I wish I knew about this PS5 and Xbox Series X Dolby Vision problem earlier

Apr 28, 2022
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“If these mammoth consoles can't get Dolby Vision for discs, why should I think disc-based media is important?”

For a very important reason-hi-resolution lossless audio soundtracks on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray movies! This is even more important than Dolby Vision to me since regular HDR is beautiful regardless. You want lossless audio where you can hear all the details of a movie and feel like it’s happening right there with you?! Then you’re going to need Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Dolby Atmos movie soundtracks! You can’t get those tracks by streaming movies! You can only get regular lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound and Dolby Digital Plus when streaming movies. Those are not as great as hi-res lossless audio!
 
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Sep 11, 2021
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“Sure, I'd rather have the Xbox Series X's higher internal storage and 4K gaming”

What does that even mean? PS5 is absolutely as capable of 4K gaming. This made me wince so much I didn’t read any more. Sick of these crap tech articles.
 
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While the Xbox Series X SSD does indeed have a meager advantage in storage size (which in itself is reduced by the variety of expandable options available to PS5), it’s really in the performance category that Microsoft’s console takes an absolute beating. The figures don’t lie – the PS5 SSD runs more than twice the speed of the Xbox Series X SSD in Raw mode and nearly twice as fast in compressed. This is a game changer, not least because not only can Sony (and you) finally say goodbye to the excruciatingly long ‘update copying’ process that would make every patch download an absolute chore, but also because Sony’s super fast custom SSD also means a return to the cartridge days of old where games would just boot up and play immediately.
 

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It was intended to be a comparison of the Series X vs the Series S. "...Xbox Series X's higher internal storage and 4K gaming” - vs. the Series S. Not an expressly written comparative, but easily figured out.

This author is not bad at all. He also has a valid point, one I discovered and was upset about as well. I also found the PS5 drive has better video performance than the Series X.

Cheers
 
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Apr 29, 2022
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I couldn't bring myself to invest actual money into getting a UHD Blu-ray player. It feels like buying a Laserdisc player must have felt in the mid-nineties. Yeah it's better... But it's still going to be obsolete soon...

My solution was to get a easily hackable USB Blu-ray drive off Amazon. I just install the custom firmware, rip the files to my PC and stream them over Plex to my Nvidia Shield. That fixes the problem for Dolby Vision. Those people out there with Samsung QLEDs trying to watch HDR10+ are on their own.
 
Apr 29, 2022
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I regret buying the DISC-less PS5 because I can only buy games from the PSstore where games stay sky high in price $$$. I'm missing out on buying cheaper used versions at gamestop and ebay. Or even the occasional discounts on Amazon. I cant even trade games with friends. In the PSstore games like Demon souls, ratchet and clank, returnal, miles morales, etc are still $69.99 plus tax. On Ebay you can find brand new still sealed copies for half the price.

I made my decision thinking it would be the same landscape as PC. Steam/Epic/amazon/origin etc.... All those platforms practically give away games.

Just to be a stickler, I have to point out that if you have a newer HDR TV set Dolby Vision streaming is not better than HDR10 off a UHD disc. The lower bitrate in streaming movies reduces details/grain. DV streaming content is only available in single layer MEL (minimum enhancement layer) metadata, which doesnt restore grain like FEL metadata (which is only available on the UHD discs or their exact ISO copies). The thing is that alot of newer HDR TV sets have really good dynamic tonemapping features. So if your playing a UHD bluray (with a the regular bit rate with all the grain and detail still intact) in HDR10 with dynamic tonemapping on, you're probably getting a better picture quality vs watching it streamed on Dolby vision. (Now this all depends on how well the movie was mastered and graded... But more than likely, A dolby vision movie that is streaming wont look any better than that same movie played off the disc/iso in HDR10 )

On the other hand though, a UHD bluray/iso that was released with a DV Dual Layer FEL layer should be considerably better than the HDR10 counterpart. Mostly because the extra range in brightness provided by the 12 bit metadata (even though there are no commercial panels that display 12bits, the FEL metadata is designed to tonemapping those extra bits to extra brightness). Also, usually, the fel layer includes an overlay of extra detail/grain. It seems as if the movie studios are purposely leaving this extra detail and grain out of the HDR10??? but thats just speculation.

