HDR as a Game-Changer for Smart Projectors: Here's How to Set It Up

by Dangbei Official on January 19, 2024

HDR Explained


Home theaters have come a long way in recent years. With high-definition TVs, surround sound systems, and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, it's easier than ever to recreate the movie theater experience right in your own living room. Now, advances in projector technology are taking home entertainment to the next level. 

One of the most exciting new developments is high dynamic range (HDR) on smart projectors. HDR greatly improves picture quality by increasing the range of brightness levels displayed on the screen. The result is an image that looks more realistic, with brilliant highlights and increased detail in dark areas. 

In this blog, we'll explore what HDR is, the different types of HDR, the benefits it offers, and how to start HDR watching on a smart projector. Let's dive in!

What is HDR

HDR stands for high dynamic range. It refers to displaying a wider range of brightness levels on a screen, from very dark to intensely bright. 

Standard dynamic range video has a more limited brightness range. With SDR, details in very bright or dark parts of an image may be lost, resulting in a flatter, less realistic picture. 

HDR expands that range dramatically. HDR video is mastered to preserve details in the brightest highlights and deepest shadows. This helps create greater contrast between light and dark areas. Colors also appear more vibrant and lifelike with HDR.

The end result is a remarkably immersive viewing experience that replicates real-world visuals. HDR brings out details you've never noticed before in your favorite movies and shows.

With HDR VS Without HDR

Types of HDR

There are several types of HDR available today. Here are four of the main HDR standards used for home video:


The most widely used HDR format. It is an open standard supported by all HDR TVs and does not require any licensing fees. HDR10 provides up to 1,000 nits of peak brightness and 10-bit color depth. The format has been adopted by many TV manufacturers and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Hulu, as well as the Blu-ray Disc Association. Its ubiquity makes HDR10 the baseline HDR format for 4K UHD content across platforms.

Dolby Vision

A proprietary HDR format created by Dolby Laboratories. It builds upon HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that optimizes brightness levels frame-by-frame. Dolby Vision enables up to 10,000 nits peak brightness and 12-bit color. 


An open-source HDR format backed by companies like Samsung, Panasonic, and 20th Century Fox. Like Dolby Vision, it uses dynamic metadata for scene-by-scene adjustments to picture quality. HDR10+ is also capable of up to 10,000 nits peak brightness.

HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma)

HLG is a format developed for broadcasting. It's designed to be compatible with both SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR displays, making it a versatile choice for content distribution.

Among Dangbei and Emotn smart projectors, models like the Dangbei Mars Pro, Dangbei Mars, Dangbei Neo, and Emotn N1 support both HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range formats. This provides users with more flexibility to experience enhanced image quality.

Benefits of HDR on Smart Projectors

Here are some of the key benefits of HDR on smart projectors compared to SDR projectors:

More Lifelike Images

HDR's increased brightness range reveals subtle details in shadows and highlights. Colors also appear richer and more realistic. HDR makes every pixel seem to come to life on the big screen.

Bigger Impact

Projector screens are much larger than TV screens. HDR's dramatic effects have an even bigger impact when viewing video projected at 100 or 200 inches. The large screen illuminated with HDR is simply jaw-dropping.

Matches Cinema Quality

Modern commercial cinemas use laser projectors capable of HDR to achieve amazing picture quality. Home HDR projectors allow you to recreate this top-tier viewing experience at home.

Compatibility with 4K

Many smart projectors that support HDR also boast 4K resolution. When combined, these technologies deliver an incredibly sharp and detailed image quality that's perfect for large screens. The Dangbei Mars Pro 4K projector exemplifies the benefits of 4K and HDR in one device. With Ultra HD resolution and HDR10 & HLG capability, the Mars Pro renders images with incredible clarity, vibrant colors, and strong contrast between bright and dark areas of the picture.

mars pro


As more HDR content becomes available from streaming providers, your smart projector will be ready to display it in all its glory. HDR projectors help future-proof your home theater.

How to Start Enjoying HDR on a Smart Projector

If you want to wow your family and friends with an HDR home theater, here are a few tips to get started:

Check Compatibility

Ensure that your smart projector is HDR-compatible. Not all projectors support HDR, so it's crucial to verify this before proceeding.

