HDR Vs 4K UHD: Which should I choose?

HDR vs 4k uhd
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It is currently trending – High Dynamic Range Imaging and 4k Ultra High Definition in the context of display resolution for practical pictorial videography for digital television and cinematography. “HDR Vs 4K UHD” is one of the significant subjects of comparison. 

To begin with, 4k Ultra HD is quite a prominent digital resolution used in the movie projection industry. On the other hand, HDR or high dynamic range is widely applied for photography. For instance, you somewhere have learned that today’s high-end phone brands such as iPhone and Android, contain HDR imaging features. Meaning, it is the best of the best photography resolutions that you can pick. 

So, will HDR ever make it to the cinematography or vice-versa? Or, HDR Vs 4K UHD is an unwanted discussion because HDR is best for photography, and 4k UHD is best for digital television. Let’s find out! 

What is 4K UHD? 

4K Ultra HD is an excellent resolution for fitting pictures at more substantial screens. For instance, the regular resolution limit is 1080p. It is the highest resolution on YouTube for official videos. Since YouTube runs on smartphones and laptops, 1080p limited resolution delivers the best viewing experience as no pixel scatter on such a small screen. 

However, 4k Ultra HD resolution fits over 50 inches viewing screen, such as 55 inches 4K Ultra HD digital television. What does 4k UHD do? To begin with, 4k refers to 4, 000 pixels ultra HD resolution. Hence, 4k Ultra HD adds more and more pixels to prevent the video from scattering because of the bigger screen. 

4k Vs UHD: are these different?

Well! If we view from a consumer’s perspective, there is no difference between 4k and UHD. However, viewing from the perspective of cinematographers, you will find out that 4k resolution is only when the picture holds a 4096 x 2160-pixel resolution pixel capacity. Otherwise, the resolution is only called Ultra HD. 

More often than not, 4K ultra HD and calling it merely 4k means the same. This also confuses various consumers in the context of 4k and 1080p, which is only 2k standard resolution capacity. 

What is HDR?

As mentioned before, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range Imaging. Earlier in the times, there was SDR, which was considered best. To begin with, 4k Digital televisions mostly contain the HDR feature. On the one hand, where 4k improves the quality of the picture, HDR improves the overall look, from tone mapping to contrasting and coloring. 

In simple words, an HDR outlines all the details between dark and bright colors in the same contrasted picture. In the modern age, HDR has entirely replaced SDR. For instance, the Dynamic range used in Blue-Ray disks, and live broadcasting on television were SDRs. 

Although, it is worth it because in today’s world, no consumer purchases a digital television as small as 28 inches. Everyone goes up to 48 inches to over 55 inches of digital TV with both 4k and HDR features. 

4K UHD helped cinema to Evolve, what part did HDR play?

HDR Vs 4k UHD: By definition, 4k Ultra HD or shortly called 4K resolution is a horizontal display resolution. It deepens up to 4, 000 pixels, and therefore, it is a perfect choice for digital television and cinematography. However, HDR or high dynamic range imaging is a brand-new technique, and without a doubt, numerous filmmakers are applying it for creating high-resolution videos. 

Here’s a fun fact! Do you know? Since 2010, Youtube has preferred to receive 4k UHD resolution videos for world-class satisfaction. However, the use of HDR in the reproduction of films is very recent. Not only this, but a countable percentage of people in the cinematography industry take HDR for another term for 4K UHD. Even though HDR imaging’s use in photography goes all the way back to the Mid 19th century. 

In conclusion, yes, 4K Ultra HD has definitely improved the cinema industry, for example, moving from black and white to digital television with 3D-supportive capabilities. But, HDR has mostly contributed to photography by emulating the sight of human vision. 

Hence, HDR is new for the film industry. Without a doubt, its evolution will lead to extra-high resolution videos for the audience to experience the characters’ countenance. 

So, moving now! Now, it is time to compare HDR and 4k UHD finally. 

