What is HDR? – The New Technology Explained

The Inter BEE 2015 technology exhibition that took place near Tokyo ended earlier this week, but during my visit two topics where very evident. HDR and 8K! While I intend to dedicate a separate news post to 8K, HDR is the more “relevant and upcoming technology” that might affect our professional lives soon.


But what is HDR? The new “high dynamic range” technology started to emerge in a more prominent way during last NAB show in Las Vegas (April) and now, half a year later, after looking at the Japanese domestic market, there is no doubt that it will find its way to our homes sooner rather then later.

To grasp the impact of the technology you simply have to look at a video which was shot and played back on an HDR monitor in order to appreciate the enhanced clarity and depth you are getting. It is almost like looking at a three dimensional picture without the need of 3D glasses, but in fact it is something else than 3D entirely. If I had to describe “what is HDR” in a sentence, I would say the new technology brings us a higher dynamic range viewing experience, richer colours, and more realistic images, than we’ve been used to. The displays are a lot brighter in the highlights, thus giving you a more realistic experience when it comes to light distribution across an image.

During Inter BEE I had a chance to talk to Ishii-san who took the time to highlight some of the benefits we should expect from embracing the new technology. According to Mr. Ishii, implementing HDR on video cameras is almost done, as sensor dynamic range constantly increases, but it’s the displays that are lagging behind. Leading companies like Dolby laboratories together with American and Japanese manufacturers are trying to standardize the technology and hopefully they will be done soon.

If you already had a chance to see some video demonstrations of HDR, please share your experience in the comments and let us know what you think about the emerging technology.

cinema5D at Inter BEE 2015
Tilta Came-TV

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