HDR Ready? How to Check If Your Smart TV Supports HDR

If you’re in the market for a new smart TV, you may have heard about HDR. But what is it? And more importantly, does your current TV support it?

There are different ways to find out if your smart TV supports HDR. In this article, we’ll offer three different ways to check if your TV does.

How to Check If Your Smart TV Supports HDR

If a TV has HDR support, it will likely display a message on the screen that says something like “HDR-Video” or “HDR-Vivid.”

You can also check your TV’s picture settings to see if it has an HDR option. It is usually under the picture, video, or format settings. 

If neither of these methods works, you can also check your TV’s specifications or user manual to see if it supports HDR.

Another thing to keep in mind is to use HDR, you need to play HDR-ready media.

Most streaming platforms, such as Netflix, automatically support HDR on select movies and TV shows. Blu-Ray discs and players also have HDR.

Certain games support HDR too. You can find the option in the game’s graphics settings.

Open Settings, and navigate to Picture Mode.

If HDR media is being played, the picture mode will show an HDR logo.

Use YouTube App

Open an HDR video clip using the YouTube app on your TV. Pause the video and use the remote to select the three dotted lines.

Navigate to the right side and click on Stats for nerds. A data box will appear on the screen.

In the color section, if HDR is activated, it will say “Color: bt2020”.

If the color is set to bt720 or something else, then it is not True HDR.

Check the Resolution of Your TV

Most modern TVs that support 4K also support HDR. 90% of the time, a 4K TV will support HDR.

Samsung claims all of their 4K TVs support HDR technologies but 4K TVs from other brands may not.

There are only a handful of 4K TVs that don’t support HDR.

Now if you have one of the latest TVs that supports 8K, it will undoubtedly support HDR too. Every 8K TV supports various types of HDR.

HDR at 1080P

Many 1080P TVs can support HDR. However, the quality of HDR at 1080P won’t be as good as on a 4K display.

The HDR on 1080P displays is not True HDR. True HDR requires 10-bit colors, local dimming zones, and an HDMI 2.0 port.

Most 1080P displays only support 8-bit colors and HDMI 1.4.

HDR on a 1080P TV is mostly a fake or simulated version that boosts contrast, sharpening, and brightness.

It often looks oversaturated and washed out.

Look for an a UHD Alliance Sticker on the TV or Box

UHD alliance logo

On new TVs, the sticker would look like an hourglass with multiple colors, it’s also called the UHD Alliance Logo. It may also be printed on the box.

If you see the above logo, it means the TV model is a part of the UHD Alliance, and all of their TVs support HDR.

The HDR logo could also be written on the front or side panel of the TV.

Can’t find a sticker or logo? Continue to the next method.

Search for Your TV’s Model Specifications Online

If you no longer have your TV’s documentation, look up your TV’s model online. Check the rear panel for a model number.

On Samsung TVs, you can find the model number in Settings, Support, and About This TV.

With LG TVs, you can find the model number by pressing the mute button three times.

Once you have the model number, look it up online and check the specifications for HDR capabilities.

If the specification sheet does not mention HDR, chances are it does not support HDR.

Use a Console

Xbox 4K TV details HDR

Do you have a console connected to your TV? You can use it to check the HDR capabilities of your TV.

You can use either an Xbox or a Playstation. Even older generations of these consoles (Xbox One, Playstation 4, etc) can check for HDR on a TV.

With Xbox

You can use your Xbox to check the HDR capabilities of your TV.

The steps are the same throughout Xbox generations.

  • Hit the Xbox button on the controller
  • Profile & System
  • Settings
  • General
  • TV & Display.
  • Video Modes

In this section, you will see a list of TV features that your Xbox detects. You’ll also be able to enable HDR on your Xbox.

If you see a green checkmark next to HDR10 or Dolby Vision, it means your TV supports HDR.

With Playstation 4 and 5

Open Settings, Screen and Video, and Video Output.

There should be a message under HDMI Devices that mentions if HDR is supported.

Types of HDR:

What’s confusing is there are many different types of HDR. For example, HDR 10, HDR 10+, and Dolby Vision.

Every TV manufacturer has their own version of HDR too. For instance, Samsung’s 8K TVs have Quantum HDR64X or 12 X.

Read this article for more information on the various types of HDRs. 

The most common type of HDR today is HDR10+.

How to Enable HDR for HDMI Devices

While your TV might support HDR, it may need to be enabled for external HDMI devices.

It’s often enabled by default but you may have to enable it for certain HDMI devices.

How to Enable HDR on Samsung TVs

  1. Connect your HDR device to an HDMI port on your TV
  2. Press the Settings button on your remote
  3. Select the General Tab
  4. Locate External Device Manager
  5. Select HDMI UHD Color (it may also be called Input Signal Plus)
  6. Choose the HDMI that you want to enable HDR on

How to Enable HDR on LG TVs

  1. Open Settings on your remote
  2. Browse to Advanced
  3. Select Picture
  4. Enable HDMI Ultra Deep Color

How to Enable HDR on Sony TVs

  1. Press the Settings button
  2. Select Watching TV
  3. Choose External Inputs
  4. Locate HDMI Signal Format
  5. Select the HDMI port you wish to edit
  6. Choose Enhanced Format

Once you enable HDR, your console or another external device should detect that the TV supports HDR.

If your external device does not support HDR, it’s best not to change the HDR settings for that HDMI port.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, it’s pretty easy to check if a TV supports HDR.

Look at the TV’s picture settings or open a video on YouTube and check the color stats.

Almost all new 4K TVs support HDR. Remember, if you have multiple HDMI devices connected, you may need to enable HDR for each device.

Unless you enable it on the specific HDMI port, Xbox may not detect HDR on the TV.

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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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