Software scheduled for release in 2017, but no titles announced
Dolby has announced that three Hollywood studios – Universal Pictures, Lionsgate and Warner Bros – have pledged to release movies mastered in Dolby Vision on Ultra HD Blu-ray, news that is sure to excite and annoy AV hedz in equal measure.
Dolby Vision is an optional HDR standard of the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification and employs dynamic metadata to manage the HDR performance of your display. The HDR 10 standard, which is mandatory for Ultra HD Blu-ray, uses less advanced static metadata.
Content is mastered at 12-bit, and at greater nit levels. Dolby Vision is also the preferred mastering HDR format amongst Hollywood studios, due to accomplished authoring tools and the ease with which an HDR 10 version can then be outputted.
All groovy then? Not quite. Firstly, Dolby Vision support is limited amongst 4K TVs, with only some LG sets on the market currently supporting it. Sony has announced forthcoming models at this year's CES, but both Samsung and Panasonic remain uncommitted.
Secondly, you'll need a Dolby Vision-capable Blu-ray player. Again, existing Samsung and Panasonic decks don't suppprt the format. Soon-to-be-released models from LG and Sony will, though, and Oppo's UDP-203 should be brought up to speed via a firmware update this year.
As for software, no titles have yet been announced. Universal says it is prepping 'an impactful selection' of films (Lucy, perhaps?). No doubt existing titles from itself and Warner that have been available in Dolby Vision via the Vudu streaming service in the US (such as Suicide Squad and Jason Bourne) will make a UHD Blu-ray Dolby Vision bow.
Furthermore, the introduction of Dolby Vision players and a wider range of TVs may be enough to kickstart Disney into releasing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 4K HDR...
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