Dolby Vision, on the other hand, supports 12-bit color for a whopping 68 billion possible colors. The Dolby spec also allows for televisions that support up to ten times the brightness levels of even baseline HDR10 sets, and can even adjust brightness levels on the fly during a movie or show. However, in practice most TVs don’t reach that upper limit. In other words, it will be a long time before you can buy a TV that pushes the limit of what Dolby Vision can do.
Dolby Vision offers some advantages over HDR10, but here’s the kicker: The TV shows and movies you watch have to specifically support Dolby Vision, not just generic H.D.R. However, since comparatively few TVs can support this — and Dolby Vision-compatible TVs tend to be more expensive — many productions optimize for the basic HDR10 standard instead. That means, for now at least, you’re spending more money on a better TV even though there’s less content that makes use of it.
You’ll need H.D.R. content, but there’s more arriving every day
Your fancy new H.D.R. TV won’t mean much if the TV shows and movies you watch still look like the old stuff you’re used to watching. In 2019, there’s more H.D.R. content available than ever.
Netflix has a wide collection of shows that stream in H.D.R., including “Stranger Things” and “Glow.” And Amazon has its own shows and movies, like “The Grand Tour,” all streaming in 4K H.D.R. You can also rent or buy supported movies from iTunes or Vudu and stream them to your TV. 4K H.D.R. content will require a fairly high-speed internet connection (25 Mbps or higher according to Netflix’s help documents), although streaming content can compress the quality compared to playing it from a disc. While Netflix, Amazon and Vudu charge more for 4K content, that upgrade includes H.D.R. Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t charge extra for a 4K upgrade on its movie rentals at all.
When it comes to broadcast TV, there are a few options available, however, your TV will need to support a slightly different H.D.R. standard called H.L.G. It’s common for TVs that support HDR10 to also support H.L.G., but due in part to this extra minor hurdle — and broadcast TV’s notorious tendency to upgrade slowly — there’s not as much H.D.R. content coming in over the air as you can find from streaming sites.
4K Blu-ray players offer the best option, as these don’t need to stream over the internet. If you want to watch H.D.R. content, you’ll need a compatible Blu-ray player, as well as 4K H.D.R. versions of any movies you buy. 4K discs can be a bit more expensive than a standard HD Blu-ray, and not all of them will fully support Dolby Vision, but most of them support some form of H.D.R. and when you upgrade to 4K, H.D.R. almost always comes with it.
Finally, there are H.D.R.-compatible games. If you have a PS4 Pro or an Xbox One X (the latter of which is also a 4K H.D.R.-compatible Blu-ray player), then some games can make use of H.D.R. on your TV. The list of compatible games for each console grows every year and you can check out lists like this one for the PS4 or this one for the Xbox One X.