According to industry sources, Dolby recently suggested that it would provide Samsung Electronics with Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range (HDR) solutions for almost nothing but Samsung Electronics turned down the proposal to stick to the HDR 10, an open-platform HDR standard adopted by the UHD Alliance led by itself.
“The HDR 10 standard is based on an open platform, and thus manufacturers using it can properly respond to consumers’ picture quality needs,” Samsung Electronics said, adding, “If we used both the HDR 10 and Dolby’s solutions at the same time, the costs would be double during the course of content and TV production, which is far from desirable.”
For years, Dolby has shored up its influence in the global TV market with the Dolby Vision, raising profits by supplying TV manufacturers with Dolby Vision HDR-equipped chips and solutions. At the same time, it has provided huge subsidies for content creators such as filmmakers in order to expand its ecosystem in the industry. TV manufacturers are concerned over Dolby’s expansion though as the Dolby Vision, unlike the HDR 10, is a closed platform that could hinder their efforts for a better image quality.
It has also been pointed out that Dolby’s HDR technology actually falls significantly below its own initial image quality targets. Specifically, the targets include a brightness of 1,000 nits for 12-bit colors but no TV set has met the specifications and no 12-bit LCD panel has been available so far. With most of Dolby’s partners being Chinese companies such as Haier and Hisense, Dolby’s HDR goals are unlikely to be achieved until 2018 or 2019.
Samsung Electronics, which is currently the only company in the world that has succeeded in realizing a HDR technique at a brightness of 1,000 nits, has no reason to accept the proposal. “Netflix is pouring out remarks in favor of the Dolby Vision these days and this implies that Netflix and Dolby, which is trying to further solidify its position in the TV market, have begun to keep Samsung Electronics in check,” said an industry insider. Earlier, Samsung Electronics turned down Netflix’s request for a dedicated streaming button on Samsung Electronics remote controllers.