Another thing I want to be a stickler about is that the Nvidia doesnt play FEL dual layer DV movies. It limits the playback to only play the MEL layers.
 
Apr 29, 2022
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I've been waiting years to hear why there's no DV disc support... is it a hardware limitation? A licensing issue? Is it technically difficult to implement? Too little customer interest? They don't care?
 
Apr 29, 2022
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I regret buying the DISC-less PS5 because I can only buy games from the PSstore where games stay sky high in price $$$. I'm missing out on buying cheaper used versions at gamestop and ebay. Or even the occasional discounts on Amazon. I cant even trade games with friends. In the PSstore games like Demon souls, ratchet and clank, returnal, miles morales, etc are still $69.99 plus tax. On Ebay you can find brand new still sealed copies for half the price.

I made my decision thinking it would be the same landscape as PC. Steam/Epic/amazon/origin etc.... All those platforms practically give away games.

Just to be a stickler, I have to point out that if you have a newer HDR TV set Dolby Vision streaming is not better than HDR10 off a UHD disc. The lower bitrate in streaming movies reduces details/grain. DV streaming content is only available in single layer MEL (minimum enhancement layer) metadata, which doesnt restore grain like FEL metadata (which is only available on the UHD discs or their exact ISO copies). The thing is that alot of newer HDR TV sets have really good dynamic tonemapping features. So if your playing a UHD bluray (with a the regular bit rate with all the grain and detail still intact) in HDR10 with dynamic tonemapping on, you're probably getting a better picture quality vs watching it streamed on Dolby vision. (Now this all depends on how well the movie was mastered and graded... But more than likely, A dolby vision movie that is streaming wont look any better than that same movie played off the disc/iso in HDR10 )

On the other hand though, a UHD bluray/iso that was released with a DV Dual Layer FEL layer should be considerably better than the HDR10 counterpart. Mostly because the extra range in brightness provided by the 12 bit metadata (even though there are no commercial panels that display 12bits, the FEL metadata is designed to tone mapping those extra bits to extra brightness). Also, usually, the fel layer includes an overlay of extra detail/grain. It seems as if the movie studios are purposely leaving this extra detail and grain out of the HDR10??? but thats just speculation.

Another thing I want to be a stickler about is that the Nvidia doesn't play FEL dual layer DV movies. It limits the playback to only play the MEL layers.
I purchased a Dune HD Vision Pro Solo for this reason. DV is more confusing then most people know. This started when Sony and Dolby Labs introduced LLDv ( low latency Dolby Vision). Previously, STD, where the display did the dynamic tone mapping was done for one reason. At the time the version of HDMI did not support dynamic metadata, so that's why the display had to have a dedicated chip in it to do the heavy lifting. Different displays took different amounts of time to do this depending on how powerful they were. I believe profile 4 is the only version that is STD. Going forward (from around 2018), all DV displays must support LLDV but are not required to support STD. I have read conflicting info on this though.

My understanding was streaming services used profile 5, which was the first version of player led decoding (LLDV). LLDV makes sense because a console can do what the display used to have to do, but way, way faster. With display led, one display may take longer than another which would mean more lag. Obviously not an issue for movies but huge issue for gaming. It's software based so no dedicated hardware is required. I know with the Xbox, it's how they were able to bring DV to the console via a firmware update because it was now all software based.

UHD disks use profile 7 (MEL or FEL). There is no indication on the packaging of any kind that lets you know which is used. For movies, it's better to have the display do the dynamic tone mapping instead of the source. The display knows it's "limitations" for lack of a better term.

Dolby likes to complicate matters, just like that way it complicates Dolby Atmos when it first rolled out circa 2013 - 2014. They provided a white paper on this and requires manufacturers of Atmos-enabled speakers to conform to certain requirements like HPF to crossover at 180Hz before it can be certified as a true Dolby-Atmos enabled speakers :p. I guess history repeats itself with the Dolby Vision standards. The problem with Dolby Vision is the complexity of the way Dolby roll out its DV implementation. Believe it or not, there are at least 6 known profile levels. Within a given profile, the maximum level a base layer (BL) or enhancement layer (EL) is restricted by the Profile. If you have used MakeMKV s/w to make back-up copies of your precious bluray or 4K UHD bluray titles, you should be familiar with terms like Profile H.265 Main10 4.1/5.1 etc.

