Change to Dolby Vision HDR means it may come to a wider range of equipment

Dolby Vision
With High Dynamic Range (HDR) quickly showing that it is more of a noticeable upgrade in TVs than 4K resolution, more and more manufacturers are building it into their models. The two most prominent HDR standards are HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and until now, HDR10 has been the go-to for many manufacturers as Dolby Vision requires dedicated built-in hardware. Now, however, Dolby’s HDR solution has also become available in pure software form, meaning it could be on the way to many more devices, Forbes reports.

That alone would put Dolby Vision on an equal footing with HDR10 in terms of how easy it is for a manufacturer to add it as a firmware update, but there’s something else that gives Dolby’s technology a leg up. While HDR10 requires an HDMI 2.0a connection, Dolby Vision works on the older HDMI 1.4 standard, meaning that it could come to even older hardware. This doesn’t mean your old TV will suddenly be able to display HDR, but it could mean that your old game console, set-top box, or streaming hardware might become HDR-capable via a firmware update.

In order to show this, Dolby has demonstrated Vision running on an original PlayStation 4. This seems to be an indication of Dolby’s initial focus on implementing Dolby Vision in software — game consoles — but the company has said that other products could be supported. “There are implementations that can run Dolby Vision in software, certainly in the console space but also in the TV SoC space,” the company told Forbes.

When questioned on whether Dolby Vision running in software could be added to a number of devices including TVs, the Apple TV, and Android TV devices, the company confirmed that all of these options were possible. We’ve already seen announcements of Dolby Vision coming to products that have already made their way to the market, but previously it wasn’t clear whether these products had the necessary hardware built-in but not the firmware in order to make it work, or whether a licensing issue prevented them from shipping with support for the technology.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Dolby Vision will suddenly become the new standard for HDR. For one thing, several companies are backing HDR10 as it is an open standard, not a proprietary technology like Vision. Then there is the issue of cost: Even without the hardware requirement, Dolby still charges a license fee for its technology. If nothing else, this likely means that budget-priced TVs will often stick to HDR10.

Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Deals

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for January 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for January 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for January 2019.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.