The video presented through HDR technology is capable of showing more detail and color for a more accurate depiction of light and dark details. Therefore, HDR has become an important spec that both professionals in the media industry and Audio-Video enthusiasts are pursuing. Now, as a long-term developer pursuing better representation of higher image quality, BenQ has developed the exclusive HDR-PRO technology, which will be used in building projectors that represent the accurate color and dynamic contrast, allowing consumers to enjoy the cinematic visual experience that creators try to represent with accurate color and good image quality.
HDR, High Dynamic Range, is a standard that comes with a higher dynamic range in video signals, allowing the image to be shown with more brightness and color in detail. It enhances the light areas of the image, while also allowing dark areas to be shown in a deeper contrast, representing the original image more completely and faithfully, closer to what the human eye can see.
In this series of articles, we’ve introduced the basic definitions of HDR and gained a better understanding of filming and doing post-production for HDR video. In the previous article, we discussed if there is a true HDR for projectors. In that article, we showed that even though the maximum brightness of projectors is limited, with the latest technology development, manufacturers are trying to give consumers a viewing experience that is closer to seeing a film in the cinema.
Other than LCD TVs and display panels, BenQ also put great effort into developing projectors by integrating the software and hardware technologies altogether to present an authentic HDR image, which allows consumers to view the content with more details and better picture quality.
Since different devices have different specs, which might cause the color and brightness to not be represented as the original content intended, many projectors are equipped with Color Mapping and Tone Mapping functions. These features are designed to present the best result by taking the specs of the projector itself into account. BenQ HDR projectors are designed with Tone Mapping in mind, making sure the images being projected are all based on accurate calculation and precise projection, showing more details with more dynamic range in both light and dark areas. Therefore, it can bring the original visual elements to the audience and provide an authentic viewing experience that is closer to seeing a film in the cinema.
To make the Tone Mapping work even better, BenQ uses Dynamic Iris technology. With its Dynamic Black™ technology and proprietary deep dark sealing coating optical engine, BenQ projectors create a very wide dynamic range. No matter if the original scene is very bright or dark, consumers will be able to see the original video more clearly.
Most of the projectors on the market focus on either the performance in the light or dark areas and some will even sacrifice the realistic image to maintain the contrast ratio that falls within its range. With dynamic iris, projectors can decide the output value of the projection by controlling the optical system of the projector based on the different contents or different scenes. Therefore, it can optimize the contrast of the scene and make it closer to the director or creator’s original intended vision.
The brightness of an HDR projector, unlike HDR monitors, is not based on fixed values as the signal assigned to it, but it varies depending on the distance between the projector and the screen, screen sizes, and the material of the screen. Therefore, BenQ HDR projectors provide 5 different recommended HDR brightness values for 5 different common home projector screen sizes*. It is also equipped with brightness control so users can change the brightness level based on the screen size to enjoy the best viewing experience. (The common home projection screen sizes are 80”, 100”, 120”, 150”, and 200”)
In addition, BenQ HDR technology does not simply focus on providing the highest maximum brightness to show more dynamic range, but instead it provides sufficient and comfortable brightness choices in order to avoid long-term eye fatigue. This feature also presents a complete detailed and realistic image in a way that is best suited for human eyes.
With HDR brightness, Tone Mapping, and Dynamic Iris together, manufacturers will be able to project video with more dynamic range. For example, it allows the projector to show the difference between a star and a dark, empty space in a sci-fi interstellar scene, allowing the audience to be fully immersed in the cinematic universe and have an experience that is very close to the one they have in a theater.
A comparison between BenQ HDR-PRO projector and others in terms of brightness and contrast of the projected image
With a more dynamic range to be seen comes more details: the textures of the surface of metal material, the details of a rock cliff, and hairs of a character…etc. BenQ’s outstanding HDR-PRO technology will not expose the light areas or make the dark areas too dark in order to pursue a higher dynamic range. The emphasis is on providing a smooth gradient of contrast and the overall visual experience to give the audience the best there is to offer.
The textures of the surface of metal material, the details of a rock cliff, and hairs of a character
Wide Color Gamut is also crucial for HDR. Therefore, BenQ developed its own CinematicColor™ Color management technology. It not only matches the wide color space set by the film industry, but also provides an exclusive, rigid manual calibration mechanism to present the image with accurate color, saturation, brightness, and color temperature, etc. It can reach 100% Rec. 709 color gamut with Delta E<3, even meeting the requirement of DCI-P3 cinematic wide color gamut. The Color Mapping function of the projector can also automatically adjust the color of HDR content to the richest and most accurate color in any condition.
To present the content with higher image quality, contemporary display devices like TVs or monitors are usually developed in three aspects: True 4K resolution, Wide Color Gamut, and High Dynamic Range, all of them trying to show the image with high resolution, high contrast, and accurate color.
BenQ True 4K HDR projectors usually have 4K high resolution with 8.3 megapixels, and also support DCI-P3 wide color gamut. These two features are crucial and inseparable with the High Dynamic Range image presentation. For example, the specially designed high-end 4K lens on the projector comes with all glass elements, providing the advantage of large aperture and low dispersion, making the image bright and clear. BenQ exclusive HDR-PRO natural color restoration technology not only shows the wide color gamut in more detail and closer to the original color but also depicts authentic images with a higher dynamic range in the light and dark areas in nature.
4K resolution and DCI-P3 depict authentic images with a higher dynamic range in the light and dark areas in nature.
Since the brightness that viewers perceive from an image presented from a projector varies depending on the screen size, the distance between the projector and the screen, environment, and the material of the screen, there are a few things that users should be aware of:
Users should try to watch the content in a completely dark environment without ambient light to eliminate the possibility that the image projected being affected by other light sources, which may reduce the perceived image quality. Having any other light source will hinder the accurate performance of the light and dark details, which is the goal of having HDR content. The color perceived by the audience may also be misrepresented due to an external light source. If users can watch HDR content in a fully dark environment, they can enjoy a more immersive viewing experience as if they are in a theater. If they use BenQ projectors that support DCI-P3 wide color gamut, the color will be even richer and more accurate.
Screen sizes also affect the brightness of the projection. With the same projector, the smaller the screen, the brighter the image, and vice versa. A screen with a higher gain value (an index measuring how reflective a screen is) will brighten the projected image, while a screen with a lower gain value will darken the dark areas, showing more dark details and tonal changes.
BenQ HDR projectors are also equipped with a zoomable lens, ideal for use in various spaces. Without changing too much of the interior decoration, users can enjoy the best audio-visual experience. Before installation, we recommend you to use the BenQ Projection Calculator measuring tools for the best placement.
Deciding the distance between the projector and screen
To fully enjoy watching the HDR content with 4K HDR projectors, prepare a 4K HDR player and 4K HDR-standard content. When choosing the content, we recommend videos with higher brightness contrast and more saturated colors, which will show the full potential of HDR content.
HDR Projector and HDR Content Are Equally Important
Today, all major projector manufacturers are developing HDR devices. With its excellent tech team, BenQ is dedicated to providing the most authentic image in terms of brightness, contrast, and color rendition. BenQ allows the consumers to enjoy a viewing experience, no matter at home or anywhere else, that is closer to the quality of a movie theater.