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Samsung and LG convert to HDR

Samsung and LG have announced that their new flagship TVs will support high dynamic range video playback

Samsung and LG have announced that their new flagship TVs will support high dynamic range video playback.

HDR-enabled displays can show millions more colours and several further shades of brightness than standard screens.

Sony, Panasonic, HiSense, TCL and Sharp have also announced forthcoming TVs matching the specifications.

“The combination of having the extra levels of contrast between white and black and the increased range of colours really does take TV to the next level,” said David Mercer, Strategy Analytics. “We’ve always said selling Ultra HD to the public had to be about more than just the number of pixels.

“Once you’ve seen the full capabilities of HDR you never want to go back.”

The announcements follow the UHD Alliance’s creation of a new scheme that defines the standards of which a 4K TV must meet before it can be sold under the ‘Ultra HD Premium’ category.

The Alliance have set two brightness ranges, and stated that a television must comply with one of them to qualify.

Another requirement set by the group is the for HDR TVs to include the ability to process ten-bit signals – as opposed the eight-bit used by standard televisions. Ten-bit images can represent 64 times more colours than eight-bit, which is intended to create smoother transitions between similar shades, avoiding banding effects in dark scenes.

HDR TVs are also required to be able to display at least 90 per cent of the colours in a defined range, which would far exceed what previous televisions were capable of showing.

The industry is aiming to avoid a repeat of the situation in which many of the original televisions sold as being 4K-capable ended up being unable to decode transmissions in the format even though they had enough pixels.

“Unsurprisingly HDR is as big a theme as 4K, if not bigger at CES this year,” said Paolo Pescatore (pictured) director of multiplay and media at CCS Insight. “All consumer electronic providers are now jumping on the HDR bandwagon in order to sell more TV’s.”

“As a result, there is no denying that HDR is very much needed given the initial poor 4K experiences and it is increasingly clear that the technology needs to be supported with other features to enhance the overall viewing experience.”