Sony Dolby Vision update for Bravia TVs is apparently half-baked

Keeping a low profile

by Mark Hodgkinson Jan 18, 2018 at 9:28 AM


  • Reports are emerging that the (very) long awaited Dolby Vision update for select Sony Bravia TVs isn’t all that owners were hoping for.
    The chief – and very major issue – for US owners of the X93E, X94E, ZD9 and A1 OLED is that Dolby Vision HDR support is currently limited to streaming apps and isn’t applicable to HDMI sources, namely the OPPO UHD Blu-ray players (UDP-203 & UDP-205) and the Apple TV 4K, at this time.

    According to OPPO, who have communicated with some of its US based customers, Sony has adopted what they are calling a ‘low latency’ Dolby Vision profile, created specifically by Dolby to implement in Sony TVs. The decision for Sony to include Dolby Vision support in some of its high-end TVs came very late in the day at CES 2017 so it appears the hardware for Dolby Vision wasn’t fully in place and this low latency profile is something of a joint hack between the two parties.

    For this low latency profile to work, OPPO says more pre-processing duties are placed on the source devices, whereas with other manufacturers, most of the processing work is undertaken on the TVs side. The up-shot of this is that firmware updates will be required from the likes of OPPO and Apple to make their devices work with this new profile. The onus on the source device to perform added processing lends further credence to the thought that the Mediatek SoCs deployed in these TVs were a little underpowered; they certainly don't appear to have much headroom, at least. It is understood that the quality of Dolby Vision HDR experience will not be affected once the firmware is in place.

    To be fair to Sony, its notes on the update did state that: “For third party branded Ultra HD Blu-Ray Disc Players, check with the manufacturer for questions regarding the Dolby Vision feature in association with your Sony TV,” but one could hardly describe their actions as transparent to customers.

    That statement would incline one to believe that the upcoming Dolby Vision Ultra HD Blu-ray player from Sony should be capable with Bravia TVs from launch but we guess you can’t take anything as read, as things stand.

    [Update 22/01/2017: Sony Europe has since released an official statement which backs up our original thoughts and conclusion.] As follows:

    "Select Sony TVs will support Dolby Vision with the software update to be rolled out in Europe within February, 2018. After the Sony TV receives the software update, devices with Dolby Vision playback (such streaming media players and UHD Blu-Ray players) that are connected to the Sony TV by HDMI will also require a software update to support Dolby Vision playback through the device. For more info on the timing of an update to a particular player, please contact the player’s manufacturer.”

    So, it's confirmed that existing source equipment with Dolby Vision capability will need intervention from their and/or Dolby software engineers.

    New formats, eh? You gotta love em!

    Sony statement source: FlatPanels HD

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