What Is HDR and How Does It Relate to the PS4

When it comes to TV technology the last few years have been moving quick. First we had HD, then Full HD and finally 4k. Even though 4k  is still in its infancy and most of us have yet to experience it, the next piece of tech is already out. This is known as HDR. Before you get too excited about this, you will need to get a new TV in order to use HDR. Like all new technologies HDR is going to set you back a bit of money until prices come down. Since every PS4 is getting updated to support HDR it leads to one question for most of us, what is HDR and how does it relate to the PS4 pro?

In essence, HDR is the ability to make blacks blacker and whites whiter. Overall it will provide a much richer color experience and a much greater contrast range that will allow us to have a picture that more closely matches what our eye can see. IF you have ever taken a picture on your phone in the dark you will notice that it is very hard to see anything, yet your eye can see perfectly. If you increase exposure on the camera, you will be able to see things, but anything bright will then look like it is an explosion. HDR works by taking a single frame, turns it into multiple versions with different levels of exposure and then combines them back into one frame where everything is visible. Its a crude explanation, but the end result is that video in HDR will look as though it was filmed with a human eye.

If my dodgy explanation above has made sense to you then you will see how this is good news for gaming. HDR will make games look a more realistic without having to update the games engine. The TV itself will do the work to display a better and more realistic range of colors with better contrast. Don’t be mistaken, its not going to make ugly textures look good and fix framerates. It will simply make the picture quality look better.

Whats the catch with HDR?

At this point HDR seems too good to be true. In reality there really isn’t much of a catch other than the insane prices people are going to have to pay. The tech is new so most of us, myself included, have yet to see it in person. We are left with relying on the word of those who have seen it. The main thing to know about HDR is that it is only supported by 4K TVs. 4K TVs already cost a lot of money, so adding HDR on top of this is going to set you back close to 2 grand.

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