Will you want HDR in your next TV, and what is HDR10 vs. Dolby Vision? (Open_Tab)Televisions keep getting new and buzzy sounding features every year -- and the latest of these is HDR. But what exactly is this? And is there already a format war that could create winners and losers like Blu-ray vs HD DVD? CNET's David Katzmaier explains...
[MUSIC] Let's talk about something that you've been dealing with for some time. I just dealt with recently with the Xbox One S review and that is HDR. So Cass, Yeah that was a trial by fire? Explain- Took us like in two hours ago the thing set up. It was crazy. What is HDR for people who don't know What is HDR 10, what is Dolby Vision, what is all that junk? So, the first thing of HDR is high dynamic range. Okay. Just like the HDR setting on your phone, the name, but very much nothing like it in reality. [LAUGH] Okay. Don't confuse it with HDR on your phone or photography or whatever, with those crazy effects. And they even have video games [UNKNOWN] with that HDR effects you turn on or off. It's like, why couldn't they use a different three letter combination? No, Super High Dynamic Range is what I told them to use, and they didn't wanna use it. Well, I don't understand that. So anyway HDRs that we're stuck with. Right. And right now in the market there's actually two different formats of HDR. Okay. There's HDR 10, which is just called HDR, generic HDR and then there's Dolby Vision, which of course everybody knows Dolby. Right. Kind of runs the show with audio and theatrical video and pretty much everything in Hollywoodµ So they have a big name brand advantage. These two formats are not mutually exclusive, so you can have a TV that supports both, or you can have a TV that supports one or the other. Right now Sony, Samsung and most of everybody else, except for Vizio and LG, only support HDR10. Visio and LG support Dolby Vision. They paid Dolby their licensing fee. They have this ability to take these Dolby Vision titles and play them. So right now you can get HDR from Netflix. Okay. If you have one of these TVs. Right. You can also get it from Amazon. They support as well. Both guys support both formats. Good. If you have a Sony TV you'll just get a little thing that says HDR, but if you have a Visio or LG TV it'll say Dolby Vision Because they prioritized all of it. Gotcha. Media can do both and then VUDU which is a service that Walmart runs that's similar they only have [INAUDIBLE] right now which is interesting. Different studios for different ones. I've looked at both the difference is really hard to tell right now I think we might see some more differences emerge as the [UNKNOWN] studios figure- Sure. Out how to make it pop a little more. But the real thing to know is that any HDR really is a good picture quality improvement. Right. And you and I are watching it. Yes. You can tell the difference. There is a difference. Yeah. It's subtle. Yeah. It's there though. It's not gonna blow your mind. Right. Remember when HD first came out. People were like, well standard def and HD are not that different or my Blu-Rays look a lot like my DVDs It's not as drastic of a difference as that. So. It's there's a diminishing return sort of thing going. Absolutely. Yeah. Cuz at the end of the day regular Blu ray looks frigging phenomenal. Yeah. So an HDR blu ray looks even better provided that your tv is good enough to make it look better. Right and that's So. where it gets a little cloudy right? Like Yeah. Like we just discussed, every TV manufacturer seems to have a different sort of idea of what they wanna support. Mm-hm. So is it possible that someone could buy a TV and get screwed out of The format that ends up maybe winning this sort of situation. So, I think what's gonna happen and this is pretty standard, HDR 10 is required by the consortium that came up with 4K Blu-ray. Okay. So if there's a 4K Blu-ray disc out there which is the only way to get HDR aside from Streaming right now, it's gonna be HDR 10. And every TV out there, video literally last this week, relative from our updated, allowed their TVs to work with HDR too. Now, and all these HDR TVs all work with 4K and Blu-ray. Do you think it's screwed? Right. So you're not gonna get screwed But there is a possibility that, for whatever reason, Dolby Vision stuff might look better. Or if, for example, you want to watch something on Vudu that's Dolby Vision only-, Right. for as long as they maintain that exclusive, although I don't think it's going to be very long. So you might actually end up, if you had a TV that can't do Dolby Vision, not being able to see all the available content. That's the case right now for Sony and Samsung viewers. But it's not that big of a deal cuz that stuff is also available on other services and non Dolby Vision. So I think these two are gonna coexist a little like DTS and Dolby digital which is the two audio formats that every receiver's gonna support now. They coexist. Yeah, and it all works. But there's very few receivers out there that are only one or the other right now. So I think next year or the year after you're gonna start seeing TVs that'll do both like LG and Vizio do this year, so- Okay, so this doesn't necessarily have to do anything with HDR but it is in your realm. The question I get asked a lot by people who are the sort of laymen of the tech world. My basically my friends. Yeah wonderful people. And I what's that? Wonderful people. Wonderful people. Yeah absolutely. But just don't necessarily know which side of the blu ray has the data on it. Yeah. Okay that's fine. Yeah. Question I get asked the most is, when do we stop being able to see difference resolution? You mean how close you have to be? No, no, no, after 4K will be 8K. Right, yeah, yeah, yeah. [CROSSTALK] We're already there. Well no, I feel like 8K, from what I've read a few sort of like Ophthalmologist, expert. You're brain's just simply not gonna know the difference after a while. Yeah yeah yeah, it's an eye chart thing. Is it 8k? 20 20 vision. 