What’s the difference with VISIONPLUS, Dolby Vision and HDR10 Video?
There are some huge differences and benefits VISIONPLUS HDR can offer to the public and we are going to explain it.
HDR or “High Dynamic Range” for video is a transfer process that has to meet a standard in order to be processed by the software included in HDR TVs.
This would be called Native HDR stream.
The HDR technology is in the video and not inside the TV Panel. TV’s are only using a SOFTWARE that limits the NITS (maximum peak brightness or the intensity of visible light) from the HDR video to be reproduced in the panel of your TV.
Actual HDR TVs are not really HDRs but SDRs. Why?
For a video to be HDR it has to be REC. 2020 Compliant but you need several requirements detailed below:
- Video Codec HEVC H.265
- 10 to 12-BITS Color Depth
- BT.2020 Matrix and Primaries
- PQ ST. 2084 or HLG * Hybrid Log Gamma *
- MaxCLL / MIN / Mastering Display metadata
The HDR video is primarily a GRADING that needs to be transferred to an extended range of color and gamma curve and then be encoded in a HEVC container with BT. 2020, 10 or 12 bits and PQ SMPTE ST. 2084.
This is how HDR10/HDR1000/Dolby Vision and our VISIONPLUS HDR works.
The video grading can be from any NITS peak to the maximum of the PQ SMPTE ST. 2084 which would come to be 10,000 NITS.
Currently the best high-end TVs for example Samsung’s 2016 4K UHD HDR Line can achieve a real peak of 1200 NITS in their panels.
In such a way the Blu-Ray commercial HDR vary in their type of grading and metadata:
- HDR10: 1200 NITS peak with static ST-2086 metadata.
- HDR1000: Peak of 10000 NITS (no movies in this format, only demos)
- Dolby Vision HDR: Peak of 4000 NITS with dynamic metadata.
Coming generation with ST. 2094 Metadata is going to add dynamic range and color to the HDR10, HDR1000 and Dolby Vision.
As you can see the movies people can buy are indeed limited by their type of grading, which means they are not “pure” HDR movies.
The worst case scenario would be the HDR10 Movies with only 1200 NITS Peak Grading, pretty close to SDR standards with such low grading.
In the future when you can buy TVs with a higher peak of real NITS these films will be out of phase.
The movie studios will invent another version (OR NOT) of the movie with the highest peak of grading in NITS, which result in more economical gain for the movie studios and a bit of unpleasant to the movie lovers.
A current HDR TV is actually SDR in Steroids (Standard Dynamic Range):
- HDR native container peaks at 10,000 NITS.
- The films they sell now have a peak at 1200/4000 as explained above.
- The HDR TV’s that can be purchased today the most top of the range got real peak at 1200 NITS.
So what happens when we play a Dolby Vision movie on a TV that has a technological limit of 1200 NITS panel and the movie is 4000 NITS graded?
Basically the TV software (a chip in the case of Dolby Vision) limits the NITS of the video to fit the actual panel limit: 1200 NITS or less if it is a TV with lower panel capacities.
This would have to be the most reasonable scenario for HDR10 Movies, since HDR10 only peaks at 1200 NITS and a good Ultra HD HDR TV from today can actually do it. So you get the “real thing” in the output, unless you have got a panel with less than 1200 NITS where compression is used.
There’s another scenario for the Dolby Vision or VISIONPLUS HDR graded movies.
What the software does is return to SDR in HDR10 when panel can’t get the actual 1200 top peak nits to output the native HDR video. This means compressing highlights and preserving HUE.
By using TV Presets HDR10 can look extremely over saturated or with over brightness, since the video has got a really low NITS Grading when using TV presets things can become unnatural and unrealistic. Daylight scenes will also look too dim and unrealistic due to the low nits grading and TV processing applied.
But this is not the case for Dolby Vision or VISIONPLUS HDR.
When a movie such Dolby Vision is graded up to 4000 NITS and is reproduced on a TV Panel with maximum peak of 1200 NITS what the software does here is to set the 4000 NITS output where the TV HDR Presets can expand the image. Sometimes it can also apply compression or tone mapping depending if the movie goes higher than 4000.
If you watch a 4000 NITS video in a 1200 NITS Peak panel without the help of TV Presets, it’s going to look dull and without life.
Since the video needs the NITS to be pure and native, when the TV lacks NITS you have to go another way to make it look alive again.
The problem with this method is TV’s differs in image processing technologies a lot, some are nano crystals others OLED technology and the worse when you use color dithering expansion techniques such as the Pure Color and so on.
