In recent years, HDR TVs overtook standard TVs within mid-sized or larger TVs as some of the best TVs on the market. This phenomenon links directly back to what an HDR TV is. The goal of HDR TVs rests on the idea that images on the TV should look like what we would see in the real world. However, you may find yourself asking, “How do I know if my TV is HDR?”

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • HDR stands for high-dynamic-range TV.
  • HDR TVs usually come in 4K TVs and are accompanied by wide color gamut technology.
  • HDR TVs require HDR-mastered content to show in HDR.

What Is an HDR TV?

High-dynamic-range (HDR) TVs typically come with 4K definition and wide color gamut (WCG) technology. To understand each of these terms, consumers will have to think about how the images on the screen are created.

4K TV for HDR

The pixels within a TV light up based on the image shown. The standard TV uses about 1080 pixels (p) across the screen. On the other hand, 4K TVs use roughly 4,000p, roughly doubling the pixel density. The increase in pixels helps images appear sharper.

WCG Technology in HDR

In terms of color, the average TV offers significantly less color variation than one with WCG technology. WCG technology allows a TV to display up to a billion different colors. In many cases, broadcast television does not accommodate WCG. However, many streaming services offer both WCG and HDR technologies.

HDR TVs

Combined with these two features, HDR technology allows for a sharper image with more details and a wide array of colors. HDR is all about picture detail, though not everyone will notice it when watching an HDR show from an average viewing distance. This exception comes from the fact that not everyone has the same eyesight. For most people, HDR allows for brighter whites and darker blacks and more natural illumination of images.

Does My TV Support HDR?

To determine if your TV supports HDR, you will have to check the manual for your TV, the box the TV came in, or the settings for your TV. The manual should describe how to enable HDR and how the technology works if your TV does support HDR. If you are like most people, you may have misplaced your TV manual, but there are still a couple of ways to check. First, the box of a TV featuring HDR usually states that it is supported.

Finding out if your TV supports HDR should not be as complex as how to tell if your TV fuse has blown. If you do not have the manual or the box for your TV, you may also find the model number on a sticker on the back of the TV or in the settings options on the TV. After locating the number, a quick web search should bring up additional information about the TV and a manual in some cases. However, while looking at the settings for the TV, you should be able to find information about the display in general and the input settings specifically. These two areas show the information you would need to find out if you have an HDR TV. Typically, if there is no information about HDR in these areas, the TV does not support HDR.

To watch HDR content on an HDR-enabled TV, you must be watching a movie or TV show that has been mastered to take advantage of HDR and WCG. These shows are typically found on streaming services rather than on regular broadcast TV. So even if you have a streaming app that supports HDR, you’re on an HDR-capable device, and you’re connected to an HDR-capable TV, you won’t get to see HDR content 100% of the time. It is also important to remember that not all HDR TVs will have the same quality since quality depends on various things. For example, the brightness of the TV affects the contrast on an HDR TV. If you have a wide TV then you can rest assured that you will enjoy HDR movies. You are probably wondering, ‘how wide is a 40-inch tv.’ Well, it’s good enough.

F.A.Q.

Do I need new HDMI cables for HDR?

No, people typically do not need a new HDMI cord for HDR. All they need is a device capable of HDR, a TV capable of displaying HDR, and content that can be viewed in HDR.


Are all 4K/UHD Blu-rays in HDR?

All 4K/UHD Blu-rays can be watched in HDR, but you will need a Blu-ray player that can support HDR, as well as a TV with HDR.


What does HDR mean?

HDR TV stands for high-dynamic-range TV, which refers to the contrast and clarity of the image on the TV.



STAT: Even if you have a streaming app that supports HDR, you’re on an HDR-capable device, and you’re connected to an HDR-capable TV, you won’t get to see HDR content 100% of the time. (source)

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Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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