Now let us break down what are some of the Profiles that Dolby has had dished out over the years.

First is the single-layer (Profile 5 & 8) that most LLDV-based sources will prefer - e.g. Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney Plus. Besides streaming devices that utilize this type of DV implementation are the media players such as Zidoo Z9X and nVidia Shield TV 2019 that comes with DV decoding capability (LLDV). Xbox Series X/S console utilize LLDV (Player-led) as the preferred form of DV instead of the unadulterated version. This is why the 4K UHD bluray drive is not able to read the dual-layer (usually Profile 7) containing the DV for TV to process and decode.

With all that said, all Marvell movies are HDR10 only for the UHD disks. Disney waited until the streaming versions before implementing DV. It's nothing more then a way to get more subscribers because of the DV buzz word. Similar to IMAX version.

Right now DV has one advantage over HDR10, dynamic metadata. No commercial display is near 4000 nits, much less 10000. No 12 bit commercial display exists. HDR10+ looks great. Bohemian Rhapsody is evidence of that but HDR10+ content is severely lacking.

The main reason I bought the Dune is it supports profiles 4, 5, 7 (MEL and FEL), 8 and 9. In fact you can have it output everything as HDR or DV. It properly re-maps the color tones so the colors are correct. This does not really improve the picture quality when done correctly. It does cut down on banding and polizieeation by "up-biting" to 12 bits.

Nobody is doing frame by frame dynamic metadata. At most, scene based. HDR of any kind takes basically no bandwidth. It's just a either 16 or 32 character HEX value. Plain text pretty much uses zero bandwidth. DV does not add any bandwidth that would be noticable regarding bandwidth and size. Even if it was scene by scene a HEX value is nothing compared to sending the info for the billions (or millions) of pixels on 4K display at 24fps.

At the end of the day DV is much more complicated than HDR10 or HDR10+ because of Dolby.
 
Reactions: drew_nickel
Apr 29, 2022
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I've been waiting years to hear why there's no DV disc support... is it a hardware limitation? A licensing issue? Is it technically difficult to implement? Too little customer interest? They don't care?
Believe it or not, there are at least 6 known profile levels. Within a given profile, the maximum level a base layer (BL) or enhancement layer (EL) is restricted by the Profile. UHD disks use profile 7 (MEL and FEL).

Now let us break down what are some of the Profiles that Dolby has had dished out over the years.

First is the single-layer (Profile 5 & 8) that most LLDV-based sources will prefer - e.g. Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney Plus. Besides streaming devices that utilize this type of DV implementation are the media players such as Zidoo Z9X and nVidia Shield TV 2019 that comes with DV decoding capability (LLDV). The Xbox Series X/S console utilizes LLDV (Player-led) as the preferred form of DV instead of the unadulterated version. The built-in 4K UHD bluray drive is not able to read the dual-layer Profile 7 containing the DV for the display to process and decode.

Here is an example of a disk. The Xbox simply can't read the enhanced1080p.layer, which contains the actual DV info. The Xbox would need a different Blu ray drive, and possibly additional hardware, in order to do this. LLDV is better for gaming, less lag, and it's a game console first. It's gotten to the point where most people never use the drive anyways.

An example of a typical MKV file encoded with a DV stream:

DISC INFO:
Disc Title: Gladiator.2000.MULTI.COMPLETE.UHD.BLURAY-EXTREME
Disc Size: 92,459,896,796 bytes
Protection: AACS2
BD-Java: Yes
Extras: Ultra HD

PLAYLIST REPORT:
Name: 00041.MPLS
Length: 2:50:56.495 (hⓂs.ms)
Size: 79,038,529,536 bytes
Total Bitrate: 61.65 Mbps

VIDEO:
Codec / Bitrate / Resolution / Frame-rate / Aspect Ratio / DV Profile / Chromacity / Bit-Depth / Colorspace

Base Layer:
MPEG-H HEVC Video / 43319 kbps / 2160p / 23.976 fps / 16:9 / Main 10 Profile 5.1 High / 4:2:0 / 10 bits / HDR / BT.2020

The below can't be read by the Xbox, it contains the actual DV info. The base layer has yhe HDR10 info, so that's what it falls back to and pretends the second layer just doesn't exist.

