A lot of the best TVs often come with support for Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision is one of the ever growing number of HDR standards that can take your TV's picture quality to the next level, so it's often a selling point for the best TVs. Now, it could be getting a serious upgrade.
According to our friends at TechRadar, LG has hinted at taking the existing feature Filmmaker Mode on its TVs and adding support for Dolby Vision HDR. This is based on comments made by Mike Zink, the President and Chairman of the UHD Alliance, at a recent LG press briefing for the new LG G3 OLED TV launch.
Currently, Filmmaker Mode is a feature that exists on several of the best 4K TVs. Designed in collaboration between the UHD Alliance and Hollywood studios, it works by disabling all the added video processing features enabled on your TV to present films in the way that filmmakers intended them to be seen — hence the name. It’s a great feature for movie buffs and it's one of the TV settings we recommend changing if you want to watch movies the way they were intended.
But Filmmaker Mode has a catch — it only works with certain types of content. Specifically, it only works with Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) and High Dynamic Range 10 (HDR10) content only. That means any Dolby Vision content will still get augmented by your TV's video processing features because of Dolby Vision’s preset settings. While these presets can be changed, it’s not as simple as just selecting Filmmaker Mode to remove unwanted processing.
Now it seems that the UHD Alliance wants to change that. In his comments, Mike Zink said that the UHD Alliance is working with multiple TV makers to bring Filmmaker Mode to Dolby Vision. TechRadar’s reporting says that the feature was approved late last year and could come as soon as 2024. So while that means that the new LG C3 and G3 OLED TVs will not get the feature, we may not have to wait too much longer for Filmmaker Mode to be available for both of the most popular HDR standards.
Dolby Vision Filmmaker Mode: What is Dolby Vision?
Dolby Vision is a type of HDR format, which can improve the resolution, brightness and color gamut of each frame that shows up on your TV — provided that the content is designed for HDR. HDR requires specific metadata for your TV to recognize that it needs to optimize content for an HDR-capable TV. The two most popular HDR formats are Dolby Vision and HDR10, though some of the best TVs like the Sony Bravia XR A95K OLED will support both.
Dolby Vision does have some benefits over HDR10. It uses dynamic metadata that allows it to go frame-by-frame to make adjustments to brightness, resolution, and color gamut. By comparison, HDR10 sets its metadata for an entire show or movie rather than adjusting by frame or scene.
There is a proprietary version of HDR10 called HDR10+ that uses dynamic metadata, but it's developed by Samsung, so TV manufacturers have to enter an agreement with Samsung to use it. HDR10, by comparison, is open source.
The best solution? Buy a TV that handles as many of these standards as possible. A fair amount of the best TVs we’ve tested have support for multiple HDR formats. The Sony Bravia XR A95K OLED and LG C2 OLED TV both handle HDR10, HLG (an HDR format for live broadcasts) and Dolby Vision, and the Samsung QQN95B Neo QLED TV handles HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+.
Personally, I prefer the TVs that handle HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but you should read our HDR explainer to determine which formats are necessary for you. If you prefer the best Samsung TVs, it may be worth it to pass on Dolby Vision.