[5 Methods] How to Convert HDR to SDR in Easy Ways

Using HDR to SDR converters, you can transform your HDR files into SDR versions and view them on any device. In this article, you will find the best 5 HDR to SDR converters for converting your HDR content and playing it on different devices. Let's see how to watch your favorite content on staple devices with HDR to SDR conversion.

Reasons For HDR to SDR Conversion

HDR videos are fantastic as they offer vibrant images with bright, vivid colors and sharp contrast. They can be in multiple versions, such as HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10, etc., but they can be incompatible with most devices and displays. Many screens may fail to render HDR videos, resulting in poor picture quality with washed-out colors. Here's where the need for HDR to SDR conversion kicks in to help viewers see the HDR content on devices and displays that do not support HDR technology. 

As SDR technology has been around for a long time, most devices support and accept SDR content for display. Unless you have HDR-compatible devices, HDR looks washed out and  is of no use to you.  So you can convert HDR to SDR version and enjoy it on low-end PCs and older televisions without hassle. 

HDR to SDR Conversion Methods 

Popular methods to convert HDR to SDR include Tone Mapping, Color Gamut, and Hybrid Conversion. Let's briefly understand them. 

Tone Mapping 

Tone mapping is a popular technique for compressing the dynamic range of HDR images to make them compatible with SDR displays. This technique maps the content's brightest and darkest parts to be in sync with the dynamic range of the SDR display. In the end, you get beautiful and detailed SDR content that is as good as the source (HDR content) file. 

Color Grading 

Color grading is used to adjust and match the color space of HDR content with SDR content. It uses a color look-up table to modify the color reproduction of HDR content to match with the SDR content. The end result of the SDR content colors is as beautiful and natural as the source file. 

Hybrid Conversion 

Hybrid conversion combines the Tone mapping and Color grading techniques by adjusting the dynamic range and color space of the HDR content so it is in sync with the SDR content. In the end, the SDR content not only has maximum details but also a natural color reproduction that gives a better viewing experience on the SDR display. 

Way 1: Best AI Way to Decode Video from HDR to SDR on Windows PC Using UniFab Video Converter

 

UniFab Video Converter is powerful and versatile software that can help you convert HDR to SDR. It uses AI algorithms to efficiently convert, compress, and edit more than 1000 video formats to play on any device for a seamless viewing experience. You can use this robust HDR to SDR converter to convert your videos to any desired format, such as MKV, AVI, MP4, WMV, etc., to meet the needs of different viewing devices and scenarios. Get a video with flexible customization and lossless compression to share on your social media platforms like Twitter (X), Facebook, YouTube, etc., with UniFab Video Converter. 

 

Price: A free trial is available. Annual license at $109.99 and Lifetime license at $299.99

 

Compatible OS: Windows PC 11/10/8.1/8/7 (32/64 bit) macOS 10.10 - 14

 

Major Attractions 

 

  • Convert videos to any video format without losing quality 
  • Supports over 1000 video formats like MKV, AVI, PM4, etc., for playback on mobile phones and other portable devices
  • Compress videos while preserving the original quality to upload on various social media handles 
  • Losslessly compress the high-quality video and audio to TrueHD, DTS-HD, and DTS X
  • Allows you to make complete and flexible customizations to your final video 
  • It assists in fine-tuning your video parameters using various quality settings of video and audio, including resolution, sample rate, bit rate, frame rate, Encoding method, and even subtitles 
  • Trim videos by cutting the unnecessary video segments from the start, end, or any part of the video
  • It offers a comprehensive editor module that includes Crop, Effect, Subtitle, Watermark, Audio, Speed, etc. 
  • Enables to edit multiple videos with batch processing 
  • GPU acceleration technologies like AMD, NVIDIA CUDA, and Intel Quick Sync enable 50x faster speed 
  • Intergrated in the UniFab Video Enhancer

 

Key Limitations 

 

  • Lacks high-end video editing features and functions 
  • You must upgrade to a licensed version to avail of the advanced features 

 

How to convert HDR video to SDR Using UniFab Video Converter

 

Step 1: Install and get started with UniFab Video Converter on your Mac computer or Windows PC by downloading UniFab. 