Enhancement Layer: MPEG-H HEVC Video / 6826 kbps / 1080p / 23.976 fps / 16:9 / Main 10 Profile 5.1 High / 4:2:0 / 10 bits / Dolby Vision / BT.2020
 
Reactions: drew_nickel
Apr 29, 2022
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I purchased a Dune HD Vision Pro Solo for this reason. DV is more confusing then most people know. This started when Sony and Dolby Labs introduced LLDv ( low latency Dolby Vision). Previously, STD, where the display did the dynamic tone mapping was done for one reason. At the time the version of HDMI did not support dynamic metadata, so that's why the display had to have a dedicated chip in it to do the heavy lifting. Different displays took different amounts of time to do this depending on how powerful they were. I believe profile 4 is the only version that is STD. Going forward (from around 2018), all DV displays must support LLDV but are not required to support STD. I have read conflicting info on this though.

My understanding was streaming services used profile 5, which was the first version of player led decoding (LLDV). LLDV makes sense because a console can do what the display used to have to do, but way, way faster. With display led, one display may take longer than another which would mean more lag. Obviously not an issue for movies but huge issue for gaming. It's software based so no dedicated hardware is required. I know with the Xbox, it's how they were able to bring DV to the console via a firmware update because it was now all software based.

UHD disks use profile 7 (MEL or FEL). There is no indication on the packaging of any kind that lets you know which is used. For movies, it's better to have the display do the dynamic tone mapping instead of the source. The display knows it's "limitations" for lack of a better term.

Dolby likes to complicate matters, just like that way it complicates Dolby Atmos when it first rolled out circa 2013 - 2014. They provided a white paper on this and requires manufacturers of Atmos-enabled speakers to conform to certain requirements like HPF to crossover at 180Hz before it can be certified as a true Dolby-Atmos enabled speakers :p. I guess history repeats itself with the Dolby Vision standards. The problem with Dolby Vision is the complexity of the way Dolby roll out its DV implementation. Believe it or not, there are at least 6 known profile levels. Within a given profile, the maximum level a base layer (BL) or enhancement layer (EL) is restricted by the Profile. If you have used MakeMKV s/w to make back-up copies of your precious bluray or 4K UHD bluray titles, you should be familiar with terms like Profile H.265 Main10 4.1/5.1 etc.

Now let us break down what are some of the Profiles that Dolby has had dished out over the years.

First is the single-layer (Profile 5 & 8) that most LLDV-based sources will prefer - e.g. Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney Plus. Besides streaming devices that utilize this type of DV implementation are the media players such as Zidoo Z9X and nVidia Shield TV 2019 that comes with DV decoding capability (LLDV). Xbox Series X/S console utilize LLDV (Player-led) as the preferred form of DV instead of the unadulterated version. This is why the 4K UHD bluray drive is not able to read the dual-layer (usually Profile 7) containing the DV for TV to process and decode.

With all that said, all Marvell movies are HDR10 only for the UHD disks. Disney waited until the streaming versions before implementing DV. It's nothing more then a way to get more subscribers because of the DV buzz word. Similar to IMAX version.

Right now DV has one advantage over HDR10, dynamic metadata. No commercial display is near 4000 nits, much less 10000. No 12 bit commercial display exists. HDR10+ looks great. Bohemian Rhapsody is evidence of that but HDR10+ content is severely lacking.

The main reason I bought the Dune is it supports profiles 4, 5, 7 (MEL and FEL), 8 and 9. In fact you can have it output everything as HDR or DV. It properly re-maps the color tones so the colors are correct. This does not really improve the picture quality when done correctly. It does cut down on banding and polizieeation by "up-biting" to 12 bits.

Nobody is doing frame by frame dynamic metadata. At most, scene based. HDR of any kind takes basically no bandwidth. It's just a either 16 or 32 character HEX value. Plain text pretty much uses zero bandwidth. DV does not add any bandwidth that would be noticable regarding bandwidth and size. Even if it was scene by scene a HEX value is nothing compared to sending the info for the billions (or millions) of pixels on 4K display at 24fps.

