HDR and the industry that cried “wolf”
HDR, or High-Dynamic Range, was unquestionably the biggest buzz at the 2016 CES for anyone interested in things video. But before you dismiss it and file it with the other gotta-have-it raves from the post-show press, let's review a couple of past "wolf" calls from our industry.
TV Fable #1: "You just have to buy a 3D TV. It will be amazing." And yes, it went down so hard and so fast it was truly amazing.
TV Fable #2: "4K will be amazing. You will see four, no make that eight times the resolution." Yes, you will see something remotely like that if you sit where nobody does, at 1.5 times the picture height back from the TV, AND if you have UHD content downloaded at about 100Mbps… Whoops, looks like we will stream to you at about 15Mbps and try to talk you into liking it, even though your lying eyes say that old 2K Blu-ray is absolutely better. Down in flames, again.
TV Fable #3: "Stop what you are doing and run out and buy a curved TV. It's amazingly cinematic." Indeed, it is as good as a flat screen if you snag the one center seat, tell the spouse to go read a book and forbid any others into the room. Obviously some people like these, and now we are seeing both flat and curved choices, so the marketplace will have the final say.
So now comes the next big thing: HDR.
Folks, we double-down, pinky-finger swear and testify on a stack of 4K HDR Blu-rays that THIS TIME it's the real deal!
Implemented properly, HDR holds the potential to be the most meaningful improvement to our collective enjoyment of images on screen from disc, broadcast and even commercial theater since color TV was introduced in 1956.