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High Dynamic Range Hardware and 4K UHD HDR Movies

by Roger N. Clark

There is a revolution coming to Photography, and it has already arrived for video. Photographers often talk about dynamic range and seek cameras with "high" dynamic range. They then post process that high dynamic range into lower dynamic range for display or print. But the real world IS high dynamic range, even in a typical indoors scene. New display technology is able to present images and video in a more natural looking dynamic range, and new standards have been developed to take advantage of the dynamic range now and into the future. This article discusses hardware, software, and specifications needed to use this new technology.

The Color Series


This Page is Under Construction, and while containing a lot of information, much more to come.

Choosing a new TV or Computer Monitor for High Dynamic Range Display of Images and Video
Computer Monitors
Computers and Video Cards
Receivers, Speakers
4K Blu-Ray Players
4K UHD Movies
Cameras with 4K HDR capability
Discussion and Conclusions
References and Further Reading

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A New Jaw-Dropping Revolution in Color Imaging and Video is Underway. This articles shows some of the hardware and software that I have knowledge of, and some of the things to look for in hardware and software to move into this new era. I do not claim that these hardware and software choices are the best, only what my experience has been so far. If you know of something better, let me know and I'll investigate it. I also give some info and reviews of 4K HDR movies that illustrate the new technology.

Choosing a new TV or Computer Monitor for High Dynamic Range Display of Images and Video

The keys in my experience and opinion are:

Pixel to pixel dynamic range, and OLED is the only technology with high dynamic range and true black (over a million to one), pixel to pixel..

True black and dynamic range greater than 10,000, and ideally higher than 100,000. Several technologies have dynamic range in the few thousands, but not pixel to pixel. Only OLED meets the requirement as of this writing.

Off-angle color quality and contrast. Many LED panels (TN computer panels, commonly found in low end computer monitors and laptop displays, as well as low cost LED HDR 4K Tvs) shift color and lose contrast and dynamic range when viewed off angle. This is really bad. OLED is excellent in this regard. Some QLED TVs are also reasonable in this regard.

Video upscaling: ability to upscale lower resolution images to the 4K native format. Some TVs do this better than others.

Frame rate upscaling: ability to smoothly upscale 30 frames per second 4K HDR content to 120 frames per second, interpolating moving things without artifacts. Some TVs do this better than others. Some movie fans like the jumps from frame to frame of 24 frames per second (I don't). Some TV interpolation produces a smearing effect, called soap opera. Many people do not like this artifact problem (I don't). LG OLEDs from 2019 and newer models are very good (but not yet perfect) in this regard in my experience. Sony OLED TVs are reportedly good in this area, but I have no experience with them.

HDR still image display: there are standards for still image HDR, e.g jpeg-hdr and jpx-xt as discussed in the previous article in this series. Currently no TV that I am aware of will display these formats, e.g. from a memory stick plugged into the TV. One would need to display them from a computer attached to the TV with an HDR graphics card and the right software. Or convert the still image to a short, low frame rate HDR video clip. I discuss software to do this below.

Standard still image JPEG display on a TV: some TVs do very well and some do not. LG OLED does a superb job at this. My Samsung QLED does not: bright areas are blocked up bright with no detail, detail that is clear on LG OLED, on the back of my camera, and on my computer displays. Some TVs will display a still image properly, but others do not show the whole image, which means they are scaling and interpolating them. For example, I make a 3840x2160 pixel jpeg image and put it on an LG OLED tv and it looks great. I put the same image on my QLED, and the brights are blocked up as noted above, but the image starts out showing the full image, but then zooms in a little over a few seconds. Maybe the programmers thought it was a nice affect of making some apparent motion on a still image, but that means the image is cropped and scaled, losing fine detail and the edges of the image. I can't figure out how to turn this off, so can't recommend such a TV for image display.

Some TVs show out of camera mpeg video well (e.g. LG OLED), which others do not, e.g. my Samsung QLED. Like still images, the Samsung QLED blocks up the bright areas.

Burn-In.Some TVs may be sensitive to burn in, so are not ideal for computer displays where there are static images (e.g. panel bar along the bottom of the screen). OLEDs potentially have this problem, but the problem may not be a deal breaker. For example, for a dual monitor display, one screen could be the monitor with the static elements and the second screen clean, just for showing images and video. I have a model 2017 LG OLED TV, purchased in the spring of 2018, viewed with a variety of content, including people watching news shows with static banners, plus playing games and I have seen no issues with burn-in.

Smart displays will see the image/video format and "do the right thing." Modern 4K TVs are "smart." By this I mean if the image/video sends the metadata (that describes the the data format and transfer function), then the display will perform the inverse function to output linear intensity so the perceived result will look more natural.

