Whether it is the HDR10 and HDR10+ formats promoted by the UHD Alliance or the competing Dolby Vision HDR format, HDR (High Dynamic Range) technologies are now systematically integrated into 4K UHD TVs, OLED TVs, QLED TVs and 8K UHD TVs.
What is HDR?
HDR technology is proving to be just as revolutionary and even more spectacular to watch than the upgrade from HD to Ultra High Definition. HDR TVs can display images with very strong differences in brightness. HDR content offers more intermediate gradations between the darkest parts and the lightest parts of the image than standard dynamic range (SDR) content.
As the human eye is extremely sensitive to variations in light intensity, the result in the image is immediately noticeable. A greater and more accurate intra-image contrast is obtained with more gradations in the brightness scale. Viewers perceive more detail in both the brighter and darker parts of the image.
- Consult the guide: “Everything there is to know about HDR10 and Dolby Vision“
The problem with dark HDR images
It is usually best to view HDR content in a dark environment. But this is not always possible when you want to watch a movie or a series. The environment in which the television is located can vary considerably depending on different factors such as the lighting in the room, the time of day and the proximity of windows.
HDR images can therefore be problematic depending on the conditions in which they are viewed: details in very dark scenes are often difficult to see in a brightly lit room. An example of this is the famous episode of Game Of Thrones, whose night scenes during the Battle of Winterfell were impossible to watch on some HDR televisions.
Dolby is the first company to have looked into this and has provided the Dolby Vision IQ feature since early 2020. It adapts the HDR rendering according to the brightness of the room and is now installed on many LG and Panasonic 4K and 8K TVs.
For its part, Samsung has just announced that its next QLED TV ranges will incorporate HDR10+ Adaptive technology, a variation of HDR10+ which also allows HDR rendering to be adapted to ambient light conditions.
What is Dolby Vision IQ?
Dolby Vision IQ is an evolution of Dolby Vision which adjusts the brightness, colors and contrast of the TV screen in real time according to the lighting conditions in the room. Dolby Vision IQ combines the dynamic metadata contained in the video file and the ambient light data from the light sensor built into the TV. So, regardless of the overall brightness of the video content in Dolby Vision, the image remains readable when viewed in a bright room or in a dark room. In the middle of the day, if the weather gets cloudy at times and suddenly plunges the room into a darker atmosphere, the brightness of the Dolby Vision image is adjusted in real time to preserve the level of contrast. Conversely, if the room is suddenly lit up, Dolby Vision IQ increases the overall brightness of the image to fill in the darker areas while preserving the gray scale and colorimetry.
Viewers that own a Panasonic 4K TV or LG 4K TV compatible with Dolby Vision IQ can enjoy movies on Dolby Vision 4K Blu-ray and Netflix programs in Dolby Vision in the best conditions, day or night, in a dark or bright room.
Panasonic Dolby Vision IQ TV
Panasonic offers Dolby Vision IQ technology on three lines of 4K OLED TVs:
The Panasonic HZ1000, Panasonic HZ1500 and Panasonic HZ2000 4K TVs all adopt an Ultra HD 4K OLED panel with extremely thin edges. Certified Ultra HD Premium and calibrated by professional colorists, these Panasonic OLED TVs are Dolby Vision IQ compatible and feature HCX Pro Intelligent Processor video processing with artificial intelligence. They are ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) compatible and offer players a lag time of less than 20ms.
Regarding sound, there is a 30W Dolby Atmos audio section in the Panasonic HZ1000 range, an 80W Dolby Atmos sound bar integrated under the screen for the Panasonic HZ1500 range and a 140W Dolby Atmos sound bar for the Panasonic HZ2000 range. Access to many online services (Molotov, Netflix, Prime Video, Youtube) and Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility complete the picture.
LG Dolby Vision IQ TV
The Korean manufacturer integrates Dolby Vision IQ technology into many televisions:
- the extra large LG 75UN8500 4K TV
- the extra large LG 75UN8500 4K TV
- LG OLED55BX and LG OLED65BX 4K OLED TVs
- the LG CX 4K OLED TV range
- the LG GX 4K OLED TV range
- the LG OLED65WX 4K OLED TV
- the LG NANO99 8K TV range
- the LG Signature ZX 8K OLED TV range
HDR10+ Adaptive for Samsung
One year after the presentation of Dolby Vision IQ, Samsung in turn unveiled its solution called HDR10+ Adaptive, responsible for improving the viewing experience of HDR10+ content whatever the lighting conditions.
Adaptive HDR10+ technology will be launched worldwide with upcoming Samsung QLED televisions (2021). The manufacturer does not specify whether 2020 Samsung QLED TVs will be able to receive this option via an update.
This Adaptive HDR10+ feature provides dynamic optimization of images scene by scene, using HDR10+ metadata and adapting to room lighting conditions to enhance the HDR experience. HDR10+ Adaptive uses the TV’s light sensor to sense ambient brightness and ensure that the screen meets the director’s creative intention without any loss of detail or contrast, regardless of the lighting conditions in the room.
Samsung has also announced that the Adaptive HDR10+ technology of the upcoming Samsung QLED TVs supports Filmmaker mode. This feature, jointly developed by the UHD Alliance (of which Samsung is a member), filmmakers, studios and consumer electronics manufacturers, ensures that the viewer enjoys an image that matches the director’s vision.
Finally, Samsung specifies that a partnership has been established with Amazon Prime Video to activate the Filmmaker mode and the HDR10+ Adaptive function for Prime Video HDR content which will be automatically streamed in HDR10+ on compatible Samsung TVs.
All Prime Video subscribers will therefore be able to enjoy an optimal HDR experience with most upcoming Samsung QLED TVs, regardless of the lighting conditions in the room, thanks to Adaptive HDR10+ technology. Of course, this Adaptive HDR10+ technology also works for HDR10+ 4K Blu-ray movies.
Other HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision compatible 4K TVs
At Sony, Philips and TCL, whose 4K HDR televisions are HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision compatible, no announcement regarding compatibility with Dolby Vision IQ or HDR10+ Adaptive technology has yet been made. They are most likely waiting for the official opening of CES 2021, which will be held virtually from January 11 to 14.