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Dolby has found a way to use the full gamut of colors, local contrast and peak brightness

Dolby unveiled a new TV technology today with the goal of offering a picture that mimicked what the human eye sees, and that technology is called "Dolby Vision." 

Dolby Vision is supposed to offer brightness, contrast and colors in a way that no other television has been able to accomplish before. Dolby said that it threw traditional TV and cinema color-grading standards out the window, since they're based on old technologies, and has found a way to use the full gamut of colors, local contrast and peak brightness.

Today, video is created using a reference peak brightness level, and the unit of measurement is called‎ a "nit." Old TV displays had an average peak brightness of 100 nits, and that’s still the same reference level used today (although TVs today tend to take that signal and expand it to match their own peak brightness typically between 400–500 nits). But making the picture too much brighter will cause it to fall apart.

What Dolby found is that this peak brightness of 100 nits was far too small. The human eye is capable of seeing a wide range of brightness, from 1.6 billion nits while the sun is up at noon to .0001 nits when there's nothing but starlight. The 100 nits just wasn't covering it, as this number tends to only allow bright colors or dark colors to pop out in detail, but never both.

Dolby fixed this by building a 1080p, liquid-cooled experimental display with a backlight made up of 18,000 RGB LEDs and a peak brightness of 4,000 nits. This is huge, since standard reference displays use around 4,500 RGB LEDs and as we know, only 100 nits.


[SOURCE: Dolby]
This change in rules made the company able to color grade footage with a much wider range and improved contrast.

"The creative community is thrilled to have an expanded color palette and the added contrast so that viewers can see details that might have previously gone unnoticed," said Roland Vlaicu, Senior Director, Broadcast Imaging, Dolby Laboratories. "Meanwhile, TV manufacturers can offer consumers a dramatically improved video experience, regardless of screen size or viewing distance." 

Dolby Vision's technology covers the whole deal from the mastering process to the actual displays. The company said it has already signed on with hardware makers Sharp, TCL and Vizio for Dolby Vision-packed TVs.

In addition, content providers like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and Vudu have all agreed to offer Dolby Vision-specific content. TV shows and movies will have to be graded for the Dolby Vision format specifically, but Dolby is already taking care of that by offering reference displays and software plugins to companies. 

Dolby Vision TVs are expected to be ready to hit the market by holiday season 2014 (which is also when major Hollywood studios should have films equipped for Dolby Vision). A few prototypes are hanging around at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 this week. 

Source: Dolby

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RE: Dolby and their gimmicks
By integr8d on 1/7/2014 12:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think you mean XYZ, as P3 is an old film emulation gamut and DCI has specified XYZ for all DCP mastering. I don't know why you mentioned Adobe, as they have nothing to do with the video space.

Where this makes sense is in file-based or streaming content. There's nothing to keep Netflix from offering up two different versions of the same flick. Just set a preference and flag the content so that the tv knows which space to use.

It's too bad that this didn't happen before, as most LCDs and, I'd gather, plasmas support Deep Color and xvycc. I really wanted to see that happen.

Personally, I think that 100 nits is plenty bright, given the large sizes of most people's tv's.

RE: Dolby and their gimmicks
By blue_urban_sky on 1/7/2014 4:50:08 AM , Rating: 2
100 nits seem to be the peek positive value (range). In the article it states that many TVs have this set to around 400 nits. I think and I could be very wrong that if you had a picture (like they do) of someone with the sun behind then in the old system the dark area would be at 300nits and the sun behind would be at 400nits giving a range of 100 nits. What they seem to be doing is to have the person in the foreground at 300 nits and the sun at 4300nits.

Im guessing this greatly extends the colour range as a result.

RE: Dolby and their gimmicks
By tastyratz on 1/7/2014 10:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here is that it does nothing to expand the color gamut. We are still limited by the HDMI "deep color" standard of 0-255 definition. spreading out the peak only reduces the gradients leaving it blocky, and if you want to rewrite the range you need to revisit the signal standard. Good luck there.

Even still, without rgb backlighting you cant just create contrast that isn't there. Current tv standards just don't have the contrast range and is one reason why limiting to 100 nits actually betters the picture. If the RGB backlight isn't per pixel there will be a lot of messy bleed and akward image detail. Since that king of brightness would wash out the lcd we would be limited to the actual RGB pixel for our image... and then it's just an LED tv.

RE: Dolby and their gimmicks
By jzed on 1/7/2014 5:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Actually HDMI 1.3 supports a color depth deeper than 8 bit today. From the HDMI 1.3 FAQ:
HDMI 1.3 supports 10-bit, 12-bit and 16-bit (RGB or YCbCr) color depths, up from the 8-bit depths in previous versions of the HDMI specification.
HDMI 1.3 adds support for “x.v.Color™” (which is the consumer name describing the IEC 61966-2-4 xvYCC color standard), which removes current color space limitations and enables the display of any color viewable by the human eye.

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