Display Pixels Per Inch, ppi. Pixels per inch too high will mean it can be difficult to discern small text. The typical PPI of lower resolution monitors are in the range of 70 to 110 ppi. Many web sites, computer menus and programs use font sizes geared for 70-110 ppi. Some programs will enable you to increase the font size, but others do not. Some web sites use a fixed font and it can appear quite small on high ppi displays. So operating systems built in scaling, like 2x scaling. But this defeats the purpose of buying a higher resolution display? If you need to do scaling, buy a lower cost low resolution monitor. The PPI of a 32 to 32-inch 4K monitor is about 140 ppi. I would not recommend a monitor with higher than 140 ppi, which means any 4K monitor smaller than 30-inches. Higher resolution monitors, 5K, 6K, 8K would need to be significantly larger.

Probably the top TV review site is but don't get caught up in specs. Rtings, nor other sites cover all the key factors, including loss of color gamut with lower intensities (discussed in the previous article), nor how out-of-camera videos or jpeg still images appear, at least as of this writing.

Chroma. If you choose a 4K TV as a computer monitor, be sure it has 4:4:4 chroma (see the Chroma Sub-Sampling section above). Video can be 4:2:0 with little to no visual impact. see:

HDR interface limitations. I discuss below limitations of some computer monitors to display 10-bits/color HDR at 4:4:4 chroma (highest resolution) even though the specs say they are 4K HDR monitors. Further, as of this writing, reviews and specifications do not point this out--you have to read the manual.

OLED limitation: supposedly susceptible to burn-in. So do not use it as a computer monitor with task bars and icons on the screen. Use it as a second or third monitor where nothing is permanently on the screen.

I have 2 OLED TVs (LG 65-inch 2017 model, C65, and LG 77-inch model, C77) and a Samsung 55-inch QLED 2019 model, Q80R in my office. I chose the Samsung for computer work for static images, but it is clearly not the jaw-dropping OLED quality, but still quite nice. In ~3 years of OLED use, I have never seen burn-in.

Recommended LG OLED TVs

LG OLED48CXPUB 48 inch CX 4K Smart OLED TV with AI ThinQ 2020 Bundle with TaskRabbit Installation Services + Deco Gear Wall Mount + HDMI Cables + Surge Adapter

LG OLED55BXPUA 55 inch BX 4K Smart OLED TV with AI ThinQ 2020 Model Bundle with 1 Year Extended Protection Plan

LG OLED65CXPUA 65 inch CX 4K Smart OLED TV with AI ThinQ 2020 Bundle with 1 Year Extended Protection Plan

LG OLED77CXPUA Alexa Built-In CX 77" 4K Smart OLED TV (2020)

Computer Monitors

Computer monitors should have many of the characteristics listed above. Except for using an OLED TV as a computer monitor, I have not seen a computer monitor, even expensive ones, that meet the pixel to pixel dynamic range that is anywhere close to OLED.

Specifications that should be considered include the following. No greater than 140 ppi. Good off-axis color and contrast (TN panels should be avoided). IPS panels work well off axis and have been the choice of photographers and videographers to produce good color calibrated results. But standard IPS does not meet the dynamic range needed for tru HDR display.

4:4:4 chroma and HDR limits Be aware of modes and cables that deliver 4:4:4 chroma with HDR for computer work. For example, I purchased the LG 32UL950-W 32" 4K monitor below as the specifications said it did 4:4:4 chroma. But after connecting the display I could not get 10-bit color HDR to work. I checked drivers, and other software and could not find the problem. Then I read the manual for the monitor. I connected the monitor to the computer with a display port cable to the display port connectors. Display port for this monitor is the only interface that supports 4:4:4 chroma. I tried the HDMI ports, but that was 4:0:0 chroma and very obviously inferior image quality for anything static on the screen. So check the 10-bit HDR 4:4:4 chroma before purchasing a monitor in case you intend to use that monitor for 10-bit HDR.

LG 32UL950-W 32" Class Ultrafine 4K UHD LED Monitor with Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity Silver (31.5" Display)
Size: 32 inch, Resolution: 3840x2160, Max Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Panel Type: IPS, Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync
Landscape and portrait modes, 140 ppi
inputs: display port: (1.4) 4:4:4 chroma non-HDR 8-bit color only, hdmi: 4:0:0 chrome 10-bit HDR, usb c
LG 32UL950-W 32" Class Ultrafine 4K UHD LED Monitor with Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity Silver (31.5" Display)
This is a fine high resolution (4K) monitor with beautiful color (select DCI-P3) with dynamic range typical of IPS panels for the last decade or so. As noted above, at full resolution, 4K with 4:4:4 chroma, it can not do 10-bits/channel HDR with the display port interface. 4K HDR can only be achieved with HDMI interface at 4:0:0 chroma. The color performance and loss of color gamut with lower intensities is similar to the Dell U3219Q below.

Dell U3219Q U-Series 32-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Size: 32 inch, Resolution: 3840x2160, Max Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Panel Type: IPS, Variable Refresh Rate: No
Landscape and portrait modes, 140 ppi
inputs: display port (1.4), hdmi, usb c
Dell U-Series 32-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor (U3219Q), Black
See above monitor limitations. The manuals I checked did not specify if 10-bit HDR was supported on all input ports, but does report that 10-bit HDR is supported by both display port and HDMI, but does not specify chroma. Key would be 10-bit 4:4:4 chroma, which I can't find a clear answer to. The color performance and loss of color gamut with lower intensities is shown in Figures 8a, 8b, 10a-c, and 12b here: Color Spaces and Color Perception.

