December 14, 2017
Amazon and Samsung have partnered to begin streaming videos in the high dynamic range format HDR10+ on the latter’s premium QLED and UHD TVs. Reported by Yonhap News, Samsung said it will be the first time that HDR10+ content will be available via a streaming service. Samsung and Amazon first announced their intent to rely on the HDR10+ open standard in April. Netflix also just announced that it is considering adding support of the HDR10+ standard. Netflix currently supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR standards.
The Verge reports that Amazon Prime will offer 100 TV shows in HDR10+, including “The Grand Tour” and “The Tick” “with more titles to be added.”
HDR10+ distinguishes itself with “Dynamic Tone Mapping, which allows brightness levels to shift depending on whether the particular scene is brightly lit or dark, based on the dynamic metadata attached to a video.”
There are currently five competing HDR standards: the original HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and Advanced HDR. “Of these, HDR10+ is closest to the closed Dolby Vision spec in capabilities.” Previous to inking the deal with Amazon, in August Samsung joined with 20th Century Fox and Panasonic, to “begin licensing the HDR10+ platform in January 2018.”
TechRadar reports on Netflix’s statement that “there’s a ‘possibility’ that it will add support” for HDR10+ in the future. “We do already support HDR10, not the HDR10+ variant, there’s a possibility we’ll support that in the future but it’s not something that’s on our roadmap at the moment,” said Netflix senior product manager, partner ecosystem, Richard Smith. “Our aim is to not necessarily dictate your choice as a consumer but rather embrace it, and whichever technology you choose to buy we want to give you the best picture we can on that.”
Although HDR10+ does offer dynamic metadata as does Dolby Vision, says TechRadar, it “does not offer the same 12-bit color as is offered by the latter format, instead sticking with the same 10-bit depth as HDR10.”