Find HDR Content

You'll need HDR content to watch on your smart projector. Popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ offer a growing library of HDR content.

HDR Settings

Access the settings menu on your smart projector and navigate to the HDR settings. Here, you can select the HDR mode that suits your preferences. Most projectors offer modes like HDR10, Dolby Vision, or HLG.

Calibrate Projector Settings

Adjust settings like brightness, contrast, and color temperature to optimize the HDR image. Turn on expanded color gamuts like REC 2020 for increased color depth. 

Sit Back and Enjoy

Once everything is set up, sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite HDR content on the big screen. You'll be amazed at how HDR transforms your viewing experience.

Available HDR Content

HDR (high dynamic range) has grown in popularity for home entertainment over the past few years. There are two main ways to access HDR content for movies and TV shows: streaming services and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. We also recommend some great HDR-enabled games that game lovers can enjoy.

Streaming Services for HDR Content 

Many popular streaming services now offer some HDR titles, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV+, and Disney+. The specific HDR formats and number of titles available vary by service. A premium subscription, HDR-compatible device, and internet fast enough for 4K streaming are typically required.

Some of the best HDR movies and shows to watch on Netflix include:

  • Stranger Things
  • All of us are Dead
  • Star Trek
  • 13 Reasons Why 
  • Elite 
  • Emily in Paris
  • Black Summer
  • And more

    Ultra HD Blu-ray Releases

    Most new Ultra HD Blu-ray movie and TV show releases include HDR video. A 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and an HDR-capable projector are required to view the HDR content on these discs.

    Some recommended Ultra HD Blu-rays with exceptional HDR:

    • Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
    • Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
    • The Revenant (2015)
    • Dunkirk (2017)
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
    • Wonder Woman (2017)
    • Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (2018)
    • Planet Earth (2016)
    • And more

      HDR Games

      These games take full advantage of HDR to create stunning visuals and immersive gaming experiences. Check them out if you want to show off your HDR display's capabilities.

      Some great HDR games for PlayStation 5 include:

      • Elden Ring
      • Horizon Forbidden West
      • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
      • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
      • Cyberpunk 2077

        And for Xbox Series X/S:

        • Forza Horizon 5
        • Halo Infinite
        • Assassin's Creed Valhalla
        • Gears 5
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War


          HDR-capable smart projectors represent the future of home entertainment. They provide an unprecedented viewing experience that makes movies and shows come alive with incredible brightness, color, and realism. As HDR content becomes more widely available across streaming platforms, now is the perfect time to upgrade your home theater with an HDR-ready smart projector. The ability to project jaw-dropping HDR images up to 200 inches or more will make your theater the go-to destination for family movie nights and parties.


          Q: Does my smart projector support HDR? 

          A: To determine if your smart projector supports HDR, check the specifications in the user manual or on the manufacturer's website. Look for terms like "HDR10", "Dolby Vision", or "HLG" as these are common HDR formats supported by projectors.

          Q: Can I watch HDR content on my smart projector without a special HDR source?

          A: Yes, some smart projectors have the ability to upscale non-HDR content to HDR, but the quality may not be as impressive as true HDR content. To experience the full benefits of HDR, it's best to use HDR-compatible sources such as 4K Blu-ray players, streaming devices, or gaming consoles.

          Q: How do I calibrate HDR settings on my smart projector? 

          A: Calibrating HDR settings can vary depending on the projector model. Consult your user manual for specific instructions, but generally, you'll want to adjust settings like brightness, contrast, color saturation, and HDR tone mapping to achieve the best HDR experience for your environment.

          Q: What kind of content supports HDR? 

          A: HDR content is becoming more widely available and includes movies, TV shows, streaming services, and video games. Look for content labeled "HDR" or "Dolby Vision" when choosing what to watch or play.

          Q: Are there any drawbacks to using HDR on my smart projector? 

          A: While HDR enhances visual quality, it can also be demanding on the projector's capabilities and may result in increased fan noise or reduced lamp life. Additionally, not all content is created equal, so the HDR experience may vary depending on the source material.

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