HDR (High Dynamic Range) video is arguably the greatest feature of 4K video. HDR essentially provides a wider color gamut and better brightness & contrast ratios. As a result, colors are more vibrant and blacks are deeper and richer.


But, there’s been a nagging problem with HDR. The format has splintered into competing factions. The open standard HDR10 has been widely adopted by TV manufacturers. However, when Dolby Vision came on the scene, things became a little more confusing. Dolby Vision has some key advantages over HDR10. With HDR10 you can only adjust the brightness of the video in its entirety. Because of this, image quality may not be ideal in some scenes. Dolby Vision gives you more flexibility. With Dolby Vision, you can adjust the brightness and other video details on a per-frame or per-scene basis. Unlike HDR10, Dolby Vision is not an open standard meaning TV makers are required to pay licensing fees.


However, Samsung and Amazon have announced a new open standard dubbed HDR10+, which aims to put HDR10 on par with Dolby Vision. HDR10+ allows HDR TVs to adjust brightness levels on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis similar to Dolby Vision.


All of Samsung’s 2017 TVs, including their flagship QLED TVs, will support HDR10+. Meanwhile, their 2016 models will receive a firmware update later in the year to enable HDR10+. Samsung’s TVs will remain compatible with HDR10, but not Dolby Vision.


On the content side of things, Amazon Video will be one of the first providers to stream video using the HDR10+ format.


Being an open standard, one has to believe that TV makers will eagerly adopt the HDR10+ format. Especially since the new format has many of the advantages of Dolby Vision minus licensing fees. One can also argue that the new HDR10+ format makes the HDR situation even more confusing. We’ll have to wait and see how this all shakes out.

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