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What is Dolby Vision IQ? [And Why You Need It]

Ever tried to watch something on TV with the curtains open? That natural light might be a blessing for showing off your home’s best features. But it’s not so great when it’s time to watch a movie.


Because your TV can’t compete with the ambient light in your room. However, Dolby Vision IQ can fix that. 

Let’s look at how this new technology improves your viewing experience. 

What Is Dolby Vision IQ?

Dolby Vision IQ is an update to existing high-dynamic range (HDR) technology, making it possible to see a film in a higher resolution, revealing brighter colors and a wider range of lighting effects.

When compared side-by-side with standard resolution, you’ll notice more vivid colors. You’ll also see that the picture is more realistic. But the picture on many TVs doesn’t adjust well with different lighting levels in a room. 

That’s where Dolby Vision IQ comes in.

It works with your TV to make the most of its visual capabilities. As the amount of light in the room changes, the contrast ratio of the picture adjusts. Dark scenes become brighter and easier to see. And you don’t miss out on the details. 

When and Why Was Dolby Vision IQ Released?

Although some reports indicate Dolby Vision IQ emerged in 2014, the technology was launched at the Las Vegas CES 2020 show. It uses a combination of metadata and a TV’s light sensors to automatically adjust the picture to lighting conditions.

Besides increasing the brightness and visibility of dark scenes, Dolby Vision IQ can reduce glares and reflections. You’ve probably experienced this when sunlight shines on your TV’s screen, and you can’t see the picture because of a reflection or a bright spot in the middle. 

Often, the only solution is to close the blinds, install blackout curtains, or move the TV to another room. With Dolby Vision IQ, you don’t have to resort to these measures. 

Why Is Dolby Vision IQ Better?

Dolby Vision IQ is better in several ways. The technology is adaptive, provides an enhanced viewing experience, and works with different filming techniques.

Adaptive Technology

A key advantage is adaptability.

Dolby Vision IQ works with the capabilities of different TV sets to create a custom viewing experience based on what you’re watching.

As anyone with multiple TV models knows, display differences can lead to various picture qualities.

You might get a more washed-out or faded display with one brand. But with another, you’ll notice more vibrant colors and a sharper picture. Others will be somewhere in-between. 

Besides picture quality, there are also size, aspect ratio, and contrast issues. Manufacturers use similar standards, but you’ll notice slight variations here. 

These differences may not seem like much, but they impact how a show or movie appears on the screen. Dolby Vision IQ senses the TV’s display capabilities and settings. And it adjusts to deliver the best possible picture within those limits.

Enhanced Viewing Experience

Dolby Vision IQ gives you an enhanced viewing experience you don’t have to think about. Because the technology adjusts to your TV and environment, you’ll always get the best possible picture. So you can set up a television in a darker basement rec room and one in an upstairs living room with more natural lighting.

Either way, you won’t have to move or adjust your TV set’s placement. You also won’t have to always draw the blinds or the curtains. Or install darker and stronger curtains that block out the sun completely.

Another thing you’ll save is time. You won’t have to fumble with the display settings on each TV, trying to find the perfect picture in vain.

Dolby Vision IQ will do the fine-tuning for you, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy!

Works With Different Filming Techniques

The third advantage is its ability to optimize picture quality according to various filming techniques. Some filmmakers and content creators shoot darker and lighter scenes. These methods often fit the milieu of the worlds they’re creating.

Let’s say one show explores a character’s trajectory in nightclub environments. The darker lighting in these scenes can show up poorly on some television sets.

However, Dolby Vision IQ will make those darker scenes more visible and vibrant based on metadata and a TV’s sensors. You won’t have to strain to see what’s happening or miss some of the scene’s visual cues. 

The same goes for lighter or brighter scenes, which can be challenging to see for the opposite reason. Light can wash out the cues and details you need to understand the story. 

Which TV Manufacturers Support Dolby Vision IQ?

Several brands or manufacturers support Dolby Vision IQ, notably LG, Panasonic, Sony, and TCL. However, this doesn’t mean all the manufacturers’ models support it.

Older models, particularly those pre-2020, won’t have the new technology. Similarly, Samsung TV’s don’t support Dolby Vision.

However, you can look at trusted review sites and consumer reports to find specific model recommendations. Some of these models automatically turn on Dolby Vision IQ. You may have to adjust the Dolby Vision settings first to take full advantage of the new technology with others.

Another caveat is the content you watch also has to support Dolby Vision IQ. Most streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ have shows in this format.