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30th of April 2017

Gadgets



Samsung, Amazon Launch HDR10+

The new high dynamic range (HDR) format allows brightness levels to change as frequently as each frame, instead of a single level for an entire video.

Samsung HDR10+

A new high dynamic range standard has arrived on Samsung TVs. Called HDR10+, it is the latest salvo from the Korean electronics giant and its partner Amazon in the ongoing format wars to decide the go-to HDR standard.

HDR10+ enables the content (such as streaming shows and movies from Amazon Video) to contain dynamically adjusted metadata that the TV can read to offer the enhanced contrast and colors that make up HDR. The HDR10 standard sends metadata, too, but it doesn't change from scene to scene, which means some scenes will appear darker or lighter than the director intended.

With HDR10+, brightness levels can change as frequently as each frame. Like its predecessor, it is an open-source standard defined by the UHD Alliance, which means that any manufacturer or content provider can adopt it without paying royalty fees. The alliance is also working on an HDR standard for Blu-ray disks, which currently aren't capable of storing HDR metadata.

Amazon announced on Thursday that it plans to make HDR10+ available on Prime Video later this year. You'll be able to watch it on any of Samsung's 2017 UHD TVs, including the premium QLED TV lineup. The company also plans to retroactively enable HDR10+ on 2016 models through a firmware update later this year.

HDR10 and the new HDR10+ compete with Dolby Vision, a proprietary format that is calibrated for each TV set that supports it. There's also a new standard called Hybrid-log Gamma, proposed by the BBC and Japanese public broadcasting service NHK. JVC, Panasonic, Philips, and Sony have announced support for HLG in their 2017 HDR-compatible TVs.

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