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Forget the flat form factor, HDR is the finest feature on LG’s new OLED

When LG announced its new EF9500-series 4K UHD OLED TVs, most of the excitement centered around the fact that LG had finally issued an OLED TV that wasn’t curved. The flat form factor is all fine and good, yes, but what’s getting missed in the excitement is the EF9500’s ability to process HDR (High Dynamic Range) content through both streaming sources and connected devices, including those patched into the set’s HDMI 2.0a port. And that’s kind of a big deal.

Related: Samsung unveils first 4K UHD Blu-ray player, plans releaseĀ in early 2016

HDR is the biggest industry buzzword (buzz acronym?) in TV since 4K UHD TVs were first introduced. HDR allows a TV to display a much wider dynamic range of brightness levels, achieving deeper blacks and much brighter whites and colors. Many in the industry feel that HDR represents a more noticeable improvement to picture quality than 4K UHD resolution has since its introduction. You’d think, then, that more people would be excited about it, but a lack of understanding about how HDR works and how it will make its way into homes is stifling the, well, buzz among consumers. We want to change that.

HDR is more of a toddler at this point rather than a newborn infant

HDR can be broken down into three major components for consumption in the home: Content, delivery, and display.

On the content end, plenty of existing and forthcoming films (and, much later, TV programs) can/will be mastered in HDR — and there will be plenty of it to enjoy in the near future.

As for delivery, two major methods are just around the corner. There’s streaming, which has already begun via Amazon, and will be offered by Netflix in the coming months, and disc-based delivery, coming via Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players by the end of this year. Satellite and terrestrial broadcasters are also on-board, and the first transmissions will also be taking place soon.

Samsung-JS95000

Samsung’s HDR capable JS9500 in our home theater testing lab.

Samsung’s HDR-capable JS9500 in our home theater testing lab.[/caption]

Finally, we have the display element, which is already covered thanks to LG’s aforementioned EF9500 OLED, select Samsung SUHD TVs, and Vizio’s forthcoming Reference Series (and there’s more on the way!)

So, you see, HDR may still be in its early stages, but it’s more of a toddler at this point rather than a newborn infant, as many have been led to believe.

All of this to say: The LG EF9500 OLED is about more than just its fancy flat screen; it’s about delivering the future of television now and in the years to come. That’s worth getting excited about, too.