High Dynamic Range (HDR)

A new color space providing life-like image quality for digital technology.

If you’ve bought a TV recently or looked into gaming equipment, you may have come across the term “HDR” as a new capability which promises better image quality than we’ve ever seen before. Let’s dig beyond the acronym and explore what exactly HDR is and how it’s implemented on LED displays.


What is HDR?

HDR, or High Dynamic Range imaging is the production, transfer and display of content containing a much wider range of color and contrast than historically available. An SDR display can produce 16.7 million colors, while an HDR display can produce 1.07 billion colors. It’s the closest match to how you see colors and detail in real life.


How's HDR Different than 4K?

Another popular term before HDR was the trend of 4K as the new pinnacle of image quality. So what’s the difference between 4K and HDR?

4K (or Ultra High Definition) refers to a specific resolution value (3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels tall). A display cannot be 4K unless it hits the exact height and width defined in the standard.

HDR on the other hand, produces more colors within pixels and can be implemented regardless of resolution. Simply put, the shift to 4K was about providing more pixels. The shift to HDR is about providing better pixels.

Go with the Experts

LED displays are fundamentally different from other digital technology; they produce color differently and in some applications require several pieces of control equipment to show content, which makes HDR more complex to implement. We’ve applied our experience designing both LED displays and control equipment to engineer the first HDR-capable system. Additionally, our design and manufacturing capability gives us agile control over our product capabilities to evolve as HDR evolves.

Pioneering the HDR Trail in Sports

The most important part of implementing HDR is every component being HDR ready, from end to end. From the camera to the switcher to the media player to the processor to the LED display.

Kauffman StadiumKauffman Stadium

Purdue UniversityPurdue University

University of AlabamaUniversity of Alabama

Coors FieldCoors Field

Arrowhead Stadium Arrowhead Stadium

PNC ArenaPNC Arena

Great American BallparkGreat American Ball Park

Globe FieldGlobe Life Field



We knew that higher-end technology was a must in order to deliver a great event experience for our fans. We believe that Daktronics' technological advances, including their new one signal HDR display feed and firmware artistic adjustment and the options and flexibility it provides makes them the best one-stop show in the industry. Chris DeRuyscherSenior Director Ballpark EntertainmentTexas Rangers
Daktronics coming up with a solution will help future teams who are upgrading to the HDR world have a smoother install. They continue to improve and be on top of their game. Jami ItiavkaseDirector of ProductionCincinnati Reds

Download the HDR White Paper

Learn more about HDR is and how the LED display industry can implement this new color space.