Dolby Vision Update Finally Coming to Sony 4K HDR TVs
Juan Carlos Ropel – December 20, 2017
Sony announced the impending arrival of the Dolby Vision high dynamic range format for all of its premium 4K Ultra HD televisions of 2017 all the way back at CES 2017 in January of this year, but since then the company has taken an agonizingly long time to actually implement it, to the serious frustration of numerous Sony television owners.
Well, now, finally after months of waiting, we have a firm date for this highly anticipated firmware update. According to recent announcements by Sony to the media, Dolby Vision will be hitting the premium 2017 models as of mid to late January 2018. This update will only be released to Sony TVs which have been slated (and designed) for Dolby Vision HDR support and won’t be available for the lower end and mid-range Sony lineups of TVs or (as far as we know) for any of Sony’s 2016 or earlier television models. So sorry folks who tried to budget on your Sony purchases in 2017 or trusted Sony’s 2016 technology to stay fully future-proof.
Specifically, the models that will be getting active Dolby Vision support in January of next year consist of all TVs with the X1 Extreme Processor built into them These are the following 4K ultra HD HDR TVs from the 2017 models:
- XBR-65Z9D (KD-65ZD9 in Europe)
- XBR-75Z9D (KD-75ZD9 in Europe)
- XBR-100Z9D (KD-100ZD9 in Europe)
- XBR-75X940E (KD-75XE9405 in Europe)
- XBR-65X930E (KD-65XE9305 in Europe)
- XBR-55X930E (KD-55XE9305 in Europe) – reviewed here.
- XBR-55A1E (KD-55A1 in Europe)
- XBR-65A1E (KD-65A1 in Europe)
- XBR-77A1E (KD-77A1 in Europe)
As you can clearly see, all of the above are the company’s highest-priced Premium models and though they are excellent performers, none of them are particularly cheap. The Dolby Vision HDR update will boost their performance even more impressively due to its specific qualities, all of which these TVs are designed to handle because of their full support for high wide color gamut coverage, extreme contrast, high peak brightness and local-dimming or OLED-supported deep black levels.
All of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR TVs already support the more widely used but simpler HDR10 high dynamic range format and the above TVs in particular deliver HDR10-mastered content superbly due to the premium display features we just mentioned above. What makes Dolby Vision so special however is that it takes HDR to an even more refined new level, most importantly because the format allows for frame-by-frame contrast and color variation to a level of precision that HDR10 support doesn’t come close to offering.
While today’s existing quantity of Dolby-formatted HDR video content on the market is still very limited, those TVs that do support it create truly incredible visual quality when used to watch such movies. The overall effect definitely improves on HDR10 video sources in its quality.