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.

Product Review

Cut cable and keep quality with TiVo's 4K-friendly Bolt OTA DVR

Free over-the-air programming isn’t available in 4K, so why would you want a 4K OTA DVR? We’ll discuss what makes the new TiVo Bolt OTA a viable choice for cord-cutters with 4K UHD TVs who want to get ahead of the game.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances to hit home entertainment in years.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for November 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Product Review

These AirPod look-alikes are better in every way but one

With silicone eartips, water resistance, and a more palatable price tag, Mobvoi’s Ticpods Free are impressive AirPod doppelgangers. But for all the great things they have going for them, there’s one flaw holding them back.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

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 November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Product Review

Hisense’s new H8E 4K TV serves up a pretty picture at a very nice price

Budget TVs continue to get more attractive and that includes the latest from Chinese TV maker Hisense. The company’s new H8E, which offers 4K resolution, HDR, and a slick design for well under $500.