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  • UDH and HDR home theater systems

    HDR Takes 4K Even Higher

    Last week, we talked about whether the time is right to upgrade your home theater to 4K, but a discussion of exactly what kind of 4K technology to invest in could never be complete without getting into one of the buzziest tech topics: High Dynamic Range, or HDR.

    What is HDR?

    As we discussed last week, 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV is about getting a higher resolution, but there’s another factor that determines the quality of your viewing experience, and that’s color and contrast. HDR promises to deliver not just more colors, but truer ones, along with a higher contrast between light and dark. All of this adds up to a picture that is stunningly lifelike and vibrant.

    When it comes to viewer experience, color fidelity (also called “wide color gamut”) and contrast ratio are considered by most experts to be even more important than resolution, which is why HDR was getting even more attention at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) than even 4K/UHD. But the concept of HDR isn’t totally new. HDR cameras have been around for a while, and even your smartphone is probably using the technology (though HDR is different in these applications). HDR TVs, though, debuted at the 2015 CES, with Sony and Samsung introducing the technology in its very highest-end TVs. This year, however, HDR was everywhere, and that’s a good indication that the time is right to consider the technology for your own home. 

    What about content?

    If you were already asking this question, good for you. After all, your state-of-the-art TV is only as good as the content you can watch on it. But the news is good here, too.

    Streaming services Amazon, Netflix, YouTube and Vudu have all committed to streaming HDR content. Blu-ray is also introducing a new player to support HDR, and a number of movie studios are on board, agreeing to make HDR films. 

    Where can I get an HDR TV?

    If you’re ready to start looking for your new, best viewing experience, and HDR could be just that, then look for TVs with the “Ultra HD Premium” badge from the UHD Alliance. This new signification identifies TVs that combine ultra high definition with the wide color gamut and contrast of HDR. 

    The best news here is that you don’t have to choose. If you are looking for the best viewer experience, this is a good place to start: experts all seem hopeful that 4K combined with HDR will be everything they have promised to be. Even better, your options get more plentiful every day. To be sure you’re getting exactly the right technology for your home theater, enlist the help of the experts at Jackson Hole AV.