Skip to content

HDR Plus vs Quantum HDR: A Complete Comparison

High dynamic range (HDR) technology is transforming the world of television and home entertainment. But with TV manufacturers using their own terminology like "HDR Plus" and "Quantum HDR", understanding what you‘re actually getting can be confusing.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll demystify these marketing terms and compare HDR Plus vs Quantum HDR – from the tech behind them to real-world performance. You’ll learn exactly what they mean for picture quality so you can choose the best option when buying your next TV.

Defining HDR Plus and Quantum HDR

Let‘s start by clearly defining what we mean by HDR Plus and Quantum HDR:

HDR Plus – This refers to TVs that support the HDR10+ standard. HDR10+ builds on basic HDR by adding dynamic metadata on a scene-by-scene basis for better picture accuracy compared to standard HDR10. Samsung is a major driver behind HDR10+.

Quantum HDR – This is Samsung‘s marketing term for its QLED TVs with HDR support. Quantum HDR enabled TVs use quantum dot technology in their panel backlight system to achieve very high brightness and wide color gamuts.

So in a nutshell:

  • HDR Plus enables better tone-mapping for HDR content
  • Quantum HDR refers to the excellent HDR performance of QLED TVs

This means that a TV can actually support both HDR Plus AND Quantum HDR. In fact, most high-end Samsung QLED TVs have both!

Comparing Image Quality

When it comes to HDR performance that you’ll actually see on-screen, how do these technologies stack up?


Winner: Quantum HDR

Quantum dot LED backlights in QLED TVs can hit very high peak brightness up to 1500 nits or more. This makes them significantly brighter than standard LED TVs. Extreme brightness is key to a truly vibrant HDR experience.

While actual brightness varies across models, QLED TVs as a category beat non-QLED sets. HDR Plus doesn’t directly improve brightness.

Black Level & Contrast

Winner: Tie

Deep black levels are crucial for HDR contrast. OLED TVs still reign supreme here with their per-pixel lighting control.

But for LCD TVs, QLED and non-QLED sets both perform very well in this area as long as they use effective full array local dimming (FALD).

So Quantum HDR‘s quantum dots don‘t give it an inherent advantage. With similar local dimming implementation, they achieve similar black levels as non-quantum dot TVs of equivalent price tiers.

Color Volume

Winner: Quantum HDR

Quantum dots enable QLED TVs to produce a wider color gamut than regular LCD televisions. They can reach close to 90% of the strict Ultra HD Alliance standards for HDR color volume.

While absolute color performance varies across individual models, QLEDs in a given price class outperform non-QLEDs. HDR Plus also doesn’t directly enhance color performance.

So when it comes to color POP in HDR content, QLED TVs have the edge.

Tone Mapping

Winner: HDR Plus

Proper tone-mapping according to content metadata is vital for faithfully mapping an HDR signal to a TV‘s capabilities.

Standard HDR10 uses static metadata that doesn‘t perfectly reflect areas that need dimming or brightening within each scene. HDR10+ addresses this with dynamic tone mapping instructions updated per scene.

So HDR Plus via HDR10+ support enhances fine-tuned HDR tone mapping and accuracy versus basic HDR TVs without it.

Quantum HDR doesn‘t directly improve tone-mapping intelligence on its own. However, many Samsung QLEDs also have HDR10+ capability giving you both benefits!

Content Compatibility

Both HDR Plus and Quantum HDR work with standard HDR10 content which encompasses 4K Blu-ray movies and streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, etc.

But when it comes to accessing the more advanced features, there are some content compatibility considerations:

Quantum HDR – Gets you excellent performance with ANY HDR content. No special codecs needed.

HDR Plus – To leverage HDR10+ dynamic metadata you need compatible content from services like Amazon Prime Video. Blu-ray UHD movies with HDR10+ are also available.

Overall dynamic metadata content is growing steadily. But HDR10+ trails behind Dolby Vision which is the other major flavor of advanced HDR.

Between disc and streaming options, there‘s now a decent HDR10+ content library to showcase benefits over plain HDR10. But Dolby Vision still has significantly wider device support and content availability.

Many Samsung TVs support both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision giving you maximum flexibility.

HDR Plus vs Quantum HDR TV Examples

To make things more concrete, here are a couple high-performing QLED models that feature both Quantum HDR and HDR Plus capability:

Samsung QN85B Neo QLED 4K TV

  • Quantum HDR powered by Mini-LED local dimming zones and quantum dot color
  • High peak brightness over 1500 nits
  • HDR10 and HDR10+ support

Samsung QN900B Neo QLED 8K TV

  • Next-generation quantum dots and advanced local dimming
  • Over 2000 nits peak brightness
  • Integrated Dolby Atmos sound system
  • HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision

As you can see, Samsung‘s highest-end TVs combine the color and brightness of Quantum HDR with HDR Plus dynamic tone mapping for spectacular HDR quality.

Which is Better for You?

Quantum HDR is ideal if you want an LCD TV with sensational HDR brightness, contrast and colors. It really makes colors POP while showing shadow detail too.

QLED TVs deliver excellent HDR performance at various pricing segments so Quantum HDR brings high quality HDR within reach of more buyers.

HDR Plus support ensures you can access the latest advanced metadata content from services like Prime Video for the most accurate HDR picture possible. It builds on Quantum HDR‘s virtues with scene-optimized mapping.

Together, Quantum HDR and HDR Plus make a killer HDR combo! Midrange QLEDs even start at very appealing price points now while still offering both for a complete high dynamic range package.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need HDR Plus for quality HDR?

No, you can enjoy excellent HDR quality on TVs without HDR Plus. It provides incremental benefits when viewing supported content but isn‘t mandatory. Many flagship Samsung QLEDs support the wider-adopted Dolby Vision format instead.

Is a TV with Quantum HDR better than OLED?

Each excel in different areas. OLED is still unmatched for perfect black levels while QLEDs are much brighter. But high-end QLEDs have closed the gap significantly with their own deep blacks and stellar contrast. Ultimately both deliver amazing but slightly different HDR performance.

For mixed bright and dark content, QLED strikes the best overall balance for most people. But home theater enthusiasts may still prefer OLED. It‘s about your specific preferences.

Why do some content look bad in HDR?

Occasionally streaming apps or set-top boxes don‘t trigger HDR output properly leaving colors looking plain and dull. Make sure display settings are configured correctly and the video app indicates HDR playback is live. If issues persist, check that the device/content combo supports HDR fully.

The Bottom Line

Quantum HDR leverages QLED TV technology to deliver sensational brightness, black levels and color performance – crucial for impactful HDR.

HDR Plus brings the finesse of advanced HDR10+ dynamic metadata for the most accurate scene-by-scene HDR fine-tuning.

Together, they provide tremendous overall HDR quality for truly immersive viewing. With both technologies now available in midrange TV models, you no longer need an ultra-premium set to enjoy their combined benefits!