to run out at your earliest convenience to purchase the latest and greatest in HDR gear? But of course!! But then reality sets in and you realize that this is going to be an ever-evolving thing that has no end in sight!

Integration notes that you should kee pin mind. When you are trying to pass the HDR signal from source to TV, remember that all devices and cabling between them need to be able to handle the bandwidth of the signal. If it is 4K HDR especially.

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Links in the above article are used to show visual examples of items discussed as well as possible pricing knowledge or pricing comparisons. Some links also give direct links to the manufacturers spoken about.

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