Is Dolby Vision finally catching up with the iPhone 12 express train?

If you have an iPhone 12 series mobile phone, congratulations, you can turn on "Settings> Camera> Record Video>HDR Video (High Efficiency)" and use it to shoot 4K Dolby Vision (Dolby Vision) video.

However, with Dolby Vision, how will our videos change? Here, let's say hello to Dolby Vision first.

What's so good about Dolby Vision?

Explain in a simple sentence: Dolby Vision is a High Dynamic Range (HDR) video standard launched by Dolby.

The relative SDR stands for Standard Dynamic Range, which is an end-to-end video solution that can make the dark parts of the video picture darker and the bright parts brighter while retaining more Details provide a better viewing experience.

Different from the more mainstream HDR10 and HDR10+, Dolby Vision has higher requirements for playback equipment, and the later work is more complicated. If any company wants to use Dolby Vision technology, it must give Dolby a license. cost. This has the same meaning as the Hi-Res certification fee charged by the Japan Audio Association.

It can be said that Dolby Vision is currently the HDR (high dynamic range) video standard with the highest parameter requirements on the market.

Below is a chart from Dolby's official website, originally in English, but translated.

Color depth, also called color depth, determines the types of colors that can be presented in the picture. More colors mean that the transition between colors is more natural, and the picture no longer has color gradation faults visible to the naked eye.

The higher the display brightness supported by the device, the better the HDR dynamic display effect.

The digital part of the HDR400/600/1000 logo on the display is the peak brightness that the display can display, but that is the screen display standard established by Vesa Certified DisplayHDR, which is completely different from the HDR video standard represented by Dolby Vision.

The color depth of 12Bit determines the video produced by the Dolby Vision standard, which can show 68.7 billion colors, each with 4,098 color levels

Combined with the following picture, you can more easily understand the advantages of Dolby Vision and other mainstream HDR standards: wider color gamut, more colors, higher brightness, and metadata for each scene or even each frame.

The final result is a picture with high contrast, rich details, extremely wide dynamic range, and closer to the real picture. Even if it is not compared with ordinary SDR video, you can see its advantages.

Can your device see Dolby Vision?

After you understand what Dolby Vision is, you need to understand which device can display the real Dolby Vision. Simply put, you need dual support for "decoding" and "screen". Some devices support Dolby Vision, but the screen It does not support HDR display, which means it can decode the video content of Dolby Vision, but the screen may not see the difference between it and ordinary SDR video.

For example, in the iPhone SE2, the "video playback" column in the parameters clearly says "supports Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG", and the iPhone 12 next door has an extra sentence on this basis: "It can display HDR quality."

There is such a difference because the screen of iPhone SE2 does not support HDR display. However, more manufacturers do not clearly mark it like Apple. Most of them do not speak martial arts. They write support for Dolby Vision in a conspicuous position, but in the corner write a line of small letters that cannot be seen with a magnifying glass. It means that the chip supports Dolby Vision decoding."

Therefore, if you want to watch the HDR video of Dolby Vision standard, you need the playback device to support Dolby Vision decoding, and the screen display brightness and color must meet the minimum standards of Dolby Vision, to be regarded as true Dolby Vision.

If the screen display level does not meet the required requirements, the viewing effect will be slightly worse.

How difficult is it to popularize Dolby Vision on a large scale?

The iPhone 12 series has become the world's first device that can shoot, post and play Dolby Vision videos, but you will encounter the embarrassment of not being able to share the beautiful images you just shot with your friends.

The extremely high display requirements have made Dolby Vision's popularization difficult.

Since the birth of the first mobile phone LG G6 that supports Dolby Vision, Dolby Vision technology has existed on mobile devices for nearly 5 years, but the number of products supporting Dolby Vision is still pitifully small.

Enter "Dolby Vision" as a keyword search on the e-commerce platform, and there are very few real matching results.

So it seems that display devices will be a hurdle in popularizing Dolby Vision, but this is only one of them.

Just like the promotion of 4K resolution video that year, it needs to be supported by the entire link of content production, distribution platform, hardware output, etc. The absence of any end will result in an incomplete 4K viewing experience.

