There’s a new standard in the HDR format wars, and you’ll find it on Samsung and Panasonic’s new TVs. HDR10+ is an open standard designed to take on Dolby Vision, which HDR10 couldn’t quite match.

What is HDR?

HDR is one of the best features you’ll find on 4K TVs. It stands for “high dynamic range,” and it lets your TV display a much broader range of colors. In other words, you’ll see darker blacks and brighter whites. This more comprehensive range of colors makes the picture more realistic and lifelike. After all, the real world contains more colors and brightness levels than we can currently display on TVs.

Even after you’ve purchased an HDR-enabled TV, HDR won’t automatically give you those better colors. A TV needs HDR-enabled content before it can work its magic.

There are multiple competing standards for HDR. Some TVs only support HDR10 content, while some support both Dolby Vision and HDR10 content. Now, new TVs are gaining support for HDR10+ content. Other HDR standards include HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), and Technicolor Advanced HDR, but they aren’t as widespread.

What Are HDR10 and Dolby Vision?

Most TVs advertising support for “HDR” actually support the HDR10 standard. This is the most popular HDR standard with the most HDR content.

That’s because HDR10 is an open standard. Anyone who wants to create HDR10 content can do so without paying a licensing fee. Companies who wish to integrate HDR10 support don’t have to pay a big licensing fee, either.

HDR10’s big competitor is Dolby Vision. TVs supporting Dolby Vision usually support HDR10, too, but they’ll advertise that “Dolby Vision” feature. Compared to HDR10, Dolby Vision is just better. It supports up to 10,000 nits of brightness, while HDR10 tops out at 1,000 nits. Dolby Vision is mastered with 12-bit color depth, while HDR10 content is mastered with 10-bit color depth.

Dolby Vision-enabled content also includes frame-by-frame metadata that tells the display how to display each frame of video. HDR10 only includes “static metadata” that applies to the entire video, while Dolby Vision content can include optimized settings for each moment. All in all, Dolby Vision adds up to a better-looking picture.

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