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Is HDR Worth It? | Should You Invest in High Dynamic Range Displays for More Realistic Images?

If you are after the best image quality your monitor or screen can produce, then HDR is worth it.  Most high-end monitors support this technology. It improves the experience of a monitor; gives the optimal gaming and viewing experience.

Key Takeaways

  • There are six different HDR formats supported by different manufacturers. These formats are: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision and Technicolor.
  • Most high-end gaming monitors support HDR
  • HDR improves contrast ratio, produces better images, and brings more color
  • You can get HDR content from streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and other major cable companies. 
  • HDR looks way better than 4K

Is HDR display worth it?  I am sure you have seen this query on social media. I am an expert in this field hence expect to learn more about this technology.

What is HDR?  

Let us have a basic understanding of what HDR is before discussing its benefits. You may have seen this term when shopping for a new gaming monitor

HDR stands for high-dynamic range. This is a color accuracy technology that enables TVs and monitors to produce greater luminance and color depth.  This technology improves the contrast ratio.

Most high-end gaming monitors support it, even mid-range ones.  With this technology, an HDR monitor shows more details in light and dark scenes.  Televisions and displays that support HDR offer brighter highlights.

How is HDR Measured?

HDR refers to the difference between brightest and darkest parts of an image. The greater the difference between these two poles, the greater the contrast. Another is brightness (or luminance), which refers to how bright a TV can go and is measured in 'nits'.

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It is a must-have screen/monitor feature that you would want.  Take advantage of this powerful display technology of HDR to enjoy your gameplays and movies.

Almost all monitor brands such as Intel, Acer, AOC, and ASUS monitors support HDR or produce HDR monitors.  They are delivering a true HDR experience.

Is HDR Display Worth It?

HDR monitors with HDR displays are worth investing in. They produce more realistic images. As a user, you can vividly see colors, and your viewing experience is greatly enhanced. We looked for the best HDR monitor, while also adding a Samsung monitors review and Sceptre monitors review to the mix.

If you are a pro at photographing, a competitive gamer, a graphic designer, or a casual user who loves streaming videos online, you may find this feature very useful.  It eliminates exposure to light areas and erases dark areas. You can also look into our flat vs curved monitor review to see which one is the best fit for you.

Improves Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is the difference between the whitest whites and the darkest black that a display or a monitor can produce.   A good balance of this display settings produces better picture quality.

All content such as games, even videos, will look good. The more contrast a monitor has, the better. Recommended one is 1000:1 to 3,000:1.  HDR improves this setting.

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It makes images look better in real life. It will make blacks look really black and white really white.  When playing games, you want to see your enemy in the dim scenes. HDR will make that happen. In addition, look here whether to opt for a Nanocell or OLED monitor.

They will improve the performance of your monitor and will be able to see well in dim scenes scenes.

Produces Better Images

The key to having your images look vivid is to purchase an HDR TV, HDR display, or screen.  The high dynamic range makes images look natural and real despite having low resolution.

Bright parts of an image are made vivid and dim parts are made darker so the image will have more depth.

 If you were to see 2 TVs, or displays, one with a higher resolution and another with a better contrast ratio; you would pick the one with a good display system(CR) or is HDR compatible because it offers more colors and its picture quality is high.

This color innovation is of interest to video editors, professional gamers, photographers, YouTubers, and anybody that loves great picture quality.

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Brings More Colors

HDR monitor and HDR TV bring more colors to the table since they have a wide color gamut.  This results in richer and deeper colors that you wish you had right away at the beginning. You can see very well the green of many plants, deep violet of eggplants, and blue of the sky.

It noticeably improves content that looks washed out and colors get expanded to show more bright reds, blues, greens, yellows, violets, pinks, and everything in between.

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Are there Different HDR formats?

Users need to be aware of the different HDR formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG. All of them have unique features or specs. Most TVs are HDR compatible.

However, they are not capable of decoding all HDR formats.  However, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, 4k Blue-Ray discs support multiple formats.   It is worth noting that all the formats produce content that looks better.

In other words, a format like HDR10 or Dolby Vision shows more details in dim and bright areas as we already explained in our 'HDR10 vs. Dolby Vision' post. This is the opposite of non-HDR content which is also referred to as standard dynamic range.


HDR10 was created by Sony and Samsung to avoid using Dolby’s which comes with its own fees and other requirements.

HDR10 is supported by many TVs, monitors, and home theater receivers; streaming media Companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Blu-ray players, smartphones, and even Microsoft and Xbox One S and PlayStation 4.

This format also produces brighter images, taking advantage of color to create the best content.  

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Dolby Vision

This is also one of the widely supported dynamic range formats. It was created and marketed by Dolby LTD, a Company that creates visual, voice, and audio technologies for music, TV, and even gaming companies.

This one requires monitors, Televisions, and other media devices to be designed with a Dolby Vision hardware chip in order to be able to get or use its license.  It is one of the best HDR formats that produce games and videos that are true to life.