Promoting the Dolby Vision standard also requires full link support from the production end, the distribution platform, and the display device, so that end users can truly feel the picture advantages of Dolby Vision.

Unlike IMAX, which requires a dedicated wide-format camera for shooting, the difficulty of producing Dolby Vision content lies in post-production.

▲ Picture source: ymcinema

As you can see in the Netflix partner help center, all certified 4K cameras can shoot high dynamic range RAW format video, and then "process" on a professional HDR monitor to generate Dolby with dynamic metadata Horizon mastering is provided to Netflix for online distribution and playback.

The earliest video platform that supports Dolby Vision standards in China is iQiyi. Now Tencent has also followed up. In the recently launched "Jiang Ziya", both iQiyi and Tencent can enable Dolby Vision to watch. Youku and B The stations all adopt the open and copyright-free HDR10 standard. The 10 in the name indicates that it supports up to 10Bit color depth, which is 1.07 billion colors.

As can be seen from the picture below, in the Iqiyi/Tencent video screen after Dolby Vision is turned on, the details in the highlights and shadows are well preserved, and the outline of the girl’s nose can still be seen clearly in the highlights; while the image at station B "Jiang Ziya" has not yet opened HDR image quality, so I can only choose 1080P high frame rate for comparison. Surprisingly, the fineness of the picture quality is not worse than the first two pictures, but the foxtail in the dark light and the girl's face in the bright light have obvious loss of detail.

(The screenshots are for reference only, and do not represent actual impressions)

▲ Top: iQiyi (open Dolby Vision) Middle: Tencent (open Dolby Vision) Bottom: Station B (1080P high bit rate)

A comparison shows that iQiyi’s Dolby Vision is relatively better. However, for the time being, Dolby Vision’s film sources are still quite scarce, with only a few new films released this year, such as "Eight Hundred", "Extinction", and "Vanguard".

Maybe Apple can help Dolby open up the situation

iPhone 12 supports shooting, editing, and playback of Dolby Vision videos, which is undoubtedly good news for Dolby.

The advantage can be seen from this picture. This is a comparison of two video images taken at the same time and at the same location with the same iPhone 12 mini. Dolby Vision video has brighter highlights and richer details in the dark. Actual viewing At time, the sun's glare is not obvious, and both suns are just a dot; while ordinary 4K video suppresses the glare, lowering the overall picture brightness, resulting in serious loss of dark details.

Judging from the current results, video content has the addition of Dolby Vision, which can indeed significantly improve the visual experience. Over time, users will recognize this HDR standard, and Dolby Vision will remain in the minds of viewers Below, such as the impression of "Watching a blockbuster movie depends on IMAX."

Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, recently raised his sales forecast for the iPhone 12 series. He estimated that the initial shipment of the iPhone 12 could reach 80 million units . This also means that 80 million more units will be available on the market. Compared with the standard video equipment of Vision, and no complicated post-processing, what you shoot is what you get.

However, Apple's approach can be roughly understood as a complete set of Luts with Dolby Vision (of course, the principle behind it is much more complicated). When it outputs video to other devices, because there is no corresponding color grading configuration, it should be displayed directly. If the SDR screen is not used for the Dolby Vision color grading configuration of the playback device, the display effect will be more or less different from that on the iPhone 12.

▲ The same Dolby Vision video, but the iPhone SE2 screen does not support HDR display.

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. After the iPhone 12 launched related functions, many recently launched laptop products began to support Dolby Vision (although they basically failed to meet the minimum display brightness requirements of Dolby Vision), and many mainstream products Video post-production software is gradually opening up the workflow for editing Dolby Vision videos. It seems that under the call of the industry, Dolby Vision's popularity will go faster than expected.

Nowadays, affected by the epidemic, people's willingness to go to offline theaters specifically for a movie has become weak, and offline distribution of movies has become restrained. Some time ago, "Wonder Woman 1984" also announced that it would choose to simultaneously release online and offline in North America. To reduce the impact of the epidemic.

When Dolby Vision becomes popular, it may have a greater impact on the big screen, prompting more people to return to the living room and watch movies on TV. But no matter what, people are always willing to embrace better audio-visual technology, and it is a good thing to let our eyes and ears feast.

Source of title picture: aroged.com

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