4000 nits, baby!
One corner of TCL’s large hall had this 4000-nit display in operation. Nits are a luminance unit quaintly defined in terms of candlelight — your average wax candle produces one candela of light (candela is an SI unit) and your nits are equal to one candela per square meter.
They’ve slipped into consumer tech parlance in recent years because of High Dynamic Range in Ultra High Definition TV signals — movies are mastered for HDR up to a certain number of nits, and this is then scaled down (intelligently, using a transfer function) to match the available nits from your particular TV. Not many TVs are advertising their nit levels, because most of them are pretty low, in the hundreds, with a few higher-end LCDs pushing over the 1000.
Dolby Vision is specified up to 10,000 nits, though most movies are mastered on a scale only up to 4000 nits, which is partly because that’s as high as the professional monitors used for mastering go, and that’s the really rather expensive Dolby Pulsar, hitherto the only 4000-nit display available.
Sony did turn up at CES last January with a giant 10,000-nit TV, but it was firmly placed in the ‘Concept Corner’.
TCL’s 4000-nitter is similarly for display purposes only. Marek Maciejewski, TCL’s Europe Product Development Director, happened to be on hand, and confirmed that there’s no intention of putting this on the market — it was brought to IFA 2018 so that TCL could demonstrate the full performance available from Dolby Vision material. Well, 4000-nit mastered Dolby Vision material, anyway...