I’m looking at buying an HDR TV ready for when I buy an Xbox one X (previously Project Scorpio.) It soon dawned on me that there are a lot of things to consider that aren’t obvious when reading the average TV sellers website.
The ‘right’ HDR
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. In real terms it means that the black will be black the whites will be whiter, yellows will be yellower and so on and so forth. If you are looking to buy a 4K TV, this is something that you should be making sure it has.
It turns out that HDR comes in different standards. Although I haven’t managed to find a good guide online as to how the standards rank against each other, if you are buying an Xbox One S, Xbox one X, or PS4 pro, you should be looking to get ‘HDR 10’ as that is what the consoles put out anything less than that and you won’t be seeing the full benefit. Anything more and you will effectively be wasting your money for the time being.
I’m going to describe this using an anecdote. A friend of mine – a few years ago – brought a brand new 4K tv. It was a fairly high end and offered image processing to improve the picture quality for non-4K images. This is really great for upscaling, I don’t know, Barbara Windsor’s hair on Eastenders.
The problem is in the way that it works. The software that is used to improve the image takes time. It’s a fraction of a second in real terms and that will never pose an issue when watching something pre-filmed. It will, however, have a significant impact if you are playing on a games console. my friend hates his tv as when he presses a button, it has a little delay before the screen shows it. Many TV’s have a ‘Game’ setting that deactivates this, but many do not. It is worth while checking this before committing to a purchase.
All TV’s suffer from input lag of some description as it will always take time for the signal to travel along the wires etc. As this stat isn’t really recognised in the technical specs, I am using the following website to check. Take a look: hdtvtest.co.uk
Sadly, there is no standout TV at the moment. Last years Samsung 8000 series was certainly the one to get but has recently gone out of stock in favour of this year’s more expensive version. If you can find one you should pick it up though.