Dell HDR Monitor Doesn’t Do HDR

/ 3 years ago

Dell HDR Monitor Doesn’t Do HDR

Dell’s new U2518D 25-inch monitor is a nice bit of kit. It features a 1440p WQHD IPS display, 60Hz refresh rate, and “Dell HDR” technology. Not bad for $500, right? The only problem is, “Dell HDR” isn’t actually HDR.

What is Dell HDR?

In Dell’s description of the U2518D, the company boasts:

A captivating sight: Dell HDR combines greater depth of colors, remarkable clarity and a high contrast range of shades to create strikingly realistic images.”

“Dell HDR”, though, comes with the following caveat:

“Dell’s HDR feature has been designed with a PC user in mind and supports specifications that are different from existing TV standards for HDR. Please review the specs carefully for further details.”

Dell continues to appeal to HDR fans in a later description:

Uncompromised images: View your HDR10 content like it was meant to be seen. Even your HDR photos will boast a lifelike experience.”

Again, the text features a footnote:

“Dell HDR monitors require HDR10 enabled content from a compatible source like your service provider, a Blu-ray disc or a game.”

Dell HDR Monitor Doesn’t Do HDR

So, What’s the Problem?

Dell HDR merely simulates HDR. While it does take advantage of HDR10 content, Dell’s HDR system does not adhere to any HDR standard. In addition, this HDR simulation provides an inadequate visual experience. A typical HDR display boasts 1,000 nits; Dell’s HDR simulation reaches just 350 nits. Therefore, Dell’s fake HDR will not provide the same high level of contrast as proper HDR. Similarly, HDR10 uses the Rec. 2020 colour gamut, while Dell’s HDR uses the older narrow-range Rec. 709. Not even close to real HDR, is it?

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