Not only HDR is going to look different on every TV panel/brand but won’t be pure, since it’s being changed by the TV image processing, even the color won’t be in it’s original form.
Dolby Chipset is powerful enough to apply tone mapping * highlights compression * to high nits graded videos.
The current HDR TVs can not process the BT. 2020 color range either, no matter you have it on the menu settings and shown on your TV.
What actual TV’s do is transfer the color 2020 to DCI-P3, which would come to be inferior to the color range graded on the video and also generates another limited tone / palette.
What TV software does here? The color is “improved” (and it always depend on people’s tastes) with the TV color processing and the technology mentioned before: nano crystals in Samsung, the capacity of the OLED panel or the simple internal color dithering software.
To be able to see a real and pure HDR video in it’s full color range and real palette you would need a TV panel with the NITS from the video you are playing.
Let’s say the video is Dolby Vision then you need minimal a 4000 NITS TV Panel. That way the video is being playback natively without the need of TV color/range processing involved = HDR Video in the natural state.
Now that it was understood that the current HDR TVs are not pure HDR but an intermediate in both real dynamic range and color process we can agree that the companies and movie studios are making HDR a pure business with some little lies through .
This does not mean that current HDR movies and current HDR TVs do not look any better than an SDR version of the same movie: It means you are watching a limited and capped HDR Video.
Today with VISIONPLUS you can get to playback native HDR without the restrictions from the companies/movie studios.
MADVR software (well known among digital movie fans) can process NATIVE HDR content when detected by the software.
MADVR can fully process the HDR signal just like TV’s do, but without the GAMUT / Gamma Curve / Dynamic Range / NITS limit.
You can actually choose the NITS to taste and the BT. 2020 gamut without being transferred to DCI-P3.
You can also playback 10-bit DirectX 11Fullscreen Exclusive with the help of LAV Filter in CPU decoding mode.
Basically the MADVR achieves what today’s HDR TV’s are not capable to do.
It even offers tweaks you are able to setup such as the Preserve HUE/Compress HighLights/Restore Details/PurePower Gamma Curve and so on.
You get HDR video in pure state with a lot of tweaking options, instead only having to choose from factory made HDR TV Presets.
Most VISIONPLUS HDR Movies goes beyond the Dolby Vision NITS Peak ( 4000 ) and this means you have higher range, gamut, deeper blacks and much better highlights than what’s commercially available.
All you need to do with MadVR is setup the maximum peak from the video and you are set to go.
Of course when you choose higher nits you need the help of a TV HDR / Personal Preset to allow the output to be back alive, same as happens with commercial Dolby Vision, though with VISIONPLUSHDR-1000 Movies output levels are good enough to be watchable without TV Presets.
Why “HDR TV” doesn’t exists
*** IMPORTANT UPDATE ***
We have managed to use a 3d LUT when grading that’s now able to setup our movies without much of a hassle.
Finally… Balanced Gamma HDR output and correct BT. 2020 color expanding.
Lucy 4K HDR 600 NITS NATIVE BT.2020 Output:
Now HDR Transfers works as intended. No messy setups, it can actually work when you install MadVR and Lav Filters out of the box.
You can choose display pure power gamma from 1.80 to 2.60. Of course lower gamma curves shows more realistic image. That’s how HDR gamma works.
Then you can rise or down saturation up to tastes. Movie comes balanced so you can up saturation where you like it.
This kind of HDR movies can work with any panel in the world, from PC monitors to extreme TV’s with high nits output. You just choose from 400 to up to any nits you want. Higher nits would result in higher HDR quality, though panels from today can only throw maximum 1200 nits.
Why HDR is being used as pure marketing
TV and movie companies are making the HDR a scam and a trade. People think they buy TV’s HDR. When in fact, any panel up to a monitor can play an HDR video.
They limit the PQ (HDR format) to take long term TVs and sell them as “new” giving the HDR a simple top grading.
VISIONPLUSHDR-1000 today is 10,000 nits in grading so it is currently higher than HDR10 and Dolby Vision. No need for any “HDR TV” since that does not exist. The TVs only have NITS, the HDR is based on contrast, gamut, range and deep blacks, besides the highlights that would come to be the part where the NITS of a TV can give greater luminance.
But hey, the luminance in an HDR video with a TV that outputs more NITS, will also be noticed in the same way in an SDR video. It is understood? The HDR TV does not exist.
A TV with 10,000 nits in peak light will reproduce SDR content 10 times better than a current “HDR” TV of Samsung line up 2016 with peak of 1000 nits.