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Dolby, LG vow to fix Dolby Vision bug causing raised blacks

19 Jan 2018 | Rasmus Larsen |

The nasty bug that has caused elevated blacks during Dolby Vision playback will require a fix via a firmware update, Dolby has told Forbes. LG has vowed to fix the issue in its entire DV-enabled TV range, whereas Sony remains mum.

Dolby Vision fix on its way

Owners have observed the problem on various occasions, typically when viewing Dolby Vision content on Netflix or iTunes. The issue manifests itself as raised blacks that occur during specific scenes of movies or TV content. It is especially obvious in the black bars but also in the actual content.

FlatpanelsHD has most recently observed it while watching Bright (check the 29-minute mark) and Godless on Netflix as well as Sing on iTunes.

While many owners of Apple TV 4K have experienced the issue, it is not exclusive to Apple’s media player. In fact, it is a general bug affecting all HDMI sources, according a statement made by Dolby to Forbes. It does not appear to affect streaming apps such as Netflix that are built into the TV.

The good news is that Dolby already has a fix in place. The bad news is that it must be applied to every single TV out there and that it cannot be applied without the TV manufacturer’s cooperation, meaning that each specific manufacturer must issue a firmware update.

Dolby Vision

LG vows to fix it, Sony remains mum

LG has vowed to fix the issue in its entire Dolby Vision-enabled TV range, including the 2016 OLED TVs, according to Forbes. LG did not put a release date on the firmware.

Sony on the other hand remains mum on the matter. Earlier this week, Sony released the long-awaited firmware to enable Dolby Vision on select OLED and LCD TVs but owners complain that it is not working over HDMI sources. Oppo, the maker of Blu-ray players, has added some color to the story, saying that Sony has used a new, lower profile that offloads most of the Dolby Vision dynamic metadata processing to the player, meaning UHD Blu-ray players and Apple TV 4K. This is not something that Sony has confirmed and the company has also remained mum on the matter of raised blacks.

FlatpanelsHD has been exploring the issue with raised blacks on Dolby Vision content for the last few weeks and has asked around for more technical background on the issue. It seems that no one is willing to share exactly what is going on but it is hard to believe that the issue was not picked up on during compliance testing or studio mastering, especially considering that more than 200 movies have been mastered and released across the major Hollywood studios – and even more titles mastered with a release pending. Is this an actual fix or just workaround? Perhaps we’ll never know.

So what’s next? We wait and hope for the best. Fingers crossed.

- Source: Forbes (1, 2)

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