PSA: Netflix and Dolby Vision on Your Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K.

Netflix has told me about a small change to the way Dolby Vision is confirmed on your Apple TV 4K and other streaming devices.

Demo of Dolby Vision
4K Dolby Vision on left. Plain 4K (SDR) on right. (Simulated.)


Back in early 2018, I was in the throes of getting my new Sony 4K TV working properly with a new Apple TV 4K, specifically with Netflix and Dolby Vision. This was a fairly new thing in the late fall of 2017, and it wasn’t until the spring of 2018 when software updates from different companies got into sync with Dolby Vision.

The result of my research was this article on March 28, 2018. “How to Visually Verify Dolby Vision Content with Apple TV 4K.” Review that article if you’re having trouble yourself. By the way, if you need to read up on Dolby Vision (DV) technology in a modern 4K/UHD TV system, see:

[Understanding Apple TV 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision ]

Jump Forward: 2019

By and by, having certified my system for Dolby Vision in 2018, I have neglected to rigorously look for the DV logo at the start of every Netflix show that streamed in 4K/UHD/DV.

The DV badge.
Previously, the TV display would always show the badge at the start of a show. (See text below.)

Recently I got this email from a reader.

In your article for the Mac Observer on Mar 28, 2018, you suggested that the final confirmation as to whether one is receiving Dolby Vision [DV] on Netflix is to see the logo in a corner of the screen appear briefly at the beginning of a show.

I have a new ATV 4K unit and a new Sony XBR-75X950G TV and, while everything looks like I’m sending DV content to the TV, I have not been able to see that logo come up. I have a simple setup, with just the TV and the ATV, and the ATV does switch to Dolby Vision screen format under Picture settings (giving a choice of Vivid, Dolby Bright or Dolby Dim picture quality), so it seems like the TV is acknowledging it’s getting DV content.

The content description blurbs all says it’s DV formatted (like The Politician or Always Be My Maybe) — but the darn logo never shows up. Did Netflix stop supporting the supersimposition of the DV logo — or am I not doing something right?

I responded as follows and promised to inquire with Netflix.

I just tested with the Marvel show Jessica Jones on Netflix. I didn’t see that logo on the upper right either. So maybe they don’t do that anymore.

When I first fire up the Apple TV 4K, as the remote is connecting, I do see the logo.

I started an episode of JJ and noticed that if I swipe down from the top of the touch area on the Apple TV remote, there’s a banner that displays the Dolby Vision logo. Because of the handshaking between the Apple TV and Netflix, I’m fairly certain the DV logo wouldn’t be there if the Apple TV 4K weren’t accepting a video stream with DV.

Whether that gets passed on to the TV itself depends on the TV’s specs. In your case, it should.

Bottom line … I think you’re good. But check the swipe-down banner for a show you already know is in DV.

Netflix Explains

And then I checked with my contact at Netflix. The very helpful response was as follows [emphasis is mine]:

You will only see the TV’s Dolby Vision logo pop up & overlay when it first syncs with a Dolby Vision source either through HDMI (like from an Apple TV 4K whose output is set to some Dolby Vision variant) or when switching from a non-Dolby Vision picture to a Dolby Vision picture (like when you’re in the TV’s native Netflix app and you’re browsing titles and then choose to play a Dolby Vision title).

The Dolby Vision pop-up overlay will not appear again until HDMI signal changes to some non-Dolby Vision source (like HDR-10 or SDR) and back to Dolby Vision.

– Katy

That explains it. This is a subtle change from before and explains what the reader and I were seeing.

All’s well.

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