HDR Monitors: A Complete Guide

HDR monitors are worth it or not? This guide will help you make the best possible buying decision.


The term HDR has been quite the buzzword when it comes to high-end TVs, but now this standard is becoming more and more popular among new monitors as well. Should you care or is it just another fad? Well, the answer lies somewhere in between, at least for now.


What Does HDR Monitors Do?


While a high-resolution PC monitor with first-class panel quality is an excellent tool for Gamers, it does not mean all applications can take full advantage of its features.


No other hardware or software can fully utilize the extended color gamut of this display unless it is emulated by some form to take full advantage.


HDR Formats: HDR10 vs Dolby Vision


There are a few different formats of HDR, so just getting any display labeled as such won’t give you the same viewing experience.



In Dolby Vision’s case, it requires equipment that can output at least 4 thousand nit brightness and 12-bit color depth from their panel sets. Dolby Vision is a more expensive and demanding form of HDR.


Additionally, Dolby Vision requires a license fee, whereas HDR10 does not – which is one of the reasons why PC and console content creators, as well as display manufacturers, opted for the HDR10 free and open standard.


Dolby Vision is more engaging than HDR10 with its dynamic metadata implementation. It allows for scene-to-scene brightness regulation and an overall better viewing experience.


Samsung and Amazon Video plan to address this via their HDR+ format, which is both dynamic and royalty-free. However there are other competing formats such as Advanced HDR by Technicolor or HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) created in collaboration between BBC Mediaworks Ltd., Google partners Technologies hereby grant you a license under certain conditions for use of our patented technologies included within these trademarks when displaying videos.


Ultra HD Premium Standard


A display needs to meet the following Ultra HD specifications for viewers to enjoy HDR viewing:


  • At least a 540-nit peak brightness and 0.0005-nit or less black level – or at least 1,080,000:1 Contrast Ratio (For OLED)
  • At least a 1,000-nit peak brightness and 0.05-nit or less black level – or at least 20,000:1 Contrast Ratio (For LCD)
  • 10-bit color support covering at least 90% DCI-P3 color space (125% sRGB)
  • 4K Ultra HD, Resolution: 3840×2160
  • HDMI version 2.0

Most displays, whether TVs or hdr monitors, don’t meet all the requirements, but rather offer only limited HDR support.

The HDR10 logo means that a screen is capable of displaying an improved version of the Standard Dynamic Range, which was previously limited to TVs and Monitors. The Ultra HD Premium certification ensures you’re getting top-notch quality from your display!


DisplayHDR Standards by VESA


HDR is the future of display technology and this new standard promises to produce a more life-like experience for viewers; but what does it mean? HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. By combining several images with different luminosity levels, such as bright whites and darkest blacks in one picture (HDR), we can see details like never before on screen! With these certifications from VESA, there are five groups based on monitor brightness: Lightweight = 9001 calibrated colors.



This way, you will know precisely what the HDR specification includes in terms of performance quality instead of relying on manufacturers’ labels that are often vague or misleading such as “HDR compatible.”


You can download DisplayHDR software to see if your monitor is HDR-capable and which specific settings it supports.


When buying a new monitor, it is important to verify that the display has been certified as HDR-ready. Some displays labeled “HDR” can accept an HDR10 signal and emulate what appears on screen with software manipulation—this type of pseudo-HDR image may not provide accurate colors or contrast ratios in most cases.


Many factors go into making a great HDR picture, but the main advantage is its ability to display brighter imagery. This can be useful for people who have dim monitors or just want more light when viewing their screen to see objects clearly without having shadows on them

– even though an official HDR certification will only happen with increased peak luminance levels (which typically result in washed-out images).



HDR400 monitors can offer a better HDR image quality than other models, but there is no guarantee. The DisplayHDR certification on the panel matters as well and not just its color gamut size.


A fuller-color range monitor will give you more of what makes up an excellent picture: abundant detail with bright whites and deep blacks; realistic skin tones that look close to how they should look in real life—not too pink or green!


Local Dimming


The difference between standard LED monitors and HDR-enabled ones is that local dimming allows for the screen to darken in certain areas, which makes everything look more realistic.

A global dimmer will turn off all lights when you want it darker or brighter than its set level – so no matter where on your screen there’s black text against a white background (a common occurrence), they’ll both be readable without any trouble!


Local dimming is a technology that can make your TV more effective at contrast ratio by reducing the brightness needed to see an object.


There are two types of local-dimming technologies: edge-lit and full array with direct light, but they do not affect colors as much because there’s no need for backlights in these displays which means you don’t have as many LEDs burning out over time since it won’t be getting so hot from all those failed CFLs.


FALD displays have numerous individually controllable dimming zones spread across the entire backlight, which can significantly improve picture quality.


FALD is often found in high-end monitors like the ASUS PG27UQ or Acer Predator X35 because of its expense and availability to only those who can afford these kinds of products.


HDR TV is an area of growth where manufacturers are competing to produce the best picture quality. Full-array local dimming (or FALD) has become essential for creating a truly amazing HDR experience; it provides better contrast ratios than edge-lit or flat panel displays without needing as many zones at each corner as before when they only had a global light management system (global vs full array).


This means that even though these types can be cheaper and easier on manufacturing costs, there will always need some kind here because no matter how well done your backlight training program may seem now – you still won’t get anywhere close enough until all three planes have been covered adequately!


HDR Monitors – Gaming


When it comes to HDR-ready PC gaming, there are still many difficulties. However with so many titles available on consoles and one’s computer for this new technology; why limit yourself?



For instance, Windows 10 forces HDR on everything once it’s enabled, making non-HDR content unpleasant to look at. So you need to manually enable and disable this function every time if you’re watching something in standard definition (SD), depending on what you’re watching.


FreeSync Premium Pro & G-SYNC Ultimate

When buying a new gaming monitor, most people will opt for either an AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-SYNC Certified display.


When shopping with these brands specifically in mind. It is important that you know the difference between their different technologies so as not to be disappointed by your purchase if HDR functionality isn’t working out well after all – but there are some considerations when deciding whether this feature matters just yet!


I recommend looking at monitors rated “FreeSync Premium” on both sides of the fence: those branded accordingly have been shown capable enough during testing via Tim Sweeney’stestbeds while supporting variable refresh rates (VRR) too;


The Aorus AD27QD and the Philips 436M6VBPAB are two monitors that have FreeSync technology with VRR capabilities. These sets of screens can do both regular FPS gaming as well as high-framerate, variable-rate pixel shader (VRP) or HDR graphics on top of them without any performance drop in sight!




There are plenty of things that can go into deciding if HDR monitors is worth it. Some offer awful picture quality and others provide good specifications despite this, so knowing what you’re looking for in your new TV before making such a large investment will help make the decision easier!


In contrast, other HDR monitors might offer a brilliant HDR picture quality but have other panel-related flaws.

So, always check for monitor reviews of the displays you’re interested in to get the information you need.

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