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Dolby's New Dynamic for HDR

25 Sep, 2017 By: Stephanie Prange

While 4K Ultra HD with high dynamic range (HDR) is a step above in content quality, Dolby has taken the audio and video viewing a step further with its proprietary, licensed Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

“When brought together, the combination of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos delivers a spectacular and immersive experience, which transforms your home into an entertainment powerhouse,” said Roland Vlaicu, VP of multi-screen service video for Dolby Laboratories. “Today, consumers can experience the combined Dolby experience on UHD Blu-ray disc, Vudu, and on the first global Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos OTT service, Netflix.”

Major content players Disney, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Warner and Universal have incorporated Dolby’s technology into studio content.

“Mastering our UHD 4K features in Dolby Vision with HDR is a way of future-proofing our content,” said Akin Ceylon, COO of home entertainment for Lionsgate. “It provides the highest level of brightness and color contrast not only for 4K TV and mobile devices but the digital streaming services of tomorrow. As more hardware devices and streaming services employ the Dolby Vision technology, Lionsgate UHD 4K content in Dolby Vision HDR is ready to deploy so that consumers can experience the highest advanced visual output commercially available.”

Dynamic metadata, as opposed to static, provides the visual boost for Dolby Vision, allowing colors to adjust scene by scene.

“Dolby Vision is a transformative high-dynamic range imaging technology that delivers a dramatic visual experience — astonishing brightness, incomparable contrast and captivating color,” Vlaicu said. “It achieves this stunning image quality by leveraging breakthrough HDR and wide color gamut imaging technologies, both on-screen and in specially mastered content. As a result, Dolby Vision-enabled devices deliver images with much greater brightness, and provide much deeper, more-nuanced and detailed darks, while rendering a fuller palette of rich new colors never seen on screen.”

The transformation in sound is a step above as well, he said.

“Dolby Atmos frees sound from channels,” Vlaicu said. “It's the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound — a helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic birdcall — can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space.”

In addition to its most recent boost from Apple (see story, page ?), the system has garnered support from hardware companies such as LG, TCL, Vizio, Hisense and Oppo.

“We added Dolby Vision support to our two UHD player models — UDP-203 and UDP-205 — in June,” said Jason J. Liao, CTO and VP of product development for Oppo Digital. “These two players are the first on the market to support this enhanced HDR format. Comparing to HDR10, which is common on most UHD Blu-ray discs, Dolby Vision expands the pixel color depth from 10-bit to 12-bit and offers scene-by-scene dynamic metadata to fine tune the TV’s HDR display. Delivering reference picture quality and a premium viewing experience has always been the core mission of OPPO’s disc player products. We are thrilled to work with Dolby to incorporate Dolby Vision into our UHD disc players. The home theater experience is even more lifelike and engaging with the astonishing brightness, contrast, and color provided by Dolby Vision.”

“TCL’s new premium 4K Roku TVs feature Dolby Vision high dynamic range technology for the ultimate HDR imaging experience with stunning picture quality, helping to redefine home entertainment,” said Aaron Dew, director of product development at TCL. “Dolby has been a critical partner in bringing these new HDR-enabled TCL smart TVs to market and we are thrilled that our 2017 P and C series models deliver industry-leading technology straight to consumers’ living rooms.”

Dolby Vision has impressed consumer influencers as well.

“The great thing about Dolby Vision is it’s built to not only take advantage of the best today's consumer technology has to offer, but the best we will be able get in the years to come,” said Adam Gregorich, co-owner/editor at enthusiast site Home Theater Forum. “I feel strongly enough about the benefits over HDR10 that Dolby Vision support was a requirement for my 4K hardware purchases this past year.”

Other companies have taken notice of the attraction of enhanced HDR. Aug. 28 20th Century Fox, Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics announced an open, royalty-free dynamic metadata platform tentatively called HDR10+. The three companies plan to form a licensing entity that will begin licensing the HDR10+ platform in January 2018. The entity plans to license the metadata to content companies, UHD TVs, Blu-ray Disc players/recorders and set-top box manufacturers, as well as SoC vendors — royalty-free with only a nominal administrative fee.

Vlaicu sees the HDR10+ as an acknowledgement of the power of Dolby’s technology.

“Dolby has long believed, from its first deployment in 2015 to its standardization in SMPTE 2094-10, that dynamic metadata provides a better HDR experience and we welcome Samsung’s acknowledgement that this is where the industry needs to head,” he said. “Dolby Vision is an efficient and proven solution that delivers spectacular HDR experiences that equally benefit a range of partners, devices, use cases and content types.”

Select Dolby Vision Titles

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Cabin in the Woods*
Despicable Me
Despicable Me 2
The Fate of the Furious*
Power Rangers*
Red 2*
Resident Evil: Vendetta*
Spider-Man: Homecoming* (Upcoming)

Amazon Video
After Earth
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Bosch: Season 2
Men in Black 3
Pineapple Express
The Smurfs 2

Abstract the Art of Design
Chef's Table France
The Do-Over
Hibana Spark
Knights of Sidonia: Season 1
Knights of Sidonia: Season 2
Marco Polo: One-Hundred Eyes
Marco Polo: Season 1
Marco Polo: Season 2
Marvel's Daredevil: Season 1
Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2
Marvel's Jessica Jones: Season 1
Marvel's Iron Fist: Season 1
Marvel's Luke Cage: Season 1
The OA: Season 1
The Ridiculous 6
Samurai Gourmet: Season 1
Santa Clarita Diet

The Accountant*
American Sniper*
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice*
Black Mass
Blade Runner*
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
Central Intelligence
Collateral Beauty
The Conjuring
Despicable Me
Despicable Me 2
Edge of Tomorrow*
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them*
Fast & Furious 6
The Fate of the Furious
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades of Grey
The Flesh of My Lovers
Furious 7
The Gallows*
Get Hard
Ghost in the Shell
The Girl on the Train
The Great Gatsby
The Great Wall*
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2*
The Hangover
The Hangover Part II
The Hangover Part III
Hot Pursuit
How to Be Single
I Am Legend
If I Stay
In the Heart of the Sea*
The Intern
Into the Storm*
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back*
Jason Bourne
Jupiter Ascending*
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Kong: Skull Island*
Last Days in the Desert*
The Legend of Tarzan*
The Lego Batman Movie*
The Lego Movie
Lights Out
Live by Night*
Lone Survivor
Mad Max: Fury Road*
Magic Mike XXL
The Magnificent Seven*
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.*
Man of Steel*
Me Before You
The Nice Guys
Office Christmas Party
Our Brand is Crisis
Pacific Rim*
Point Break
The Princess Bride
Run All Night
San Andreas*
The Secret Life of Pets*
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Snow White and the Huntsman
Star Trek Beyond*
Suicide Squad*
The Town
Transformers: The Last Knight*
War Dogs
We Are Your Friends*
Wonder Woman
xXx: Return of Xander Cage*

*Includes Dolby Atmos


About the Author: Stephanie Prange

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