Dolby Vision vs HDR10: Detailed Comparison

Dolby Vision vs HDR10

Confused about whether to go for Dolby Vision or HDR10? Let’s look into a detailed comparison of Dolby Vision vs HDR10. Dolby Vision and HDR10 are both formats of HDR Display. Although both of these formats are different, the goal is the same, which is to enhance the colors, contrast, and brightness of the display and give viewers a better visual experience. The difference comes in the way these goals are achieved by both technologies. 

Dolby Vision is the first HDR format to be produced. It is licensed by the Dolby company meaning it’s not free to use. Manufacturers and content creators have to pay to use this technology. It uses dynamic metadata offering a superior viewing experience across a broader range of devices, including budget TVs.

HDR10 on the other hand uses static metadata. It is free to use as it is not licensed. It is supported by most TVs that have a peak brightness of around 1000 nits, gaming consoles, and streaming content.

Both have their own sets of strengths depending on the use and personal preferences. Keep reading for an in-depth understanding of both of these technologies. 

Advantages of Dolby Vision over HDR10:

Dolby Vision was developed in 2014 by Dolby Laboratories. It was developed to help content developers create, distribute, and playback their videos. It can support the highest peak brightness than any other HDR format and greatly enhances the visual experience. Its primary use is to display high-quality images designed with the right contrast, color, and brightness. 

To fully utilize its capabilities you need a compatible Dolby Vision display and content otherwise the content will be just played in HDR10 or SDR mode. Take a look at the advantages Dolby Vision has over HDR10.

Dolby-vision-display
Playing Elden Ring on TV with Dolby Vision Enabled

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Enhanced Visual Experience

Due to dynamic metadata and other qualities that Dolby Vision has to offer, it greatly enhances the visual experience of the user. It has a really wide color gamut and peak brightness that ranges from 4000 cd/m2 – 10,000 cd/m2.  These produce more lifelike and accurate images. It allows for a maximum resolution of 8k. Dolby Vision uses tone mapping on every frame improving contrast, color reproduction, and overall image quality. For example, if some content is developed to display 4000 cd/m2 and your TV can support a maximum brightness of 1000 cd/m2, then Dolby Vision will use tone mapping to reduce the film from 4000 cd/m2 to 1000 cd/m2 brightness level in order to display the video on your TV.

Superior Color Accuracy

Dolby vision has a wide color gamut of 12-bit RGB that allows it to produce a whopping 68.7 billion colors. This translates to superior color accuracy and better color reproduction. A broader range of colors can be displayed making the content appear more realistic. This makes the visual experience amazing.

Dynamic Optimisation

It uses dynamic metadata that is more effective than static metadata. Dynamic metadata means that the content is encoded with scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame information about how the content should be displayed. This enables your screen to optimize each scene individually resulting in more accurate image rendering. In contrast, HDR10 uses static metadata for the entire movie or show that is not as effective. 

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Advantages of HDR10 over Dolby Vision:

HDR10 was announced in 2015 and refers to the contrast between the brightest and darkest parts of an image. It is the most popular open HDR format. While Dolby Vision offers several advantages of HDR10, HDR10 has its own set of strengths and is more dominant in the market. It has a broader scope that allows users to stream more content online on HDR.  Let’s look at the advantages it has to offer over Dolby Vision. 

Playing Elden Ring on TV with HDR10 Enabled
Playing Elden Ring on TV with HDR10 Enabled

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Wider Adoption

As HDR10 is an open standard meaning it is available for use without licensing fee, it has been more widely adopted across various TVs, gaming consoles, media players, and streaming platforms. Dolby Vision on the other hand is not open for use without the license fee and additional hardware support. This makes it less widely adopted.

Another reason for wider adoption is its less complex implementation as compared to Dolby Vision. The credit for this goes to the static metadata that HDR10 uses.

Simplified Implementation

HDR10 is simpler to implement in both content creation and hardware. It supports static metadata which is easier to encode and it requires less processing power on compatible devices. This simplified implementation makes it a better choice for manufacturers and content creators. This is because simplicity results in a low complexity and wider reach.

Licensing and Royalty-Free

HDR10 is licensed and royalty-free. This means you do not have to pay a licensing fee to use it. It is free to use and that is why it is a more cost-effective option. This has led to more popularity in the market and wider adoption by manufacturers. 

Who supports Dolby Vision and HDR10?

Dolby Vision and HDR10 are rapidly becoming popular. Almost all television manufacturers including LG, Sony, TCL, and Phillips support both Dolby Vision and HDR10. Samsung is an exception in the popular brands that do not yet support Dolby Vision.

Streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV and Amazon Prime also support both of these.  Apart from these, almost all ultra HD Blu-Ray players support HDR10. Some of the high-end ones support Dolby’s vision as well. In gaming consoles, both the Xbox series X/S and PlayStation 5 support HDR10 and Dolby vision. 

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What TVs have HDR10/Dolby Vision?

