P&F USA, which markets TVs a,nd Blu-ray and home theater products under the Philips brand in the United States, this week announced the release of a firmware update bringing support for the Dolby Vision flavor of high dynamic range (HDR) its current 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player models BDP7502 and BDP7302.

The company said owners of either UHD Blu-ray player can now download the update to their players and enable Dolby Vision playback on any Dolby Vision enabled television.

In the United States, the Philips-branded 4K Ultra HDTVs in the new 69 and 59 model series will support Dolby Vision HDR, as well as baseline HDR10.

Dolby Vision is the brand name for a particular profile of HDR developed by Dolby, and featuring the use of dynamic metadata that allows brightness and color grading of a movie or program on a scene-by-scene basis, instead of at one set level throughout a program.

This produces an overall look that should appear more natural to the eye. To use the Dolby Vision logo on a TV or Blu-ray player, manufacturers must pay to certify their products and license the name. In contrast, the generic HDR10 HDR profile is based on static metadata to keeps grading levels constent throughout of production.

Both versions of HDR produce much more dynamic, colorful and realistic-looking images, in a way that preserves the artistic vision of the director, but some believe dynamic metadata, like that in the Dolby Vision profile (or the competing HDR10+ and Advanced HDR by Technicolor profiles that are not supported by these players) does it a little bit better.

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To date, there are more than 200 movie titles and more than 200 hours of episodic content available in Dolby Vision globally across OTT streaming and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs.

The $199  Philips BDP7502 and BDP7302 4K UHD Blu-ray players, like other 4K UHD players, are also designed to deliver images at four times the resolution of current Blu-ray players for greater clarity and detail, particularly on larger screen sizes. 4K UHD Blu-ray players also present content with greater bit rates (surpassing 100 Mbps) for more dynamic sound and image reproduction than is typically seen in streaming versions of the same titles.

Dolby Vision HDR is currently used in Dolby advanced cinemas around the world, to present very large screen images with greater brightness, contrast, and detail retention, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors.

“HDR is a significant advancement in picture technology that delivers tangible improvements in image quality, but Dolby Vision goes further and transforms an HDR picture into something that is truly stunning,” stated Peter Swinkels, P&F USA general manager. “Dolby Vision is not just greater dynamic range and wider color gamut; it is also smarter pixels that deliver the best possible viewing experience for consumers.”

Among other features in the Philips BDP7502 and BDP7302 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players is built-in support for the HEVC and VP9 codecs for wirelessly streaming Netflix, which supports Dolby Vision, and YouTube 4K content.

They also feature 4K upscaling for non-4K sources. For the best possible sound, both offer both Dolby Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound support. Connections include HDMI 2.0a HDR video output and 1.4a audio output to maintain compatibility with legacy AVRs, Wireless LAN 802.11ac, Ethernet and USB Multimedia.


By Greg Tarr


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