Computers and Video Cards

CPU and Number of Cores.Processing 4K or higher video requires a lot of computer power. It is best to choose recent model Intel I7 or I9 cpus, or AMD Ryzen 5000 or higher series. Choose a CPU with at least 6 cores. Gaming computers generally are built for higher performance, so consider these. Memory for large image and video editing is also important. Look for at least 48 GBytes.

I recently (fall 2020) built a new computer with excellent performance: an Intel I9-9900K 8-core cpu with a MSI MPG Z390 GAMING PRO CARBON AC LGA 1151 motherboard and 128 GBytes of RAM with excellent performance. The 128 Gbytes of RAM cost only $410.

Disk Drives. For disk drives, I use only disk drives with open standards for SMART data. SMART data tells the operating system about the disk drive health and can warn against impending failure. Linux does this very well. I use Seagate disk drives because the SMART data are non-proprietary and monitored well by Linux. Over the last 2+ decades I have experience with hundreds of Seagate drives (work and home). I have had only 2 drive failures and in both cases, SMART data monitoring warned me of impending failure and I was able to make sure the data were backed up and pulled the drives before failure. I can't say the same for Solid State Drives, SSD. I have had SSD drives fail suddenly with no option to back up data.

Data and Backup. I currently use 12-terabyte Seagate disk drives for my data, using both internal SATA-6 drives and USB external for backup. The external drives are kept offline and at least one set is kept off site. Twelve terabyte disk drives are about $250 internal or USB (fall, 2020).

Video Cards.Many modern video cards are 4K capable, but check that they can deliver 10-bit (or 12 bit) HDR to multiple 4K or 8K displays, at least at 60 Hz and at 4:4:4 chroma.

For linux users, it is better to stick with AMD video cards because AMD has open source video drivers for linux and the AMD drives are in the kernel in popular distributions like Ubuntu and Mint.

This is the video card like I am using. It is very capable without high cost. Look for video cards with at least these capabilities:
PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6 Graphics Card, Model Number: AXRX 5700XT 8GBD6-3DH

Receivers, Speakers

Receivers should handle at least 4K 60 frames per second, at least 10 bit color HDR with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and include Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X sound.

The Denon receivers below support 8K at 60 Hz and 4K at 120 Hz and support HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, and more. Video support includes upscaling for TVs of different capabilities and variable refresh rate at 4K 120 Hz pass-through. All have Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound plus additional sound features including Atmos Height Virtualization. The 3700 and 4700 models have 11.2 channel capability by adding an external amplifier to drive 2 additional speakers. Check the models to be sure they have the features you want. My 2020 choice was the AVR-X3700H but it was out of stock so I got the AVR-X4700H, and like many other Denon receivers I have owned, it has been excellent with no complaints.

If you do not yet have ceiling speakers, also look for receivers that have height virtualization, such as DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, and IMAX® Enhanced. For example below, the Denon AVR-X2700H has DTS Neural:X and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization. The 3700 and 4700 have DTS Virtual:X and IMAX® Enhanced, and the 4700 also has Auro-3D.

Note some receivers are not as "smart" as one would think they would be. On some receivers one has to manually set 10-bit wide gamut color if your TV was that capability. The Denon receivers do a good job of detecting capabilities and setting parameters correctly. When I installed the AVR-X4700H, I did not have to make any custom settings to get wide gamut 10-bit HDR color. I just connected speakers, TV and 4K Blu Ray player, inserted a Dolby Vision disk, and it played perfectly with no custom settings. I did decide to boost the center channel volume by 6dB because many movies these days seem to have voices too low and they can be difficult to hear. The Denon receivers allow one to custom change the volume of each speaker.

Denon AVR-X3700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel (105 Watt X 9) AV Receiver:
Denon AVR-X3700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel (105 Watt X 9) AV Receiver 2020 Model - 3D Audio & Video with IMAX Enhanced, Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, Alexa + HEOS The AVR-X3700H also has 11 preamp channels, so with an external stereo amplifier, one could add 2 more overhead speakers to make a 7.1.4 channel system. If you are upgrading from a stereo system, put that old stereo to use and make and even better 3D immersive sound system

Denon AVR-X4700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel Receiver:
Denon AVR-X4700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel (125 Watt X 9) AV Receiver 2020 Model - 3D Audio & Video with IMAX Enhanced, Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, Alexa + HEOS
The AVR-X4700H also has 11 preamp channels, so with an external stereo amplifier, one could add 2 more overhead speakers to make a 7.1.4 channel system. If you are upgrading from a stereo system, put that old stereo to use and make and even better 3D immersive sound system

Denon AVR-X2700H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel Receiver: Denon AVR-X2700H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel (95 Watt X 7) AV Receiver 2020 Model - Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, 3D Audio & Video, Alexa + HEOS

Speakers run the gamut for really cheap with low sound quality to tens of thousands of dollars for great sound quality. Like digital cameras, spending a little, but far from the top of the line can get one close to excellent results. The speakers listed below make for good sound quality without spending an arm and a leg.

