HDR400 vs HDR10: Which is Better? (Detailed Guide)

Lindsay Hayes

HDR10 are HDR monitors that come with a 10-bit color standard. This means that they can play over 1000 shades of primary colors, while also providing a dynamic picture quality.

HDR400 monitors can't handle 10-bit color gamuts, but can only work the standard 8-bit one. The 400 in their name means that they can reach around 400 max nits of brightness.

I was thinking of buying a new gaming monitor recently and did some digging on the two HDR types. I decided to tell you everything I learned, as well as some additional information.

Contents

HDR400 vs HDR10 - Which is Better?

I've taken a look at both HDR400 and HDR10 individually and then compared them side-by-side. Let's get to it.

What is HDR10?

HDR 10 is a media standard that allows monitors to play high dynamic range picture quality. So you will get a computer monitor with a superior color gamut and contrast ratio.

The number '10' in HDR 10 means that the monitor would be able to play HD content in a 10-bit standard, instead of the usual 8-bit one.

Just for your reference, 10 bit color screens can play 1024 shades of primary colors per channel, while 8-bit color screens can only play 256 shades per channel. This is something any photo or video editor would appreciate.

It is an open source media standard too.

There is currently a more superior open-source format that has replaced HDR10. I am talking about HDR10+.

This is basically its latest iteration that allows you to change the brightness level from frame to frame.

What is HDR400?

HDR400 is different from HDR10, as it means that the HDR monitor can reach a maximum brightness of around 400 nits. It was created by the Video Electronics Standards Association, and is also royalty-free.

Keep in mind that although the monitors may be able to reach 400 max nits, the specific model you buy will influence how long it can maintain this.

They are usually more affordable. Plus, they usually come with the 8-bit color standard, so you don't get such a vivid display.

You can currently find HDR600 and HDR1000 nit screens on the market. As the name suggests, you will be able to reach around 600 to 1000 max nits with them, respectively.

What is the Difference Between HDR 400 and HDR10 Computer Monitors?

HDR10 is superior to HDR 400. Your monitor comes with a high dynamic range, as well as a massive 10-bit color gamut. This makes it an excellent choice for any photo or video editor.

HDR 400 displays are HDR compatible. However, they can't reach the 10-bit color standard, only the regular 8-bit one. They play videos at 400 max nits too.

The ASUS ProArt PA34VC rocks a HDR400 display, and it's one of the best gaming monitors due to how fluid it is.

What is Gaming on HDR Monitors Like?

Gaming on HDR monitors is quite good. You will get enhanced colors and brightness which will make the game more immersive.

Depending on the model you buy, you might get local dimming which will improve your visual experience too.

To get the most out of the HDR format, you will first need a game that can handle the feature. Most modern games do this, but you should double-check their graphics settings.

The games that happen to support HDR are either HDR 10 or Dolby.

You also will need to enable the HDR feature on your computer. This is something that many users forget to do. They may end up wondering why their PC game has pretty weak graphics.

What Problems Do HDR Monitors Have?

Although HDR monitors are good, there are a few issues that you should be prepared for.

You might notice that the blacks and whites are a bit too enhanced. This can make it harder to see the surroundings in your game or movie.

For instance, dark rooms will be too dark, and bright areas will be too bright.

Is HDR10+ Better Than DisplayHDR Level 10?

HDR 10+ is the newest iteration of HDR 10. It was announced by Samsung and Amazon video in 2017.

Both standards are great, as they help improve picture quality and intensity.

HDR 10 works by sending static metadata to the video stream, which is encoded information on the color calibration settings to adjust the media you're watching or playing.

HDR 10+ is different, as it sends dynamic meta data. This allows your monitor to adjust color and brightness levels frame-by-frame. So pictures are made to look more realistic.

Most HDR10+ monitors can handle up to 4000 max nits, while HDR10 screens can only handle around 1000 nits of peak brightness.

Both HDR specifications come with excellent color uniformity and can support the 10 bit color depth, which means that you will see 1024 shades of primary colors when you watch movies or play PC games.

They both come in mid-high end TVs.

The Samsung S95B OLED is a good HDR10+ display, if you're interested.

Is HDR10 or HLG Better?

HLG is quite different from HDR10. So here's a quick breakdown:

When creators design content for HDR TVs, it can lose color saturation and vividness when played on normal SDR TVs.

HLG was introduced to bridge this gap. It is a format that creators use to ensure that their shows look good on both HDR and SDR monitors.

However, there is a compromise. Although HLG does look good, it's not very vivid.

Is HDR 10 Better Than 4K?

HDR monitors deliver a high contrast ratio, brightness range, and overall a wider color gamut than 4k. It is more visually impactful as well.

But 4K displays have a sharper, more crisp image that makes them stand out.

Both display standards are common with premium TVs because of how excellent their image quality is.

How Does HDR10 Compare to Dolby in the TV World?

Dolby Vision is another HDR data type. It was created by Dolby Laboratories and is one of the most popular screen standards out there. You will find it on high-end OLEDs.

It sends dynamic metadata to the video stream to be decoded. Instead of having a 10-bit depth, it takes this up a notch and can handle the 12-bit range instead. This means that you will see 4096 shades of primary colors.

You usually get around 10,000 nits of peak brightness from Dolby TVs as well. This is far better than any HDR10 or HDR10+ screen, which means that Dolby TVs are by default superior to HDR400s as well.

If you want a cinematic experience when watching your favorite movies, you should definitely go for a Dolby Vision display. You'll feel like you are actually there.

Just keep in mind that they are usually found in very expensive TVs, though.

In case you're wondering what a good Dolby TV would be I've got you covered - check out the LG OLED55B2PUA.

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Final Thoughts

There are many differences between the two HDR labels. If you go with a HDR10 gaming monitor, you get a true HDR display that can handle the 10-bit color standard.

On the other hand, with HDR400, it can only play 8- bit colors. You will get a HDR compatible monitor that can only reach a peak display brightness level of around 400 nits.

This makes HDR10 the superior of the two HDR standards, as you get better brightness, better contrast ratio, a more wide color gamut, and an all-round better viewing experience. It is a great choice for competitive gamers, or anyone who has to edit a lot of footage.

If you're interested in the best HDR gaming monitors, I also have to mention HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. They take things up a notch, and I looked at them in-depth.

I also discussed a few other points, such as the problems with HDR specifications, and the difference between HDR10 and HDR10+.

Lindsay Hayes

Author
Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
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