Dolby Vision HDR Will Be Available as Software Upgrade

Dolby has confirmed that, unlike HDR 10, Dolby Vision doesn’t require HDMI 2.0a — it is fully compatible with HDMI 1.4.

Jordan O'Brien

While a great advancement in TV technology, Dolby Vision is currently limited to only a select few devices.

That’s because Dolby has always stipulated that manufacturers needed to use a special chipset in order to take advantage of its HDR technology.

However, the company appears to be giving up on that requirement and soon a whole bunch of new devices could get Dolby Vision through a simple software upgrade.

Sony has already confirmed that Dolby Vision will be coming to its ZD9 series later this year, and there should be no discernible difference between the software-delivered solution and the TV with a dedicated chipset.

There are still some limitations with Dolby Vision on certain pieces of hardware. The company notes that specific limitations will vary on a case by case basis, and will depend on the capability of the silicon. Despite that, Dolby is committed to bring its Dolby Vision technology to as many devices as possible – including gaming consoles, TVs and set-top boxes.

Dolby has already confirmed that devices such as the Nvidia Shield TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One could theoretically support the Dolby Vision HDR standard, although it would be up to the respective manufacturers to update their devices.

In addition to Dolby Vision’s new-found universal support, the company has also dropped another bombshell. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Dolby confirmed that, unlike HDR 10, Dolby Vision doesn’t require HDMI 2.0a jacks, and instead are fully compatible with HDMI 1.4 connections. Dolby even went so far as to showcase Dolby Vision technology on a PS4 running through an HDMI 1.4 cable.

Does that mean a flood of devices supporting Dolby Vision will soon reach the marketplace? Maybe, maybe not. As with all Dolby technologies, any manufacturer hoping to use its HDR technology will have to pay a license fee – which is not necessary for the royalty-free HDR 10 standard.

The other issue is that it seems only higher-end products currently meet the performance requirements of Dolby Vision. That means while it can be added through software, most manufacturers don’t have the hardware to support it.

This article originally appeared on CE Pro Europe.