Vizio unleashes HDR10 support for its SmartCast P-Series and M-Series 4K TVs

by on August 10, 2016

Stephan Jukic – August 10, 2016

After their initial releases a few months ago, Vizio’s superb 2016 HDR 4K TVs the flagship P-Series and second-tier M-Series are finally getting the HDR10 updates that were promised for both models from the get-go.

The P and M-Series TVs went on sale at remarkably reasonable prices and both came with built-in HDR support for the Dolby Vision high dynamic range format but lacked the HDR10 standards certification which is the more dominant of the two HDR systems in use today for home entertainment on the North American market. While the TVs did come with built-in HDMI 2.0a connectivity, the HDR10 standards support itself was lacking and now it no longer is.

This means that these TVs can now play the HDR metadata found in many non-Dolby HDR content sources from select streaming 4K content apps and more importantly, the Vizio TVs will be able to support the HDR found in 4K UHD Blu-ray disc videos, which are designed only with HDR10 support and playyable via 4K Blu-ray media devices like the Xbox One S 4K HDR gaming console/media player.

Vizio is also offering its firm support to the existing Dolby Vision HDR format that was already present in its televisions and which is supported by certain 4K content apps like Netflix and Vudu, or in a limited but expanding selection of recent release movie titles like Batman vs. Superman.

Vizio has even gone as far as to reaffirm that it believes Dolby to be the superior high dynamic range format despite the TV maker’s inclusion of HDR10 for the sake of wider HDR content access by owners of its new 4K TVs.

According to a recent public press release released by Vizio:

“HDR10 is based on the Rec2020 color space format, but restricted to a P3 color space and a maximum of 1000 Nits in a 10-bit format.  Dolby Vision is a theatrical format, featuring the Rec2020 color space but capable of offering up to a 12-bit format.  Where the HDR10 standard is limited, Dolby Vision content is mastered in Rec2020 and boasts 4000 Nits with the potential to expand even further for more finely-tuned dynamic content.”

Vizio's SmartCast smart TV platform UI works from a tablet instead of on the TV itself

Vizio’s SmartCast smart TV platform UI works from a tablet instead of on the TV itself

Thus, while it’s still far from clear whether Dolby Vision or HDR10 will dominate the landscape of next generation 4K home entertainment, Vizio is making sure to have its customers covered for either eventuality. The company is essentially future-proofing its TVs as much as it can for now.

Only the 2016 P-Series and M-Series HDR TV models support these two dynamic range formats. Vizio’s D-Series and E-Series 2016 4K TV models also supposedly offer HDR but of a decidedly inferior kind since it’s compatible with neither Dolby nor Ultra HD Premium HDR10 standards.

As for the P-Series and M-Series models themselves, as our recent reviews of both televisions have shown, these TVs offer some truly impressive 4K content viewing specs. The P-Series models in particular deliver some of the best peak brightness levels of any existing 4K TVs and also come with superb wide color gamut coverage, which is another integral part of high dynamic range display in a 4K TV. The M-Series TVs only offer the capacity to render the dynamic contrast levels of HDR and do not include 10-bit color or wide color gamut in the DCI-P3 color space.

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