8k seems to be the threshold. Well the thing is it's actually already happening because unless you're sitting really close to a 4k TV you're not gonna see the difference between Really good Kennedy P which is blu ray, Right. and 4K, because here I am not sure to open up to resolve the difference. Right. Plus moving videos is a lot more difficult to resolve and the fact that, it's not gonna be the very highest quality anyway. Sure. So, if you look at Netflix 4K versus Kennedy P blu ray, often the blu ray looks Is better cuz there's less compression and it's not about the number of pixels. And so, we say like we have 65-inch TV, unless you're sitting like six feet, seven feet away from it which is hell, close to a gigantic TV. So you can't just see the difference from most people. If you have a great vision, sure, you'll see the difference if you're watching really high quality content, sure you'll see a little difference. But again [INAUDIBLE] looks freaking awesome all ready. I feel like people want that feeling they got when they went from SD to HD. It can't happen. Just like you'll never create that first time, you had a taste of poison. Yeah, pulling off the clouds and going- Never gonna happen. Wow, this is amazing. And the other thing is right now even 4K it's gonna be a really long time before it's broadcast TV. So right now, TV broadcasters are barely doing 720p and 1080i and those are the high def formats. When are we going to get, there's some smattering of 4K stuff you can see on TV but it's gonna be a long time before they change all the trucks, the cameras, all the production stuff. [CROSSTALK] Let's just skip and go to 20K and just At this point you wouldn't see a difference. You wouldn't see a difference. But that's not gonna stop them from coming out with it. Yeah, for sure. How long do you think, agents [UNKNOWN] each other are wondering, how long do you think even this HDR thing would last. Because if he wants to buy a TV, he wants to make sure that it's actually a good investment for him. And I could be worried that [CROSSTALK] HDR the next best thing. Yeah, HDR is a big deal. The thing is, we spent a lot of time crapping all over 4k cuz you really couldn't see the difference. With HDR you can see a difference. There is a difference cuz it's not resolution, which is basically limited by your eyesight and [CROSSTALK] There's more color now, yeah. It's the size of the TV. You mention wide color gamut. That's Really, it's a difference. You can see it when you look at the trees look greener. Right now the HD standard is pretty limited in the color space like 70s and earlier, what the TVs could reproduce. They're a lot better now. They can get a lot wider color. That's an HDR, and then the dynamic range, which makes highlights glint, and it makes the clouds look more defined. Stuff like that, that are again, relatively subtle. Subtle, but- It's much more of an improvement than from going 1080p to 4K. Absolutely, I totally agree with that. You showed me a scene in the Revenant that is very, very indicative. By the way The Revenant is the best home video content I've ever seen, period. Wow! The 4K Blu-ray of The Revenant is unbelievable cuz he just did a great job of filming it in HDR, in natural lighting. [CROSSTALK] It you haven't seen that film, treat yourself. Even on a 1080p regular TV it looks Some movies were filmed specifically in HDR or do you think they film a couple of resolutions above and bring it down? Well, again HDR is not about resolution it's about the capturing of the dynamic range, which is, again, the range from absolute white to dark. And it's also capturing the color. And all these cameras now, all these digital cameras Can Eris and Sony all of these with Hollywood cameras, are way capable of capturing Totally, it's that transfer, So getting whatever the camera can see to your screen is the question, that's what It comes closer to than current 1080p. Correct me if I'm wrong. HDR in a nutshell when it comes to dynamic range sort of stuff, [CROSSTALK] Mm-hm. The analogy I tried to give somebody was like okay let's say you had like ten shades of darkness, right? Mm-hm. Like ten shades of gray Okay, HDR gives you 1000 for all intents and purposes. You're basically getting the ability to see that much more of a difference between total white and total black. And it expands the range, and increases the number of steps in that range, like f-stops on a camera is one of the analogies we use. But it also makes the top end of that range potentially a lot brighter. Sure. And so what you can do is have, like if you envision as a plane turns, sun strikes the wing of the plane and just bright kinda pop. Yeah. HDR captures that much better. HD can't capture it. Sure. And the whole format is designed to transmit those highlights And give you that feel. That's why Reverent's so good cuz it's all outdoor natural lighting stuff that you're used to seeing. And it's one of these where if you see it side by side it's like wow, it does make a difference. There's a difference. [MUSIC]