What is HDR?

I’m sure you’ve all heard of HDR before, at least you’ve seen it on your devices like your mobile phone and/or TV monitor.  And yet, not sure what HDR is and what does it actually mean?

HDR is the abbreviation for High-Dynamic Range and its existent counterpart is SDR which stands for Standard-Dynamic Range.  SDR is also the commonly-used standard in the current film and television content production market.

High-Dynamic Range mainly refers to better luminance, color and contrast of the image closer to what the human eye sees in real life.  What monitors can show us is still very limited and not to mention the impact caused by the surroundings.  Under this circumstance, manufactures have to decide what element they should keep or discard during the production of imaging. The most notable difference you can see from HDR is the luminance.

The human eye can see from 0.0001 to 20,000 nits (a unit of brightness), compare to the traditional CRT TV that is only 100 nits (SDR standard), which was something we still had room to improve for.  When the television developed to a certain level, it is when developers started to look for improvements which lead to the birth of HDR.  A significant improvement of 1000 nits, 10 times more than the traditional standard. Although this is still far from 20,000 nits (the brightest human can see), but yet it is a revolutionary move in the TV industry.

Apart from luminance, we can resemble SDR and HDR color like two boxes of color pencils.  SDR color pencils only have 16.67 million different colors whereas HDR color pencils have as high as 1.7 billion colors.  So, the difference between HDR and SDR is not just noticeable, but significantly distinct.  When we look at the two different types of imaging, we can immediately tell the difference.  HDR shows more colors, more details and more luminance. The dark part won’t be pitch black and the white part won’t be plain white, but instead, detail colors and profile becomes closer to the human eye.

Sometimes when we talk about color depth, we hear things like 8 bits or 10 bits rather than 16.67 million or 1.7 billion like what was mentioned above?  Now, let us explain the concept more thoroughly to you, we all know that the primary three colors for light is Red, Blue and Green, which we often recognized and abbreviated as RGB.  All colors and be generated with the mix of Red, Blue, and Green.  The 8 bits of the SDR correspond to the red, blue and green colors, each having 0 to 255 (for the traditional RGB), a total of 256 numbers (28) (the value, that is, all the colors that can be mixed are 256 x 256 x 256 equal to about 16.67 million kinds!  As for the HDR 10 bits corresponding to the 1.07 billion is 210x 210x 210!  Don't worry if you can't understand this, just remember that the color that HDR can display is much richer than SDR!

Now that we have talked a lot about HDR, hope you are now more excited about this feature and you can’t wait to give it a try!  Please do note that, to enable HDR feature, you need to ensure that all your devices and accessories are HDR compatible. That said, if whichever device or adapter isn’t HDR compatible, you will not be able to enjoy HDR on your monitor, it will only be SDR.  Our Pengo USB-C to HDMI HDR is made just for you, made for this purpose.  What if you don’t have a HDR monitor yet?  Well, since HDR is only going to be more common in the market, it is better to have the accessory ready for HDR.  Get one of our USB-C to HDMI HDR adapter, so you can enjoy high-definition imaging at home!  You are saving your money for future technology!