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My TV is 4K UHD but not HDR, am I still watching 4k?

Just Moved In
I have a 4k RCA (RTU4853) tv, which I believe is UHD but do not think it's HDR. I was wondering, if my TV is 4K but not HDR and I goto a 4K channel am I getting 4k or is it just downgraded to 1080? Especially on a 4k channel that has the HDR logo? Also if I rent a Movie that is 4k HDR and HD and it tells me my TV dosnt support HDR and that It will play HD instead, is it going to play standard 4k HD or 1080 HD? Final question, if I goto a 4k sports channel, will I be able to watch sports in 4k without HDR but still a 4k UHD tv.?

Community Power User
Community Power User

4K and HDR are two very different things.


4K refers to the resolution, or number of pixels on the screen. If you're watching 4K HDR or just 4K, it's still 4K resolution. You'll only be watching 1080p if the TV channel is airing content originally recorded in 1080p. 4K content is not yet nearly as widely available as 1080p is.


HDR or High Dynamic Range refers to the color and contrast of the image. 


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I understand that HDR and 4k are different. To make my question simple, If I order a movie from Telus on demand and it says 4k HDR and HD and I order it, then it tells me my TV is not compatible with hdr and it will play in HD, is that HD going to be 4k or 1080.

At the risk of confusing matters even more consider the following.
- HD is not an exact term. It can refer to 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
- Your 4k TV always shows a 4K image because it upscales every source to 4K to fill the screen. So a HD source will be upscaled to 4K.
- Upscaling interpolates the missing data from a lower resolution signal and creates a 4K image.

The answer to your question is that you will see the HD signal upscaled to 4K. It will not have the image quality of a true 4K source but you are seeing a 4K image because you have a 4K TV.

As a current owner of non-HDR but 4k TV, I am fairly certain that, in your posted scenario, you will get 4k feed but without HDR.

TELUS Employee
TELUS Employee

the movie "bundle" offers a 4K HDR version and an HD version.  if you don't have an HDR TV - even if you have a 4K SDR TV - you will not the 4K HDR version.  You will be shown the HD version.  Here's a link that talks about this:
Also, if your TV is younger than 4 yrs. old many brands do offer 4K with HDR - double check your TV?