Dolby Vision support possible entirely via Software
#1
I've always believed from self reading that modern media players SoC's (System on a Chip) had the necessary CPU ponies to decode and output Dolby Vision entirely via Software... well that may soon be a reality....

Forbes original article

Quote:Why The PS4, Xbox One And Even The Apple TV Could Soon Get Dolby Vision HDR

John Archer , CONTRIBUTOR

I write about TVs, projectors and other home entertainment technology.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

If you love home entertainment you’ll likely already know about Dolby Vision: the Dolby-licensed version of high dynamic range technology that seeks to enhance the HDR experience by providing TVs with scene by scene ‘instructions’ on how to make images look their best.

With most people who’ve seen Dolby Vision in action coming away impressed by its impact on picture quality, the technology’s only big issue up to now has been that it’s fairly hard to find. Not least because any AV equipment that wants to offer Dolby Vision has had to integrate special hardware – a relatively costly process that has to be considered right from the start of a product’s development.

Now, though, that’s all set to change. For Dolby has revealed that Dolby Vision is now available in a full software solution.
This means, in essence, that Dolby Vision could be added to almost any bit of AV kit – games consoles, set top boxes, TVs, Ultra HD Blu-ray players etc – that has enough processing power to handle the software implementation to Dolby’s satisfaction. As Dolby puts it:

“There are implementations that can run Dolby Vision in software, certainly in the console space but also in the TV SoC space. Specifics vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the hardware capability of the silicon in question, but we have development kits for various types of implementations, depending on the application: full hardware, hybrid of software and hardware or [and this is the crucial bit] full software.”

Flexible friend

I put a specific list of potentially upgradable devices to Dolby that included games consoles, TVs, the Nvidia Shield, Android TV set top boxes and Apple TV, and Dolby confirmed that its software implementation could indeed be applied to such devices.

Two examples of Dolby Vision via firmware update have already been announced, in fact. Sony revealed at the CES in January that its fantastic (and, crucially, ultra powerful) Z9D televisions will be getting Dolby Vision via firmware later this year, while Oppo’s also outstanding UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player is set to get a Dolby Vision update in the next month or so.

It’s tempting to think that software versions of Dolby Vision might not run as effectively or efficiently as hardware implementations. However, when I put this to Dolby Laboratories’ VP of Consumer Imaging, Roland Vlaicu, at January’s CES, he confirmed that there was no loss of performance when running Dolby Vision purely in software, adding that a software implementation would only pass Dolby’s rigorous certification procedures if it worked without any performance compromises.

Latest connections not required

As if all this wasn’t already significant enough when it comes to the potential for Dolby Vision to spread through the AV world, Dolby’s HDR system also has another brain-bending advantage up its sleeve: the ability to run over old HDMI 1.4 connections. It doesn’t need kit with HDMI 2.0a jacks like the industry standard HDR10 format does.

In fact, Dolby has previously done a ‘proof of concept’ demonstration of Dolby Vision running on an original PS4 to make this HDMI point.

There are, though, a trio of things stopping Dolby Vision from rocking up on pretty much any half-decent bit of home entertainment hardware.

The first is cost. Even if a product runs an all-software version of Dolby Vision, the brand that makes it will still, of course, have to pay Dolby the requisite license fee.

Second, some TV brands are currently philosophically resistant to Dolby Vision. Certainly Panasonic and Samsung have repeatedly stated that they believe their own processing and knowledge of their own TV screens means they can deliver pictures using the HDR10 industry standard that are at least as good as those you can get with Dolby Vision. Samsung is additionally starting to champion its own royalty-free rival dynamic metadata solution.

Brain power

Finally, while Dolby couldn’t define for me exactly what sort of power and architecture a product’s processing engine might need to handle Dolby Vision in software, its lengthy answer to my specific question on this subject does suggest that it’s likely something only relatively high-end products will support:

“It’s usually a question of: Can the available set of CPUs and GPUs handle the operations required. Some of the more modern high-end TV SoCs are incredibly powerful, so implementing Dolby Vision playback blocks on those chips is possible, even if they haven’t been designed for Dolby Vision from the outset.

“Our set of hardware blocks that we propose as part of our development kit mostly benefits those chips that are cost-optimized for mass market applications where every square millimeter counts. That’s where we prescribe what is necessary while keeping the incremental die area to a minimum. Of course, all of this is also possible with FPGAs but clearly those are only used in rare situations, mostly when time-to-market is most critical.

“All of the above work in the same way: the performance characteristics of the respective model are measured in production and then programmed into the implementation to tell the TV precisely how to perform the mapping function.”

With almost all types of AV product now being pretty much forced to carry ever more powerful on-board processors, though, it really does seem to me that Dolby’s firmware-addable software solution has the potential to be a genuine HDR game changer. So keep an eye on my Forbes channel for further developments.

