Google Play Movies is prepping support for Dolby Vision HDR

Google Play Movies logo
Google Play Movies logo (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Play Movies is prepping Dolby Vision support in the app.
  • A recent APK teardown by XDA Developers of the 4.17.22 version of the app revealed strings referencing Dolby Vision.
  • Dolby Vision gives a superior picture quality over HDR10 by using dynamic metadata.

Google Play Movies is apparently working on adding Dolby Vision HDR support for its app soon. The revelation comes after the talented guys over at XDA Developers uncovered it in a recent APK teardown of the Android app.

While Google Play Movies has supported 4K HDR with HDR10 for years now, Dolby Vision is an entirely different standard and one that many say offers superior quality. The main reason for this being that Dolby Vision allows for dynamic metadata versus static metadata found in HDR10.

With dynamic metadata, Dolby Vision makes it possible for the brightness, darkness, and color profile to change from scene to scene, while HDR10 only provides one static profile for the entire movie or show. Having the ability to change depending on the scene can have a huge impact, as many movies and TV shows often move from day to night, or from indoors to outdoors. This gives the filmmakers and the viewer a big advantage when watching Dolby Vision content over HDR10.

While apps such as Netflix and Vudu already have Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, Google Play Movies was one of the lone standouts to only use HDR10. The main cause for this is most likely because the HDR10 standard is free to use, but Dolby Vision requires a licensing fee from Dolby.

Whatever the reason, it looks like it soon won't matter, because the teardown of Google Play Movies v4.17.22 included strings of code that point to Dolby Vision coming to the app soon.

<string name="details_dolby_vision">Dolby Vision</string><string name="content_description_dolby_vision">Dolby Vision</string>

As we can see from the strings, the description at the bottom of videos will soon reveal if a title has Dolby Vision support or not. That's great news for all of us that want to enjoy our videos with the highest quality and the most dynamic range. Of course, in order to enjoy Dolby Vision content, you'll also need a TV and streaming device that supports it — like the NVIDIA Shield TV Android TV box.

Jason England