4K, HDR: What are they on a TV and why do they matter?

The acronyms 4K HDR might not mean much to you, but if you want a TV capable of displaying the best image possible it’s something you need to pay attention to when shopping for a new TV.


What is 4K and HDR?

4K refers to the resolution of the video image. 1080p or 720p are referred to as High Definition, making 4K Ultra High Definition. The higher the resolution of a video image, the more detailed the image is. A 4K image provides twice the detail of a 1080p image. 
High Dynamic Range (HDR) refers to the colour quality of video content. Compared to standard dynamic range, HDR content can be twice as bright, a much wider contrast difference between black and wide and a colour pallet of over one billion shades compared to 16 million with SDR.
To view HDR content, both the content you plan to view and the TV itself must support HDR.

HDR10, Dolby Vision – what are they?

To get the most out of the HDR feature on your TV, the source content and the TV have to support some form of HDR technology. The main two HDR formats used in the entertainment industry are HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
HDR10 is the minimum specification a TV must meet to be true HDR. A HDR10 TV will have a maximum brightness of at least 1,000 nits and a colour depth of at least 10-bits. 
Dolby Vision is similar to HDR10 but sends metadata along with the video that tells the TV to change image settings on the fly, per frame, for an optimal viewing experience. 

Where can I get HDR content?

There are two main ways to view HDR content in Australia. Netflix and a 4K Blu-Ray player.
Not all Netflix content is HDR, but some flagship content from Netflix is. There are also certain conditions that need to be met for Netflix to stream this high-quality video.

  • A 4K TV with support for Dolby Vision or HDR10
  • A Netflix plan that supports 4K streaming
  • An Internet connection that can sustain a download speed of 25mbit or higher
  • A Netflix playback device that is connected to your TV via a HDMI port that supports HDCP 2.2 or later

The best way to ensure your playback device supports 4K HDR is to use the built-in Netflix player on your Smart TV.
4K Blu-Ray discs are another method of viewing 4K HDR content. Like Netflix, not all 4K Blu-Ray titles are HDR, although may are. You’ll also need a dedicated 4K Blu-Ray player or an Xbox One and a high-quality HDMI cable.

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