Amidst all the big and exciting announcements at WWDC 2022, we were disappointed to learn that there wouldn't be many tvOS updates coming to Apple TV 4K… but it turns out there actually will be one major update, and it's coming. to iPhone and iPad too.
According to FlatpanelsHD (opens in a new tab), Apple has confirmed that HDR10+ support is coming to Apple TV 4K, as well as Apple's other HDR-enabled devices — that means OLED iPhones (including the iPhone 13), plus the 12,9 inches. iPad Pro (2021).
Except, judging by Apple's statement, something a little strange is going on. It said: “HDR10+ support. The latest generation of High Dynamic Range technology is now compatible with the Apple TV app."
The Apple TV app (not to be confused with the Apple TV hardware, which also runs the Apple TV app…) is a way to bring a lot of the things you watch into one place, so it's easy to find. If you watch stuff on Disney+ and Amazon Prime, for example, new episodes will be highlighted in the Apple TV app. The app also includes Apple TV+, Apple's streaming service (not to be confused with app or hardware), and any movies or TV shows you've purchased from Apple's digital store.
Here's the weird part: why does Apple specifically say that the Apple TV app supports HDR10+? HDR10+ is a rival to Dolby Vision HDR (both use scene-by-scene data to improve HDR performance based on exactly what's being displayed), and Apple offers Dolby Vision support for any app that wants to use it.
This is especially strange because the only things you can watch directly in the Apple TV app are Apple Movies or TV directly, either on Apple TV+ or in its own store... and those only use Dolby Vision, not HDR10+.
The biggest service that uses HDR10+ is Amazon Prime Video, although Paramount+ also offers it... but if you want to watch anything on those services, you have to use their app. Even if you play a show or movie from the Apple TV app, you'll be taken to the official app to watch it. So those apps must support HDR10+, not the Apple TV app.
We've reached out to Apple for clarification and will update you when we contact you.
Analysis: Why is HDR10+ desirable?
There are three key HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. HDR10 is "normal" HDR, while HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are more advanced: if your device doesn't support the more advanced format, it will "fall back" to using HDR10 for everything you watch.
Ideally, I would always use HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, as they help your device adjust its light and dark levels throughout a movie to always give you the best contrast levels with as much detail as possible, depending on your needs. scene. Standard HDR10 sets the overall contrast levels for the entire movie, so the darkest and brightest scenes have to work within a certain envelope, so you get slightly less nuance.
The problem is that most streaming services use either Dolby Vision or HDR10+, so if your device doesn't support both, you won't get the best quality of all services. We've long wanted Apple to support HDR10+ so that all of its HDR-enabled devices can reach their full movie-watching potential, for this reason.
And it looks like we're almost there? Hopefully, it turns out there will finally be HDR10+ support for all apps.