Dolby has convinced Hollywood to adopt its Dolby Vision format but it has not had much luck with the broadcast industry. The first successful live broadcast in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, carried out in Spain according to a report by CE-Pro, is the first step.
Dolby Vision via live broadcast
Dolby designed its new video format to work across recorded media, broadcast, streaming, and gaming, but broadcasters have been hesitant. Not only to adopt Dolby’s HDR format but hesitant to adopt HDR in general.
UK’s BT Sport transmitted the first live broadcast in Dolby Atmos in January 2017, and Spain’s RTVE this month transmitted the first live broadcast in Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. RTVE was using a 4K DVB-T2 (terrestrial) trial channel to broadcast the Solemn Changing of the Guard ceremony. It was available to watch at home for viewers in Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville.
To make it possible Dolby partnered with Loewe, LG, Cellnex, Albala, Abacanto, Grass Valley, Crosspoint, Moncada y Lorenzo, Canon, and Huri, according to the report by CE-Pro. A setup up including two OB trucks – one for video and one for audio – generated the required video stream with embedded dynamic metadata required for Dolby Vision as well as an Atmos stream compressed in Dolby AC-4
Dolby Vision is a proprietary HDR video format and an alternative to the open HDR10 industry standard. HDR10 is generally considered a base format for HDR, whereas Dolby Vision offers some premium features to improve picture quality.
While HDR has already been adopted in Hollywood and the gaming industry, the broadcast industry has been hesitant to employ both 4K and HDR, partly due to the increased bandwidth requirements and standardization concerns.
BBC and NHK have proposed a different HDR format for broadcast with HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). The HLG format allows a broadcaster to transmit SDR (standard video) and HDR on the same TV channel to save bandwidth. The Dolby Vision format also supports HDR as an enhancement layer.