 

Step 2: Tap twice on UniFab to choose the Converter mode and add the HDR video you want to downscale to SDR. 

 

Start to convert your video

 

Step 3: Customize the output parameters in the Video Conversion Settings window. Choose the output quality, video codec, resolution, frame rate, bit rate, color space, etc., and choose audio parameters. Then, tap OK or Apply to All. 

Tips: If you’re unsure how to configure the best parameters for your video, we recommend you make them as default.

 

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Step 4: Hit the Start option to begin the HDR to SDR conversion process. The conversion task will be completed at lightning speed.

To effortlessly convert your SDR videos to HDR, you can use UniFab HDR Upscaler AI with HDR10/Dolby Vision support.

Way 2: Convert HDR to SDR on Mac Using Final Cut Pro

Convert HDR to SDR on Mac Using Final Cut Pro

Mac users can rely on non-linear video editor software like Final Cut Pro to convert HDR to SDR version. The software helps with seamless conversion when you want to upload a video from your phone to YouTube. In addition, Final Cut Pro can convert MOV or MXF videos to SDR standard mode despite direct encoding with HLG or PQ standards.  

Price: Free version available for three months. Full license at $299.99

Compatible OS: macOS

Major Attractions 

  • High speed and performance 
  • Supports vast color spaces with 360-degree footage 

Key Limitations 

  • It takes a lot of storage space 
  • The timeline can get uncomfortable when you work with various video and audio files 

How to convert HDR video to SDR Using Final Cut Pro

Step 1: Run the Final Cut Pro video editing app on your Mac computer. Load your HDR video into it. 

Step 2: Open the Effects browser and choose the Color category on the left side. Click the HDR Tools twice to add the effect to the added clip in the timeline. 

Step 3: Tap the Inspector button on the right side of the toolbar. 

Step 4: Tap the Video button on the Inspector's upper side. 

Step 5: Hit the Mode popup menu in the Inspector's HDR Tools section. 

Step 6: Select HDR to Rec. 709 SDR to Rec. 709 SDR luminance levels.

Note: If you are sure about your clips and know the exact HDR variant (i.e., HLG or PQ), you can choose a more specific conversion option. Such as:

  • PQ Output Tone Map
  • PQ to Rec. 709 SDR
  • HLG to Rec. 709 SDR
  • PQ to HLG (Rec. 2100)
  • HLG to PQ (Rec. 2100)

Step 7: Now drag the Peak Brightness (nits) slider to set your video's max. luminance to the required level (say 1000 nits).

Step 8: Drag the Mix slider to optionally set the amount of original clip that you want to blend with your adjusted clip. 

Way 3: Convert HDR to SDR Online Using Convertio

 

Convert HDR to SDR Online Using Convertio

Convertio is an online HDR to SDR converter that can convert your HDR files to SDR and SDR files to HDR. Using this free software, you can change the color gamut of the image between HDR and SDR and efficiently achieve the image conversion of HDR to SDR. 

Price: Free version available. Light plan at $9.99/mo, Basic plan at $14.99/mo, and Unlimited plan at $25.99/mo

Compatible OS: Web-based app

Major Attractions 

  • It provides many file formats 
  • Saves from the hassle of downloading the software or account creation 

Key Limitations 

  • Requires active and stable internet connection
  • Slow conversion speed with limited file size 

How to convert HDR video to SDR Using Convertio

Step 1: Open the Convertio HDR Converter page on your web browser. 

Step 2: Tap the Choose Files button in the center to upload your HDR image. 

Step 3: Select the SDR color gamut.

Step 4: Hit the Convert option to convert HDR to SDR. 

Way 4: Convert HDR to SDR On iPhone Using iMovie

Convert HDR to SDR On iPhone Using iMovie

iMovie is a built-in solution for your iPhone that helps you easily convert HDR to SDR and transform HDR files into standard SDR. With iMovie, you need not install any external software and compromise the storage space. Instead, it comes pre-installed on your iOS devices, where you can add the recorded HR videos to the iMovie project and edit them. 

