There's another confusing video acronym on the horizon, and it may just be the most useless one yet: HDR, or high dynamic range. Just like with photos, HDR video is all about merging footage shot in different exposures into a single, hyper-realistic scene. Today Amazon announced that it'll be bringing the feature to its Prime Instant Video service, starting with its original series, later this year. But, not surprisingly, Amazon fails to lay out why we'd want to watch everything in HDR. The company claims that it will offer "greater contrast ... detailed shadows and distinct highlights to make colors appear richer," but judging from the plethora of HDR video demos around, it's not exactly appropriate for every aesthetic. But Amazon isn't the only company hyping it up: Netflix also demoed 4K HDR video at CES, and its chief product officer Neil Hunt even considers it .
While it would be harsh to call HDR as pointless as motion smoothing, that infernal technology that makes your parents' HDTV look like a soap opera, there seems to be a similar draw for video services. Netflix's product lead, for example, says most viewers will see a bigger difference with HDR than 4K. But that's mainly because 4K isn't appreciably different than 1080p HD unless you've got a very big TV, or are sitting extremely close to the screen. HDR has its uses, especially among outdoor documentaries and shows going for a gaudy CSI: Miami-style look, but it can't be applied with reckless abandon.
[Photo credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]
via Engadget RSS Feed http://ift.tt/1D47vZS