Until a few years ago, Dolby was mainly known for its audio techniques and standards. For example, Dolby Atmos was presented as the ultimate surround experience for home cinema ten years ago. But, Dolby focuses on the complete home cinema experience and of course that includes images. Dolby Vision should drastically improve the way we watch movies.
High Dynamic Range
The idea behind Dolby Vision is that the image quality that we are now presented with leaves a lot to be desired. It could all be much better, but both the content and the hardware limit the quality. The reason for this is that the dynamic range, the dynamic range, is not large enough. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a term that has become indispensable in av-land and that we have already discussed extensively. In short, it means that the brightness of HDR material is higher, without this being at the expense of the deep black. The contrast is higher, making the content appear richer and more dynamic than non-HDR material. This in turn results in detailed shadows, natural bright sunlight and convincing colors.Dolby Vision can be seen as an HDR format with which the greater dynamic range can be brought to the TV. Dolby Vision thus promises higher brightness, higher contrast, more dynamic colors and an overall more intense experience.
More HDR formats
By the way, Dolby Vision does not have any HDR format. Today, you can also view HDR with HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG formats. HDR10 is the most used of these. However, Dolby Vision has a number of advantages over HDR10. For example, the entire process, from production to display, is controlled by Dolby (according to Dolby specifications), and use is made of dynamic metadata so that the HDR display can be optimized per image or per scene. On the other hand, using Dolby Vision requires a license and a hardware chip that provides support. Incidentally, it must be said that HDR10 +, also with dynamic metadata, is already in the starting blocks.
How does Dolby Vision work?
Dolby Vision is a standard that must be maintained from start to finish in the production and distribution of a movie. This means that the filmmakers must work with Dolby Vision while shooting the film, that the studio must master the film for Dolby Vision and that the TV (or other display) on which the film is viewed supports Dolby Vision. Vision material must provide. For a TV this means, among other things, that the maximum brightness and maximum contrast must be at a very high level and that 12-bit video must be supported.
How can you watch Dolby Vision?
You can of course go to the cinema to get the Dolby Vision experience, but it is even better if you can also enjoy it at home. Fortunately, that is not that difficult, provided you have the right hardware and content. First of all, the content. You can now find a wide range of Blu-ray discs with Dolby Vision. Almost all major films are released with this HDR format. The larger streaming services such as Netflix, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video also use Dolby Vision for a large number of titles. Not everything is released in this format, but you can assume that the better titles in Dolby Vision (and often Dolby Atmos) are available. On the other hand, you need hardware that supports Dolby Vision. If you use a streaming service, a TV with Dolby Vision support is sufficient. If you use Blu-ray, the player must also be equipped with support for the standard. With regard to the hardware, it is wise to pay close attention to what you buy. Not every television (or player) supports Dolby Vision. If that is a wish or requirement, it is therefore worthwhile to take a good look at the specifications.
Dolby Vision IQ
Since the beginning of 2020 we have seen a number of new terms and standards, including the Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ. We will see both standards on many televisions from 2020 onwards. We have already discussed Dolby Vision IQ in detail, but still a brief explanation. Unlike Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision IQ is not a new HDR standard. It is a mode (or function) that takes the already well-known Dolby Vision HDR standard to the next level. Dolby Vision IQ intelligently optimizes the picture quality of Dolby Vision content in any room or room. This is done by looking at the metadata of a Dolby Vision movie or series and by using the light sensors built into the TV, which analyze the ambient light in the room. The dynamic ‘tone mapping’ of Dolby Vision is adjusted on the basis of this information so that you see the most details in both high and low light conditions and get the best HDR display.
Curious about the experiences with HDR and Dolby Vision? Read our extensive TV reviews. It discusses in detail what you can expect from the HDR display of the latest televisions. Would you like to know more about new techniques such as Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, QD-OLED and High Dynamic Range? Then take a look at our tips and advice section.