Samsung QN900A 8K TV with HDR10+ Adaptive

Televisions with HDR10+ Adaptive technology claim to offer an enhanced HDR experience regardless of your room’s lighting conditions. But how does this new technology work, and is it different from Dolby Vision IQ?

Adjusting HDR Content in Response to Ambient Light

It is no secret that HDR content is typically best viewed in a dark environment. But unless you have a  home theater room set up, it’s hard to control light optimally, and it can vary widely. The ambient lighting impacts the viewing experience, and that can often make it hard to perceive certain shadow details in a scene.

To mitigate this problem, HDR10+ Technologies, a consortium that has developed HDR10+ and maintains it, launched the HDR10+ Adaptive feature in January 2021. The feature dynamically optimizes the HDR10+ content to provide the best experience as per the room’s lighting conditions.

HDR10+ Adaptive in different lighting conditions

It does this by utilizing the dynamic metadata embedded in HDR10+ content and the real-time ambient light information from a sensor present in the television. As the lighting in the room changes, the sensor passes that information to the feature, which then adjusts the picture’s brightness and contrast.

HDR10+ Adaptive brightness enhancement
HDR10+ Technologies

HDR10+ Technologies says the feature makes the maximum adjustment for very dark scenes in very bright lighting conditions, whereas no adjustment is made in very dark viewing conditions.

In addition, HDR10+ Adaptive manages all this without compromising on the creative intent. And, it also works with features like Filmmaker Mode that is meant to show movies the way their creators intended them to be seen.

HDR10+ Adaptive vs. Dolby Vision IQ

HDR10+ isn’t the first HDR standard to deliver a feature like HDR10+ Adaptive. Dolby unveiled the Dolby Vision IQ feature in early 2020. It also optimizes the HDR content for your viewing area’s lighting conditions.

Most of what HDR10+ Adaptive and Dolby Vision IQ do is quite similar. But there are some minor differences. For example, Dolby Vision IQ can identify the HDR content genre and switch to an appropriate preset to better adjust the picture quality. In addition, it can also pick a suitable color temperature based on the scene content. Unfortunately, HDR10+ Adaptive doesn’t seem to include similar functionalities.

Lastly, both these features are only compatible with the content made specifically for their HDR standard. So HDR10+ Adaptive only works with HDR10+ content, and Dolby Vision IQ is only compatible with Dolby Vision content.

Which TVs Have HDR10+ Adaptive?

HDR10+ Adaptive on Samsung TV

Panasonic, Philips, and Samsung are the first TV manufacturers to announce support for HDR10+ Adaptive. And all three have launched multiple televisions that come with the feature. Some popular televisions with HDR10+ Adaptive are Samsung QN90A, Samsung QN900A, Panasonic JZ2000, Panasonic JZ1500, Philips OLED705, and Philips OLED706.

Hisense, TCL, and Vizio, which support HDR10+ in their TVs, will likely bring HDR10+ Adaptive-compatible models in the coming years. But as of October 2021, neither of the companies have made any announcements.

If you are wondering if your HDR10+ compatible TV can get HDR10+ Adaptive feature, it isn’t very likely. The requirement of a light sensor in the television makes it almost impossible to bring the feature to older TVs. Even if your TV has a built-in light sensor, none of the TV manufacturers have so far indicated that they plan to bring HDR10+ Adaptive to their older models.

How to Experience HDR10+ Adaptive

To experience HDR10+ Adaptive, you’ll need a compatible TV and any HDR10+ content. The feature doesn’t require a separate content version for HDR10+ Adaptive. As soon as you start playing any HDR10+ content, the feature will automatically kick in and optimize the picture quality as per your room’s lighting conditions.

While HDR10+ content is not as widely available as Dolby Vision content, its availability is gradually increasing. You can find HDR10+ content on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes, Blu-ray discs, and more.

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Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in Android Police, XDA Developers, and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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