Fans of Walmart’s Vudu movie streaming service that has been the go-to app for the Ultra Violet format sharing system among others, will be pleased to learn that the streaming service portal will now carry HDR10 high dynamic range (HDR) in select movies joining the long list of Dolby Vision HDR 4K Ultra HD movies it has offered for the past two years.

What this means is that the base-level HDR profile, which is the most prevalent form of HDR conforming to the ST.2084 (PQ) standard offered by Hollywood studios and supported by the widest range of 4K Ultra HDTVs and Ultra HD Blu-ray players, is now available through the service on 2017 Q and MU series Samsung TVs, 2016 and 2017 LG 4K OLED and Super UHD TVs, 2016 and 2017 P- and M-series Vizio TVs, and Roku TV with 4K UHD and HDR such as TCL P-series models.

Vudu is also one of the last services offering tie-in support for Ultra Violet-enabled movies, meaning that Ultra Violet supporting 4K/HDR10 movies, where available, should now be accessible over the Vudu interface.

Vudu recently revealed through a company blog that Vudu HDR10-supporting devices will include: 2017 Samsung and 2016 and 2017 LG TVs, Xbox One S and Xbox One X 4K/HDR gaming consoles, Roku 4K/HDR media adapters and the Nvidia Shield media streamer.

Read more about Vudu’s support of HDR10 after the jump:

We checked with a Roku 4K Ultra (supporting HDR10) set-top box this morning and after a quick firmware update we found our previously redeemed Ultra Vision 4K Ultra HD titles were showing support for “*HDR10” but that support indicator was grayed out. We tried to view a few other 4K UHD titles, like “I Am Legend,” “Power Rangers” and “Unforgiven,” each of which showed the same grayed out “*HDR10” and no HDR10 metadata indication was displayed on the screen of a connected 2017 Samsung UN65MU9000 television.

In the case of “Power Rangers,” which also supports Dolby Vision, the Dolby Vision HDR indicator on the movie descriptor was brightly lit, but other than the grayed out *HDR10 in the movie descriptor, there was no further indication through the streaming data that HDR10 was an available option as yet.

In the blog statement 11 days ago, Vudu product management and design VP Scott Blanksteen said that Vudu currently has 36 HDR10 titles available, which is a small subset of the Dolby Vision HDR library so far, the service is “working towards bringing HDR to as many of our 4K UHD movies as possible, and we will continue to roll them out as we receive them.”

Vudu has offered HDR with select 4K Ultra HD movies exclusively with Dolby Vision for the past two years, and it was the only streaming service to opt for Dolby Vision exclusively over HDR10. Warner Bros. started as the primary supplier of Dolby Vision streaming titles available through Vudu before other studios joined with Dolby Vision/HDR10 supporting titles.

Like Dolby Vision, HDR10 uses ST.2084 (PQ) standard as its foundation layer to deliver to supporting televisions static metadata instructions telling display devices how to present wide brightness and contrast as well as colors and tone mapping at one set grading level throughout a movie or program. Dolby Vision adds additional capabilities on top of ST.2084 to support dynamic metadata that expands those instructions for grading parameters on a scene-by-scene or even shot-by-shot basis for added realism.

The HDR10 profile is specified for mandatory support in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs that offer HDR, while Dolby Vision HDR support is left as a voluntary decision by studios. All 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and most 4K/HDR televisions support HDR10, although not all Ultra HD Blu-ray players of 4K/Ultra HD TVs support Dolby Vision.

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Many of the first Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and titles offered HDR10 enhancements along with Ultra Violet streaming title redemption through Vudu, but because Vudu was not supporting HDR10 the streaming versions of those titles omitted HDR support, unless the title was among  the early offerings that also carried Dolby Vision support.

A list of Vudu HDR10 supporting devices posted on the Vudu Forum

In a blog on the Vudu web site Nov. 16th Blanksteen said: “We’re excited to announce the addition of HDR10 support, which brings the color depth and richness of HDR to more devices than ever before. Our support of HDR10, which is quickly becoming a common feature on more and more 4K TVs and streaming devices, means more people can enjoy HDR and the best possible cinematic experience at home.”

He added that “users will automatically get the format that is compatible with their 4K + HDR TV or streaming device for the best possible picture.”

Partially explaining why more televisions did not appear on the list of supporting devices, Blanksteen’s statement indicates that supporting televisions and devices must be “Vudu-certified 4K + HDR enabled” and using “the latest Vudu app.”


By Greg Tarr


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