FAQ Regarding 4K & HDR

thewoe

JG's Collectibles
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Dec 10, 2012
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Hey guys, i noticed on alot of fourms people getting confused and lost regarding 4K, HDR etc so i thought id create a quick and simple FAQ in the simplest terms to help people out as all the terms that get thrown around can be a tad confusing.

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What does HDR Stand for?: High Dynamic Range

What is HDR?: An image's dynamic range is the contrast between its brightest whites and darkest blacks, and HDR images boast a much greater and more life like constrast and detail than regular images.

Example of HDR:
image.jpeg


Check out this video from Techmoan for deeper info on 4K and HDR:


Do i need new HDMI leads to view 4K and HDR? No, as long as your current cables are high speed cables you do not need to run out and buy new £100 leads. There is also no difference between a £5 lead and a £100 lead, they both do exactly the same job as long as they state high speed which 99% of them do nowadays, don't be fooled by people telling you otherwise.

How can i watch HDR 4K Content?: In order to watch 4K HDR content (i.e UHD Bluray) you must have a TV which is HDR enabled with HDMI 2.0a, most if not all 2016 tv's will come with HDR natively with some various 2015 models having it patched in via a software update. For Non HDR 4K Bluray content you will need HDMI 2.0 at least which most if not all 2015+ Tv's came with as standard.

Can i watch 4K bluray on a non HDR tv?: Yes you can, Your UHD player will detect that your TV is not HDR compatible and will down convert the HDR Meta data to a SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) signal instead of a HDR (High Dynamic Range) signal, you will still have all the benefits of 4K UHD Bluray just minus the added definition of HDR.

Can i watch UHD Bluray on my current 4K Upscaler bluray player?: No you cant, i see alot of people on amazon giving UHD blurays 1 stars because it wont play on their 4K upscale bluray player, those players were designed just to bridge the gap between 1080p and 4K as there was no content available in 4K in 2013, 2014, The only thing those type's of players do is upscale your current Bluray discs to 4K nothing else, Most 4K tv's from 2014 onwards do this already. The UHD bluray players that are available right now are the Samsung UBD-K8500 and the Panasonic DMP-UB900EBK, Xbox One S and other brands are planning to release their players in 2017.

Can i/Will i be able to watch UHD Bluray using my PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One Launch model?: Same as above No you cant unfortunately and will not be able to with the current hardware as these require the actual UHD optical drive and will not be able to be patched in later (even though some people say its possible, its not), But the new revised Xbox One S does have UHD HDR Bluray support and soon will support Dolby Atmos audio also.

Will 3D be available in 4K?: Although possible, 4K 3D is not apart of the offical UHD Bluray standard so at this point in time nothing will be released in 4K 3D, the closest you will get is your 3D 1080p Blurays upscaled to 4K automatically when viewing on your tv.

Will my new UHD Bluray player be able to play normal Bluray, 3D and DVD discs?: This is completley dependant on the manufacturer, the Panasonic DMP-UB900EBK does play Them as does the Samsung UBD-K8500 and i should imagine most future players will too, the good thing is before purchasing it will state if it does or not on most sites.

Is UHD Bluray the only way i can watch 4K and 4K HDR Content?: Amazon Prime currently support some shows in HDR and 4K, Netflix support 4K also for some shows with HDR & possibly Dolby Vision to possibly follow later.

What requirements does my TV and sound system need to play UHD 4K HDR Bluray?: Your TV and your sound system needs to be HDCP 2.2 compliant, if its not you will not be able to play UHD bluray in 4K resolution it will only be downscaled to standard 1080p. If your sound system/Sound bar is purely run through optical and not HDMI ARC you will be fine. In order to play HDR UHD bluray you will need HDMI 2.0a with any HDMI High speed cable.

What is HDCP 2.2 and what does it do?: HDCP 2.2 is a technology designed to prevent illegal copying of 4K Ultra HD content. Every link in your video chain must support HDCP 2.2 — your TV, video source, and any component the video signal passes through. If one does not, you won't see a 4K picture. HDMI 2.0 is also required for TVs and components to be able to pass 4K video. But you can't assume that every device that has HDMI 2.0 will also support HDCP 2.2.

What is Dolby Vision?: (Taken from a CES Document from Dolby)
Dolby Vision mastered content and technology in the TV enables each pixel to take advantage of HDR and wide colour gamut content, making every pixel better. It adds new perspective, brighter highights, wider contrast and shading and overall vibrancy to the screen.
It will compliment all resolutions, including HD, 4K, 8K and beyond.
Display mapping technologies in the TV take advantage of the TV's hardware capabilities so consumers get the best possible image.
Again, you'll need a Dolby Vision-compatible display to take advantage of this new tech. So far Philips, Hisense, Toshiba and TCL have said they will produce Dolby Vision TVs, with streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and VUDU hoping to distribute Dolby Vision movies and TV shows once they are available. More on Dolby Vision later.

I Hope this thread helps anyone who is confused, if you have any other questions let me know and ill answer them if i can and ill add them to this post to help out others.
 
