Samsung, Panasonic, 20th Century Fox and Amazon are one step closer to giving Dolby Vision a run for its money. Companies now have easy access to the open, royalty-free HDR10+ standard thanks to a just-launched program that lets manufacturers prove TVs, monitors and other devices can handle the upgraded picture format. If the firms pass muster, they can slap an HDR10+ logo on their hardware to guide customers. The alliance didn't immediately line up partners that would go through this process, although it's safe to presume that Samsung and Panasonic will be first in line.
It sounds like a simple move. However, it might be key to making high-quality HDR commonplace. Dolby Vision already does much of what HDR10+ sets out to accomplish, such as scene-by-scene brightness adjustment, but companies have to pay to use it -- and while companies like LG are willing to shell out for Vision support, others (obviously including Samsung and Panasonic) have been reluctant. Now, they can provide comparable image quality in most respects instead of relegating viewers to the simpler HDR10 format. The main limitation is a 10-bit color palette versus Dolby's 12.
It may take some time before you see HDR10+ products. Most TV makers don't unveil new sets until the start of the year, and companies will need some time to go through the logo process. It's also unclear how likely it is that brands will add HDR10+ to existing devices. Still, it's a start -- and it's good news if you'd rather not have to choose from certain sets just to see HDR visuals as their creators intended.