HDR10 vs Dolby Vision - What's The Difference?

HDR10 vs Dolby Vision: What’s The Difference?

Unsure of whether an HDR10 vs Dolby Vision display is best for you? Let’s examine these two technologies’ parallels and contrasts in more detail.

There are two primary HDR formats: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision requires a license and payment from Dolby, whereas HDR10 is an open standard and non-proprietary.

And while Dolby Vision is already capable of delivering an image of higher quality, no TVs can fully utilize what it offers in comparison to HDR10.

Dolby Vision does, however, provide a greater image quality, largely because of its dynamic metadata.

High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is the current catchphrase in relation to contemporary TVs and monitors. But what precisely is the matter?

In summary, while playing HDR-compatible content, an HDR TV or monitor can show more realistic colors as well as greater contrast and brightness levels.

The two primary HDR formats discussed in this article are HDR10 and Dolby Vision (DV).

HDR10 vs Dolby Vision

First off, unlike Dolby controls Dolby Vision, HDR10 is a free and open standard, thus TV makers and content providers are not required to pay to use it.

What do you actually receive for paying the more for Dolby Vision, then?

In contrast to HDR10, which is limited to 10-bit and 1.07 billion colors, DV can display 12-bit color depth, which equates to 68.7 billion colors.

Dolby Vision downsamples its color depth to 10-bit, which offers just a slight boost over native 10-bit color, because 12-bit TVs and similar content aren’t yet accessible.

Dynamic HDR

HDR10 vs Dolby Vision

Moving on, Dolby Vision deploys its metadata frame by frame, making it “dynamic HDR” as opposed to HDR10’s static nature.

How does this affect you?

This means that HDR10 will establish the same metadata for the entire movie if you are watching an HDR movie on an HDR monitor. Dolby Vision, in contrast, has the ability to dynamically alter information like color and brightness, enhancing the viewing experience.

In addition, the HDR10+ format adds dynamic HDR to the HDR10 standard while maintaining a royalty-free status.

Only a few streaming services (Amazon being one of them) and discs now offer HDR10+ content, but more and more TVs are starting to support it.

Additionally, Samsung unveiled the HDR10+ Gaming standard, which will appear on future TVs, monitors, and video games starting in 2022.


Since HDR10 is free, it’s not surprising that it has a significant advantage in terms of content accessibility.

Furthermore, fewer monitors support Dolby Vision, and more TVs support HDR10 than DV. While Xbox One S/X and Series S/X support both HDR technologies, the PS4/Pro and PS5 only support HDR10 at this time.

The majority of HDR content is available on streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Vudu, where you can discover both Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.

Remember that HDR10 is also compatible with all TVs that offer Dolby Vision, so you are not required to pick one over the other.

While there are models that support both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, they are uncommon. Some displays that support Dolby Vision do not support HDR10+, and vice versa.

Numerous video games for PC and consoles also support HDR10.

HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), which was created by the BBC and NHK for live transmission and includes static HDR and is compatible with HDR10 and DV screens, is another essential HDR format.

HDR Monitors

Different requirements apply to HDR monitors than HDR televisions. Even 8-bit color monitors that support HDR are possible; these displays are frequently referred to as “pseudo-HDR” ones because they don’t provide a very noticeable boost over the regular image quality.

Look for the DisplayHDR certification from VESA to identify HDR10 monitors.

For the best or “genuine” HDR viewing experience, most people believe that a display should feature at least 1,000-nit peak brightness and full-array local dimming, or an OLED screen.

Differences Between HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision

There are a number factors to consider when comparing the three main HDR formats, including color depth, brightness, tone mapping, and metadata. The most basic of the three formats is HDR10, which is supported by all current 4k TVs. The more sophisticated standards include Dolby Vision and HDR10+, and while many TVs support one or the other, they’re not always mutually incompatible. The key variations between each format are shown below.

  • HDR10: Open standard for HDR
  • HDR10+: Royalty-free standard for HDR.
  • Dolby Vision: Proprietary standard for HDR made by Dolby.
 HDR10HDR10+Dolby Vision
Bit DepthGoodGreatGreat
Peak Brightness MinimumGoodGoodGreat
Peak Brightness MaximumExcellentExcellentExcellent
Tone MappingGoodBetterBest
TV SupportAmazingGoodGreat
Content AvailabilityBestGreatExcellent

Bit Depth

The amount of data the TV can use to instruct a pixel which color to display is known as color bit depth. In scenarios with shades of similar colors, like a sunset, a TV’s deeper color depth can display more colors and lessen banding. In SDR content, 8-bit TVs typically display 16.7 million colors, whereas 10-bit color depth has 1.07 billion colors. Twelve-bit displays go much further, offering an astounding 68.7 billion hues. Although content with a color depth greater than 10 can potentially be supported by both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, few Ultra HD Blu-rays with Dolby Vision even offer 12-bit color depth. HDR10 is limited to a color depth of 10 bits.

