Hisense has announced today it has pushed a promised firmware update that brings Dolby Vision HDR processing to its flagship L9G TriChroma Laser TV projector. Owners of the L9G UST projector should receive the update automatically via their network internet connection, allowing them to take full advantage of streamed or UHD disc-based Dolby Vision content.
Dolby Vision HDR differs from the more common HDR10 high dynamic range by providing dynamic tone-mapping that optimizes the image in real time. HDR10 provides static tone-mapping that, at best, can tell a display through metadata the peak and average luminance of a program to allow it to make coarse adjustments that apply to the entire show. Some projectors get around this limitation with their own dynamic tone-mapping systems that analyze the image in real-time and apply an algorithm to optimize the picture, but these ultimately rely on the engineer's interpretation of what constitutes the preferred image. By comparison, the tone-mapping in Dolby Vision programs has been applied to each program by the content creators.
Dolby has been slow to license Dolby Vision for use in projectors, presumably due in part to the challenges associated with predicting the light output of projector/screen systems; even when a projector's brightness is known, the variables of image size, zoom throw distance, and screen materials can wreak havoc on the appearance of HDR images. The emergence of UST projectors, however, has created an environment where screen image sizes are typically found to be 100 or 120 inches diagonal using ALR UST screen materials with similar characteristics.
This makes the system far more predictable in general, and more so with the Hisense Laser TV systems, which are sold as projector-screen bundles with a fixed throw distance/image size and Hisense-engineered screen. One other UST projector, the Formovie T1 released in China and expected to be released shortly in the U.S., is also certified for Dolby Vision HDR. Hisense also says it plan to release a similar Dolby Vision update to its own PX1-PRO TriChroma projector, which is an unbundled spin-off of the L9G with an adjustable focal range that fits screens from 90 to 130 inches. No specific timing was provided for that firmware push.
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For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Hisense 100L9G-CINE100A projector page.