What Do I Need to Watch Movies in Dolby Vision?

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Q I am buying an LG OLED TV that supports the Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) format. Will my Denon receiver support Dolby Vision as well? What other things will I need to make Dolby Vision work? —Dave Poulson

A New Denon receivers for 2017 are Dolby Vision-compatible, so you’re in good shape if you own one of those. Denon also plans to issue a firmware update by the end of 2017 that will enable Dolby Vision (and Hybrid Log Gamma) pass-through on certain 2015 and 2016 models. You can check this list from the company’s U.K. support site to see if the update applies to your receiver.

If your receiver is Dolby Vision-compatible — or Dolby Vision-upgradeable — you may want to consider using a source such as an Ultra HD Blu-ray player or standalone streamer to play movies in the format. Ultra HD Blu-ray players that currently support Dolby Vision include the Oppo UDP-203 and Oppo UDP-205, while the list of streamers is limited to the Chromecast Ultra. New players from LG and Philips will get Dolby Vision-friendly after a firmware update (also scheduled for the end of 2017), while the specs for the new Apple TV 4K also list Dolby Vision format support.

If your Denon doesn’t support Dolby Vision, you can always stream movies and TV shows with Dolby Vision HDR directly using the TV’s built in apps. Apps that feature Ultra HD content with HDR include Netflix, Amazon Video, and Vudu. When going this route, you’ll have to send audio from the TV back to the receiver using either an optical digital or HDMI/ARC connection — not an ideal solution for various reasons, but better than nothing.

Another thing to consider if you want to stream Ultra HD is the robustness of your internet connection. Netflix, for example, recommends a minimum download speed of 25Mbps to stream Dolby Vision and other UHD titles. (You’ll also need to upgrade your account to a Netflix 4-screen plan.) And if you’re streaming over Wi-Fi, you’ll want to upgrade to an 802.11ac wireless router, a next-gen version that provides sufficient bandwidth to reliably carry higher-resolution content.

brenro's picture

Got the DV/HLG firmware upgrade yesterday on my X4300H.

F1Turbo's picture

Doesn’t the new AppleTV (Sep 2017) also support Dolby Vision?