The acronym HDR does stand for a lot of different things but we want to talk about High Dynamic Range here, as this topic receives a lot of attention these days – and in a lot of different fields of technology, that is. For example a lot of people ask us if our HDMI cables are capable of transmitting HDR. The short answer to that is: Yes. For all of you who would like to have a little more elaborate answer we have taken a closer look at the topic:
1. What exactly is HDR?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Put simply, HDR means images based on this technology are much closer to the natural range of the human eye concerning contrast, luminance and colour then SDR images (SDR = Standard Dynamic Range). Many of you might already know HDR in connection with photos: Most recent smartphone photo-apps do come with an HDR mode. If this mode is used, the app composes an HDR photo out of several SDR photos taken from the same scene. The result is an image that looks much more like the real scene did. It can however look quite surreal in some cases as well or suffer from colour shifts. Despite the impressive results, this is not true HDR in most cases, as neither the camera nor the display is capable of processing HDR. The images nonetheless give a good idea of the potential of HDR by reducing glares and showing much more details.
To enjoy full range HDR and its natural way of image reproduction it is necessary to have the right source material and the matching playback devices. If we are talking about moving images – be it TV or computer – that means: HDR media (video-data or games), an HDR player (graphics card or player) and an HDR screen (display or TV). Did we forget something? Oh, yeah J: The cable has to be capable of HDR as well, otherwise all the beautiful image data would be lost during the transfer.
2. When will HDR be standard?
This is hard to tell at the moment but we see lots of producers push into the market with various HDR devices. Recent high-class graphics cards for example usually already can process HDR. At the moment the HDR renderings will be converted back into SDR as the displays are not able to show HDR. The first HDR PC displays and TVs, mostly based on 4K OLED, are available now or will be available shortly. The main bottleneck at the moment is the availability of HDR Blu-rays. But that’s absolutely normal if you are looking at the introduction of a new video standard. Just remember how long it did take until Full HD was a widely spread standard. That’s why we are convinced that HDR will become a standard within the next months and years, due to its outstanding image quality. By the way: In one area of technology it already is. Oehlbach HDMI cables are capable of processing HDR already today.
3. So, are really all of your HDMI cables capable of processing HDR?
All right, here’s the long answer: Almost. All of our HDMI cables without integrated chip are capable of HDR processing. At this point in time that means all cables except those from the Slim Vision series. So if you want to be prepared for the brave new world of HDR, you can just get an Oehlbach HDMI cable – for example from the Jubilee, XXL or Matrix Evolution series.