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[Easiest Fix Included!] Top 5 ways to Convert HDR to SDR videos

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Aug 17, 22, updated Jan 11, 23

HDR or the High Dynamic Range Images points out the brightest and the darkest spots on an image, while an SDR has fewer details and colors. In comparison, HDR has a resolution four times as excellent as an SDR video. With a higher contrast ratio and color information, HDR videos are more vivid and pleasing.

Then why is there a need to convert HDR to SDR? An HDR file is huge and is currently incompatible with many old and some new devices. To view HDR videos, you need to lower the resolution and change the size of the file tidbit to convert it to 1080 SDR without compromising on the quality.

Plenty of HDR converters can perform the task, but only a few have the benefit of retaining the 4K quality of the original video. This article will walk you through the five easiest ways of converting videos from HDR to SDR format. So without further ado, let’s begin.

In this article
  1. Easiest Fix - Edit and Convert HDR Videos in Wondershare Filmora [PC & Mac]
  2. How to Convert an HDR video to SDR without data loss in Filmora
  3. Decode Video from HDR to SDR with a Video Converter
  4. Transcode Video from HDR to SDR by Image Editing [Samsung only]
  5. Convert HDR 4K Video to SDR with YouTube [Untested]
  6. Get Real-time Video HDR to SDR Conversion by Video Content Providers
  7. Hot FAQs on How to Convert HDR to SDR

Easiest Fix - Edit and Convert HDR Videos in Wondershare Filmora [PC & Mac]

You must be living under a rock if you are still unaware of Wondershare Filmora. Filmora is an excellent app to make and edit your videos with the finesse of a professional. Wondershare Filmora comes with professional video editing tools packaged perfectly for beginners.

Filmora is especially a blessing for content creators looking to create unique and exciting videos in any resolution, video quality, and format they want. Apart from its usual video editing tools, a perk of having Wondershare Filmora is that you can easily change the videos from one format to another. For example, you can convert an HDR video to SDR in Filmora so that users with older devices incompatible with HDR can also view the video without burning their eyes.

It does not matter if you have iPhone 12 HDR videos or an HDR clip shot with a professional camera; Filmora can handle it all. The best part of converting the video is that Filmora supports efficient transferring of HDR files from your phone to your PC. So, without further ado, let us start with how you can convert an HDR video to SDR in Filmora.

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How to Convert an HDR video to SDR without data loss in Filmora

To convert your video to SDR, start by downloading Wondershare Filmora if you do not already have it downloaded.

Download the Application

Download Wondershare Filmora according to your PC type, i.e., Mac or Windows. Install it and run it. Launch the application to get working.

Import Your Videos

  • Next, import your HDR video file. To import, click on the Import button in the primary window. From there, select the video file you want to convert to SDR.
  • Once imported, drag the file to the timeline. You can tweak or edit it too before converting. You may trim it or cut an unwanted section.
drag file to timeline
  • If you want to change to SDR while editing the project, click the File button and select Project Settings. From the settings, go to Colour space and select the SDR-Rec709 option.
click the file button

Exporting the File

  • If you want to only change the color space setting for the exported file, go to Export and then click on Settings.
  • From settings, click on the Colour Space option, and from the drop-down menu, select SDR-Rec709.
click on color space option
  • Press Ok to save the changes and export the file in your desired format.
  • If you want to adjust the resolution according to the device like iPhone, Samsung, Playstation, or Xbox you can also do that directly with Filmora by clicking the Device tab in the Export Confirm the settings and press Ok.
adjust resolution

This is the easiest and cleanest way to get an SDR copy of an HDR file. Filmora does it effortlessly, allowing you to get an SDR video out of an HDR one.

Decode Video from HDR to SDR with a Video Converter

If you have ever worked with converting videos, then you are probably familiar with Handbrake. Handbrake is a household name for video converting, especially when it comes to 4KHDR to SDR video conversions. It has a free open source feature that allows you to convert to SDR videos with an MP4 or MKV format.

Steps of Decoding HDR Video to SDR with Handbrake

Before converting your HDR video to SDR, make sure you have downloaded Handbrake on your computer.

  • Open the Handbrake app.
  • To import your video to Handbrake, click on File, then Source Selection. You can also drag and drop the video to scan it. Next, wait for Handbrake to scan the title. Once the video scan is complete, all the information will be displayed in the source section.
import a file into handbrake
  • Once the file is imported, you can now select the output format from the right panel under General. The default format already specified in Handbrake is Fast 1080p30; you can change that if you are looking for a different form.
analysis of the upload hdr video
  • You can also change the format depending on the device type in Handbrake.
  • Lastly, go to Presets, click Production, and select Production Standard to convert 4K HDR video to 4K SDR. You can also do that by going to General Profile under the Legacy column.
change the format from hdr to standard
  • Now, select format, quality, resolution, and video codec.
  • Lastly, select the destination for the file from the Browse button and press encode to start the conversion.
start encoding the video into sdr

With a few simple clicks, your HDR file can easily be converted to SDR using Handbrake.

