High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging is the production, transfer and display of content containing a much wider range of color and contrast than historically available. Its purpose is to enhance the viewing experience by delivering imagery that better compliments the impressive capabilities of the human visual system. The shift to 4K was about more pixels. The move to HDR is about better pixels.

Simply put, HDR packs more color and luminance data into the video file or feed. This
extra information is readily accepted by our visual systems to create the perception of true-to-life imagery. Reds, greens and blues become richer. Dark shadows preserve their details, rather than becoming empty voids. Bright areas maintain their color and clarity, rather than becoming washed out. Color possibilities explode as far more gradations become possible. An expanded color gamut makes it possible to reproduce common colors that have in the past been lost; colors such as Firetruck Red, Eggplant Purple and Street Sign Green, to name a few.

Display manufacturers, whether television or direct-view LED, must have in place several intertwined features to effectively reproduce high dynamic range content, including the following:

  • Wide contrast range (bright and black) to provide room for extra color gradients
  • LEDs and processing infrastructure to surpass the DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Module level 16-bit color rendering to protect color/detail in shadows and highlights
  • SMPTE 2084 Perceptual Quantizer to maximize high-dynamic range content quality
  • In-house technology development to respond quickly as formats are released or modified

As it turns out, some direct-view LED products are especially well-positioned to take advantage of this emerging advancement. 

Check out our white paper for more information on what HDR is and how the LED display industry can implement this new color space.

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