Polk S15 Bookshelf Speakers, good for front left and right channels:
Polk Signature Series S15 Bookshelf Speakers for Home Theater, Surround Sound and Premium Music | Powerport Technology | Detachable Magnetic Grille (Pair)

Polk S35 Center Channel Speaker:
Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Center Channel Speaker (6 Drivers) | Surround Sound | Power Port Technology | Detachable Magnetic Grille

Polk S10 Bookshelf Speakers, good for side and rear channels:
Polk Audio Signature Series S10 Bookshelf Speakers for Home Theater, Surround Sound and Premium Music | Powerport Technology | Detachable Magnetic Grille (Pair),Black

Speaker Stands:
PERLESMITH Universal Floor Speaker Stands 26 Inch for Surround Sound, Klipsch, Sony, Edifier, Yamaha, Polk & Other Bookshelf Speakers Weight up to 22lbs - 1 Pair

Polk sub woofer for small room:
Polk Audio PSW10 10" Powered Subwoofer - Power Port Technology, Up to 100 Watts, Big Bass in Compact Design, Easy Setup with Home Theater Systems Black

Polk sub woofer for large room:
Polk Audio HTS 10 Powered Subwoofer with Power Port Technology | 10” Woofer, up to 200W Amp | For the Ultimate Home Theater Experience | Modern Sub that Fits in any Setting | Washed Black Walnut

Polk overhead in ceiling speakers:
Polk Audio RC60i 2-way Premium In-Ceiling 6.5" Round-Speakers, Set of 2 Perfect-for Damp-and Humid Indoor/Outdoor Placement - Bath, Kitchen, Covered Porches (White, Paintable-Grille)

Polk small speakers that could be overhead but you will have to design mounts yourself. For example, one could face them up, placed on top of a bookshelf, or make a bracket to mount on the ceiling facing down.
Polk Audio OWM3 Wall and Bookshelf Speakers | The Most High-Performance Versatile Loudspeaker | Paintable Grilles (Pair, Black)

Up-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos:
Sony SSCSE Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers, Black, Dolby Atmos Enabled Speakers (Pair)

4K Blu-Ray Players

4K Blu-Ray Players should handle at least 4K with at least 10 bit color HDR with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and include Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound. Note on some players, one must change HDR modes by hand (e.g. you must turn Dolby Vision on and off by hand). The model below does not have this issue and is a general good performer in my experience and those of friends and family.

LG UBK90 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Player with Dolby Vision (2018)

4K UHD Movies

Below is my list for the most spectacular 4K HDR movies on OLED. Even if you have seen these movies in the theater, and especially if you have only seen them on 2K SDR streaming or Blu Ray, seeing these movies again, but in 4K HDR on OLED is a transformative experience; they are like new movies.

Not on the list are many super hero films. I find a growing number of them to be formula about blowing up the Earth/Solar-System/Universe. The sequels strive to just blow it up bigger. I chose films that I will watch multiple times, and have a range of diversity, and are visually spectacular with great acting, cinematography, and story.



