Two years ago, Microsoft launched the Xbox One S. The console is an updated version of the regular Xbox One and arrived a year before the Xbox One X. It has been widely predicted alongside 4K support on the “S” and “X” that Microsoft would introduce support for Dolby Vision. However, that never happened.
Two years after the Xbox One S arrived and nearly a year after the debut of the Xbox One X, Microsoft says it is readying Dolby Vision support.
The consoles have supported HDR10 Color, a 4K standard used by many display manufacturers. However, 4K screens using the Dolby Vision standard have not been supported. Microsoft is now changing this and will be important.
Indeed, the Xbox One will join Apple TV 4K and Google Chromecast Ultra as the only streaming-capable devices supporting Dolby Vision.
Microsoft is now testing the support and released it via System Update 1810 Preview on the Xbox Insider Program. The company says it is limited to streaming services for now and only Netflix has so far updated with Dolby Vision on Xbox One S and Xbox One X:
“Xbox is committed to bringing rich entertainment options to our fans. Today we are excited to announce our latest entertainment option, Dolby Vision video streaming support across Xbox One S and Xbox One X! Dolby Vision enables select TVs to take HDR up a notch with scene-by-scene precision and accuracy versus standard HDR which uses one setting for the entire movie/show you are watching. If you have a TV that supports the latest version of Dolby Vision and a Premium Netflix subscription jump in and experience Dolby Vision for yourself in the coming weeks!”
While Microsoft opted to go with HDR10 support at first, Dolby Vision is considered superior. That’s because the standard uses metadata to adjust color and brightness, while it manages high peak brightness. Another benefit of the standard is it supports up to a 12-bit color depth.
As we have seen in tech before, two standards (Vision and HDR10) are squaring off. At least Microsoft has now protected itself by supporting both on Xbox. We all remember how the company lost by opting for HD over Blu-ray. Incidentally, Sony’s PS4 still does not support Dolby Vision.