Apple’s EDR Tech Brings HDR to Older Mac Displays

In a new post on his blog Daring Fireball, John Gruber cites an article by veteran VFX technician Stuart “Stu” Maschwitz and discusses Apple’s Extended Dynamic Range (EDR) technology.

We all know how much Apple loves coining names for the tech they create, and EDR is yet another example. Extended Dynamic Range is something like High Dynamic Range, but at the same time surpasses it.

An excerpt from Maschwitz’s article explains:

“It [EDR] works on every display Apple bills as “HDR”[…]. The [Pro Display] XDR uses “local dimming” to light up an array of LEDs brighter behind the HDR pixels, as needed. The OLED displays drive each pixel to the desired brightness individually.”

The technology is used on Apple displays like the Pro Display XDR to play HDR and SDR media together on the same screen.

While EDR’s main use on Apple’s flagship iPhones like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 is capturing better shots with less noise and more detail in low light conditions, it also makes their screens capable of displaying crisp, detailed HDR media at the same time as SDR content.

Suffice it to say, Apple is gathering a number of different functionalities and features under one roof, naming it “EDR”, and calling it a day.

“Apple groups all this under one umbrella they call EDR, or Extended Dynamic Range. And even as they tout EDR as a selling point of their professional display and flagship iPhones, Apple has also quietly extended it to older Macs that were never advertised as being HDR-capable,” writes Maschwitz.

It would seem that Apple has incorporated EDR technology into older Macs that never boasted HDR capabilities, making them HDR-capable years after launch.