Digital TV HdR vs 4k Uhd resolution

To begin with, 4K Ultra HD resolution technology depicts the dimension of pixels that fit a flat digital television. On the other hand, HDR is all about giving clarity to an image by adjusting its tone, color, and contrast. 

Today, high-end TV Brands in the United States such as Hisense, Insignia, LG, and Sony launched in the market both HDR and 4k UHD based technology complimented digital TVs.Thus, the main question arises:

Which one to choose? HDR or 4k?

Here are the following facts that will help you to pick between an HDR digital Tv and a 4k resolution UHD Tv:

  • All 4k digital TVs are HDR or SDR (Standard Dynamic Range). However, not all HDR TVs contain 4k resolution features.
  • 4K UHD based resolution for Digital TV is 3840 x 2160 pixels. On the other hand, its original cinematography resolution is 4096 x 2160 pixels.
  • 4K UHD is the second-highest resolution you can get while purchasing a consumer digital television. Furthermore, there are 8k Ultra HD digital televisions in the market. 
  • Yet, the impact of 4k UHD is light and sometimes, unnoticeable over time. On the other hand, HDR simply enhances color reproduction at a higher level and further contrasts it for impeccable human vision definitive experience.

HDR Vs 4K Facts

  • 4k only adds quality to the picture. But, HdR prevents the video from canceling out dark colors and widely exposing bright colors. For example, white, or the color of the sky.
  • 4K is a useless factor for less than 55 inches of digital TVs. Although, all HDR TVs irrespective of their sizes allow the consumer to experience a video of as high quality as human vision.
  • HDR brings out the best of 4k resolution pictures for home viewing experience. the 4k feature does not impact HDR in any way. You can also find HDR features in 2k resolution standard digital TVs.
  • Above all, HDR prevents the video from blooming into each other. 4K resolution has no control over the blooming factor. All it does is, change the pixel ratio from standard to 4k. 
  • HDR impact is noticeable in non-balanced colored pictures and videos. On the other hand, 4k resolution’s impact is only possible if the original video or picture has enough pixel ratio. 

Apart from the given difference between 4k and HDR, there are other forms of resolution-based technology that lead to long discussions on the internet. Let’s find out what those are!

HDR Vs Full HD

Due to the similarities of initial “HD” in HDR and Full HD, they are considered interchangeable or substitutes. However, they are not. HDR once again has nothing to do with the resolution of the picture/video. Full HD refers to 1920 x 1080 Pixels valued resolution. Usually, it is called 1080p. It is the highest pixel standards on streaming platforms such as Youtube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. 

HDR Vs 4K Netflix

Yes! Netflix supports both HDR and 4k content features if you are streaming it on Television with compatibility in the context of the given features. Although, a high percentage of users only stream Netflix content on Smartphones and Laptops, therefore, the difference between 4K and 2k can be brushed aside. 

How to see if HDR is working on Netflix?

If you are streaming Netflix content on Digital television for the first time, you can tell if Netflix HDR is not working. So, what to do? Here is a small guide to activate HDR on Netflix: 

  1. First, Go to Settings Option.
  2. Click on the Pictures option.
  3. Further, go to Expert Settings
  4. Now, click on “HDR Mode”
  5. Activate its status from off to ON.

You are good to go!

Similarly, you can also stream Netflix content in 4k, but, the following conditions apply:
  1. You must have 60 Hz Digital TV.
  2. Your Netflix plan must support Ultra HD streaming features. 
  3. High-Speed Internet connection.
  4. Also, change the streaming quality from Auto to High. 

Apart from this, it is also noteworthy to mention that the Netflix streaming feature is only available in Digital televisions by limited brands. Hence, check your TV’s compatibility before your purchase Ultra HD supportive Netflix plan. 


In conclusion, HDR vs 4k UHD is a complex subject to pick out the difference. More often than not, today’s cameras as well as digital TVs including both features. You can also leave feature-related queries in the comment section. 

Also read: Top Graphic Designing Software with HDR and 4K designing features