The world of home theater is no stranger to format wars — see “VHS vs. Beta” or “Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD” — but recently, we’re seeing a more subtle, digital type of format war with two competing standards for HDR (High Dynamic Range): Dolby Vision and HDR10.
Vizio’s new P-Series and M-Series TVs launched earlier this year with HDR support, but only supported Dolby Vision out of the box, meaning UHD Blu-ray players from Samsung and Philips weren’t supported on the TVs. Fortunately, that is beginning to change with the rollout of a new firmware update, Vizio announced on Wednesday.
“When we launched the Vizio SmartCast P-Series and M-Series Ultra HD HDR display collections, it was always our intent to accommodate the HDR10 standard in addition to our support for Dolby Vision,” Vizio chief technology officer Matt McRae said in a statement. “While Dolby Vision offers consumers excellent picture quality, it was important to us to give consumers options. Vizio now offers HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatible displays with some of the best picture quality options available for the home experience.”
While both Dolby Vision and HDR10 aim for the same goal of delivering content with higher contrast and more vivid colors, and both use the Rec2020 color space, there are differences between the two. HDR10 uses a 10-bit format, while Dolby Vision uses a 12-bit format and is generally more precise. These details matter to enthusiasts, but for the average viewer, not having to worry about what TV works with what Blu-ray player is much more important.
In order to update, you’ll first want to ensure that your TV is connected to the internet — after that, it should automatically update. If you already have a UHD Blu-ray player connected, head into the Settings menu, then Inputs, and finally HDMI Color Subsampling, where you’ll be able to enable the proper subsampling for the connected player.
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