HDR for TVs: Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve been shopping for a new television lately, you might have encountered the term “HDR” and pondered its significance. HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range, is a technology that has been increasingly popular in the television sector.

But what exactly is HDR and do you need a new TV to experience it? In this article, we will provide an explanation of this technology and how they improve the viewing experience.

What is HDR?

Before we dive into HDR, let’s first understand what dynamic range means. Dynamic range refers to the difference between the darkest and brightest parts of an image. In simpler terms, it’s the range of colors and brightness that a TV can display.

Traditional TVs have a limited dynamic range, which means they can’t display the full range of colors and brightness that the human eye can see. This results in images that may look dull or washed out.

This technology was developed to address this issue. It allows TVs to display a wider range of colors and brightness, resulting in more vibrant and lifelike images. HDR content has a broader range of dynamics, containing a greater amount of color and brightness data in comparison to traditional content.

How Does HDR for TVs Work?

This technology works by using a combination of three key aspects: wide color gamut, dynamic metadata, and increased brightness levels.

Wide Color Gamut

Wide color gamut refers to the range of colors that a TV can display. HDR TVs have a wider color gamut than traditional TVs, which means they can display more colors and shades. This results in more accurate and vibrant colors, making the images look more lifelike.

Dynamic Metadata

Dynamic metadata is a feature that allows HDR content to adjust the brightness and color levels on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis. This means that the TV can display the optimal brightness and color levels for each scene, resulting in a more realistic and immersive viewing experience.

Increased Brightness Levels

High dynamic range content is created with a higher brightness level than traditional content. This means that HDR TVs need to be able to display a higher level of brightness to accurately reproduce the content. Most TVs that are compatible with this technology have a peak brightness of at least 1000 nits, which is significantly higher than SDR TVs.

Types of HDR

There are four main types: HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.


Most TVs widely support it as it is the most common type of HDR. It uses static metadata, which means that the brightness and color levels are set for the entire movie or TV show. While it enhances the overall visual experience, some scenes may appear better than others because the TV is unable to adjust the levels on a scene-by-scene basis.


Developed as an enhancement to HDR10, HDR10+ takes dynamic metadata into account. With this system, the TV can adjust the brightness and color levels for each individual scene or frame, resulting in a more consistent and accurate viewing experience. However, it’s important to note that not all TVs and streaming services support this format.

Dolby Vision

Considered the premium version of HDR, Dolby Vision takes dynamic metadata to the next level. It offers even more precise control over brightness and color levels, allowing for a truly immersive and lifelike viewing experience. Similar to HDR10+, Dolby Vision has the capability to modify the brightness and color levels for every scene, leading to a viewing experience that is more reliable and precise.

Most TVs, except those made by Samsung, support and use Dolby Vision.

Dolby Vision IQ

This is a recently introduced format that builds upon the Dolby Vision technology. It considers both the displayed content and the surrounding lighting conditions. By adaptively modifying the brightness and contrast of the content in response to real-time environmental elements, Dolby Vision IQ guarantees an optimal visual experience in any lighting setting. This intelligent functionality elevates your viewing experience by delivering improved details and precise color representation, bringing a heightened level of accuracy and realism.

Do You Need a New TV for HDR?

The short answer is yes if yout TV has more than 7 years, you will need a new TV to experience HDR content. Traditional TVs are not capable of displaying the wider color gamut and increased brightness levels required for HDR. However, if you’re in the market for a new TV, it’s worth considering an HDR TV to future-proof your purchase.

HDR Content

Now that you know how this technology works, you may be wondering where you can find HDR content. The good news is that many streaming services now have HDR content available. Additionally, most new movies and TV shows are coming out in HDR. Some popular streaming services that offer HDR content include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.

HDR and Gaming

How it looks HDR in video games
How it looks HDR in video games

This technology is not just limited to movies and TV shows; it’s also making its way into the gaming world. The new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 both support HDR, and many new games are being released in this format. This means that you can experience more vibrant and lifelike graphics while gaming.

How to Enable HDR on Your TV

If you have a compatible TV, you may be wondering how to enable HDR on it. However, there is no need to manually enable anything as the TV itself will automatically detect the content and adjust the picture settings accordingly.

Tips for Choosing an HDR TV

If you’re in the market for a new TV, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Look for a TV with a peak brightness of at least 1000 nits.
  • Check if the TV has HDR10+ or Dolby Vision capability.
  • Consider the size and resolution of the TV to ensure the best viewing experience.


In conclusion, HDR is a technology that allows TVs to display a wider range of colors and brightness, resulting in more vibrant and lifelike images. While you will need a new TV to experience this new content, it’s worth considering an HDR TV to future-proof your purchase. With more and more streaming services offering supported content and the rise of gaming, it’s clear that HDR is here to stay.

To enhance your viewing experience, we present our suggestions for fully enjoying HDR in all its glory.

HDR TVs recommendation

SAMSUNG 75-Inch Class Neo QLED 4K QN85C

HDR, Dolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound,
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TCL 75-Inch QM8 QLED 4K Smart Mini LED TV

Google TV, Dolby Vision & Atmos, Game Accelerator up to 240Hz
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