Is An HDR Monitor Worth It?

HDR (High Dynamic Range) has been around for a lot of time.

It is being actively used in photography for a long time, but now this technology is slowly moving into the PC market as well.

So, what exactly is HDR? This article explores what HDR stand for, and whether HDR monitors worth it or not.

What is HDR?

For starters, HDR stands for high dynamic range, and it only has one goal, and that is to display the lighting in the most realistic way possible.

If you are wondering how that works out, it basically works on contrasting areas that are dark as well as the light areas on the image, this results in the overall enhancing of the picture, and makes it look a lot similar to the image that we see in real life.

In the end, you get an image that looks much vivid, to a point you can easily mistake the image for a real life image.

Can I Use HDR on My PC?

The common misconception about HDR is that it requires a really powerful PC, especially the GPU.

This is not the case actually. The only thing you really need to run HDR on your PC is the monitor that supports HDR. Other than that, you don’t even need to have additional cables. All you need is Windows 10 if you are running it on a PC.

If you are using Windows 10, you just have to enable the HDR in the Display Settings in the menu, and that’s it. Once it is enabled, you will get the notification that HDR has been enabled, and you are good to go.

Now the thing you need to know about HDR is that if you are looking to use it in games, then not all games support HDR.

Games like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and a few more can actively support HDR without any issues, and I can assure you that the game looks really, really well as well. As far as content is concerned, YouTube, as well as Netflix now supports HDR as long as your monitor supports it.

Does HDR Depend on the Resolution?

This is perhaps one of the common questions about HDR.

Does it depend on the resolution?

Well, answering this question is not really that easy to begin with.

For starters, the resolution has to do with the sharpness, as well as the overall image quality that ends up increasing the overall depth of the image.

However, HDR is all about improving the contrast of the image.

So, do they depend on each other? Well, it does not. Simply because HDR focuses on improving the contrast to a point where the image looks real, and the resolution focuses on making the image look sharper, and as well as the depth of the image.

However, the good thing is that considering how the monitors in the market that support HDR are always on the higher end, so you really do not have to worry about choosing between both. If you are getting HDR in a monitor, the chances are that the monitor is going to give you a resolution starting from QHD, WQHD, and even UHD.

So, as far as choosing one thing over the other, there is nothing to worry about.

Now the question is that what sort of monitor supports HDR, and which type monitor does not? That is what we are going to explore.

The Two Type of Panels

The most commonly used panels in the market are IPS (In-Plane Switching) as well as TN (Twisted-Nematic). Both panels have a drastic difference as far as displaying the image is concerned. However, the thing that you need to understand is that IPS is the monitor display that supports HDR, and the TN panel does not. Other than that, the major differences between both IPS, and TN panel are given below.

Difference Between IPS and TN

Below, you can look at some of the differences between IPS and TN.

  • The pixel response time on IPS is as low as 4 millisecond, whereas the TN panel is 1 millisecond.
  • As compared to IPS panels, the TN panels have a poorer color reproduction.
  • IPS panels are a lot better when it comes to displaying a wider viewing angles.

Considering all this, we can conclude it rather easily.

IPS panels are much better for people who prefer visual quality, rather than performance.

However, TN panels are for those who are looking for better performance but IPS panels are slowly catching up; Asus is making waves in the monitor market. Just take a look at the Asus PG35VQ, it is one of the highest end ultra wide monitors in the market – it supports HDR, 200Hz refresh rate, as well as Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.

Another thing that you need to know is that there is another panel type in the market that is known as VA (vertical alignment), it also supports HDR, but VA panels are rare on gaming monitors, and these panels are normally used in TVs. Nevertheless, there are some great monitors available in the market that are running VA panels, and I will be honest, they are not bad at all.

As a matter of fact, they work a lot better as compared to some of the lower end monitors in the market, and are comparatively cheaper too.

Closing Thoughts

So, what do we conclude from this?

Well, we can simply not deny that HDR is something that is here to stay, and unlike stereoscopic 3D, it certainly is not a gimmick. That being said, this technology is something that needs to mature before it can hit the mainstream.

This is because the monitors that support HDR are normally on the more expensive side, and in addition to that, there are not a lot of games in the market that run HDR in the first place.

Is HDR worth it?

Well, yes, HDR is certainly worth it, and it is certainly going to help people achieve photorealism in the games. The best part is that HDR is slowly entering the monitor that supports really high end refresh rate.

Case in point, the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ; at the end of the day, you just need to know that this monitor, or the other HDR supported monitors with higher refresh rate, are on the expensive side, and are normally one-time purchase.