Dolby Labs is already at the forefront of HDR video tech with its Dolby Vision format, but that doesn’t mean the company is resting on its laurels. Launching today at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Dolby Vision IQ is an enhancement of the HDR standard that uses a TV’s built-in light sensors to automatically calibrate the on-screen image based on the lighting conditions in a room.
Lighting conditions can affect picture quality in myriad ways, from unwanted glare and reflections to overall brightness that can wash out the images we see on screen. So it makes sense that TV manufacturers and Dolby Labs would want to understand these lighting conditions in order to adjust the settings to compensate. Most smartphones already do something similar to enhance readability, but in the case of HDR content, it can make the difference between seeing all of the details in a scene and not.
Curiously, Dolby claims Dolby Vision IQ will also play a role in helping a TV understand the content being played so that when you switch channels or video sources, the TV can react by modifying its settings to be optimal for that new content.
Dolby Labs says Dolby Vision IQ will be supported at launch by LG and Panasonic.
Dolby Labs is also using CES 2020 as a platform to showcase its relatively new Dolby Atmos Music format. There are no new announcements, but Dolby is reminding everyone of the growing selection of tracks and artists that are releasing material in Atmos Music. So far, two major labels are involved — Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — representing artists such as Ariana Grande, The Beatles, Coldplay, Elton John, J Balvin, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye, Post Malone, Shawn Mendez, and The Weeknd. Tidal owner Jay-Z is also working on remastering his catalog in Atmos Music.
Unfortunately, the opportunities for listening to music to Dolby Atmos Music remain limited. For now, the Amazon Echo Studio is the only stand-alone speaker that supports the format (exclusively via Amazon Music HD). Tidal HiFi also works as a source for Atmos Music, but only via select Atmos-capable Android smartphones and tablets, and even these only deliver Atmos Music via the built-in speakers and not via connected headphones.
Still, we expect that 3D music formats like Doby Atmos Music and Sony 360 Reality Audio will be among the big trends in audio this year at CES 2020.
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