After 4K resolution, HDR has become the star feature of televisions. The new models seek to maximize HDR images, which do represent an important advance over what we had so far. However, not all HDR systems are the same. Two improved formats are now added to the HDR10 standard. They're called HDR10 + and Dolby Vision, and you've surely heard of them. Today we are going to see what exactly Dolby Vision consists of .
Dolby Vision is an HDR system developed by Dolby laboratories. Although the company responsible for the most famous sound systems usually focuses its efforts on the cinema, they have wanted to "eat a piece of the cake" of the home theater. With Dolby Vision we will have a dynamic HDR system, that is, it constantly optimizes what is displayed on the screen .
Although until now it was a very rare system, we already find it in many devices. And not only on televisions, but also on mobiles and players. So let's go over what it is, what it offers and how we can see the Dolby Vision HDR format .
What is Dolby Vision HDR?
As we said, Dolby Vision is a type of HDR. However, just as the HDR10 standard can be used by manufacturers for free, to use Dolby Vision HDR the manufacturer has to pay Dolby . Which leads us to wonder, is the Dolby Vision system so special for brands to pay for it?
The big difference between Dolby Vision and HDR10 is that the former uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the image displayed on the screen . In other words, devices that support Dolby Vision are capable of optimizing each scene to show it as its creator wanted it to look.
With HDR10 the television receives static metadata, that is, it applies to the entire movie or program . This makes the image less optimized.
Dolby Vision also has some benefits for content creators. For example, it is based on the same core as HDR10, which makes both technologies can go together . The same content available in Dolby Vision can be played on a television that only supports HDR10.
Additionally, metadata is embedded in the video signal, making it usable even with HDMI 1.4b connections . It will not be the case, since almost all devices with 4K and HDR resolution use HDMI 2.0, but the possibility exists.
What are the benefits of Dolby Vision?
With the Dolby Vision system we will achieve an image with more balanced colors, better contrast and greater detail in bright images .
According to Dolby itself, this system offers a much brighter image and shows many more tones throughout the brightness range . In addition, it expands colors, nuances textures and offers a superior contrast range.
Ultimately, the idea is to show a more realistic image. Of course, to achieve this, the implementation of the Dolby Vision system must be correct by the content creators . We have seen some examples where Dolby Vision looked worse than the same content in HDR10.
How can I watch Dolby Vision?
To see Dolby Vision the first thing we need are compatible equipment. First, and foremost, is the television. LG is one of the manufacturers that has bet the strongest on the Dolby Vision system . All of their OLED TVs and many of the SUPER UHD models include it.
Sony is also one of the manufacturers that supports this system. The new Sony AF8 OLEDs have support for Dolby Vision. As for current models, only those with the most powerful processor will receive it as an upgrade . Among them we have the Sony OLED A1 and even the Sony ZD9 from 2016.
As for the rest of the companies, the Loewe Bild 7 and the BeoVision Eclipse screens from Bang & Olufsen also support it. Samsung, Panasonic and Philips, however, have opted for the HDR10 + system .
Once we have a television that supports Dolby Vision, we need a player that is also compatible . Among the high-end models we have the well-known Oppo UDP-203 and the Cambridge CXUHD. And even the new models of Panasonic will be compatible (something funny, since the televisions of the same brand are not).
As for the cheaper models, the LG UP970 will receive the update for Dolby Vision . The Sony UBP-X700 also includes Dolby Vision .
What content do we have available?
If we like to achieve the highest possible quality, it is best to opt for original UHD Blu-Ray discs. Some major studios, such as Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros have opted to include Dolby Vision in their UHD Blu-Rays . At the moment there are not many titles available, but we can already find some on the market.
If you don't want to spend money on physical discs or you don't like to collect movies, you can opt for streaming services. Netflix has shown its support for Dolby Vision and some of its most famous series can already be seen with this HDR system. We have, among others, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Marco Polo or Stranger Things.
Amazon Video also offers this system, in some series and even in some movies ( only available to US customers at the moment). And if we have an Apple TV 4K, we can enjoy a good collection of movies with Dolby Vision system .
At the moment the game consoles have opted for HDR10 to dry, we do not know if they will finally include a Dynamic HDR system.
Phones with Dolby Vision
We have reserved a small section to talk about mobiles that support the Dolby Vision HDR system. As expected, the high - end models of LG bet on this technology . So both the LG G6 and the LG V30 are capable of playing this format.
On the other hand, iPhone 8 and iPhone X can also play HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR content .
In short, it seems that the Dolby Vision HDR system is starting to gain more strength in the market. So, if you want to try it, you already know what you need.