Oppo Digital announced Tuesday that a long-awaited firmware update is now available bringing support for Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) to its models (pictured at top) and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players.

Oppo said the firmware update will make the UDP-203 and UDP-205 players “the first” Ultra HD Blu-ray players with Dolby Vision support. To take advantage of the “dynamic metadata” elements afforded by the Dolby Vision process, users will need a 4K Ultra HDTV with Dolby Vision support.

Supporting Dolby Vision televisions are being offered by Hisense, LeEco, LG, Philips, Sony, TCL and Vizio. However, not all television models announced with Dolby Vision support this year have yet had the necessary firmware updates.

The Dolby Vision process combines scene-by-scene HDR mastering and an expanded color gamut to produce enhanced brightness and contrast along with punchier and more realistic colors. Dolby Vision also enables color grading on a shot-by-shot basis instead of grading at one level throughout a production, to present a more realistic overall effect.

Read more about the Dolby Vision firmware update for Oppo Ultra HD Blu-ray players after the jump:

Of course, to make use of the Dolby Vision feature Oppo Ultra HD Blu-ray player owners will also need supporting Ultra HD Blu-ray content.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment revealed to retailers at the end of March that it would release Despicable Me and on Ultra HD Blu-ray with Dolby Vision today (June 6). At the time of the announcement the titles were believed to be among the first on the market with Dolby Vision HDR.

Other upcoming Dolby Vision-enabled Ultra HD Blu-ray titles are to include: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter from Sony Pictures and Power Rangers from Lions Gate. Those titles will be the first productions fully mastered in Dolby Vision. The Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 titles out now are animated features that had Dolby Vision HDR added in post production, according to representatives with Dolby.

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As part of the Ultra HD Blu-ray specification, which makes HDR10 support mandatory and other HDR formats like Dolby Vision voluntary, and Dolby Vision supporting Ultra HD Blu-ray titles will also include support for HDR10 as a base metadata layer.

The was first released in December producing among the best picture and sound quality levels of any Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray player HD Guru tested that year. It later out did itself by releasing the in April, bringing audiophile-grade sound performance and features to the strong Ultra HD video performance level.

The Oppo players support the playback of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs as well as regular Blu-ray and DVD. Both decks are also considered “universal players,” meaning they accept a wide variety of disc and video and music file formats, including multichannel DVD-Audio and SACD discs.

Dolby Vision technology is heavily employed by movie studios in the production of features for professional theaters, and Dolby Vision was designed to also bring a taste of that quality into the home theater. Dolby Vision is the preferred HDR mastering workflow for many studios and professionals. This should make it easier to access films produced with Dolby Vision HDR for home distribution. So, libraries are expected to build up quickly.

Already, Dolby Vision content is offered through leading streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Vudu, among others. Supporting studios include: Warner Bros., Universal, Lions Gate, and Sony Pictures. However, none of these services are accessible through either Oppo Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Those services must be supported by a smart TV OS or a Dolby Vision-supporting external media adapter.

Oppo said the firmware upgrade that enables Dolby Vision is ready for installation on both models. Customers who already have an Internet connection set up on either of the players can directly upgrade by answering the player’s prompt on their TV screen, or from the player’s setup menu, the company said.

Customers who do not connect their players to the Internet can visit Oppo Digital’s web site and download the firmware file or request a firmware CD.  The UDP-203 and UDP-205 are also available for purchase at Oppo Digital’s web site and from Oppo’s authorized retailers and custom installers.

The Oppo players are the first in a new class of Ultra HD Blu-ray players announced for market introduction this year. Other players expected to get firmware updates with Dolby Vision support soon include: the LG UP970 and Philips BDP7502.

 

By Greg Tarr

 

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