Price: Free 

Compatible OS: iOS devices and Mac computers

Major Attractions 

  • Free to use and built-in app on iPhone, other iOS devices, and Mac computers 
  • Enables converting and editing videos to eliminate unwanted recordings 

Key Limitations 

  • Consumes high device resources, adversely affecting its performance 
  • Slow processing times and lag while editing projects 

How to convert HDR video to SDR Using iMovie

Step 1: Find the iMovie app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Add HDR videos recorded on your phone to your iMovie projects. 

Step 3: Upon sharing a movie, click Options and then turn on HDR to output your video in HDR. 

Step 4: Now turn off the HDR button to share the movie's SDR version and get the SDR format. 

Way 5: Convert HDR to SDR on Android Using the Built-in Editor (Samsung Galaxy S22)

Convert HDR to SDR on Android Using the Built-in Editor (Samsung Galaxy S22)

HDR to SDR conversion on Android is not easy. However, if you own a Samsung Galaxy S22 phone, you can easily convert your camera-recorded HDR10+ videos into SDR versions and share them on non-HDR-compliant screens.  For example, you can convert and share your SDR clips to PCs and older television sets and enjoy your favorite media files anywhere on all devices.

Price: Free

Compatible OS: Samsung Galaxy S22

Major Attractions 

  • Preserves the original clips and creates a separate output file 
  • It does not require installing an external (third-party) app

Key Limitations 

  • Works only on Samsung Galaxy S22
  • Requires tapping multiple times on three-dot menus that are located at different sections of the screen

How to convert HDR video to SDR by Transcoding Video and Image Editing 

Step 1: Open the Gallery application on your phone and find the HDR10+ video clip to be converted. 

Step 2: Tap the triple-dot menu at the bottom right corner and select the Open in Video Player option from the popup menu. 

Step 3: Once your video opens in the video player, tap on three dots in the top-right corner. Click Editor. 

Step 4: In the Editor pane, click the three dots in the bottom right and choose the Size and Format option. 

Step 5: Change the video resolution and format from the menu that appears. In the dropdown menu at the bottom, choose SDR (plays on any device) and smoothly convert HDR to SDR.

Step 6: Instead of clicking Save, tap the three-dot icon at the lower right and click Save as Copy. This way, your original HDR video will also be there, and a new file of SDR video will be created. 

The Final Wrap 

HDR is popular among viewers because it offers a wider range of colors, vivid details, and contrast, resulting in a more lifelike and captivating video-viewing experience. However, HDR content is incompatible with older TVs and PCs, demanding viewers HDR to SDR conversion. This article gave you a deeper understanding of the need to convert HDR to SDR with the best HDR to SDR converters for all devices.  Now, you can smoothly convert and enjoy HDR content on SDR displays without hassle. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family and spread the joy of viewing your favorite videos at your convenience. If you are also wondering how to upscale your video to HDR and playback device is avaiable, UniFab HDR Upscaler will be your savior. For HDR video players, head on to this post.

FAQs

Q. How does HDR differ from SDR?

SDR content has a maximum luminance of 100 cd/m2, while HDR has a wider contrast and color range, resulting in brighter images than SDR. You can see more incredible details and colors in scenes. HDR is superior in brightness (up to 1000 nits), color gamut (P3 and Rec. 2020), and color depth (8-bit to 12-bit) than SDR. 

Q. Is the file size of SDR larger? 

Yes. While HDR content has better colors, quality, and clarity, it still has a smaller file size. HDR10 files have HVAC, an efficient file compressor, that helps generate smaller files without losing quality. On the contrary, SDR files are uncompressed, so the file size is naturally larger. 

Q. Can YouTube convert HDR to SDR?

Once you upload your video to YouTube, the platform supports all video resolutions and auto-converts HDR to SDR when required. It detects HDR metadata and automatically processes it to generate HDR transcode for HDR devices and SDR downscale for standard devices and displays.  

As an avid enthusiast of software testing, AI, and tech, I bring a fervent zeal for precision and innovation to my editorials. With a love for ping pong and badminton, and a passion for exploring new horizons through travel, I live by the maxim "Done is good." My articles aim to serve as your trusty compass in the fast-evolving tech landscape.