Title Year    True
4k ?
HDR?  IMDb Roger
Format / Comments
Lawrence of Arabia 1962 4k HDR DV   8.3 4.0 98 4.0 5.0 Atmos 65 mm film (1962), 4K master,
Seven Worlds, One Planet 2019 4k HDR10   9.4 100 4.0 4.5 Atmos 4k
Planet Earth II 2016 4k HDR10   9.5 100 4.0 5.0 DTS5.1 4k master RED Epic Dragon , Sony A7S II
Gandhi 1982 4k HDR10   8.0 4.0 92 4.0 4.5 Atmos film HDR10 4k master
2001 A Space Odyssey 1968 4k HDR DV   8.3 4.0 93 4.0 4.8 DTS5.1 70mm, 35mm, 65mm, 8K intermediate
Ex Machina 2014 4k HDR10   7.7 4.0 92 4.0 5.0 DTS7.1 4k master
ET the Extraterrestrial 1982 4k HDR10   7.8 4.0 98 4.0 4.6 DTS:X 35mm film, 4k
Jaws 1975 4k HDR DV   8.0 4.0 98 4.0 4.1 Atmos 35mm film, 4k
Apollo 13 1995 4k HDR10   7.6 4.0 95 4.0 5.0 DTS:X 35 mm film, 4K
Back to the Future I 1985 4k HDR DV   8.5 3.5 96 4.0 5.0 Atmos 4K from film
Arrival 2016 HDR10   7.9 3.0 94 3.8 4.2 DTS7.1 2K intermediate
The Martian 2015 HDR10   8.0 3.5 91 4.0 5.0 DTS7.1 Redcode RAW, 4k upscaled from 2k master
Wonder Woman 2017 HDR10   7.4 3.0 93 3.8 5.0 Atmos 35mm film, 4k upscaled from 2k
Mission Impossible Fallout 2018 4k HDR DV   7.7 4.0 97 4.0 4.7 Atmos 4k master
Blues Brothers 1980 4k HDR10+   7.9 3.0 92 3.8 5.0 DTS:X 35mm film, 4k HDR10, HDR10+
Passengers 2016 4k HDR10   7.0 1.5 30 3.8 4.8 Atmos 4k master
Knives Out 2019 HDR DV   7.9 3.5 97 4.0 4.5 Atmos 2k master,
Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle 2017 HDR DV   6.9 3.0 76 3.5 4.9 Atmos ARRIRAW (3.4K) (source format), 2K Master
1917 2019 4k HDR DV   8.3 2.5 89 4.0 5.0 Atmos 4k master
Black Panther 2018 4k HDR DV   7.3 4.0 97 3.5 3.9 Atmos 4k master
Ford v Ferrari 2019 4k HDR10   8.1 3.0 92 3.5 5.0 Atmos 4k master
Alien 1979 4k HDR10+   8.4 4.0 97 3.5 4.4 DTS5.1 35mm, 70mm, 8mm, 4k master
Inception 2010 4k HDR10   8.8 4.0 87 3.5 5.0 DTS5.1 35mm 70mm film (2010)
A League of Their Own 1992 4k HDR10   7.3 3.0 84 3.5 5.0 Atmos film HDR10 4k master
Rocketman 2019 HDR DV   7.3 2.5 89 3.5 4.6 Atmos Codex ARRIRAW (3.4K) 2K master format
Interstellar 2014 4k HDR10   8.6 3.5 72 3.5 4.7 DTS5.1 35mm 65mm film (2014)
Mulan 2020 HDR DV   5.5 3.5 73 4.0 4.2 Atmos 2K intermediate
The Revenant 2015 4K HDR10   8.0 3.5 84 3.5 5.0 DTS7.1 ARRIRAW 3.4K 6.5K, 4k master

    IMDb = 0 - 10 scale.
    Roger Ebert 0 - 4 scale.
    Rotn Tmtos 0 - 100% scale.
    Roger C = my own rating, 0 -4 scale.
    Audio rating 0-5 scale from

Lawrence of Arabia in Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / Lawrence of Arabia / Dr. Strangelove / Gandhi / A League of Their Own / Jerry Maguire) + Digital [Blu-ray]
Lawrence of Arabia is a historical drama about T. E. Lawrence uniting the Arabs in World War I to fight turks and win Arab independence. This is a classic film restored from 8K scans. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won 7, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography - Color, Best Sound and more. The 4K restored film is very impressive, and illustrates composition lessons for landscape photographers.

Seven Worlds, One Planet Seven Worlds, One Planet (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray)
A beautiful nature documentary highlighting the 7 continents from the BBC. Note: the default sound is not Atmos--be sure to turn that on by hand in a menu and be immersed into the environment for a stunning experience. As expected from the BBC nature series, the 4K Blu Rays include over 400 minutes of stunning scenery and stories about nature on our planet. This series includes information on habitat loss by man and climate change.

Planet Earth II Planet Earth II & Blue Planet II Boxset [4K Blu-ray] [2017]
The 2016 nature series from the BBC is the stunning follow on to the original Planet Earth, now filmed in 4K HDR. Early in the 4K era, the sound track is DTS 5.1. The video quality is outstanding in 4K, showing fine details, and combined with compelling stories about life on the planet, this is a must have blu ray..

Gandhi in Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / Lawrence of Arabia / Dr. Strangelove / Gandhi / A League of Their Own / Jerry Maguire) + Digital [Blu-ray]
Gandhi is a biographical film about the non-violent effort for independence of India from British rule. Beautifully filmed and acted, it was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning 8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematrogrophy, and more. The 4K restoration is superb and the new Dolby Atmos sound track is one of the best I have heard. One problem with 3D immersive sound is that the musical score can drown out details of the sound. This film reduces or eliminates music in key places so one gets a better experience of the 3D sound, boosting the quality of the experience. For example, in one scene Gandhi is walking down a small street and someone above him from a balcony calls out to him, and that is exactly the Atmos experience, with a reaction to look up to see the person calling out above me. This is just one of many examples of the superb sound track throughout the film. I would rate the sound as 5.0 out of 5 compared to the 4.5 from

2001: A Space Odyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic science fiction film. It was nominated for 4 Academy Awards and won Best Special Visual Effects. The 4K HDR film on OLED is especially impressive in the scenes with the white spaceship in sunlight against the blackness of space. No technology besides OLED can show this impressive contrast like one would see if out in space. By modern movie standards, 2001: A Space Odyssey moves kind of slow, but that too is how the real universe works. It is interesting from a historical perspective with predictions of how far into space we would be by 2001, a reality that never happened.