Numerous TV models from different manufacturers support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. These include many of the LG OLED and NanoCell TVs, Sony’s Bravia series, TCL, Vizio’s P series and M series, high-end models from Panasonic, Hisense’s LED and OLED models, and Philips. 

What TVs have HDR10 Dolby Vision

The availability usually depends on the model and regional variations. Some of the low-end models would support just one of the two.

The table on TVs that comes with both HDR10/Dolby Vision Support:

TV ModelBrandDisplay TechnologyScreen SizeHDR10 SupportDolby Vision Support
Samsung Q80TSamsungQLED55 inchesYesYes
LG CXLGOLED65 inchesYesYes
Sony X900HSonyLED75 inchesYesYes
TCL 5-SeriesTCLLED50 inchesYesYes
Hisense H8GHisenseLED55 inchesYesYes
Panasonic HZ1000PanasonicOLED65 inchesYesYes
Philips 6700 SeriesPhilipsLED55 inchesYesYes
Sony A8HSonyOLED55 inchesYesYes
Samsung Q70TSamsungQLED50 inchesYesYes
LG NANO90LGNanoCell75 inchesYesYes
Sony X950HSonyLED65 inchesYesYes
TCL 6-SeriesTCLMini-LED55 inchesYesYes
Hisense H9GHisenseLED65 inchesYesYes
Vizio P-SeriesVizioQuantum LED65 inchesYesYes
Samsung Q800TSamsungQLED75 inchesYesYes
LG BXLGOLED55 inchesYesYes
Sony X800HSonyLED43 inchesYesYes

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What devices use HDR10/Dolby Vision?

Various consumer electronic devices support both HDR10 and Dolby vision. Most important are smart TVs, Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, streaming devices, 4K UHD discs, smartphones, and tablets. 

TVs that support HDR10 and Dolby Vision are mostly high-end 4K and 8K models. Popular manufacturers include LG, Sony, Vizio, Panasonic, and Philips. 

Streaming devices that support both of these include Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, and Google Chromecast Ultra allowing users to stream content in HDR. Smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, LG, and Sony support both HDR10 and Dolby Vision for HDR video playback.

What devices use HDR10 Dolby Vision

List of Devices that uses HDR10

Here, I will cover the list of devices that comes with HDR10 support:

4K Ultra HD TVs

Here’s a table listing some 4K Ultra HD TVs that come with HDR10 support:

BrandModelScreen SizeHDR10 Support
SonyX900H55″, 65″, 75″, 85″Yes
SamsungQ80T55″, 65″, 75″, 85″Yes
LGCX55″, 65″, 77″Yes
TCL6-Series (R635)55″, 65″, 75″Yes
VizioP-Series Quantum65″, 75″, 85″Yes
HisenseH9G55″, 65″Yes
PanasonicHZ200055″, 65″Yes
Philips8505 Series43″, 50″, 58″, 65″, 70″, 75″Yes

Blu-ray Players

Here’s a table listing some Blu-ray Players that come with HDR10 support:

BrandModelHDR10 SupportPrice (USD)
SonySony UBP-X700Yes$199
LGLG UBK90Yes$249
SamsungSamsung UBD-M8500Yes$199
PanasonicPanasonic DP-UB820Yes$399
PioneerPioneer UDP-LX500Yes$999
OppoOppo UDP-203Yes$549
Cambridge AudioCambridge CXUHDYes$699
PhilipsPhilips BDP7502Yes$189
LGLG UBKM9Yes$179
PanasonicPanasonic DP-UB9000Yes$699

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Game Consoles

Some popular game consoles that come with HDR10 support:

Game ConsoleHDR10 SupportRelease Year
PlayStation 5Yes2020
Xbox Series XYes2020
Xbox Series SYes2020
PlayStation 4 ProYes (via firmware update)2016
Xbox One XYes2017
Xbox One SYes2016
Xbox OneYes (via firmware update)2013
PlayStation 4Yes (via firmware update)2013
Nintendo Switch OLEDYes2021

Streaming Devices

List of streaming devices that come with HDR10 support:

Streaming DeviceHDR10 SupportPrice Range
Amazon Fire TV StickYes$30 – $50
Roku Streaming Stick+Yes$40 – $60
Apple TV 4KYes$150 – $200
Google Chromecast UltraYes$70 – $90
NVIDIA Shield TV ProYes$200 – $250
Xbox Series XYes$400 – $500
PlayStation 5Yes$400 – $500

Monitors

Some monitors that come with HDR10 support:

Monitor ModelScreen SizeResolutionRefresh RateHDR SupportPrice (Approx.)
Dell UltraSharp U2720Q27 inches4K (3840×2160)60HzHDR10$600
LG 27UK850-W27 inches4K (3840×2160)60HzHDR10$500
ASUS ProArt PA32UC32 inches4K (3840×2160)60HzHDR10$2000
BenQ EW3270U32 inches4K (3840×2160)60HzHDR10$400
Samsung Odyssey G727 inches1440p (2560×1440)240HzHDR10$700
Acer Predator X2727 inches4K (3840×2160)120HzHDR10$1800

