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Streaming TV industry more interested in HDR than 4K 07 June 2017


Streaming TV service providers are more enthusiastic about HDR (high dynamic range) than 4K. According to industry execs at the Streaming Media East conference in New York in May, HDR is more cost-effective, easier to deliver and is much prettier than 4K.

Whether video providers will decouple the two technologies or continue bundling them to justify higher prices will have to be seen. 4K refers to video resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. At this resolution, images are supposed to look sharper and more detailed in comparison with 1920×1080 resolution

HDR improves image quality dramatically thereby increasing contrast instead of crowding more pixels into the same space. Increased contrast leads to deeper blacks, brighter colors and more detail. It also allows less pricey LCD displays to compete with expensive OLED displays. Aside from looking better, HDR is more pragmatic to deliver than 4K wherein 4K requires investment in new cameras that can capture in higher resolution. 4K also requires more bandwidth than HDR to deliver. Essentially 4K increases delivery costs as well as puts a burden on users.

So 4K not only increases delivery costs for streaming providers, it also puts a bigger burden on users. Currently, vendors are marketing 4K and HDR as together as premium features. Only 1080p HDR televisions are unheard of. From the content perspective, movie studios lean towards bundling 4K and HDR, with Ultra HD Blu-ray. Read more

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