4K is all about "more pixels”, whereas HDR is about “better pixels”. The industry sees HDR TVs as the next growth driver after 4K TVs. By 2019, IHS believes that 32.6 million HDR TVs will be sold annually.
”Interest in HDR is exploding”
Today, there are only a few HDR-capable TVs available on the market. LG has enabled HDR on its 2015 OLED TVs and Samsung on its SUHD TVs. Sony and Panasonic also offer some high-end TVs with HDR support.
HDR (high dynamic range) can produce brighter whites, darker blacks, and more details at each end. However, it requires that the content was shot and distributed in HDR.
Still, HDR will become a mainstream thing and the TVs will become much cheaper, if you ask analysts at IHS. The analyst firm believes that unit sales for HDR TVs will grow from almost nothing in 2015 to 2.9 million in 2016 and 32.9 million in 2019. These numbers are based only on the TVs that meet UHD Alliance’s criteria.
- “Numerous consumer trials by broadcasters, content producers and research labs have demonstrated that HDR has a huge impact on viewers,” said Paul Gray, principal analyst for IHS. “Not only do images look more realistic, but coverage of sports and other outdoor events in HDR also ensures that none of the action is lost in shadow. It is also worth remembering that HDR images are recognizable and effective regardless of the screen size or viewing distance.”
IHS expects HDR to gain foothold in 2016 where the first UHD Blu-ray players will become available, and accelerate in 2017. Amazon is already streaming TV series in HDR and Netflix will begin in early 2016. Several industry players are also experimenting with using HDR for sports.
- “Interest in HDR has begun to explode, and this report [SMPTE’s] on the HDR ecosystem has been eagerly anticipated by engineers and technologists across the media industry,” said Thomas Bause Mason from SMPTE during a conference.