The Shift to HDR-Capable Displays in Sports

HDR-capable LED video boards have started a new trend in major league sports. HDR isn’t about more pixels, it’s about better pixels!

As technology continues to advance, one breakthrough in the LED video board world has been the shift to HDR (High-Dynamic Range) capable displays in sports settings. 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.

HDR isn’t about more pixels, it’s about better pixels.


There are many important features to consider, especially when looking to make the jump to HDR. HDR enhances the fan viewing experience by delivering more detailed imagery by packing more color and luminance data into the video files or feed. This creates richer colors, crisper detail and clearer visual quality overall.

The sports industry is excited about HDR because it makes more sense than 4K/8K at many of the video board viewing distances and resolutions, especially in-bowl video displays. HDR can benefit a display of any resolution, but there are also many requirements for HDR-capable systems.

LED Requirements for HDR:

  • LEDs: Not all LEDs are created equal. You need LEDs that are capable of reproducing the HDR color space.
  • MODULE: The darker the module, the better the contrast. If you don’t have good contrast you will lose half the benefit of HDR.
  • DISPLAY: The display needs to be designed for HDR, in that it needs sufficient components to accommodate the signal flow.
  • PROCESSING: Video processing requires LED color space conversion.

Daktronics currently is the only LED display provider in major league sports with HDR-operational systems.


In 2018, the Colorado Rockies blazed the HDR trail as they were the first major league team to install an HDR-capable display in with their mountain-shaped video board at Coors Field.

Daktronics has been a great partner in the design and advanced technology, and we’re excited to present it to Rockies fans.

– Greg Feasel, Rockies Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer

Regular Season Week 6

In 2019, the Kansas City Chiefs were the first in football to do so, and PNC Arena, home to the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL and North Carolina State University men’s basketball, was the first to install an HDR-capable centerhung display in an arena.


Looking ahead, the HDR trend continues on with the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers.

Cincinnati Reds Bid - WideShot Opt 2

For the 2020 MLB season, the Reds’ Great American Ball Park will be the first Major League Baseball venue to have all of its LED displays in HDR format. A total of 12 LED displays with 16,750 square feet of digital space throughout the ballpark will create the fully-integrated HDR system to provide better image quality to video and digital content for the Reds.

This is the first system where every display in the building, including the ribbon boards, will be HDR. So that gives them the ability to run everything under one color standard and have the incredible look that people are used to seeing. With the HDR format, Reds fans attending games can expect to see video presentations that are comparable to high-definition television displays they might have in their homes.

– Daryl Mihal, Daktronics Regional Sales Manager

5.3 Chuck Viewsm

The Rangers will open the new Globe Life Field in 2020 with over 18,600 square feet of LED. All but one display at the new ballpark will be HDR-capable to bring better image quality to the content shown.

Customers wishing to take advantage of HDR content today, or those wanting to future-proof their systems, can do so knowing Daktronics is prepared to support them. Go with the experts!

Want more information on HDR?

Check out the White Paper.

Listen to podcast episode 38 – The Difference between 4K and HDR.

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