Dolby Vision dilemma for 4K TV manufacturers

Dolby VisionTV manufacturers are offering High Dynamic Range (HDR) enhancement in 4K TV sets to increase their market appeal, but many are still struggling to choose between one of two new standards: Dolby Vision and HDR10. As an open standard, HDR10 allows firmware updates and has the support of more manufacturers than Dolby Vision, finds ABI Research. But this may change in the months ahead, as a number of content creators, including HBO, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Universal, rally in support of Dolby Vision.

“The winner in the HDR10 and Dolby Vision competition is not yet clear,” says Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “Dolby Vision currently supports higher light output levels than HDR10 and is better suited to adjust to different manufacturers’ displays. But its downside is that, unlike HDR10, the standard requires built-in hardware, more costly IP licensing, and involves a certification process for licensing.”

ABI Research predicts that in the battle between Dolby Vision and HDR10, one possibility will be that Dolby Vision becomes the format for streaming movie and video-on-demand delivery, while HDR10 primarily supports live event and broadcast channels. Consumers viewing content from a service supporting Dolby Vision on a non-supported TV set will likely not receive HDR signals. Instead, the TV will use colour upsampling technologies to simulate the HDR brightness and saturation.

“Setting aside the fight between standards, some markets with less pervasive broadband deployments, like India, will need to perform infrastructure upgrades to support necessary bandwidth for 4K video service delivery,” concludes Lynn. “This will further help to increase the 4K TV adoption in the Asia-Pacific region in which currently only five per cent of TV households own 4K sets.”

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