Dolby Vision: the new HDR format explained

<pre><pre>Dolby Vision: the new HDR format explained

Updating: Dolby Vision starts to pop up in unexpected places – first in the Xbox One S and Xbox One X as well as the all-new one iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

This is why you should care!

The original article continues below …

Dolby Vision is the groundbreaking advance on TV & # 39; s that we have needed in the past decade. Yes, 4K has given us extra pixels, but it is HDR that ensures that those pixels really shine in a way they never have before.

Dolby Vision is, in more or less words, the jet engine fuel that drives the best looking content on the planet. It is the format to which more studios are turning and making use of the possibilities to deliver colorful, dynamic and calculated images per scene. This will appear on your TV at home.

If you have not heard of Dolby Vision before today, that's fine. It is a technology that is still available to producers and that has recently penetrated the TV's, consoles, telephones and Blu-ray players that you bring to your home.

It's new, yes, but thanks to what we've experienced, it's exactly what home cinema needs to fit on the white screen. Best of all? You can take it home right now.

What is Dolby Vision?

Dolby Vision is a type of HDR – probably the second most popular after the ubiquitous HDR10 standard recorded on all HDR TVs & players.

And although it bases much of its technology on the standard HDR standard (Dolby still played a key role in its development), it is a better solution.

The most important improvement from an end-user perspective is that it places an additional information layer on top of a core HDR10 video signal that contains information per scene that can be used with Dolby Vision-compatible TV's for the way they take their photo & # 39. ; s present to improve. This means better bright and darker blacks, allowing TV's to display the full range of colors in the Rec. 2020 standard.

If HDR now blows you away, wait until you see Dolby Vision.

We have already seen Dolby Vision in the UK on a handful of Netflix and Amazon video streams, and it is also available through VUDU and iTunes in the US.

The & # 39; big & # 39; however, for many AV fans Ultra HD is Blu-ray. Dolby Vision was included as an option on the UHD BD specification sheet and AV fans were desperate to see how much difference the Dolby system could have for the image quality of the AV world's best source.

The latest crop of Dolby Vision Blu-rays, including the Despicable Me movies, West World from HBO and Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, looks great – provided you have the hardware to watch them.

What to look for in DV

For the sake of clarity, Dolby Vision is a licensed video platform that needs all links in the video chain to support this. So buying the Despicable Me 4K Blu-ray discs will not be enough in itself – you also need a TV that can receive Dolby Vision and a 4K Blu-ray player that can play Dolby Vision.

All OLED TVs from LG are DV-capable, as well as the high-end Super UHD LCD TVs. Sony TV's with X1 Extreme chips (the ZD9, A1 OLED, XE93 and XE94, plus the 2018 X900F) also process DV after a firmware update, as do some VIZIO and TCL TVs. in the U.S.

The latest additions to the Dolby Vision family are consoles – including the Xbox One S and Xbox One X – and mobile phones that now contain the all-new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone X and LG G6.

If you want to have Dolby Vision from a physical disk, there are of course only a few 4K Blu-ray players that support Dolby Vision, such as the now finished Oppo UDP-203 and Oppo 205, but more models from LG and Sony have to help fill up the emptyness.

If you are lucky enough to have a suitable combination of kit, trust us: you will buy as many Dolby Vision Blu-rays as you can. The impression of Dolby Vision on the images of both films must be seen to be believed.

A new world of color

Take color, for example. With the combination of Oppo 203 and LG OLED55C7, the Dolby Vision Despicable Me films show an unprecedented range of tones and tonal subtleties. Everything from animated skin tones to background walls and locations contains subtle variations and color accents that you simply do not get in HDR10 – a comparison that was verified by playing the HDR10 core video from the disc via the Panasonic UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player on the OLED55C7.

This makes photo 's instantly more detailed and refined, despite the fact that Dolby Vision is not able to actually add more pixels to the 4K source images.

The Dolby Vision transmission not only shows more subtle colors than the HDR10 transmission. Some colors also look slightly different in tone and tone; and our impression was always that the DV versions were the definitive and accurate versions.

The Oppo 203 is one of only three 4K Blu-ray players that currently supports Dolby Vision

The Oppo 203 is one of only three 4K Blu-ray players that currently supports Dolby Vision

Surprising is also the control of light by Dolby Vision. In one way or another, the technology seems to deliver purer, brighter highlights than we have seen from the LG OLED before, while at the same time delivering dark scenes with more richness and subtle details of light.

In fact, there seems to be more definition between subtle light differences in each part of the Dolby Vision image, giving it a more stable, richer, deeper, solid appearance that looks almost three-dimensional versus the flatter, less precise HDR10 image.

As if all of this was not surprising enough, the institutions Dolby designed for the OLED55C7 seem to be able to handle the movement cleaner and more effectively than LG's own processing with HDR10.

Add all the Dolby Vision / Despicable Me benefits together and you have an image that we have not seen on a domestic television before, despite the fact that we only talk about a few aging animated titles. The cinematic version of Dolby Vision at work seen on Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 recently we can only imagine how spectacular Dolby Vision could look at home with more visually advanced titles than Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2.

Rival technologies

It is worth remembering that AV brands that are not signed up with Dolby for Dolby Vision – including Samsung and Panasonic – tend to suggest that they can provide equivalent results to DV by simply applying their own processing power to HDR10. to fit. After the Despicable Me disks in HDR10 were played in a reference Samsung UE65KS9500, although that set produced brighter light peaks than the Dolby Vision image on the LG OLED, it could not match Dolby Vision for light and color subtleties.

It may be to say that Samsung recently announced a royalty-free alternative to Dolby Vision that also includes a layer of so-called dynamic metadata & # 39; (scene-by-scene instructions) applies to an HDR10 stream. Although Amazon offers promising support for this new HDR10 + & # 39; system, other TV hardware brands that go beyond Samsung must still connect, and it is not included in the existing Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications.

All recent LG OLED TVs, including the LG OLED55C7, are suitable for DV

All recent LG OLED TVs, including the LG OLED55C7, are suitable for DV

We do not necessarily mention that your next TV and 4K Blu-ray player should definitely have Dolby Vision support. The format still has to work within the brightness and color limitations of every TV to which it is applied, and there are non-Dolby Vision TVs that can also (in the case of Samsung in particular) color and brightness levels. deliver outside of any current Dolby Vision TV; or using HDR10 processing systems made in collaboration with Hollywood itself (in the case of Panasonic).

It is also true that Dolby Vision Ultra HD Blu-rays is there despite the official & # 39; launching the format still does not look very much.

What certainly no longer seems to doubt the fact that Dolby Vision in action is seen from a 4K Blu-ray, is that it does an incredible job to get the very best out of every screen it comes into contact with. And with a technology that is just as confusing and fault-stricken as HDR now, that's a pretty big deal.

  • Do you want a concise overview of the differences between HDR10 and Dolby Vision? This is our complete guide on HDR10 vs Dolby Vision