Difference Between UHD and HDR

The TV industry has a wide range of features and terms that not everyone fully understands. One question many people ask is regarding the difference between UHD and HDR. Which one is better? What do you need to know?

In this article, I’ll explain the differences between UHD and HDR and you’ll be more equipped to find a TV that meets your requirements.


UHD and HDR are completely different features, UHD stands for Ultra High Definition which is another way of saying 4K. To be specific, 4K resolution has 3840 x 2160 pixels.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, meaning the TV can display HDR media, which boosts the contrast range and brightness, creating a more vibrant picture. Essentially, HDR is a picture enhancement feature that greatly improves the colours. The reason for that is HDR uses 10-bit colours, while most standard media only supports 8-bit colours.

Almost every UHD TV will have some version of HDR (learn about the various types of HDR) and you can enable it in your TV’s picture settings. The effectiveness of HDR will depend on the HDR capabilities of your TV. If your TV does not mention HDR in the specifications or features list, it likely only supports Standard Dynamic Range.

Bear in mind, that for the best experience, you want media that is HDR-ready. Don’t worry, most media streaming platforms like Netflix offer HDR content. HDR is not only available on UHD TVs.

It can be found on many different types of displays with a wide range of resolutions. HDR is also available on Full HD (1080P) TVs and monitors.

Is UHD Better Than HDR?

In my opinion, HDR is better than UHD because HDR unlocks more colours, while also dynamically changing the contrast and brightness.

For comparison, SDR displays are capable of showing 16.7 million colours. HDR displays can show 1.07 billion colours.

If you have to choose between UHD and HDR, I would choose HDR. The best of both worlds would be a 4K HDR TV. HDR is a much more noticeable upgrade than improving the resolution.

The reason is most people sit far away from their TVs, such as on a couch. At that distance, it’s hard to make out the details that 4K provides. Even when sitting far away from your TV, it’s easy to notice the difference in HDR because the colours will pop much more.

Is UHD the Same as 4K?

Yes. UHD is another term for 4K. It’s the next upgrade from Full HD, which means 1080P, the most common resolution on displays today.

IS UHD Better than FHD?

Yes. UHD stands for 4K which is a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. FHD is 1080P which has 1920 x 1080 pixels. UHD can show more pixels which results in a very clear image.

Is HDR Good for Gaming?

If you have a 4K HDR game and an HDR-compatible console or PC, enabling HDR in your games can dramatically improve the visuals.

The good news is HDR does not have much of a performance impact on games but it makes a very noticeable difference in the game’s colours.

The downside is it is up to the game developers to implement an HDR mode. Not every game supports HDR, and some support HDR with a disappointing result.

However there are some AAA games that include an HDR mode, and when enabled, dramatically overhauls the visuals of your game.

Some examples of games that have good HDR implementation:

  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • God of War
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Far Cry 5
  • Assassins Creed Odyssey
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

To summarize, if you have an HDR-compatible device and a 4K HDR TV, I highly recommend enabling HDR on your games because it should improve the colours, creating a much more immersive world.

Bear in mind, that some games have very poor versions of HDR, and disabling HDR on those games can actually improve the colours.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to UHD vs HDR, remember that these are completely different features. One describes the resolution, while the other is an image-enhancement feature. I personally leave HDR-enabled when I watch movies because it adds a whole new level of colours and details. I also enable it on certain games, though some tweaking might be required.

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About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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