4K technology refers to TV resolution. 4K, also known as Ultra HD, refers to a TV resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. They are four times more pixels than a full HD TV, for a total of about 8.3 million pixels. What makes it better? It’s quite simple- it offers 3,840 columns and 2,160 pixel rows (3,840 x 2,160).
HDR technology, however, refers to 4K technology only in one sense where most high-end 4K TVs support it. Although it does not refer to the number of pixels available, it still improves the viewing experience.
WHAT IS HDR
Short for High Dynamic Range, HDR substantially increases the range of colors and contrasts on smart TVs and computer screens. This means that dark pixels within dark parts of an image can become much darker than non-HDR devices, thus improving the overall contrast.
Likewise, the bright parts of the image can reach much higher brightness levels, thus improving color accuracy.
HDR is certainly not closely related to 4K television technology. In theory, it can be applied to most devices with a screen. However, since it is still a cutting-edge technology, it is generally installed on high-end devices, which have 4K resolution. That’s why the term 4K HDR is one thing – where there is HDR, there is also 4K.
TVs and Roku devices, of course, support both 4K and HDR technology.
For streaming HDR content, you’ll need to meet a number of requirements. If you have a Roku device and a smart TV, you should make sure that it can actually play HDR content.
If you have a Roku TV, the only thing you need to make sure is if the model supports HDR. You can find this information online. Just type in the exact Roku TV model and look for “4K HDR” in its specifications. This is pretty much everything. You should be able to enjoy 4K HDR content by default.
If you have a Roku reader, you will need to make sure it can broadcast in 4K HDR. Search the model on Google and search again for the keyword “4K HDR”. Of course, your smart TV will need to be compatible with 4K HDR. Looking up google for specifics should give you this information. However, this is where things get a little more complicated.
In order for it to work with your Roku compatible with HDR 4K, it must have at least one HDMI 2.0 port that also supports HDCP 2.2. Note that this does not only refer to your Roku and TV devices. If there is a single device in the 4K HDR chain that does not support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 (such as a surround system, for example), streaming HDR content will not be displayed in HDR.
If your devices support the requirements, make sure you have updated both devices to their latest versions.
Now, due to the higher quality, the HDR video files you will see in streaming will be bigger and, therefore, much more demanding, in terms of streaming. An Internet connection at a maximum speed of 25 Mbps may be required. This does not take into account someone else who uses the actual connection during streaming.
Finally, you should get a Premium High-Speed HDMI cable.
CONNECT THE DEVICES
Once you’re sure that every single device you’re using is compatible and once you’ve got everything listed above, it’s time to connect the devices. Note that most Roku devices use HDMI ports to connect directly to your smart TV. Some, however, may require an HDMI cable to establish a connection.
If your Roku device and your TV are the only parts of the equation, simply connect them as indicated. If multiple devices are involved, use an AVR / soundbar, etc.
HDR TV SETUP
Before properly streaming HDR video content and connecting everything physically, you will probably need to configure your smart TV for HDR. Some HDR-ready televisions will automatically activate HDR mode, while others will require configuration.
To make sure you have done everything correctly, consult the TV’s instruction manual or contact the manufacturer. You can probably find the appropriate manual online.
However, here is the general profile of the HDR configuration for some of the most popular smart TV brands.
On Samsung HDR-compatible TVs, go to Menu, then to Image. From this screen, go to Image Options, followed by HDMI UHD Color. Activate this option and restart the device.
For LG HDR TVs, go to the Home screen and go to HDMI. Then go to Settings, Advanced and find the Image option. Now select and activate the HDMI ULTRA DEEP COLOR option and restart the device.
With Sony HDR TVs, go to Home and select Settings. From the Settings screen, select External Inputs, then HDMI Signal Format, then HDMI [select Roku player input]. Now, select Advanced Mode and your TV should automatically restart.
HDR ON ROKU
I hope this article has helped you enable HDR streaming on Roku and TV. When you browse Roku’s video content, look for the HDR logo on movies and shows. Also, make sure you have followed the instructions carefully and that all the devices involved are compatible with the HDR. Do you use HDR on your Roku device? Have you encountered problems?