HDR10 vs HDR10+ vs Dolby Vision Which is better

You should read this article if you believe a 4K TV with HDR costs $500 is a good deal. Unfortunately, it might have HDR, which makes the image even blurry!


HDR is a technique that significantly improves image quality by increasing the dynamic range of a display. This results in shows with greater detail in the highlights and the shadows of an image. Additionally, it takes advantage of a broader color spectrum, which causes colors to stand out more.

The gaming community has not yet had the opportunity to see what all the fuss over 4K resolution is about. Still, the world of technology develops at a breakneck pace, and by today’s standards, 4K is already considered old news.

HDR has recently become very popular.

On the other hand, although 4K is quite essential (in that all 4K displays include the same number of pixels), HDR is a lot more nebulous and, dare we say, predatory in the way that it delivers on the promises that it sets. Many HDR standards, such as HDR10, HDR10+, DolbyVision, and others, add to the complexity and are not helpful.

As a result, we are here to end the misunderstanding by first clarifying what high dynamic range (HDR) is and how it is intended to function, then proceeding to run down the encoding standards one by one and describing how each one operates in practice.

What exactly is HDR?

Difference between HDR10 HDR10 and Dolby Vision

The idea behind the high dynamic range, or HDR, is relatively straightforward: to improve the quality of the viewing experience by increasing the dynamic range. High-Dynamic Range, abbreviated as HDR, is the opposite of Standard-Dynamic Range, abbreviated as SDR.

The contrast between an image’s brightest and darkest regions is called the image’s dynamic range. Of course, there’s more to it than contrast, but if you compare it to comparison, you’ll have the essential understanding down pat.

Increasing the dynamic range of an image should result in a picture that has darker shadows and brighter lights while at the same time preserving the level of detail that exists within those shadows and lights.

It is also essential to remember that to employ a high dynamic range (HDR), you first require material compatible with it. This mainly refers to motion pictures. However, it is supported by some video games, and there is even an effort to broadcast HDR, as we will see in the next section.

The sales pitch for this product may be summed up as follows: “If you feel that movies seem washed out on your SDR TV, purchase an HDR TV, and you’ll receive a truly cinematic experience in the comfort of your living room.” (If you feel that movies appear washed out on your SDR TV, get an HDR TV.)


HDR10 vs HDR10 vs Dolby Vision A comprehensive comparison

When it comes to putting the theory into practice, you get results roughly on par with what a skeptic would expect, mainly if you use HDR10.

This is the most widely used encoding standard for high dynamic range (HDR), partly because it is open source and does not require display makers to pay royalties to include it in their products. In addition, it can support the most significant amount of material. However, there is an essential issue with it.

HDR10 is dependent on metadata that is static. This implies that the information on a movie’s lightest and darkest colors will be supplied to your television. After that, the brightness of your TV will be adjusted so that it is optimal for viewing this movie.

This presents two significant challenges, namely:

  • There is a possibility that your TV does not support high dynamic range (HDR). Most HDR material is created assuming the colors look their best when seen at 1000 nits. Most affordable HDR televisions will offer a maximum brightness of no more than 300 nits at best. This implies that your TV will assign its maximum brightness value to the color that has the most saturation in the movie, and then it will attempt to calculate the proportions based on that value.
  • As a consequence of this, the majority of movies will look better on such TVs when viewed in SDR rather than HDR. The fact that static metadata only utilizes two points of reference for a whole film might be a significant issue, even if your television has a decent high dynamic range (HDR) system. For example, imagine you’re watching a mostly dark horror movie, but there’s one part where an explosion is well-illuminated. Given how intense that one burst is, your television may portray the entirety of the film in a brighter light than it should be.

Dolby Vision system

Understanding the advantages of HDR10 HDR10 and Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision, owned by Dolby and addresses the difficulties we have just brought up, differs from HDR10 because the latter is an open-source standard for encoding.

To begin, HDR10 does not have any particularly stringent criteria. It only includes standards suggested to be met by TVs so that HDR content may be shown correctly. This is why HDR10 TVs are available, making HDR material seem inferior to SDR. To be advertised as an HDR TV, the television can merely receive HDR signals; this has nothing to do with the television’s capacity to show images in true HDR…

On the other hand, Dolby has more stringent requirements for the TVs’ specifications to support it. Furthermore, because TV makers are required to pay royalties to incorporate this patented technology, it is less probable that they will include it in a model of television that is unsuitable for high dynamic range (HDR). Therefore, when it comes to the presentation of high dynamic range (HDR) material, it is pretty unlikely that you will come across a Dolby Vision television that is subpar in any way.

