Roku and Google have confirmed plans to bring HDR 10+ to their streaming gadgets. For those who don’t know, HDR 10+ is a picture standard designed to bring dynamic colours and brightness to your content. It was designed by Samsung to challenge Dolby Vision – another popular standard from cinema maestros, Dolby.
Dolby Vision is incredibly popular with set-top box manufacturers. Amazon’s pricier Fire TV streaming dongles and the Apple TV 4K both support Dolby Vision, but haven’t adopted the Samsung competitor.
Samsung has managed to convince a number of prominent telly manufacturers to add its technology into their sets. And the fact that Samsung itself has been the biggest selling TV brand of the last fifteen years surely helps expand the reach of its HDR 10+ option too. But the tide is starting to turn.
Roku has confirmed plans to bring HDR 10+ to a number of its streaming gadgets, including the Express 4K+, Express 4K and Roku Ultra.
So, if you’re watching shows that were shot with Samsung’s colourful HDR 10+ format in mind on one of these devices, you should see a real difference on your telly. The fundamental character of the image remains unchanged – it doesn’t alter the vision of the director behind the camera. However, images in HDR10+ are more likely to seem punchier, dynamic, and with a little more depth.
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The brightest elements on-screen are likely to look a little brighter, while the darkest should avoid looking slightly washed-out and grey thanks to the cavernous shades of black possible with HDR10+.
Google is also throwing its weight behind the format with an update to its Chromecast with Google TV streaming set-top box, which launched last year.
Announcing its support for the Samsung picture format, Google Director of Product Development Matt Frost said: “Google is pleased to join the growing number of companies adopting HDR10+ and working with the HDR+ Technologies LLC. We envision HDR10+ being a key enabler for Chromecast with GoogleTV plus other platforms going forth and we look forward to helping our various partners across the industry achieve a great HDR experience.”
When it comes to streaming services, one of the biggest proponents of HDR10+ is Amazon Prime Video. While it does have some Dolby Vision films and shows, its HDR 10+ library is much, much bigger. Meanwhile, Netflix doesn’t have a single title designed for the Samsung-developed standard, with most of its original boxsets and movies produced for 4K Dolby Vision HDR.
While HDR10+ still has a lot of catching up to do, it’s clear the race between these two competing standards when it comes to watching cinematic telly and Hollywood blockbusters at home isn’t over yet.