At the end of the day DV is much more complicated than HDR10 or HDR10+ because of Dolby.
Awesome explanation! thank you for clarifying 👍

Another thing... people tend to write off Samsung for not carrying DV. And they regard HDR10+ for being inferior. But samsungs do a really great job of tonemapping. And alot of HDR10+ look just as good if not better than their DV counterparts.
 
Apr 29, 2022
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First is the single-layer (Profile 5 & 8) that most LLDV-based sources will prefer - e.g. Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney Plus. Besides streaming devices that utilize this type of DV implementation are the media players such as Zidoo Z9X and nVidia Shield TV 2019 that comes with DV decoding capability (LLDV). Xbox Series X/S console utilize LLDV (Player-led) as the preferred form of DV instead of the unadulterated version. This is why the 4K UHD bluray drive is not able to read the dual-layer (usually Profile 7) containing the DV for TV to process and decode.
Love all the technical detail, but way above my pay grade. To be clear, because the Xbox Series X uses low-latency DV, it's incapable of reading Profile 7/dual-layer Dolby Vision discs? The dual-layer requires a different disc drive and laser, it's not something firmware can fix.. disappointing, but unclear on why MS wouldn't clarify that it's never coming.
 
Apr 29, 2022
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Love all the technical detail, but way above my pay grade. To be clear, because the Xbox Series X uses low-latency DV, it's incapable of reading Profile 7/dual-layer Dolby Vision discs? The dual-layer requires a different disc drive and laser, it's not something firmware can fix.. disappointing, but unclear on why MS wouldn't clarify that it's never coming.
I can't say for 100 percent certainty, it could be license issues but it seems like LLDV (player led) and the way it was implemented vs TV led. Pretty much ever DV display maker prefers using TV led for movies. The Xbox also appears to have an issue with disks that go over 100GB. All 3 LOTR movies are over 100GB and it sounds like it has issues just playing the disk back regardless of HDR or DV. It actually makes the most sense because you can deliver a game in 2 disks but people are not going to do that for movies. Almost everyone with a half way decent Internet connection downloads games. Yes, I know some still buy disks, either due to living in rural areas or just still prefer owning physical media, it does look like the drive is more then likely the issue

Dune and Zideoo make media players that can playback full UHD ISO files or BDMV directories with full menus and DV working correctly. In fact, on the Dune, you have an option for player led or TV led for Dolby Vision content. I use player led, but that's because I've got an HDFury device and a Samsung display and LLDV is how the HDFury gets an LLDV signal, then re-maps it to HDR10 is sub 1ms. This gives you the dynamic metadata be used with LLDV, the source does the dynamic tone mapping and essentially just sends a 444 HDR10 signal. With TV led, the display is going to do a batter job. All the HDFury does is spoof the EDID of a DV capable display, you can even create custom Dolby Vision meta data. It's also the only way to get DV on any current UST projectors.

Both media boxes.advetise themselves as a combo Linux/android OS. Do not purchase these for Android. The stream services limit resolution and HDR on these boxes, yet the Linux based OS can playback 80Mbos ISO files from disks with an EL layer. You essentially get the exact UHD quality as the ISO. A proper Blu Ray player is super expensive now, everyone, even oppo, is out. They now were the future is going.

To make if even dinner dollby just announced a NEW form of DV (Dolby Vision IQ). I wish HDR10+ would step up it's game.

https://www.whathifi.com/advice/dolby-vision-iq-everything-you-need-to-know


https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1642146708

Xbox Series X disc woes
Xbox Series X is not just a game console. It is also a media player with a built-in UHD Blu-ray drive. Unfortunately, owners are experiencing widespread issues as detailed in a lengthy Reddit thread and highlighted by PureXbox.

- "For those who don't know, movies on 4K Blu-ray are usually printed on 2 different kinds of discs, a dual-layer 66GB disc, or a triple-layer 100GB disc," reddit user Ketamine-Kev wrote. "However, if you put a 100GB 4K disc in (which, at this point, a decent amount of 4K Blu-rays are), the Xbox completely shits out. For me, it plays everything at 1 - 2 fps with no audio, which pretty much results in taking minutes to get through the opening studio logo which is like 10 seconds at best."

The playback issue related to 100GB discs seems to have persisted for months, most likely since the launch of the console in late 2020. The Lord of the Rings and Tenet were mentioned as two discs that cause playback issues. A full list of UHD Blu-ray releases in BD100 can be found on Blu-ray.com here.
 
