Since HDR (High Dynamic Range) started getting embedded into the video streams of Blu-ray Discs and digital movies there were essentially two specifications: Dolby’s proprietary Dolby Vision and the license-free HDR10.
HLG, developed by BBC and NHK, is the newest of the HDR specifications to be supported by TV manufacturers like Sony and LG and streaming video services such as YouTube. It is also widely used for live television broadcasts such as sporting events and concerts.
Now, there’s a push for HDR10+ and it’s a big improvement from HDR10. 20th Century Fox, Panasonic, and Samsung are all supporting the specification. And, Amazon is the first video provider to stream HDR10+ which is featured in titles such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Tick, and The Man in the High Castle. There is also a select number of 4k Blu-ray Discs that use HDR10+ such as 1917 (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2021).
What’s different about HDR10+? HDR10+ (based on Samsung application SMPTE ST 2094-40) allows for metadata that can change throughout the content, adding the ability to dynamically change depending on scene — much like Dolby Vision can do. HDR10, its predecessor, is pretty much static, which means a set of metadata is decoded at the start of the content but stays the same throughout.
HDR10+ is still royalty-free, as opposed to Dolby Vision, Dolby’s proprietary High Dynamic Range specification.
In August 2017, Samsung, Panasonic, and 20th Century Fox announced the HDR10+ Alliance to promote the standard. Early in 2018, Warner Bros. and Panasonic both announced support for HDR10+.
“It was important for us to create an open system that is flexible and offers a viewing experience much closer to the filmmaker’s creative intent for the film,” said Danny Kaye, Executive Vice President of 20th Century Fox, and Managing Director of the Fox Innovation Lab.