Audio experts Dolby, turn their attention to image quality to enhance the total movie experience
By Vishnu Anand
April 4 2016: While Dolby is the big daddy of sound technology, it also runs a division dedicated to picture quality. For the last 7 years, a team of image technology expert have been working to create a new imaging standard called Dolby Vision. Hitherto the next big thing in the broadcast and image standards has been HDR or High Dynamic Range which means no loss of colour from the darkest to the brightest part of the image.
Dolby takes it a notch higher and is working to create an entire content - distribution - display ecosystem around Dolby Vision. Last week, on the sidelines of the FICCI Frames conference in Mumbai, Dolby Vision came to India-- through a collaboration with LG, who will launch an entirely new range of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED ) and Super Ultra High Definition) (SUHD) TVs powered by Dolby Vision. Five new models will be launched by LG before end of May, priced between Rs. 1.25 Lakhs to 15 Lakhs.
While most other standards focus on increasing the number of pixels to increase picture quality and sharpness. Dolby is focused on making each pixel brighter and sharper. As a result, viewers are promised 40 times more brightness, 50 times more contrast and 50 percent more colours ( what is called the colour gamut) than the best TVs today.
In a special preview, Dolby revealed that the trick was to optimize the rendering of both dark and bright colour together. This means in a frame where there is bright sunshine as well as a shadow, the contrast between the two is amplified, giving viewers an illusion that they are looking through a window.
Internationally, a bunch of studios like Warner Brothers, Disney, and MGM have already started creating content in Dolby Vision, and close to 40 titles are already available. Dolby is roping in more studios to adopt DolbyVision while evangelizing TV and theatre system makers to launch compatible equipment. In the weeks to follow, we can expect Dolby-Vision-enhanced Blu-ray DVDs, along with streaming content on Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.
Last year on this page, we reported on Dolby Atmos, the immersive audio technology for movies. Now with Dolby Vision, the company seems to be saying: What's great sound, without the great sights to match!