Transcode Video from HDR to SDR by Image Editing [Samsung only]

If you own the latest Samsung S22 phone, you are probably aware of its feature that allows you to record in an HDR10 view. But, what do you do if you want to send the video to someone whose phone is incompatible with HDR? The video will appear too bright and washed out.

By converting the video to SDR, you can send them the video without burning their retinas. This method to convert HDR videos to SDR is especially for Samsung Galaxy phones. The gallery app initially used to have a built-in option to do that, but it's not there anymore. While the original option is removed, you can still use the method below to convert an HDR video to SDR with just a few taps.

  • To convert HDR10+ video to SDR on a Samsung Galaxy phone, you can directly proceed with it on your phone.
  • Head to and open Gallery, choose your HDR10+ video and tap three dots in the bottom right corner.
  • From the pop-up menu, select Open in Video Player.
  • Once the video opens in the video player, click on another three dots in the top right corner.
  • From there, tap on the Editor
  • In the editor, tap again on three dots on the bottom right and now select Size and Format.
  • From this menu, you can change the resolution of the video as well as its format. From the format drop-down, you can select SDR to convert your video to SDR.
  • Make sure you do not tap on Save; instead, click on the three dots again and tap on Save as Copy. This will leave your original HDR video untouched and save a copy for the SDR video.

Convert HDR 4K Video to SDR with YouTube [Untested]

HDR videos on Youtube show higher color dynamics and contrast ratios than an SDR video. Viewers with HDR-compatible devices will see ‘HDR’ after every video quality option in the video settings (1080p HDR).

However, the videos uploaded as HDR on youtube can be viewed on HDR unsupported devices too. This happens because youtube automatically converts all HDR videos to SDR to be viewed on non-HDR devices. Here is a brief introduction to the steps of converting HDR to SDR on Youtube:

  • Record the metadata by exporting it from an HDR-supported application like Wondershare Filmora. The metadata should be in a codec or container to be played by Youtube correctly.
  • Grade your HDR properly as Rec. 2020 with PQ or HLG. Ensure the videos are graded correctly using an HDR transfer function to retain the quality. If you are unsure about the videos graded as HDR, you should not use this method because it can distort the video.
  • rectly using an HDR transfer function to retain the quality. If you are not sure about the videos graded as HDR, you should not use this method because it can distort the video.
color grading with wondershare filmora
  • Once done, upload it on Youtube. If it detects HDR metadata during the upload, Youtube automatically produces an SDR conversion for non-HDR compatible devices.
uploading the hdr video on youtube
  • Downloading the video from HDR unsupported devices will save an SDR video.

This method seems easy but has greater risks involved such as distortion of video if improper HDR grading is done.

Get Real-time Video HDR to SDR Conversion by Video Content Providers

With gaming becoming almost a sport, online streaming has grown immensely popular. These streaming services allow you to stream in 4K HDR format. However, a significant downside of this is that many devices are still incompatible with HDR video.

We have listed multiple methods to convert your HDR video clips to SDR, but what about a live stream? We highly recommend checking out the Intel official blog post for converting your HDR videos to SDR in real-time. The blog post describes how you can convert your live stream to SDR with different methods. You can give it a read if you are interested in that.

Hot FAQs on How to Convert HDR to SDR

1. Is SDR better than HDR?

SDR is Standard Dynamic Range, while HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR is the latest technology concerning quality, clear and detailed images. HDR is perfect for videos that require high contrast, shadows, and mixed light.

HDR is definitely better than SDR because the “High” definition takes everything to the next level. However, SDR is frequently used as most devices are not compatible with HDR.

2. Why is HDR smaller than SDR?

Undoubtedly, HDR provides better image quality, colors, and clarity than SDR, but why is the file size smaller then? The answer is quite simple. HDR10 files are equipped with HVAC. HVAC is a very efficient file compressor that compresses the file while keeping its quality intact. SDR files are not compressed with SDR; hence the file size is much bigger.

3. Why does HDR look washed out?

An HDR video might look too bright or washed out if your device is incompatible with HDR color space. Unlike the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S22, phones have a built-in HDR recording feature. However, older versions may not be able to enjoy the clarity and colors offered by an HDR recording. Hence when an HDR video is sent to someone with an older phone, it looks as if the video is washed out.

Final Words

While HDR might be a superior color space, SDR is frequently used for video clips so maximum people can enjoy the video despite what their devices are compatible with. You can easily convert an HDR video to SDR using Wondershare Filmora or any other methods listed above.

An important point to note is that HDR videos converted to SDR might look a little off sometimes with darker shadows and sharpness. It might be a better idea to record in SDR rather than convert it to SDR later. However, converting is still a popular way to go with an HDR video; you will also have a beautiful high-quality video and an SDR copy.

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Jan 11, 23
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