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HDR content contains more brightness and color information than SDR material

HDR provides a major improvement in dynamic range as well as color. It lets you see more detail in the shadows and the bright areas and delivers more saturated, life-like colors. HDR imagery comes closest to the reality our eyes see every day, with higher contrast, increased color volume, deeper blacks, and exceptional dynamic range.

There are two HDR standards, the first is the PQ (ST2084). While there are three variations of PQ, most projectors are only compatible with HDR10 which is mostly used for UHD, Blu-ray discs (4K movies), and recorded streaming content. Dolby Vision and HDR10+, like the more mainstream HDR10, are also based on PQ (ST2084). The only difference between the three PQ-based formats is what type of HDR metadata is delivered to a video display to help it tone map HDR content to fit a display's brightness capabilities.

HDR consumer content (4K Blu-ray and streaming) is mastered for playback on a very bright flat panel, not a dimmer projector. Most 4K HDR capable projectors can only deliver between 100 nits (29 fL) and 200 nits (58 fL). This means no HDR compatible home theater projector can reproduce all the brightness (1000+ nits) found in consumer HDR content.

As a result, HDR projectors utilize tone mapping which is a compromise between maintaining bright highlight details and delivering full-screen brightness. By utilizing a version of Sony’s X1 processor optimized for projection, the newest Sony projectors can analyze HDR content scene by scene for precise dynamic tone mapping of HDR10 content.

The second HDR standard is HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) which was developed for live broadcast. Sony 4K projectors support both HDR10 and HLG. Since most HDR10+ and Dolby Vision content is either backward compatible with or available in HDR10, you can enjoy 99% of HDR content available on the market now and in the future. 

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