Laptops

Laptops that are available with HDR10 support:

BrandModelScreen SizeResolutionHDR10 Support
DellXPS 15 (9500)15.6″3840×2400Yes
LenovoThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 8)14″3840×2160Yes
HPSpectre x360 (Late 2020)13.3″3840×2160Yes
AsusROG Zephyrus S GX70117.3″3840×2160Yes
RazerBlade 15 Advanced (2020)15.6″3840×2160Yes
MSIGS66 Stealth (10th Gen)15.6″1920×1080Yes
AcerConceptD 7 Ezel15.6″3840×2160Yes
LGGram 17 (2020)17″2560×1600Yes

List of Devices that uses Dolby Vision

Now let’s get start with list of devices that comes with Dolby Vision support!

4K Ultra HD TVs

First, we will have 4K Ultra HD TVs that come with Dolby Vision support:

TV ModelScreen SizeResolutionDolby Vision Support
Sony XBR65A8H65 inches4K UHDYes
LG OLED65C1PUB65 inches4K UHDYes
Samsung QN65Q90TAFXZA65 inches4K UHDYes
Vizio OLED65-H165 inches4K UHDYes
Sony XBR55X900H55 inches4K UHDYes
LG OLED55C1PUB55 inches4K UHDYes
Samsung QN55Q80TAFXZA55 inches4K UHDYes
Vizio OLED55-H155 inches4K UHDYes
LG OLED77C1PUB77 inches4K UHDYes
Sony XBR75X950H75 inches4K UHDYes

Blu-ray Players

Just like HDR10, same players also support Dolby Vision too, here are those:

Brand / ModelDolby Vision SupportResolutionHDR SupportPrice Range (USD)
Sony UBP-X700Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$150 – $250
LG UBK90Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$200 – $300
Panasonic DP-UB820Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$300 – $400
Philips BDP7502Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$150 – $250
Oppo UDP-203Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$500 – $700
Xbox Series XYes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$500 – $600
LG UP970Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$150 – $250
Pioneer UDP-LX500Yes4K UHDHDR10, Dolby Atmos$1000 – $1500

Smartphones

The table on some popular smartphones that come with Dolby Vision support:

ModelDolby Vision Support
iPhone 12 Pro / 12 Pro MaxYes
iPhone 13 Pro / 13 Pro MaxYes
LG V60 ThinQYes
LG G8 ThinQYes
LG V40 ThinQYes
Sony Xperia 1 IIYes
Sony Xperia 1 IIIYes
Sony Xperia 5 IIYes
Sony Xperia 5 IIIYes
Google Pixel 4 / 4 XLYes
Google Pixel 5 / 5 XLYes
Asus ROG Phone 5Yes
Asus ROG Phone 5 ProYes
Asus ROG Phone 5 UltimateYes

I hope this much info would be enough for most, now let’s get started with FAQs section!

FAQs

Is HDR10 brighter than Dolby Vision?

No, in fact it is the opposite. Dolby vision is potentially brighter than HDR10. The reason is that it uses dynamic metadata that causes it to adjust its brightness and other parameters at every frame. It does however depend on the content and the user settings that which of the two will appear brighter. The peak brightness level of HDR10 is 1000 nits while Dolby Vision content can reach up to 4000 nits.

Which HDR format is best?

The two HDR formats considered the best are HDR10 and dolby vision. They both prove a significant improvement over SDR. The winner however depends on your individual preferences. If you want the best picture quality and visual experience then dolby vision is the best. On the other hand if you want a good visual experience on a budget, HDR10 is the best option.

Is it Netflix HDR10 or Dolby Vision?

Netflix supports both HDR10 and dolby vision. It depends on the compatibility of your screen and if the content you’re watching is available in your desired format. If your device supports HDR10/Dolby vision and the content you’re watching is available in HDR, Netflix will deliver the appropriate format.

How good is Dolby Vision?

Dolby vision is one of the most popular and advanced HDR technologies. It really enhances the visual experience of users. Its key advantage is its use of dynamic metadata to adjust brightness, contrast and various other parameters for every individual frame.

Is Dolby Vision better than 4K HDR?

Dolby vision and 4K HDR are not directly comparable as 4K HDR refers to the resolution of the content that is 3840×2160. Dolby Vision on the other hand is an advanced HDR technology that enhances the resolution. You can have Dolby Vision enhanced 4K HDR content that combines the strengths of two for an exceptional visual experience.

Are all Dolby Vision in 4K?

No, Dolby Vision is not limited to 4k, but it is usually found in Ultra-HD 4K. Technically Dolby Vision can be applied to content in various resolutions including full HD (1080p) and lower resolutions.

End Note

In summary, while Dolby Vision offers some significant advantages in terms of picture quality and dynamic metadata, HDR10 still holds its ground due to its wide compatibility, simplicity, and industry adoption. The choice between Dolby Vision and HDR10 often depends on the specific device and content creators’ preferences, as well as the target market and available resources.

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