LG Electronics confirmed a Forbes report this week that it plans to add support for high dynamic range (HDR) video as a firmware update to LG EG9600 series 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs as soon as technical specifications are finalized.

More on the EG9600 HDR update after the jump:

In a statement confirming the report, LG said: “OLED TV technology is perfectly suited to display HDR content based on its ability to deliver perfect black levels and infinite contrast. Once technical specifications for HDR are finalized, LG plans to provide a firmware upgrade for the LG EG9600 series which will support HDR content. This network update will enable consumers to enjoy HDR content streamed through LG’s Smart TV partner apps or delivered via other devices through the TV’s IP interface.”

The statement stopped short of saying the firmware update would support HDR metadata content streamed through HDMI ports from forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray players and other HDR-supporting, out-boarded devices, as that would require a further update to the HDMI 2.0a spec.

We asked LG if it would be adding HDMI 2.0a updates to any TVs soon after the spec was announced, but a company spokesman said LG was still studying the details of the technical enhancement.

LG will also be offering a line of Wide Color Gamut LED LCD TVs this year, but LG’s announcement didn’t say if those models would also be getting a firmware update.

It will be interesting to see how HDR performs on an OLED screen. OLED TV technology offers superior black level and contrast to LED, but some of this year’s HDR-ready LED TVs from Samsung, Sony and others, offer higher brightness output for select areas of a picture, which is beneficial to HDR implementations.

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High Dynamic Range increases brightness and detail in bright white and dark black areas of an image at the same time, bringing out elements in the picture that are usually washed out in bright white segments or crushed into blackness. The result is a picture that appears more natural to the eye.

The HDR updates will be available for LG’s top-end 65-inch $8,999-UPP 65EG9600 and 55-inch 55EG9600 at $5,499. Both OLED TVs feature curved screens and 4K Ultra High Definition resolution.

LG’s OLED sets will join a handful of models from other manufacturers slated to support the new HDR information that will be encoded into the bit streams of specially produced 4K Ultra HD content. Several  proposals for HDR implementation are competing for adoption by the Ultra HD Alliance (a multi-industry group including manufacturers and content producers).

UHD Alliance members have said that it is possible to include more than one HDR metadata stream in some content.

In addition to LG, Sony and Samsung have been aggressively promoting HDR capability in top-end Ultra HDTV models this year. Both Sony and Samsung have said their sets will be upgradable (through firmware, hardware or both) to support HDR metadata and the HDMI 2.0a spec.

By Greg Tarr

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