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How Does HDR Compare to 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD)?

Nov 02, 2018

Televisions have come a long way since the days of black-and-white screens. In fact, the entire audiovisual world has made its greatest advances in the last few years alone. The proliferation of audiovisual technology has been so swift that it can be difficult for the average consumer to tell the difference between what’s legitimately groundbreaking vs. what is just hype and good marketing. Today, we’re going to break down two buzzwords you likely have been hearing a lot over the last few years: High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 4K. We’re going to take a look at what each of these things are and how they work together to deliver a state-of-the-art media experience right from the comfort of your couch.

The term “4K” refers to the number of pixels that your screen is capable of displaying. A 4K television has four times the number of pixels that a standard television has. That means that images on 4K screens are four times sharper and four times more realistic. It’s a difference that your eyes can actually sense. However, a 4K-capable screen alone isn’t enough to deliver the optimal home-media experience. For that, you need to have both HDR and 4K working in tandem. 

We often are asked: How does HDR compare to 4K? While we wish we could give you a cut-and-dried answer, the reality is a bit more complicated. The truth is, if you had to choose one, you’d most likely notice the biggest difference with HDR. Luckily, almost all 4K televisions these days also include HDR. That’s important because to get the best experience, you want to have HDR and 4K working in harmony together to create the most awesome viewing experience. 

The easiest way to explain the relationship between HDR and 4K is this: 4K is the number of the pixels on your screen, while HDR is the quality of those pixels. A higher number of pixels allows for a sharper image, while HDR brings with it a billion color shades. When these two pieces of technology combine, you end up with the most realistic image available on digital screens.

Now if you have to choose one, an HDR screen will look better than a 4K screen. That’s because the number of pixels that the human eye can see is dependent upon the distance one is from the screen. Without HDR, a person has to be sitting within two or three feet of their television to get the full 4K effect. 

Thankfully, the UHD Alliance has made it easy to create the most premium audiovisual experience possible today in the comfort of your own home! All you have to do is look for for either the Mobile HDR Premium™ or the Ultra HD Premium™ logo when making your purchases. If a product displays one of these logos, then you know that it meets UHD Alliance’s stringent standards for a ‘premium’ audiovisual experience brought to you through ‘best in breed’ features like HDR and 4K, to name just a few. 

Technology is continuing to change at a rapid pace. Nowhere is this more evident than in the audiovisual world. Many people don’t have the time to research every new product themselves. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye out for those Ultra HD Premium logos! Trust us, once you’ve experienced your 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray™ movies, games and streaming content on your Ultra HD Premium™-certified screen, you’ll be astonished by the visually crisp, immersive quality of the UHD Premium experience.