Feb 7 2017
High Dynamic Range, whether in the form of HDR10, Dolby Vision or the HLG standard for the eventual arrival of broadcast 4K content with HDR, has become a nearly “must have” feature of UHD/4K TVs. Not only is the technology now found in all of the premium models, it has also become a standard feature of the majority of mid-range TVs and even many lower priced models.
HDR delivers an improvement over SDR for content that is mastered in one of the HDR formats.
However, regardless of what degree or type of HDR, one constant characteristic of the technology so far has been its inclusion in only 4K content and 4K TVs, not 1080p HD or lower resolution formats for either the content or display side.
This is all about to change thanks to Sony and others manufacturers of displays and those supplying the content for them.
Sony has announced that it will be providing HDR support to its newer HD TVs being sold in some markets. This will even include budget models like the Bravia RE4 to premium 1080p editions like the WE75 TV.
On the content side the content side of HDR, virtually all content being created has been in 4K UHD. The HDR update adds nothing extra to the costs of these Sony models and may encourage content producers to consider formatting high dynamic range into their non-4K video streams and broadcasts.
Netflix is already doing this and have confirmed that its 4K UHD HDR content streams will in fact display with their high dynamic range mastering on Full HD TVs which support the format.
The content will down-sample to Full HD resolution including the HDR mastering built into it for 4K TVs with HDR.
The fact that a content provider like Netflix is doing this makes the prospect of other content services with high dynamic range movies and programming doing the same much more likely. We may even see UHD or even Full HD Blu-ray discs coming out with HDR playback at 1080p resolutions.
Lastly there is Sony’s own PS4 consoles. These devices will output their games that support HDR in high dynamic range onto Sony’s HDR-ready Full HD TVs.