Monday, May 11, 2015

Dispelling the hype swirling around high dynamic range TV

The idea behind HDR video is similar: It increases the range of brightness in an image to boost the contrast between the lightest lights and the darkest darks. If you’re having difficulty grasping how that translates into a more realistic image on your screen, think of the subtle tonal gradations a fine artist creates in a charcoal drawing to build the illusion of volume, mass, and texture, and you should begin to get the picture. But HDR doesn’t just improve grayscale; its greater luminance range opens up a video’s color palette as well. “Basically, it’s blacker blacks, whiter whites, and higher brightness and contrast levels for colors across the spectrum,” says Glenn Hower, a research analyst at Parks Associates.

The result is richer, more lifelike video images. Rather than washing out to white, as it would in conventional video, a ray of sunlight reflecting off a lake in HDR will gleam, and a bright cloud will appear soft and cottony. Basically any image your current TV would render shadowed, dull, muddy, or bleached out will look nuanced, vibrant, and strikingly realistic in HDR.

From the article "Dispelling the hype swirling around high dynamic range TV" by Michael Ansaldo.

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