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Ultra HD 4K or 4K HDR

Which is Better: Ultra HD 4K or 4K HDR?

Jessica Childres
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Whether you’re looking for a high-definition gaming laptop or need a quality computer monitor for work, it’s important to make the right choice. While there are many options with advanced features and crisp screens, there is a clear difference between Ultra HD 4K (UHD 4K) and 4K High Dynamic Range (4K HDR).
Before we jump into the comparison, let’s break down what each of these means. UHD 4K refers to the number of pixels in a display (3840 x 2160), which are responsible for giving a screen an extremely clear resolution. These screens have four times the normal number of pixels.
The term 4K HDR refers to the display’s ability to create a clear and crisp picture using dynamic range technology. This allows the screen to control the colors, contrast, and brightness of the visuals.
They’re both nice features to have and create enhanced gaming and video experiences, but when it comes down to it, 4K HDR is considered a better option. It provides a high-quality experience in any lighting and automatically adjusts millions of colors to the right brightness and contrast levels, creating a stunning picture quality like none other.
This takes it a step above UHD 4K, which refers to the ratio of pixels on the screen but does not adjust the picture during instances like a movie with a very bright or dark scene, which could make it hard to see the actual image.

What’s the difference between UHD 4K and 4K HDR?

man playing video games on 4K display
When comparing 4K Ultra HD vs. 4K HDR, it’s easy to get them confused. They both signify top-of-the-line image quality and produce stunning pictures, making it easy to enjoy your favorite games, movies, projects, and pictures.
When it comes down to it, UHD refers to the number of pixels in a screen, which results in a specific resolution. In contrast, HDR refers to the screen's ability to maintain a crisp image by automatically adjusting that image by changing the color, contrast, and brightness as needed.
Here’s a closer look at the key differences.

UHD 4K

When you see UHD 4K on a device, this signals that a high number of pixels are used to create a crisp and high-definition screen resolution. These pixels create clear images and prevent your movies, video games, or pictures from looking blurry.
Z43 42.5-inch 4K UHD Display
The HP Z43 42.5-inch 4K UHD Display, for example, boasts over 8 million pixels, creating a beautiful picture and clean display. The UHD 4K screen has a 4,000 horizontal pixel count, which is about four times higher than a standard UHD screen.
This display is the perfect option for anyone who loves playing video games, watching movies on their computer, or using their computer for video calls on a regular basis.
V28 4K 28-inch Display
Another great example of this type of screen is the HP V28 4K 28-inch monitor. This stunning monitor boasts four times the pixels of a standard 28-inch screen, taking your picture and image quality to the next level.
This monitor is a good fit for gamers looking to enhance their set-up or those who want to enjoy movie theatre quality resolution in their home or office.

4K HDR

While UHD 4K is a good option for laptops and computer monitors, it’s not quite as advanced as 4K HDR, which produces high-quality images with improved picture settings and adjustments. This is a superb feature that allows the screen to automatically adjust the color, contrast, and brightness needed to maintain a clear image during your game, movie, or presentation.
U32 4K HDR Monitor
The HP U32 4K HDR Monitor has a beautiful display, making it easy to watch your favorite movies or climb the leaderboards with ease. It’s a great option for those who use their screens on a daily basis and want a crisp picture with stunning color quality.
With over 1 billion colors, you’ll see the picture as it looks in person, giving you an unbelievable viewing experience. It’s an ideal feature for creators, digital marketers, digital artists, or anyone looking for accurate colors and a life-like digital display.
U28 4K HDR Monitor
Another great example of 4K HDR is the HP U28 4K HDR monitor, which boasts an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel to optimize every single color. Whether you’re a gamer looking to enhance your experience as you live stream or a digital creator who needs a clear and accurate picture, this 4K HDR monitor is a fantastic option.
It’s important to note that both the UHD 4K and 4K HDR monitors and devices need compatible 4K content to create crystal clear pictures. These monitors support lower resolutions and still provide a gorgeous and clear picture with fewer pixels, but for best results, you’ll need 4K content.

How do Ultra 4K HD and 4K HDR differ from traditional UHD and HDR?

While some terms are used interchangeably, there is a clear distinction when comparing HDR vs. UHD. A typical HD monitor boasts around a 720p resolution, is used by many public broadcasters, and has a much lower pixel count than newer versions.
Traditional HDR monitors and screens provide at least 10-bit color depth and automatic contrast and brightness adjustments. More advanced screens with 4K HDR meet these standards and have a typical resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, around four times the traditional HD amount.
Basically, 4K devices provide four times the normal pixels, improving the picture and screen quality. It’s a great addition to any TV or computer monitor and takes your viewing to the next level.

When would you need Ultra 4K HD or 4K HDR?

man using 4k displays
Although not everyone will need a UHD 4K or 4K HDR screen, there are plenty of individuals that could greatly benefit from these upgrades. If you’re in the market for a new TV, computer monitor, or laptop and you’re looking for a high-quality screen, first consider your needs.
If you regularly play video games and want improved picture quality and a crisp screen while streaming, a 4K HDR computer monitor would be a fantastic option. It’s great for gaming because the technology automatically adjusts the colors, contrast, and brightness of the screen, helping you stay focused while playing.
Another reason to get an upgraded screen with high resolution is for watching movies or live-streaming. If you frequently watch movies or shows on your TV or computer monitor, it’s a good idea to invest in one of these upgraded screens. The increased pixel count provides a great picture and makes it easy to get lost in your favorite shows.
If you love watching movies but get annoyed with very bright or dark scenes that are hard to see, you should consider a 4K HDR screen. This will adjust the colors and brightness as needed, allowing you to catch every second of the movie or show.
In addition to these two scenarios, if you work from home or host webcam meetings on a regular basis, it’s a great idea to invest in an Ultra HD 4K or 4K HDR option. Your coworkers and clients won’t look blurry on the computer screen, allowing you to focus on what really matters. Switching to an upgraded screen with a high resolution is a fantastic way to keep you and your employees on task while at work.

Summing up the difference between 4K UHD vs. 4K HDR

Although there are plenty of quality TV and computer monitor screens out there, UHD 4K and 4K HDR lead the pack. Of the two, 4K HDR is a better option because it boasts a high pixel count and the ability to adjust the colors and contrast automatically, giving you a next-level viewing experience.
Although devices with this resolution may be a bit pricey, they’re long-lasting and give you stunning picture quality. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer wanting to upgrade your screen for a better experience or a movie lover tired of missing out on bright or dark scenes, a 4K HDR screen is for you.
High resolution and high pixel counts are also great for those who work with computers on a regular basis. Content marketers, graphic designers, and architects can all benefit from a clear picture. Upgrading to a 4K HDR computer monitor can help you focus on the task at hand, helping you spend less time squinting while trying to work on your computer screen.
These monitors and TV screens make sense for a wide range of people and can greatly benefit those who use their computers for work, school, movies, or gaming. It’s a fantastic investment that will leave you with a stunning picture and likely make you want to upgrade all of your devices once you get one.
When you buy a quality UHD 4K or 4K HDR screen from HP, you’ll receive a one-year standard warranty and top-of-the-line customer service, making your upgraded screen that much better.

About the Author

Jessica Childres is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. She is a former PE teacher and currently lives in Panama City, Florida with her husband and two dogs. She loves reading, writing, and spending time on the beach.

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