Tie between Dolby and HDR10+ for first place. Although streaming material is always limited to 10-bit color depth and both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision can handle content with higher bit depth above 10-bit, most content won’t reach that, so there is no difference between the two dynamic formats.

Peak Brightness

A high peak brightness is crucial when watching HDR video since it makes the highlights stand out. The television must match the brightness at which HDR video is mastered. Therefore, you want it to display content exactly at 1,000 cd/m2 if the content has been mastered at 1,000 cd/m2.


  • Mastered anywhere from 400 to 4,000 cd/m²
  • Technical limit: 10,000 cd/m²


  • Mastered from 1,000 to 4,000 cd/m²
  • Technical limit: 10,000 cd/m²


  • Mastered from 1,000 to 4,000 cd/m²
  • Technical limit: 10,000 cd/m²

With the majority of video being mastered at roughly 1,000 cd/m2, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content is presently available. Depending on the content, HDR10 can be mastered anywhere up to 4,000 cd/m2, although it has no minimum brightness requirement. All three specifications support images with a maximum brightness of 10,000 cd/m2, albeit no display can yet operate at that level. As a result, there is little distinction between the dynamic formats because they both have a maximum output of 4,000 cd/m2.

Tie between HDR10+ and Dolby Vision for first place. There is no difference there since both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are currently mastered between 1,000 and 4,000 cd/m2.


Metadata can be compared to a user guide that details different elements of the content. It’s included with the show or movie and aids the display in handling the material most skillfully.


  • Static metadata
  • Same brightness and tone mapping for the entirety of the content


  • Dynamic metadata
  • Adjusts the brightness and tone mapping per scene


  • Dynamic metadata
  • Adjusts the brightness and tone mapping per scene

The three formats differ in a number of ways, including how they handle metadata. All that HDR10 requests is static metadata. When using static metadata, the brightness thresholds are predetermined once for the entire film or television program and are calculated using the brightness range of the brightest scene. By utilizing dynamic information, which enables it to instruct the TV on how to apply tone-mapping on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ improve on this. Because gloomy scenes won’t appear overly bright as a result, the entire experience will be improved.

The metadata of the HDR format is irrelevant if the TV is performing well because some TV makers don’t care about it and apply their own tone-mapping to master video.

Winners: HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. They are more adept in adjusting to scenes with a wide range of lighting.

Tone Mapping

How well a TV can display colors that it doesn’t display is determined by tone mapping. In other words, what does the TV do to make up for it if a scene in an HDR movie has a brilliant red in it but the TV can’t display that same shade of red? A TV may handle it in two different ways by tone mapping the colors. The first is referred to as clipping, where a TV becomes so bright that details are obscured and no colors are discernible above that brightness.

The TV can also remap its color space to display the necessary strong colors without clipping, which is another frequent technique. The image will still appear beautiful even if it doesn’t necessarily exhibit the required shade of red. You don’t lose any details because there is a more gradual roll-off when colors approach their peak luminance, but overall highlights are darker than on a clipping-based TV.

The three HDR standards differ from one another in how each TV approaches tone mapping. When the video is tone-mapped by the source rather than the TV, dynamic formats like Dolby Vision and HDR10+ can tone map on a scene-by-scene basis. This reduces the processing power needed by the TV. The video doesn’t look as nice in HDR10 since it employs static metadata, which means that the tone mapping is the same across the entire film or television program.

Winners: Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Dynamic metadata is used by Dolby Vision and HDR10+ to alter the tone mapping scene-by-scene.

Backwards Compatibility

You won’t have to worry about the format of earlier HDR content if you’re watching it on a new TV because both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are backward-compatible with static HDR formats on Ultra HD Blu-rays. Both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ use distinct technologies to improve upon earlier HDR standards, although they are both backward-compatible. If an HDR10+ TV has to display HDR10 content, it does so without the dynamic metadata because HDR10+ adds dynamic metadata to HDR10 content. Dolby Vision is more challenging since it can start with any static HDR format and grow upon it. Dolby Vision TVs can read the static metadata by themselves because it is built from static metadata, making it backward-compatible.

