If you’re in the market for a new television, there’s a new technology that’s separating good TVs from even better ones. It’s called high dynamic range, or HDR, and it’s available on most 4K TVs.
This is a technology that’s making bigger, brighter, and bolder images more like what you see in real life. And so the big differentiator this year is how well a TV can handle HDR content.
HDR is designed to show brighter images with more detail in both the darkest and brightest parts of a scene. Plenty of TVs on the market say they’re HDR capable, but that won’t give you an indication of how well they actually perform. It’s one reason CR is spending a lot of time right now testing HDR performance. Because there are some TVs that can deliver all the excitement of HDR and there are others that say they support HDR but look no different from a TV that doesn’t have that feature.
Another difference between the TVs that do HDR well and those that don’t is the price. CR found that with some exceptions, you’re going to have to pay a little bit more to get really good HDR performance.
The show or movie you watch needs to be shot and transmitted in HDR for the feature to work. More and more HDR content is being offered, especially by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. CR says that’s why buying a TV with good HDR performance is so important.
Consumer Reports recommends the 65-inch LG 65SK9000PUA for $1700. If you need a smaller TV, the 55-inch TCL 55R617 for $650 is a CR Best Buy.
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