Ex Machina Ex Machina (4K UHD)
Ex Machina is a visually stunning science fiction thriller about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it might be capable of. Beautifully filmed and acted, the robots in 4K HDR on OLED look 3 dimensional in their internals. There are no gunshots and no explosions, though some violence near the end, culminating in thought provoking ending on the future of AI robots. And AI robots are coming. The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and won for Best Visual Effects.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial [4K Ultra HD] [Blu-ray]
The film was scanned and processed in 4K HDR, making for a very impressive restoration. Combined with the DTS:X 3D immersive sound. The movie really comes to life on 4K OLED, and it is an uplifting story. E.T. won Academy Awards for Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects E.T. is listed as number 44 of the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing.

Jaws Jaws [Blu-ray]
Jaws is considered by many to be the origin of the summer blockbuster movie, with fast paced entertainment. The 4K HDR Blu Ray and Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound delivers. The scan to 4K is excellent and shows detail I never noticed in other viewings of the film, including the original in-theater viewing. Jaws won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Sound. Jaws is listed as number 88 on the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing.

Apollo 13 Apollo 13 [Blu-ray]
The movie about the ill-fated Apollo 13 trip to the Moon is stunning with 3D immersive sound and the native 4K HDR video. It is one of NASA's finest moments on how so many worked difficult problems to save the 3 astronauts and bring them safely back to Earth. Couped up in a small spacecraft with things breaking all around them, this is an ideal situation for 3D immersive sound, and the 4K disk delivers, and with superb acting. If you have seen this movie in 4K on OLED but not with a 3D sound system, view it again with a 3D sound system. This disk is a reference for 3D immersive sound. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won for Best Sound and Best Film Editing.

Back to the Future Back to the Future: The Ultimate Trilogy [Blu-ray]
Only occasionally does a movie come along with fresh ideas and story line. This one succeeds on all levels. The 4K restoration and Dolby Atmos sound make for a wonderful experience--like seeing the movie for the first time. Back to the Future received an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing.

Arrival Arrival [UHD/BD/Digital HD Combo] [Blu-ray]
Arrival is about Alien first contact with people of Earth. Are they here to conquer, or are they friendly? That question sets up concerns and conflicts. Arrival received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing, and won for Best Sound Editing. Arrival is listed as number 36 on the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing.

The Martian The Martian: Extended Edition (4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray)
This movie is about astronauts on Mars, and one getting left behind and how he survives. It is a very impressive film that illustrates the complexities we might face in actually establishing bases on Mars. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Wonder Woman Wonder Woman (4K Ultra HD) [Blu-ray]
I'll give a different perspective on this film from typical reviews. This is a movie about a young woman coming of age while growing up in a loving, sheltered environment where her mother and those around her lie to her. No one will tell here about her father or other siblings. While her true father and one sibling are revealed near the end of the film, the full story about her family can only be understood by knowing Greek Mythology. If you don't know, don't read about Greek Mythology before viewing the film. Instead look for clues throughout the film that indicates Diana's heritage. The clues throughout the film and Diana's (Gal Gadot) naivety make this a film above other movies in this genre.

I never had any interest in Wonder Woman comics growing up, cartoons, TV shows or whatever. So I knew nothing about the character except diverting bullets with her bracelets. I would not have gone to see this film in the movies either. I only watched it for the first time while on an international flight and there weren't many choices. Intrigued, I got the 4K Blu Ray disk and watched it on OLED. The facial expressions, which do not show well in most scenes at 720p, come to life in 4K. Gal Gadot's expressions alone are worth a watching, concentrating on those. Like her training scenes where her expressions are so real it looks like she is struggling and in fear that she might actually be hit by a sword, or her uncomfortableness at her first dance being up close, or her seeing snowfall for the first time. I had never before seen Gadot, and she is a breath of fresh air.

Wonder Woman is packed with subtle hints. For example, pick out all the clues to her origin before it is revealed. Count all the German soldiers she takes out in the course of the film. How many scenes does the guy in the dingy yellow coat show up in, and how did he get there? I did not care for the final mega battle on first viewing, but then I realized at each stage of the conflict, Diana is discovering her capabilities, gaining confidence and power. Note where she gives credit to others, rather than taking credit for herself. There are many little things like these that make this film better than what most reviews indicate.

On 4K HDR OLED the film shines. Watch the glint off metal--finally metal looks like real metal. The glint off water when Diana sails away from her Island is another excellent example of how HDR on OLED brings a scene to life. Wonder Woman is listed as number 17 on the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing.

See this review on why "Wonder Woman" is the best modern superhero film by a substantial margin. But do not read beyond the 3rd paragraph if you have not seen to movie.

Greek mythology: Amazons. Read about the Amazons after you have seen the movie and learn about Diana's father, siblings, and their surprising relationships. This may reveal one reason why Diana's mother did not want her to know about family history.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout Mission: Impossible - Fallout [Blu-ray]
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is an action spy thriller, 6th in the series. Being more recent and filmed and edited in 4K with great Dolby Atmos sound the detail from the Blu Ray disk is very impressive. Filled with impossible to happen in real life, it is a fast paced ride through the entire movie, with many twists and turns. Pay attention! Fallout won the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Action Movie. Fallout is listed as number 7 on the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing.