HDR10 must be used as a static metadata layer on all Blu-ray discs. If it’s a Dolby Vision disc and your TV only supports HDR10+, it will play the movie in HDR10 instead. This implies that it is backward-compatible with any TV. The same cannot be true about streaming material, as a Dolby Vision movie on Netflix might not include the HDR10 base layer, causing it to play in SDR if your TV doesn’t support Dolby Vision.


You will have fewer options for HDR material to watch if your TV only supports Dolby Vision or HDR10+, not both. You won’t be able to watch the content in its intended format if your TV only supports HDR10 and your Blu-ray is in an HDR format that your TV doesn’t support. If you’re streaming a Dolby Vision movie that doesn’t include the HDR10 base layer, the video will be in SDR because Samsung TVs don’t support Dolby Vision, therefore any Blu-ray with Dolby Vision will be limited to HDR10. You will see content in its correct dynamic format if your TV supports both formats.



Winner: HDR10 and Dolby Vision

In recent years, the new HDR formats’ accessibility has greatly increased. All HDR content is at least available in HDR10, and the majority of streaming services support Dolby Vision. HDR10+ is becoming more popular with Blu-rays and some streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, although not being as ubiquitous. The Apple TV+ app now supports HDR10+, and all of Apple’s HDR content has been upgraded with HDR10+ metadata as of October 2022.


Winner: HDR10

Only a few brands, like Vizio, Hisense, and TCL, have support for both on their TVs, even though the majority of models support HDR10 and many others at least one of the more sophisticated formats. Sony and LG support Dolby Vision in the US, whereas Samsung TVs support HDR10+.

Expecting the less expensive HDR TVs to utilize all the additional features of the formats is unrealistic. For the majority of them, you won’t even be able to tell the difference because only expensive TVs can utilize HDR and display it to its full potential.


Winner: Tie between Dolby Vision and HDR10+: Particularly for consoles, Dolby Vision games are more readily accessible than HDR10+ games, while HDR10+ is gradually finding its way into the PC gaming market.

 HDR10HDR10+Dolby Vision
PS4/PS4 ProYesNoNo
Xbox OneYesNoYes
Xbox Series X/SYesNoYes
Nintendo SwitchNoNoNo

HDR was originally intended for movies, but its benefits for gaming are indisputable. Dolby Vision is supported by contemporary gaming systems such the Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Game makers must include HDR support in their creations, just like with movies. There are a few Dolby Vision games available for PC and consoles, including Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, F1 2021, and Borderlands 3.

Consoles will continue to support Dolby Vision, but PC gamers can benefit from HDR10+ Gaming, especially if they use a Samsung display. HDR10+ Gaming is an enhancement of HDR10+ that focuses on gaming. Unfortunately, HDR is not always implemented correctly, and this results in inconsistent performance.


Winner: HDR10

Although the most majority of them are HDR-compatible, they lag behind TVs in terms of HDR performance. You often don’t obtain dynamic metadata with most displays because they only support HDR10, not HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, and they typically have low contrast and low HDR peak brightness. Watch video on a TV for the greatest HDR experience possible.


There are several HDR formats besides Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HDR10. Hybrid Log Gamma, often known as HLG, is another option. It is supported by all current TVs, and HLG seeks to make things easier by integrating SDR and HDR into one stream. Since it can be played on any device that receives the signal, it is perfect for live broadcasts. The HDR portion of the signal is played if the device supports HDR; otherwise, the SDR portion is played. Since it’s meant for live broadcasts, there isn’t much HLG content to choose from.

Conclusion: HDR10 vs Dolby Vision – What’s The Difference?

Since both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ use dynamic information to enhance overall quality, there isn’t a clear winner between them from a technological sense. Dolby Vision’s capabilities are almost exactly matched by HDR10+, although HDR10+ has less content and isn’t as widely supported by TVs. Every 4k TV supports HDR10, giving it the clear advantage of having more material available.

Source: Youtube

In the end, there isn’t much of a difference between the three formats. HDR is significantly more influenced by the quality of the TV itself. Both formats can produce images that are significantly more dynamic than what we are accustomed to seeing, but HDR, when correctly shown on a TV, offers a more striking viewing experience. Although HDR has some limits because TVs can’t produce all the colors and a peak brightness of 10,000 nits, most TVs nevertheless provide a great HDR experience.

Dolby Vision is currently the most expensive and exclusive format, with HDR10 being more widely used and more affordable.

Dynamic metadata will be easier to obtain with the launch of HDR10+ and HDMI 2.1, thus it is still unclear whether Dolby Vision will be worthwhile.


  • Encelz

    Someone who is particularly interested in various gadgets, electronics, home theater, gaming consoles, and computers and who will openly and honestly provide various interesting information.

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