If you’re a movie or TV enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of Dolby Vision. But what exactly is it, and why is it better than other formats?
Dolby Vision is a video technology that provides a higher-quality image than traditional HD. It uses HDR (high dynamic range), which allows for a broader range of colors and brightness. As a result, it produces more realistic and immersive images.
How Dolby Vision works
Dolby Vision works by using metadata to improve the color, contrast, and brightness of an image. Metadata is information that tells a TV how to display an image.
For example, if a lot of action happens, the metadata will tell the TV to make the image brighter so you can see everything happening. But if there’s a scene with mostly dark colors, the metadata will tell the TV to make the image darker so you can still see all the details.
Still, it offers more than just improved brightness and contrast. It also uses high-dynamic range (HDR) technology, allowing for a wider color gamut closer to what the human eye can see in real life. That means Dolby Vision content looks more vibrant and realistic, making it one of today’s best image formats.
Why Dolby Vision beats other formats
Now that you know how it works, you may wonder why it’s better than other image formats, like HDR10 and SDR. Here are just a few of the critical advantages that Dolby Vision has over other formats:
Dolby Vision offers precise color representation
Dolby Vision uses a wider color gamut and more precise HDR technology, resulting in images much closer to what you would see in real life. Here are a few ways in which it beats other formats in this regard:
- Deeper colors: It can reproduce richer, deeper colors closer to what the human eye can see.
- Increased contrast: Using HDR technology and metadata to adjust brightness and contrast in real-time, It can create stark contrasts between light and dark areas within an image without losing details.
- More natural lighting effects: Because it uses state-of-the-art technology, It can more accurately reproduce lighting effects in real life. That means you’ll be able to see subtle differences in light and color, such as the way sunlight reflects off water or the glow of a candle flame.
Dolby Vision offers fine-tuned control
Its impressive image quality also gives users fine-tuned control over the content they’re watching. The technology uses metadata to adjust brightness, contrast, and colors in real-time, giving viewers a truly immersive viewing experience.
To put things into perspective, Dolby Vision uses 12-bit color depth, while HDR10 only uses 10-bit color depth. As a result, it can show four times the number of shades of each color HDR10 can show.
That means that you’ll be able to see much more detail in video content, making it a clear choice for anyone who wants the best possible viewing experience.
Before & After
All images sourced from Dolby Visions’ official site
Dolby Vision offers a growing library of content
Another key advantage of using the technology is that you’ll have access to a growing library of high-quality content. Currently, there are dozens of movies and TV shows available in Dolby Vision from streaming services, such as:
And more content is always being added, so it’s easy to find something you’ll enjoy watching.
That said, here’s a table comparison of the features of Dolby Vision and HDR10+:
|Contrast Ratio||Starts from 200,000:1||Starts from 20,000:1|
|Peak Brightness||10,000 nits||4,000 nits|
|60 Billion||1 Billion|
|Availability||Open License||You must buy|
What content is available in Dolby Vision, and where can you find it?
There is a wide range of content available in Dolby Vision, such as:
- Movies: Some of the biggest films released in Dolby Vision include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Deadpool, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. You can find these movies on streaming services like Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.
- TV shows: There is also a growing selection of TV shows available in it, including Arrested Development (Season 5), Money Heist, and Prank Encounters (Season 2). Like movies, you can find these shows on various streaming services.
- Documentaries: Plenty of compelling documentaries use the technology, including Chasing Coral and Planet Earth II. You can find these documentaries on streaming services or rent them on iTunes or Vudu.
6 Expert Tips when using Dolby Vision on a TV
- Ensure your TV settings are configured correctly: To get the best viewing experience with the technology, you need to make sure that your TV settings are configured correctly. Many TVs have a setting that you can turn on to enable this format. You should also make sure that any other settings, such as contrast, brightness, and color, are adjusted correctly.
- Watch content on a streaming service: To access a wide range of Dolby Vision content, you should consider using a streaming service such as Netflix, Vudu, or Amazon Prime Video. These services offer a growing library of movies and TV shows in this format, making it easy to find something to watch.
- Use a high-speed HDMI cable: To ensure that you’re getting the best possible quality from your Dolby content, you should use a high-speed HDMI cable. This will ensure that the data is transferred quickly and smoothly between your TV and the streaming device.
- Sit in the right position: To fully appreciate the immersive viewing experience that Dolby offers, you should sit in the right position. This means sitting directly in front of the TV and at the right distance for your screen size. For example, if you have a 55-inch TV, you should sit about 5-7 feet away from the screen.
- Consider the lighting in your room: The lighting in your room can affect your viewing experience when watching Dolby content. To get the best results, you should watch in a room with controlled lighting, such as a darkened theater or a room with blinds or curtains to block out any glare or reflections.
- Adjust the settings based on the content: While the technology is designed to automatically adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of the content you’re watching, you may still want to adjust the settings manually for certain scenes. For example, if you’re watching a movie with a lot of dark scenes, you may want to turn up the brightness to see more detail.
Are there any downsides to using Dolby Vision, or is it perfect for everyone?
While Dolby Vision is generally considered to be a superior HDR format, there are some downsides to using it, including:
Not all devices support Dolby Vision, and some older devices may not be able to display Dolby Vision content at all. While most modern TVs and media players can play back content in this format, some older devices may not have this capability. Additionally, streaming services may only offer content in HDR10 or other formats instead.
Dolby Vision is expensive
Because it uses cutting-edge technology, it’s more expensive to produce and requires special hardware for playback. As a result, the content price is often higher than similar content with HDR10.
That being said, the higher quality of the content means it’s often worth the extra cost. The technology offers a viewing experience unlike anything else, and many viewers are happy to pay a premium for that.
While Dolby Vision can produce brighter and more vibrant images than SDR, it is still limited by the capabilities of the display device. Some high-end displays may not be able to reach the full potential of Dolby Vision.
While Dolby Vision is designed to produce more accurate colors than SDR, some users have reported issues with color accuracy when viewing Dolby Vision content on certain displays. This can be due to factors such as poor calibration or limitations in the display’s color gamut.
Limited content availability
While the number of movies and TV shows available in Dolby Vision is growing, it still lags behind other HDR formats in terms of content availability.
Dolby Vision is a video technology that provides a higher-quality image than traditional HD. It uses HDR and metadata to adjust the color, contrast, and brightness of an image, resulting in more realistic and immersive images.
Compared to other formats, Dolby Vision offers deeper colors, increased contrast, and more natural lighting effects. It provides fine-tuned control and a growing library of high-quality content. However, it is more expensive to produce and requires special hardware for playback.
Not all devices support it, and some users may not notice the difference in quality. Nonetheless, it is a clear choice for anyone who wants the best possible viewing experience.