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Does HDR Hurt My TV?


The world of technology evolves fast. The more it evolves, the more tech acronyms you hear. Take TVs, for example. We have HDR, HD, 4K, 8K TV, and OLED, to name a few. Not long ago, these were non-existent. So in this article, we’ll discuss what HDR is. Does HDR hurt your TV? Should you turn it on, and more importantly, does it hurt your eyes?

However, to answer the question Does HDR hurt your TV, the quick answer is no. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have adverse effects. Nevertheless, we’ll get to that in the following few sections.

The nature of another highly evolved piece of technology, known as the internet, jumbles many things. Therefore knowing which source to trust is often difficult. So, we will make it simple and clear a few things up for you.

We’ll start with an explanation of HDR followed by the question at hand, Does HDR hurt your TV?

Let’s continue, shall we?

What is HDR?

A man watching football on TV

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It’s an improvement over SDR or Standard Dynamic Range.

You most likely have an HDR option if you have a 4K, 8K, or OLED TV.

HDR creates realistic-looking images on your screen by amping up the brightness and giving each picture higher contrast. So, your darks become darker, and your whites become brighter.  Not to mention the number of new colors you get on the screen. The outcome is a real-life quality image.

In short, HDR will spoil your senses.

Does HDR Hurt My TV?

A couple watching TV at night

While we all want to believe technology improvements are for the better, we sometimes wonder if that’s the case. So asking Does HDR hurt my TV is a genuine question. However, we should mention that HDR does not hurt your TV from the start.

HDR does reduce your TV’s lifespan. But is this a deal-breaker? We’ll give you an example.

Let’s say you purchased a new OLED TV. OLED TVs have a lifespan of 100,000 hours. That’s a long time!

If you watch a lot of TV, let’s say 10 hours per day. We can conclude that 10 hours per day is equivalent to 10 years of life if we do the math.

However, that’s not without its consequences.

Although HDR does not hurt your TV, it does diminish the brightness by about fifty percent.

We’ll notice that HDR uses brightness to beef up the image quality if we continue digging. If we look at the Sony Bravia , it increases brightness by 700 nits (nits is a unit of measurements that corresponds to candelas.) The Sony Bravia has one of the brightest HDR options. 

If your TV’s brightness is reduced by fifty percent, it becomes noticeable and distracting. It might also mean you don’t want to use this TV. Therefore, reducing the lifespan by 50,000 hours (fifty percent) reduces how long you’ll have it by about four to five years. That’s significant.

Another concerning factor is how your HDR is spread across your TV. It’s not evenly spread, which means once the lifespan starts to falter, some parts of your screen will fail before others.

However, if we take the above information to mean that we’ll most likely purchase a new TV every five years, will you still invest in a TV with HDR qualities? Only you can answer that.

Is HDR Better for My Eyes?

A woman wearing glasses watching TV

Have your parents ever told you that TV is bad for your eyes? Well, they’re not wrong. But it’s also not entirely accurate. The same goes for answering the question: Is HDR better for your eyes?

Although the answer is not as straightforward as we’d like, we still want to give you all the information so you can decide on your own.

To start, any monitor or screen causes stress to your eyes. Therefore HDR will do the same.

The smaller the monitor, the worse the strain on your eyes . 

Therefore, the bigger your HDR TV, the better. We should mention that this is a problem as well.

The closer you are to a TV set (or any light source), the worse it is for your eyes. That’s because your eyes are working hard to view the close-up images.

So having a large TV in a small viewing room is not the best idea.

Generally speaking, a clear, crisp image will not hurt your eyes as much, and HDR makes TVs clearer and crisper. However, the main component of HDR is how it creates these crisp images.

HDR uses brightness to increase the quality of the image, which means you’re staring at a brighter picture for more extended periods.

Therefore the better question to ask is, is HDR worse for your eyes than other TVs? The answer to that question is no. Not really.

Should I Turn on HDR on My TV?

Amazon Fire TV remote control with TV in the background

As with many things in life, there is give and take. Therefore turning on the HDR on your TV depends on a few factors.

The first thing we should inform you about is that HDR doesn’t work for everything. Just because you can turn it on doesn’t mean it will improve the quality of your images.

For example, turn on HDR if you have HDR Blue-rays, HD video games, or perhaps a high-definition Amazon Prime or Netflix show.

It’s also important to consider your TV. If your TV has an HDR option, but the TV itself is of low quality, it will not improve the contrast or brightness more than a higher-end TV.

Since HDR primarily uses brightness to improve an image, consider how it does this. It does this by using more electricity.

The electricity, in turn, creates heat that is detrimental to the lifespan of the TV. That is the main factor that causes TVs like the Sony Bravia to diminish their brightness by fifty percent.

Next, we’ll consider the HDR itself. HDR is a relatively new technology. As with any new technology, it will evolve for the better. However, as of now, HDR is not as great as you might have hoped.

For HDR TVs to reach that outstanding quality, they must reach at least 600 units or higher, which many TVs cannot these days. 

TVs that reach 600 nits or above do not sustain that power for more than a few minutes. Therefore, you get great quality for a bit before it dies down again. Unless you have the Samsung Frame TV , they’ve perfected their infinite HDR technology.

So, should you turn on HDR on your TV? Yes. Do it. That’s why you purchased it. Let’s take advantage of our new electronics while we can. But if you want to play it safe, consider the above points and then decide.

Brightness is Enlightenment in HDR and Final Words

A couple streaming 4K TV shows

Given all of the above, HDR doesn’t necessarily hurt your TV more than regular wear and tear on other TVs.

All TVs create eye strain regarding your eyes, but a sharper image might help.

HDR is in its infancy, and it will most likely become better as time goes on. So go ahead, turn on your HDR and live a little

Last update on 2022-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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