It makes use of dynamic metadata, which is another fantastic feature of this system. For example, instead of only receiving two values for an entire movie, the television knows how bright the brightest and darkest colors are supposed to be on a frame-by-frame or scene-by-scene basis. This is in contrast to the situation in which it would only receive two values for the entire movie.

It is reasonable to state that Dolby Vision is superior to HDR10, both on paper and in practice when all this information is considered. The major drawback (other than the cost) is that there is currently less material available for Dolby Vision than there is for HDR10; nevertheless, it is a blessing that TVs with Dolby Vision support can still show HDR10 content in HDR.


Exploring the features of HDR10 HDR10 and Dolby Vision

Since the beginning, it was clear that the HDR10 metadata, known as Static Metadata, would be a concern for the life of the format. Therefore, HDR10+ is the result of combining the open-source nature of HDR10 with the capabilities of Dynamic Metadata, as seen in the previous sentence.

There is much content compatible with this format, and the cost is far lower than that of Dolby Vision.

However, this only addresses the second issue discussed in the HDR10 part. The first one is still a problem; it is not challenging to locate televisions that are HDR10+ compatible but that only have garbage-tier HDR capabilities, which diminish the quality of the watching experience rather than improving it.


HDR10 HDR10 and Dolby Vision Which is best for your viewing experience

Last, we will talk about HLG, which stands for Hybrid Log-Gamma.

The issue with alternative HDR encodings is that they are not friendly to broadcasting. To watch something in high dynamic range (HDR), the viewing medium must expressly support HDR. And in this respect, cable programming was unable to compete with the likes of DVDs, Blu-Rays, and streaming services.

Therefore, the BBC and NHK collaborated to develop HLG, a type of HDR that could be transmitted so that viewers with HDR televisions could view the program in HDR. In contrast, viewers with SDR televisions could watch the same show on SDR.

HLG is an imaginative approach to appease both the standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) crowds, even though it may not appear as well as other versions of HDR.

HDR Monitors

Decoding the HDR formats HDR10 HDR10 and Dolby Vision explained

Because high dynamic range (HDR) monitors are held to entirely distinct criteria than high dynamic range (HDR) televisions, we feel it is essential to devote some space in this article to discussing them.

You got that correctly! If you thought things were complicated up to this point, brace yourself for more of the same.

There is no mention of HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision on the packaging of gaming monitors. Instead, you will encounter designations such as DisplayHDR400, HDR600, HDR1000, etc. These numbers refer to the display’s dynamic range.

These displays have received the VESA certification. And for the first time, the number that comes after the HDR isn’t just a bunch of meaningless jargon; it informs you what the monitor’s brightest possible setting can reach. Here you can find a complete summary of the DisplayHDR specifications.

Now, VESA certification is not present on all HDR gaming displays. Some are still available on the market with high dynamic range (HDR), but we are expected to accept their word for it. So please don’t do it. You will regret it if you do. Even if the functionality exists in the sense that it may be toggled on and off, it will result in a noticeable degradation in the visual quality of games.

When it comes to providing a satisfactory HDR viewing experience, even DisplayHDR400 may not be enough on its own. Therefore, if you intend to take your HDR gaming seriously, we believe that DisplayHDR600 is the minimum you should settle for.

It is also essential to remember that not all games support high dynamic range (HDR). No contest released before 2017 was designed with this function in mind; however, several older games have been updated to include retroactive HDR compatibility. This support can come in the form of an official patch, such as The Witcher 3, or a fan-made mod, such as Doom:1993….

On this page, you can discover a list of games that are compatible with this functionality.


The transition from a standard dynamic range (SDR) to a high dynamic range (HDR) might improve the viewing experience more than moving from 1080p to 4K resolution.

On the other hand, although you can be confident that every 4K monitor displays the promised amount of pixels, you can’t always count on HDR monitors to have decent HDR. This is mainly a result of the fact that there are a significant number of encoding standards for it.

The following are some of the highlights, albeit briefly:

  • HDR10 is entirely out of date in the modern day. It just continues to exist for the sake of marketing.
  • HDR10+ has the potential to do amazing things, but not every TV that supports it has the correct specifications for it.
  • Dolby Vision is widely considered the gold standard for video quality, but it is also the most costly.
  • This is an attempt to introduce HDR to broadcasting, and HLG is that endeavor.

And lastly, if you’re searching for an HDR monitor, ensure it has VESA certification at the very least; however, those who want strong HDR capabilities should aim for DisplayHDR 600 certificate at the very least.

You might also check out our article, in which we’ve produced a list of the finest HDR displays currently available on the market if all of this sounds too complicated to understand.

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