Apr 29, 2022
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Awesome explanation! thank you for clarifying 👍

Another thing... people tend to write off Samsung for not carrying DV. And they regard HDR10+ for being inferior. But samsungs do a really great job of tonemapping. And alot of HDR10+ look just as good if not better than their DV counterparts.

Agree 100 percent. On paper, DV looks superior, but in real.life the only current benefit is dynamic metadata. Outside that, the higher specs like DV supporting displays up to 10000 nits vs HDR10+ being 4000. My Samsung Neo is around 1800 nits (give or take 100 nits). If it was twice as bright, I would not be able to watch it.

Both DV and HDR10+ support 12 bit, all commercial displays are 10 bit or 8. If a TV has higher color depth, it can display more colors and reduce banding in scenes with shades of similar colors, like a sunset. 8-bit TVs display 16.7 million colors, which is typically used in SDR content, and 10-bit color depth has 1.07 billion colors. 12-bit displays take it even further with an incredible 68.7 billion colors. Both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ can technically support content above 10-bit color depth, but that content is limited to Ultra HD Blu-rays with Dolby Vision, and even at that, not many of them go up to 12-bit color depth. HDR10 can't go past 10-bit color depth.I highly doubt most peoe.could notice the difference between 1 billion colors and 68 billion, similar to 8K, human vision can only do so much before the limits are reached. 8K on a 200" display might make a difference but on a 55 to 75 inch display, nobody would notice. Maybe a monitor super close for someone doing CGI or something but not your average person.

So, dynamic.metadata is what sets DV and HDR10+ ahead of just plain old regular HDR10 which sets a static metadata value and uses that for the entire movie/show. Nobody is doing frame by frame dynamic metadata and honestly it's probably not needed. Scene by scene does the job IMO. The LOTR movies are great at showing the difference because it swaps back and forth from bright to dark scenes a lot.

Oddly, my Samsung has a smart feature I don't use to adjust the picture based on your surroundings, which sounds exactly what Dolby is trying to do with IQ. From what I've read Samsung's refusal to support DV is because TV led Dolby Vision requires a dedicated chip in the display. This can take over some picture settings and Samsung simply thinks their algorithms are good enough and should not be touched. It's not the maybe 5 dollar royalty fee per display. They are a huge manufacturer, they could afford it although I wish they would get rid of Tizen. Samsung has spent decades on these algorithms and they do t want anything else taking over any of the settings.

From what I've seen HDR10+ and DV can be 100 percent equal when done right although neither the Xbox or Playstation support HDR10+ at all, which is hard to understand because it's free.
 
Jun 15, 2022
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The lack of Dolby vision on 500 dollar consoles that we paid extra to have optical media on is unconscionable. Poeple say "well they save money by not licensing it" to which I say if a 30 dollar streaming stick from Amazon or Roku can include DV decoding so can Sony and MS. I haven't bought a disc based game in 7 years but I do have a nice library of blu rays and a few 4k blu rays I'd like to play. Some 4K re-releases (Criterion and Arrow for example) never come to streaming so the only way to get them in on disc. But if you are downgraded to HDR10 by your player whats the point?

It's truly frustrating because optical media is clearly dying (Samsung and Oppo both exited the disc player market and the few 4K blu-ray players do that do exist are still almost as expensive as game console 6 years into the format's lifespan). The least Sony and MS could do it throw their users a bone here to help ease the way to a fully streaming future.

Sony and MS's obstinate refusal to give us DV playback on next gen consoles feel petty, almost like Samsungs refusal to put DV in their TV's, even ones costing thousands of dollars because they think they can make HDR10+ happen (that ship has long since sailed, Dolby Vision won)
 
Jun 15, 2022
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I've been waiting years to hear why there's no DV disc support... is it a hardware limitation? A licensing issue? Is it technically difficult to implement? Too little customer interest? They don't care?
They simply don't care. The machines are plenty powerful enough (a 30 dollar Roku streaming stick can handle DV after all). They just want to save a buck and not pay the licensing fee. but if you are going to offer a optical media player in 2022 that plays 4K blu rays then you should be implementing the standards that the studios are actually using. Which is Dolby Vision.
 
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