HDR10+ Technologies Announces Licensing and Certification Program

hdr10+ technologies

Last year, 20th Century Fox, Panasonic, and Samsung founded a trade organization that became HDR10+ Technologies to promote the HDR10+ high dynamic-range format. Yesterday, the organization announced the start of its licensing and certification program for products that implement HDR10+.

Like Dolby Vision, HDR10+ uses dynamic metadata to define the characteristics of an HDR video signal. Being dynamic, the metadata can change for each scene or even each frame. By contrast, “regular” HDR10 uses static metadata, which define the HDR characteristics only once for the entire program (movie, TV episode, etc.). Many viewers agree that dynamic metadata provide a better image, allowing each scene to be optimized for a given display.

HDR10+ is a royalty-free, open standard, just like HDR10, on which it is based. By contrast, Dolby Vision is a proprietary standard, and Dolby charges a royalty for implementing it.

Dolby Vision has a distinct advantage: It is already well-established in the marketplace. Many TVs, UHD Blu-ray players, and even some streaming boxes support Dolby Vision, and many UHD Blu-ray discs and streaming providers offer content encoded in Dolby Vision.

Among the few holdouts that have not jumped on the Dolby Vision bandwagon are Panasonic and Samsung. (Panasonic announced one UHD Blu-ray player with Dolby Vision at CES last January, but none of its TVs support the format as far as I know.) Along with 20th Century Fox, these companies have put their development efforts behind HDR10+. Two other content providers, Warner Bros. and Amazon, have also announced they will produce content using HDR10+, and HDR10+ Technologies claims that over 40 companies support the format.

The HDR10+ licensing and certification program is available to companies that make video displays, source devices, SoC (system on chip) integrated circuits, content, and tools. Certified products can display the HDR10+ logo so consumers know that they are getting a certain level of performance that conforms to a set of specs.

The use of HDR10+ is royalty-free, but licensing and certification incurs an annual fee. According to the HDR10+ Technologies website, display manufacturers are charged $10,000/year for administration, SoC vendors are charged $4000/year, and source-device makers are charged $2500/year. Content companies and tool vendors have no annual administration fee.

Interestingly, there are no certification requirements listed for SoC vendors and content companies. Also, the certification requirement for source-device makers and tool vendors is a “self-test.” The only companies that require certification by an authorized test center are display manufacturers.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding—or in this case, the adoption. If lots of content with HDR10+ is made available and many source devices and displays can render it, HDR10+ will become a major element in the HDR landscape. Time will tell, and I look forward to seeing what happens.

Potential licensees, click here for more info.