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#2
Kodi already fulfills most of the requirements for supporting DV or passthrough DV (however you name it). Since DV uses RGB tunneling, the work Fritsch and others did on Intel EGL would be the perfect candidate to "passthrough" DV. I know this is possible since Calman can output DV through HDMI. (Full range RGB which the DV equipped UHDTV will detect as DV).
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#3
I like John Archer's reviews but this is somehow confusing.
All new HDR (HDR10 or DV) are mastered in 4k resolution with HDCP 2.2 DRM, so how will DV work on HDMI 1.4?
10 or 12bit color depth and 4k resolution also requires HDMI 2.0.
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#4
I assuming they could also be possibly targeting the 1080p online streaming market. I believe Netflix already does 4K DV - so it would not take much to also do 1080p DV over HDMI 1.4 / HDCP 1.x for the mass consumer market. Not everyone in the world has Fat Download pipes.

At 1080p over HDMI 1.4 you would not need the same bandwidth to carry the extra Metadata. The PS4 and XBOX One launched with HDMI 1.4 only. That is quite a few 1080p DV Netflix eyeballs right there.

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#5
(2017-02-26, 19:04)hansolo Wrote: I like John Archer's reviews but this is somehow confusing.
All new HDR (HDR10 or DV) are mastered in 4k resolution with HDCP 2.2 DRM, so how will DV work on HDMI 1.4?

Dolby Vision requirements are hdmi 1.4

via dolby vision FAQ

Quote:What version of HDMI does Dolby Vision require?
Also, if Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata, how can an Ultra HD Blu-ray player pass the proper signal on to an HDR TV using HDMI 2.0a (which supports only static metadata)?

During the color grading process in post-production, the Dolby Vision workflow enables the colorist to perform a scene-by-scene analysis of the particular look that they are going for. Once determined, a set a metadata is generated for this scene, then married to the picture and transmitted on a frame-by-frame basis. This is why the type of metadata discussed here is referred to dynamic metadata. This concept is specific to Dolby Vision and adds a layer of performance and fidelity on top of other concepts that only use static metadata.

In addition to the scene-based dynamic metadata mentioned above, there are also some static metadata parameters, such as specifications of the mastering display used during the color grading process. This data does not change for the duration of the program and is hence called static metadata. This is data can be carried via the existing HDMI standard.

Dolby Vision does not require HDMI 2.0a or 2.1. It embeds the metadata into video signal. Knowing that previous versions of HDMI would not pass the Dolby Vision dynamic metadata, Dolby developed a way to carry this dynamic metadata across HDMI interfaces as far back as v1.4b. The HDMI specification is now catching up with v2.0a supporting static metadata and future versions expected to support dynamic metadata as well. Dolby’s intent is not to compete with HDMI but merely to enable deployment of a full Dolby Vision HDR ecosystem without having to wait for HDMI standardization to catch up. Dolby was and is directly involved in standardizaton of the current and future versions of HDMI.

In practice, most Dolby Vision content is in Ultra HD and requires HDCP 2.2 copy protection, which is only available on HDMI 2.0 and up.

Note that only external sources like Ultra HD Blu-ray players and streaming devices such as Roku or Amazon Fire TV rely on HDMI connections to feed the video to a TV set. For streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu and M-GO the HDMI version is irrelevant when the app is running on a Smart TV because the HDR signal can bypass HDMI completely.
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#6
We don't have support for HDR in Kodi Windows or Linux and now we talking about DV
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#7
(2017-02-27, 01:02)movie78 Wrote: We don't have support for HDR in Kodi Windows or Linux and now we talking about DV
LibreELEC on Amlogic S905X supports HDR (albeit at 8-bit) Laugh


HDMI 1.4 is the minimum specification. If you need 4K 50+, you do need HDMI 2.0. Dolby Vision is YCbCr 4:2:2 or ICtCp tunneled in 8-bit RGB signal. HDMI 1.4 is OK for upto 4K 30Hz. As mentioned in the article @cuoto27 has quoted, 4K content requires HDCP 2.2 and so the Dolby Vision device ends up having HDMI 2.0x.
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#8
@couto, from your post/quote:
,,In practice, most Dolby Vision content is in Ultra HD and requires HDCP 2.2 copy protection, which is only available on HDMI 2.0 and up."

Somehow I stand corrected. Dolby Vision is at another marketing blurb and Dolby Vision will have the same path as Dolby Atmos. Where we have true good surround systems and junks like Atmos soundbars or even mobile Atmos devices! No serious audiophile will ever consider these POS.

So every TV producer which wants Dolby Vision as a logo will pay license fee and Dolby will assure that it will have a way to enable ,,software processing".
It will not bother about some HDR benefits:
- wide color gamut. Even current HDR struggle to be at 100% DCI-P3 (REC 2020 is far away), so any non-HDR TV what color gamut will have?
- dynamic range. The same as above. Not only peak brightness, but also extended luma range will be lower.
- color depth. Most SDR TV has 8bit color depth.

