Samsung and Amazon have teamed up to develop the new HDR10+ standard for TVs and will be implementing it in select members of Samsung’s premium TV lineup and Amazon Prime Video content in the near future. The jointly developed standard is an update to the existing HDR10 standard that uses dynamically shifting metadata that changes as needed throughout a video, rather than a static piece of metadata for each video portion. HDR10+ can change the metadata to suit a scene and even change the metadata quickly enough to change the HDR rendering on a frame-by-frame basis.
By allowing content creators to update the HDR metadata used in a piece of video as often as they like, HDR10+ expands upon the HDR10 standard previously worked on and introduced by Samsung to produce a viewing experience that’s superior to the existing HDR technology, the companies claim. Normal HDR uses the same piece of metadata for an entire piece of video, meaning that lighting and color in some scenes can be a little off if they’re different from the general setting of the piece of video. A dimly lit scene with washed out or deep colors in an otherwise well-lit, high-contrast movie is a good example of a time where the current HDR10 standard may fall short. Another possible example is a sudden flash of bright light in a dark scene. Both of these are addressed by HDR10+, which allows changes to the metadata as often as a content creator would like to make them.
Samsung Electronics’ Vice President of the Visual Display Division, Kyoungwon Lim, called the new standard “unparalleled.” For the time being, the standard is only available on Samsung TVs, i.e. Samsung’s 2017 QLED lineup, though 2016 models will be joining them via a firmware update at some point during the second half of the year. For now, older Samsung TVs and those using display technologies besides QLED won’t be receiving the new standard. Likewise, content outside of Amazon Prime Video will not be seeing HDR10+ for the time being. Though the HDR10 standard eventually made it out to other manufacturers’ TVs and even other display types, Samsung and Amazon have not announced at this point if or when that will happen for HDR10+, and the same goes for content not produced by Amazon.