Dolby has played a key role in the development of HDR for both commercial cinema and home theatre applications. From a home entertainment perspective, the company’s most important contribution has been the advanced form of HDR, known as Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is yet another variant of HDR and looks set to gain more traction among TV, tablet and smartphone manufacturers – and service providers – during 2017.
What is Dolby Vision?
Dolby Vision is a powerful cinema technology that delivers a dramatically different visual experience. It achieves its stunning image quality through innovative HDR and wide-color-gamut imaging technologies, both onscreen and in specially mastered content. Dolby Vision delivers incredibly brighter brights, deeper darks, greater contrast, a fuller palette of rich, ultravivid colors, refined detail and a three-dimensional feel never before seen on TV.
Key differences between Dolby Vision and HDR10
One of the things that makes Dolby Vision different is that it’s designed as an end-to-end HDR process. Dolby Vision is designed to preserve information that was originally captured and pass it on. It does this using metadata that’s then read by the Dolby Vision decoder in the TV you’re watching. The aim is to give you an HDR experience that’s closer to the original by supplying more information.
The most significant advantage of Dolby Vision HDR versus HDR10 is the addition of dynamic metadata to the core HDR image data. Dolby Vision-capable TVs combine the scene-by-scene information received from the source with an awareness of their own capabilities in terms of brightness, contrast and colour performance. With HDR10 content, your HDR TV only receives static metadata.
Another advantage of Dolby Vision is that the metadata is embedded into the video signal, meaning it can run across ‘legacy’ HDR connections as far back as version 1.4b. Despite only using static metadata, HDR10 requires HDMI 2.0a compatibility.
What Dolby Vision content is available?
Four of the major film studios – Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros – have promised Dolby Vision UHD Blu-ray releases for 2017. In the UK, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video support Dolby Vision HDR streams, while in the US they are joined by VUDU. Netflix shows that support Dolby Vision include Marvel’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, as well as other Netflix Originals. Meanwhile, Amazon Video offers Bosch series two and a handful of Sony Pictures films in Dolby Vision. The upcoming PC game Mass Effect: Andromeda will support Dolby Vision, heralding a whole new gaming outlet.
Dolby Vision in Geniatech
In order to watch Dolby Vision content, you need to have the right equipment. Dolby Vision is essentially extra information applied on top of an HDR10 core, so it’s easy to ensure that all Dolby Vision content is also compatible with devices that only support HDR10, but HDR10 TVs can’t do Dolby Vision. Geniatech now have three Android TV Boxes: ATV1960, ATV1962 and APC390R, that support both Dolby Vision and HDR10 technologies. Best of all for consumers, anything that supports Dolby Vision should also be compatible with HDR 10, so even if Dolby Vision doesn’t catch on, you’ll have the next best thing. So when you want to buy your next TV Box, Geniatech is one of your choices.