So I don't know what ,,magic bullet" will have Dolby Vision to transform older/non HDR capable receivers into better ones. My humble opinion is none, it will be another ,,Imprex Engine" with chroma crushing results...

Also, the original article begin to talk about consoles/streamers and mixes with TV's.
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#9
(2017-02-27, 08:53)hansolo Wrote: So every TV producer which wants Dolby Vision as a logo will pay license fee and Dolby will assure that it will have a way to enable ,,software processing".

License fee - something that chinese manufactures will never pay.
Example my latest project Winca S160 Android 4.4.4 Car module wont let install the sygic/tomtom APP due licensing, but thats another story.

From another article:
Quote:Dolby Vision hardware module in the TV doing the Tone mapping and Gamut mapping. Gives you the same algorithms for mapping to the screen in every Dolby television while HDR10 allows the manufacturer to use their specific algorithm..

First Production & colorists with benefit from DV if they license reference Monitors...

Second Netflix produce some TV Shows and implement Dolby Vision on them paying the correspondent fee.

Third the average Joe has the same DV Player + DV Tv doing all the "work" for him, with similar rooms conditions every Joe worldwide will have similar PQ processing watching the same TV show.

Fourth, has John Archer said in the article Panasonic, Samsung has their own TV processing, and they charge TOP $$$ for their high-end models, DV will overrule their PQ processing and this is something this manufactures doesnt want.

This is THX all over again.. with the exception the diferences to DV are widely noticeable (in TV screens) and HDR10 Dynamic Metadata are late for the Show.
THX certified Speakers
THX certified TV
THX calibration
THX certified AV receiver
THX certified Movies....
Anthem MRX310 | XTZ 93.23 DIY 5.1 (Seas Jantzen Mundorf) | DXD808 | Oppo 103D | LG OLED 55EC930V | Nvidia Shield | ATV3





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#10
LG G6 is the first smartphone to debut HDR10 and Dolby vision source : dolby

And Netflix and Amazon will be the first streaming services to deliver content in Dolby Vision to mobile devices around the world.

Image
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#11
Lol, thanks. I will drop all my AV gear and buy G6 phone instead, to have a true cinematic experience.
Maybe Dolby Vision will make professional callibration services obsolete. At least some will ignore that Calman has DV worklows and buy that ,,factory Dolby calibrated" gear.
Of course DV is better on good TV (like LG Oleds) than HDR10, but to extend this advantage to subpar devices is a bit of stretch.
And between Samsung own internal dynamic HDR (on LCD TV) and LG+Dolby Vision (on OLED) I will always preffer LG path (which is not without problems).
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#12
The fact is that Dolby Vision is doing pretty well, since may 2015 to july 2017 more than 60 movies have/will being released in DV.
its already a considerable number to ignore.
Anthem MRX310 | XTZ 93.23 DIY 5.1 (Seas Jantzen Mundorf) | DXD808 | Oppo 103D | LG OLED 55EC930V | Nvidia Shield | ATV3





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#13
DV has been around for 2 years now...and no movies on uhd...i call that a no success...
Yes ok netflix...amazon have it...but no it does not look better than hdr10...
Dv only lookd better on oled..coz hdr10 on OLED is bad...that is the simple reason
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#14
What do we think about this old thread now?
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#15
(2019-11-12, 18:24)box4m Wrote: What do we think about this old thread now?

Dolby Licenced Media Players:
Since this thread was started we saw the 1st HDR10 DV capable hardware released in late 2017 in the form of the Apple TV 4K. Free iTunes HD > 4K movie upgrades followed often including DV encoding.
The Infuse and MrMC Apps on the ATV 4K can playback DV Single layer .mp4's

2018 saw the DV capable Amazon FireTV Stick 4K released.
2019 saw the DV capable Amazon Cube released.

Amazon was one of the founding members of the HDR10+ Alliance.
Amazon might be using HDR10+ encoding for their 4K HDR original content. There is a lot of uncertainty however.
The only 4K DV content I've seen on Amazon Prime is the Jack Ryan TV series.

Recently we see NVIDIA finally got proper Dolby Licencing for their Tegra X1+ chipset which also allowed the 2019 Shield to internet stream DV content. Plex Beta software on the 2019 Shield is testing DV Single layer .mp4 support

In 2019 Panasonic, also a HDR10+ Alliance founding member finally had to add DV support to their HDR10+ TV range.

DolbyVision vs HDR10+ on 2019 Panasonic OLED's (click)

Virtually all recently produced 4K HDR10 original content from Apple, Netflix and Disney is now available with DV encoding. (And DD+ with Atmos)
So DV has definitely gone mainstream with the Big Boys entering the streaming market.

It is my understanding the DV capable online streaming Media Players just mentioned above are all using the Dolby's Single Layer Profile 5 DolbyVision software solution talked about in Post #1 of this thread.

W. Smile

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