The Blues Brothers The Blues Brothers – 4K Ultra HD [Blu-ray] [2020] [Region Free]
The Blues Brothers is another classic movie wonderfully restored on 4K HDR10+ Blu Ray with DTS:X 3D immersive surround sound. Music is the key to this movie, and the DTS:X soundtrack is phenomenal.

Passengers Passengers [4K Ultra HD] [Blu-ray] [2016] [Region Free]
Passengers is about people on a 120-year space voyage to a new world. Everyone, passengers and crew, over 5000 people, are in hibernation. An encounter with an asteroid field results in a malfunction that wakes one passenger up. Faced with being along for the rest of your life, what would you do? The conflict sets up when, after being alone for years, the one passenger wakes up another. It is thought provoking, though some viewers did not like what happens leading to wide ranging reviews because it is not "politically correct," calling it creepy. Well, that is the point and exactly how the film treats it and the conflict that is set up. A series of malfunctions dooms the ship leading the two passengers to have work together. The native 4K HDR makes the interior of the ship very impressive, and in my view the acting and chemistry are excellent. The Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound is superb. Passengers was nominated for two academy awards.

Knives Out Knives Out [Blu-ray]
Knives Out is a mystery film about a dysfunctional family and inheritance after the father dies. Was it suicide or murder? This movie is full of twists, and the end is completely unexpected, at least to me. The film is an excellent example of how impressive HDR is even from 2K upscaled master. The Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound is impressive. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and has won many awards including named one of Top Ten Films of the Year by the American Film Institute.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle [4K Ultra HD+ Blu-ray + Digital]
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a fantasy adventure comedy about kids getting sucked into a video game. In the video game, their avatars are adults and they must win the game to get out. The movie is very innovative, more so in my opinion, than the original. The acting is excellent and the diversity of the characters work well together. It is another example of a superb HDR upscaled from 2K to 4K, and the Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound is amazing.

1917 1917 [4K UHD + Blu-ray]
1917 is a World War I fictional film about 2 soldiers trying to deliver orders calling off a doomed offensive attack. It is based in part on stories told by a World War I veteran. 1917 was filmed in probably the most unusual way of any film in recent history. The film was shot in long takes to appear as two continuous shots (the break is obvious at night). The 4K master quality shows amazing fine details and the Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound is jaw dropping impressive. The two combine to show the horrors of war, though historians say it was far worse that what is depicted in the film. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.

Black Panther Black Panther 4K Ultra [Blu-ray]
Black Panther is a superhero film about an African tribe who thousands of years ago finds a meteorite containing the (fictional) metal vibranium and uses the metal and its properties to create an advanced civilization with advanced technology including a way to hide their country, Wakanda, from the modern world. I am not a fan of superhero movies that build to destroy the Earth/Solar System/Galaxy//Universe. Black Panther does not either (though there is a local battle over power and who will be king of Wakanda). Black Panther was nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design On Rotten Tomatoes, Black Panther is listed as number 1 on the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing. The 4K Master format and Dolby Vision HDR along with the Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound make for an impressive movie with superb acting and strong story.

Ford v Ferrari Ford v Ferrari 4k Ultra Hd [Blu-ray]
Ford v Ferrari is about Carroll Shelby (Shelby Cobra fame) designing a race car for Ford to beat Ferrari in the 1966 Le Mans 24 hour race. The film was nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and won for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing. The 4K master format and HDR really make an impressive presentation. Dolby Atmos 3D immersive sound is amazing.

Alien Alien 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray]
Alien is one of the scariest science fiction movies I have seen. I originally saw it in theaters while working at the U. Hawaii. My colleagues, whom I worked with at the professional observatories on Mauna Kea, agreed that the depiction of the spaceship was far more realistic than the pristine all white and clean ships seen in other movies. While we worked at observatories and the telescopes were kept clean, other rooms on the building often contained dirty equipment, for example, the machine shop where people made quick fixes to broken instruments and these rooms were not, let me say, close to a clean room. Alien won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction. The Alien makes a surprising entrance (if you haven't seen the movie I won't give it away) unlike any other experience. Everyone in the theater jumped. The Alien proves to be a top predator and impossible to kill. At the end of the movie, one does not really know if the alien was ever killed. Forget the sequels--they are not even in the same ballpark. This 4K HDR10+ restoration shows amazing detail and the dark scenes come to life on OLED unlike any version I have ever seen. The only improvement would have been a 3D immersive soundtrack. Alien is listed as number 60 on the Rotten Tomatoes Top 100 Movies of All Time as of this writing.

Inception Inception (4K Ultra HD) [Blu-ray]
Inception is a science fiction film about stealing information from victims subconscious minds and implanting ideas. It is literally mind bending with explorations of dreams within dreams within dreams. What is reality? Inception won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. The 4K HDR has impressive detail. The HDR is conservative. The sound is DTS 5.1, and this is where a receiver with height virtualization can increase the sound experience.