This has improved the PC gaming world. Gamers are now able to play games with more saturation, has the peak brightness level, color, HDR picture quality, and darker shadows.

You will be able to distinguish your enemy in dim scenes. No need to adjust brightness levels since HDR monitor or HDR TVs or display is able to adjust level and shows gloomy, and bright images very well.

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HDR Content

The TV and monitor industry never stands still. It has new technologies such as HDMI, Full HD, blu ray player, flat and curved monitors, a plasma display, Quantum dot display, cathode ray tube monitor, and many more.

The latest one is HDR.  Like I mentioned before, this one has improved the world of gaming, sports, movies, photography, video editing with its sumptuous colors bringing more realism.

HDR content has more brightness, colors, and lifelike images. In other words, it has improved the performance of devices with Windows and other operating systems making it pretty much worth investing in.

Does Using HDR Use More Power?

It is the so called 'HDR Effect'. This requires the use of more power from your TV due to the extra brightness involved. The NRDC's measurements suggest that watching a film in HDR eats up nearly 50 percent more power than watching the same film in a normal dynamic range.

Where to watch HDR Content

If you need HDR content, you can get it from streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and some big cable companies.  They have plenty of series, movies, and TV shows that have brighter images, vibrant color, with high resolution too.

If your TV, gaming monitor, or other display is capable of supporting some of the HDR formats that I have mentioned here, then you can take advantage of HDR contents from these streaming sites. All HDR series and movies have HDR10 data.

Amazon Prime

With true HDR, the brightness will always be at the best level.  Amazon Prime, which costs $13 a month, has many series and movies that are shot with HDR10. Keep in mind that it is mostly new content such as The Boys and Jack Ryan that is shot with dynamic range.

where to watch

Amazon Prime was the first Company that announced first its use of this new technology. Over time, other media companies such as Netflix have started to use it.  My experience so far with this new innovation is great and I enjoy my hdr gaming monitor and movie time. My hdr gaming monitor feels more life-like.


Netflix is also not left behind.  Some movies and series are shot with dynamic range innovation. If you have a HDR monitor, you will be able to get this type of content.

In fact, new series are now shot in 4K HDR such as Jessica Jones, Lost in Space, etc. There are others like Stranger things and Marriage story that display Dolby Logo meaning they were shot using Dolby vision format.

Is HDR better than 4K?

There is no doubt, that HDR looks way better. It has better brightness than SDR displays or 4k. Although both of them are designed to enhance your viewing and gaming experience, you may choose HDR monitor or HDR TV because their images are more superior.

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How to Choose the Best HDR Monitor: Make your Upgrade Worth it

Are you planning to buy an HDR monitor? You should pay attention to its specs; brightness and don’t forget to check its nits, response time, color quality, and resolution. Get or look for an HDR monitor or screen that has the perfect mix of all these features.

If you are looking for a gaming monitor, spend a little more and look for a TV or monitor that support HDR gaming. If it will be your first time playing your game in HDR, right away you will see that it has more colors, deeper shadows, and your images are much more realistic.

HDR is an innovation that improves your experience with your gaming monitor. A pro and a beginner will want to use it right away due to its high peak brightness when measured in nits and wide color gamut and that’s how you make High Dynamic imaging worth your investment.


1. Does HDR really make a difference?

Yes. By increasing the brightness of any on-screen image with monitors that support HDR. HDR monitor also increases the contrast. Contrast is the difference between a television's brightest whites and darkest blacks. HDR Televisions achieve a higher contrast ratio by increasing the maximum number of units available for a given image.

2. Is HDR better than 4K?

HDR has a higher contrast ratio—or a wider color and brightness range—than Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) and is, therefore, more visually striking than 4K. Having said that, 4K produces a more defined, sharper image. Both standards are becoming more prevalent in high-end digital televisions and both deliver exceptional picture quality.

3. Is HDR worth the upgrade?

Definitely worth it, and I concur with those who assert that HDR is more impressive than 4k. You mentioned movies, but if you play any video games, you'll reap the same benefits. Everything appears more realistic in HDR; the lighting, contrast, shadows, and pops of color all look incredible.

4. What’s the difference between 4K UHD and 4K HDR?

While both 4K (or UHD) and HDR are intended to enhance your viewing experience, the manner in which each technology accomplishes this is quite different. To recap, 4K refers to the number of pixels on your television or monitor, which improves image definition and texture. On the other hand, HDR refers to the image's color depth and picture quality.

5. Should I turn HDR on or off Windows 10?

It is recommended that you enable HDR in the Screen Settings only when you intend to watch HDR content. When Windows 10 monitor Properties are enabled for HDR, non-HDR content, such as the system background, desktop, and menus, will appear dull and flat. Only true HDR content will be displayed normally.

6. Do video games support HDR?

Yes, many video games support HDR. This provides a more realistic and immersive gaming experience, as it allows for a wider range of colors and brightness to be displayed.

7. What Does HDR Do?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It is a technique used to create images with a greater range of luminosity than what is possible with a standard digital photograph. This is done by taking multiple photos at different exposures and then combining them into a single image.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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