Last edited:
Nov 11, 2013
532
Taipei, Taiwan
and only a few movies were produced for HDR...
With that said, be aware that not every movie is HDR. A movie has to be specifically graded for the extended dynamic range in post-production. So far, only a handful of movies have undergone that treatment. The very first HDR movie was Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’, which was released theatrically on May 22nd of last year. Other notable HDR titles include ‘Inside Out’, ‘Pixels’, ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, ‘The Martian’ and ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.
 

AlienKing

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finally, an article that tells the truth about 4K...
http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog/ultra-hd-not-always-4k/
That article does have some very valid points. The majority of the films that are released now are actually 2K DI's upscaled to 4K. The resolution seems to be the least important part of UHD though. It's the wide colour gamut and HDR that will make the biggest difference.
I read that article a while back. It looks like only Sony is wants to (capable of?) truly committing to 4K. This is just another reason for me to skip 4K and wait until 8K discs arrive.
But the question is, how big of a difference between 2k vs 4k? Most consumers can't tell the difference. And the majority of us who can tell the difference don't really care about it due to budget and hardware constraints.
 
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Sigill

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I read that article a while back. It looks like only Sony is wants to (capable of?) truly committing to 4K. This is just another reason for me to skip 4K and wait until 8K discs arrive.
But the question is, how big of a difference between 2k vs 4k? Most consumers can't tell the difference. And the majority of us who can tell the difference don't really care about it due to budget and hardware constraints.
I think the differences are there but you will need to have a HDR tv to see them. The resolution alone won't make a big difference unless you have a large screen. The strange thing is a lot of the native 4K releases haven't looked as good as some of the 2k releases. This shows that the colours and HDR are making the big difference. I'm not sure there will ever be a 8k format, you would need a huge screen size to get any benefit.
 

AlienKing

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I think the differences are there but you will need to have a HDR tv to see them. The resolution alone won't make a big difference unless you have a large screen. The strange thing is a lot of the native 4K releases haven't looked as good as some of the 2k releases. This shows that the colours and HDR are making the big difference. I'm not sure there will ever be a 8k format, you would need a huge screen size to get any benefit.
Definitely; there is no point in just getting 4K if you're not getting HDR. It's just as important as resolution, if not more.
And may be 8K wont happen. But there will be something after 4K. May be 5D discs. If they commercialize 5D, all these steelbook/slipbox packaging companies might run out of business. Or may be they'll sell those discs in a G2 format packaging? haha
 

Sigill

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Definitely; there is no point in just getting 4K if you're not getting HDR. It's just as important as resolution, if not more.
And may be 8K wont happen. But there will be something after 4K. May be 5D discs. If they commercialize 5D, all these steelbook/slipbox packaging companies might run out of business. Or may be they'll sell those discs in a G2 format packaging? haha
I think it will depend how 4K does as to whether there will be another format. With streaming getting stronger I think this could be the last major format but I could be wrong! 8k may come out after all. I'm not sure how they would change the packaging. Maybe they would stick to the G2 size as they have done for UHD!
 
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AlienKing

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I think it will depend how 4K does as to whether there will be another format. With streaming getting stronger I think this could be the last major format but I could be wrong! 8k may come out after all. I'm not sure how they would change the packaging. Maybe they would stick to the G2 size as they have done for UHD!
True, streaming plays a big part in this. I just hope physical media doesn't become a niche market. For 2 reasons. Prices will hike and it will eventually fade.
 
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Sigill

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True, streaming plays a big part in this. I just hope physical media doesn't become a niche market. For 2 reasons. Prices will hike and it will eventually fade.
I'm hoping the same, I think there will always be collectors who prefer packaged media though. Hopefully physical media remains around for a long time yet!:)
 

thewoe

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Added a couple more questions and answers.

That article was a very good interesting read :) HDR is such a new tech in tv it will be interesting to see where it goes.

I dont think physical media will go anywhere, streamed movies on netflix and amazon still suffer from certain compression in order to be streamable for people with slow internet speeds and to save on bandwidth but a lot of movie fans will always prefer the more uncompressed bluray/uhd release to netflix and amazon.
I only use netflix for tv shows and movies that i dont own but movies i love i buy on bluray for the best possible picture.
 
Last edited:
Oct 13, 2010
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I think the differences are there but you will need to have a HDR tv to see them. The resolution alone won't make a big difference unless you have a large screen. The strange thing is a lot of the native 4K releases haven't looked as good as some of the 2k releases. This shows that the colours and HDR are making the big difference. I'm not sure there will ever be a 8k format, you would need a huge screen size to get any benefit.
That is like saying "I don't think there will ever be an iphone 10.
 

Sigill

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That is like saying "I don't think there will ever be an iphone 10.
I'm sure there will be an IPhone 10 and there will be lots of people who buy it. I can't see there being an 8k disc format if people need to watch on 80"+ screens to get the benefit. People are slow up upgrade to Blu-ray let alone 4K. If it does ever come out it's bound to have a niche market IMO.
 
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