League of Their Own in Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / Lawrence of Arabia / Dr. Strangelove / Gandhi / A League of Their Own / Jerry Maguire) + Digital [Blu-ray]
This may be a surprising entry on this list. It is not a movie I would have chose to purchase as a 4K Blu Ray disk. But it came as part of the Columbia Classics collection, which I purchased mainly to get Lawrence of Arabia and Gandhi. But what a surprise! The 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos restoration is stunning! And what a great story, a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Now I see why League of Their Own was included by popular vote to be included in the 1st Columbia Classics collection.

Rocketman Rocketman [Blu-ray]
Rocketman is a biographical musical film based on the life of Elton John, his problems with addiction, eventually overcoming it, and heartbreak with his parents coming out as gay, rejection by his father, and coming to terms with it, all while becoming a superstar. Beautifully acted and great music. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy as well as other awards.

Interstellar Interstellar (4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital)
Interstellar is a science fiction changing climate destroying Earth so people need to find a new planet to live on. The search for new planets involves going through a wormhole. The views of black holes is based on the latest (at the time the film was made) physics models. Interstellar was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and won for Best Visual Effects. The film was scanned at 4K resolution and provides impressive detail and HDR effects. The sound is DTS 5.1, and this is where a receiver with height virtualization can increase the sound experience.

Mulan MULAN [Blu-ray]
Mulan is beautifully filmed with great acting. The scenery in China and New zealand is astounding, and stunning on 4K OLED. Reviews are mixed due to controversy over Disney, diversity on the production team, and the Chinese government, and for the film not following the earlier cartoon. I watched the film not having seen the original so was not colored by previous versions.

The Revenant The Revenant [4K UHD Blu-ray]
The Revenant is a very intense film based on frontiersman Hugh Glass's experiences in 1823. The 4K HDR Blu Ray shows exquisite detail which makes it hard to watch such realistic scenes as the Indian attack at the beginning of the movie followed by the bear attack where one wonders how Hugh Glass could have survived, let alone made it back to civilization. The picture won Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Cinematography.

Columbia Classics Collection: Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / Lawrence of Arabia / Dr. Strangelove / Gandhi / A League of Their Own / Jerry Maguire) + Digital [Blu-ray]


Best viewer for video:

VLC media player (free, open source.)

Editing video:

Kdenlive video editor (free, open source, but does not yet do 10-bits/channel HDR.)

Davinci Resolve (free and more capable paid versions.)

ffmpeg A complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. (free, command line, does 10-bits/channel HDR).

ffmpeg example to convert a 16-bit tif image to a 10-bit HDR video at 10 frames per second:
ffmpeg -loop 1 -framerate 10   -i input-image-16-bit.tif \
    -t 10 -pix_fmt yuv420p10le -c:v libx265 -crf 17 -profile:v main10 -level 5.1 \
    -an -preset slower -coder 1 -x265-params \
    me=hex:subme=7:bframes=16:ref=16:colorprim=bt2020:transfer=smpte2084:colormatrix=bt2020nc \

Adobe Premier industry-leading video editing software. Commercial, monthly subscription. Includes 10-bits/channel HDR editing.

Editing audio:

Audacity Free, open source, cross-platform audio software. Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Developed by a group of volunteers as open source.

Cameras with 4K HDR capability

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: this is simply a list with no evaluation.

All still cameras with raw capability and 8.3 megapixels or more can do still images that can be converted to 10 or 12-bits/channel HDR.

DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras that record 4K 10-bit HDR video:

Fujifilm X-T4: 4K 10-Bit 4:2:2 chroma.


CANON EOS R5 8K 30 Raw and 4K120 10-Bit Internal Video recording.

CANON EOS R6 4K 60p and FHD 120p 10-Bit Internal Video recording.

CANON 1DX MARK III 4K 60p 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal Video Recording

PANASONIC S1H 6K 24p Video, 4K 4:2:2 10-Bit

PANASONIC S1 4K 60p HDR 10-Bit Recording

PANASONIC LUMIX DC-GH5 4:2:2 10-Bit 4K Video at 24/30p

SONY A7S III. 4K 120p Video, 10-bit 4:2:2 Internal recording.


Discussion and Conclusions

As we enter this new era of still image and video recording capability and display of results, we need to push the still photo community to catch up and adopt the new standards while we are putting new hardware and software into place. Fortunately, this process has started and prices are decreasing so now is a great time to upgrade. There is an impressive array of video content to choose from that illustrates the new capabilities. In the coming year or so, we'll see more video, and hopefully the beginning of HDR still image display.

If you find the information on this site useful, please support Clarkvision and make a donation (link below).

References and Further Reading

High-dynamic-range video (wikipedia)

Hybrid Log-Gamma (wikipedia)

Humphrey, j., 2018, High Dynamic Range. The Best TV Picture You've Ever Seen. Broadcast and Professional Products Hitachi Kokusai Electric America.

Software for HDR images.

Rec. 2100 (wikipedia)

DTS:X vs. Dolby Atmos, The latest surround sound formats,


The Color Series

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First Published December 19, 2020
Last updated January 4, 2021