TV and Video Terminology


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HDMI

Standard Features
1.4 4Kp24
2.0 4Kp60
2.0a 4Kp60 + HDR (see “4K and HDR”)
2.1 10K120 + Dynamic HDR

(But how can Sony patch in HDR support then?)

HDCP

If your source device does not support HDCP 2.2, the signal will be downgraded to 1080p.

HDR

Name Standard type Color depth HDMI req.
HDR10 Open 10-bit 2.0a
Dolby Vision Proprietary by Dolby 12-bit 2.01
HLG2 Free 10-bit 2.0b
Advanced HDR by Technicolor ? ? ?

On top of this, colour gamut is very important to the reproduction of HDR.

Check out this demo of HDR:

Dynamic HDR

HDR10 displays HDR content using image metadata once, whereas Dolby Digital uses the metadata throughout the video—ie dynamically. Check out this excellent article on HDMI 2.1 for more info.

Colour gamut

Colour gamut, also known as colour space, is a measure of the representation of colour for a monitor. This is hugely influential on the HDR in particular. Your TV might also come with a setting called “wide color gamut” that you should turn on when watching HDR content and off when not, in my limited understanding.

There are a lot of specifications for colour gamut, but the most relevant one is Rec. 2020 (or BT.2020). The upcoming spec is Rec. 2100. There are currently no TVs that meet a 100% Rec. 2020 gamut; they tend to be between 50–70%. DCI-P3 is easier to accomplish.

Consoles

PlayStation 4

Model HDMI HDCP HDR
Standard Custom 1.43 <2.2 Yes
Slim 2.0a ? Yes
Pro 2.0a 2.2 Yes

The PS4’s HDMI 1.4 was developed to support a higher bandwidth, which allows all devices to show HDR.

Xbox One

Model HDMI HDCP HDR
Standard 1.4a <2.2 No
S 2.0a 2.2 Yes
“Scorpio” ? ? Yes

It is astoundingly difficult to find information about the HDCP support on consoles.

Further Reading

  1. One other difference between Dolby Vision and HDR-10: Dolby Vision doesn’t require HDMI 2.0a. Metadata is sent in-band, as an auxiliary stream within the existing HDMI 2.0 data flow. It requires its own decoding, however, which from what I’ve been able to gather, can’t be added to the mix by a firmware upgrade. That renders the advantage moot.

    “Dolby Vision versus HDR-10 TV: A format war and more”

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  2. Designed for broadcasting by British BBC and Japanese NHK. ↩︎

  3. Rigby guessed last year that the PlayStation 4’s HDMI controller is HDMI 2.0 compatible—meaning, it had been developed with higher bandwidth than the HDMI 1.4 spec required, and it just needed an official update via firmware to unlock and unleash that potential. Now, House has confirmed that it’s coming, because anything rated for HDR specifications is technically also ready for 4K resolution.

    “Sony will wake a sleeping HDR beast via firmware. What else hides in PS4?”

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