4K vs HDR vs Dolby Vision: What to choose for the best viewing experience

4K vs HDR vs Dolby Vision

It was not so long ago, when many people were going crazy in front of HDTVs, who promised to bring exceptional clarity to our TV experience. Many began scraping conventional CRT TVs and brought a full HD 1080p flat screen TV. But as the only constant in this world is change, the ancestry of Full HD television is coming to an end, but whose fault is it? This is the growing popularity of 4K TVs. With regard to the resolution of television, most of us are confused between such terms of trend as 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision. What is the difference between them? This article contains everything you need to know about 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision.

Ingredients of good quality of image

In terms of television material, the term "resolution" refers to the number of pixels that make up the image on the television. A single pixel, or discrete image element, contains tiny dots on the screen.

Today, many resolutions are found on flat screen TVs. The older TVs and many 32-inch models sold today have about a million pixels (720p). The newer and slightly larger TVs (usually 49 inches and under) have slightly more than 2 million pixels (1080p). Even the last big TVs (usually 50 inches and up) have 8 million (for 4K Ultra HD). You may need to look for a magnifying glass to distinguish them.

Resolution is the most used specification for selling TVs, but it's not the simplest ingredient to get great picture quality. High Dynamic Range (HDR) performance, overall contrast ratio, and color all play important roles in image quality.

What is the 4K resolution

The clarity of the image you view on your television screen, regardless of its size, depends largely on its resolution. Resolution numbers indicate how many pixels or tiny "color dots" make up your TV screen. The higher the number, the brighter the display will be. Our example is "4K", while Full HD TVs offer 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, while 4K offers four times the resolution of conventional HDTVs.

A 4K TV shows 3840 (which is about 4000) horizontally and 2160 vertical pixels in a 1.78: 1 aspect ratio (more commonly known as 16 × 9). The total number of pixels is 8,294,400 (approximately 8 megapixels). It's pretty clear, between HD and 4K, the latter should offer a more defined and detailed display.

HDR (high dynamic range) vs 4K

4K and HDR improve video quality, but not in the same way. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, which is different from the resolution. It is an enhanced image quality technology that can display more realistic colors, as well as higher levels of brightness and contrast, while playing HDR compatible content.

Watching video sources encoded in HDR on an HDR-compatible TV can offer a much wider range of contrast: the difference between the deepest and brightest whites is clearly visible. HDR also ensures that your TV's colors appear brighter and more accurate.

Compared to 4K, improvements to the HDR image can be dramatic and much more noticeable. But again, although all 4K TVs can recognize distinct HDR image data, many can not produce the full impact.

All TVs with HDR are not created equal

Good HDR performance requires two things from a TV screen:

  1. Ability to be very bright
  2. Ability to display deep blacks

This is called "maximum brightness" and is measured in "slow". Today, even when HDR technology is used on virtually all modern 4K TVs, inexpensive TVs lack local dimming in both of the above areas. However, mid-range and high-end LED LCD TVs and OLED models excel at demonstrating the benefits of HDR.

What is Dolby Vision?

When comparing 4K TVs, it is common to encounter four different HDR formats, including HDR10, HLG (Log-Gamma Hybrid), Technicolor® Advanced HDR and Dolby Vision ™. HDR10 and Dolby Vision are the most important formats.

HDR10 is the most common HDR format and is mandatory for Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs. Dolby Vision is available on broadcast content from Netflix and Amazon, and on some Ultra HD Blu-ray titles. The most important benefit of Dolby Vision over HDR10 is the addition of dynamic metadata to basic HDR image data. This means that HDR metadata can tell the TV to change the brightness range, scene by scene or even frame by frame. The most impressive part, the content is mastered with a 12-bit color and a maximum brightness of 4000 nits – It should be noted that no current TV can fully reproduce these ranges.

In simple terms, Dolby Vision is the fuel for jet engines that powers the world's most aesthetically pleasing content. This is the format that more and more studios are turning to and that connect their potential to produce colorful, dynamic and calculated images, scene by scene.

Dolby Vision vs HDR vs 4K – The Bottom Line

Dolby Vision is one of the most decisive advances in television. Indisputably, 4K provides us with these extra pixels, but it's the HDR that made them shine like never before. In the end, all this appears on your TV.

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