'Dolby Vision'

I have just realised that my Yoga 7 16" has “Dolby Vision” listed in the specs for its 1920 x 1200 display. I have no idea what that means when being used on Fedora. Does it mean there might be drivers not working, as I assume Dolby is software not hardware. I searched the board and can’t find a single thread containing “Dolby Vision”, which may be telling!

Does anyone have any experience of a “Dolby Vision” machine running Fedora?

thanks

Dolby is proprietary licensed software and probably only used with windows. Often names are given that are ‘catching’ of attention but have very little significance for anything but marketing.

Since AFAIK Dolby does not write software for linux I suspect that nothing named that way would be available for linux. Linux uses drivers that are specific to linux.

Thanks. So would I be right in thinking I am “missing out” on screen quality running a machine with that, but without drivers/software to make use of it? Sorry if that sounds like a silly question, I am trying to work out what it actually means to me. Here’s why:

I have this Yoga 7 16". I also got a Dell XPS 15 7590 with stunning 4k OLED screen, this was bought by a friend who wanted me to set up Fedora on it for him. Whilst I haven’t tested the Dell thoroughly, the audio is AMAZING, as is the screen. I am starting to wonder about selling on the Yoga (mainly due to low volume audio and no mic working as yet) in favour of the Dell.

So, since my Yoga has “Dolby Atmos” which I now know I won’t get working, I am guessing the Dolby Vision is another ‘feature’ I won’t be benefitting from.

Sorry if I seem a bit obtuse on this.
How would one know there were differences and/or features missing with out having both environments (hardware and software) to test.

I think you are probably experiencing marketing hype and expecting a super wonderful experience due to the labeling that actually is never carried through into reality (even with the originally installed OS). Catchy names are usually just that – intended to influence the customer – regardless of actual performance.

Only you can tell if the hardware is providing acceptable performance, and decide if it is what you wish to keep.

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Dolby Vision is an HDR implementation, with proprietary drivers. The open alternative is HDR10/HDR10+, but generally speaking Dolby Vision is “better” technology, as it has the ability to produce a better HDR image. The upside is, it’s likely that a Dolby Vision-capable display can render HDR10 media - you’ll just never achieve the full capability that Dolby Vision can provide at the moment.

The bigger issue IMO is that HDR support in Linux in general today is fairly poor[1]. So you won’t be able to take advantage of HDR a lot of the time. Though the situation is improving rapidly (Valve is rapidly improving HDR support in Proton, and KDE 6 looks to enable basic HDR support on the desktop this year), so it may be worth hanging on to.


  1. https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/HDR_monitor_support ↩︎

3 Likes

Thanks Jeff, not obtuse at all. But off the mark I think in this case and I’ll explain why…

Firstly it’s a valid point to make to a stranger on forums like this especially to a person who has admitted their (distinct) lack of knowledge! I am very green on Linux and many tech aspects of all this, but when it comes to marketing hype, I get you, 100%, but that’s certainly not the case and just shows that I didn’t explain myself properly. At nearly 50 yrs old and a “grumpy old curmudgeon” as I am so often called, I routinely get thrown out of stores for calling out marketing bull 5hit :D. My wife won’t let me go shopping with her because I just can’t stomach the crap. But enough about me… it’s not that, honest!

Of course your point about it being ‘comparative’ is a good one. I don’t have an identical machine (minus the Dolby Vision) to test the two next to each other. However I do have other machines, screens, and a Dell XPS 15, and they are all noticeably better. I did wonder why the screen wasn’t quite so ‘amazing’ (NOT that it needs to be) on this brand new machine which has better specs in most departments.

My point was not “i want the best”. Let me re-state the question and hopefully explain what I am asking for…

Just spent a lot of money on a machine. That’s my own doing of course, and indeed the choice for a machine which isn’t certified Linux-friendly was also mine and one I will live with (or reverse). And that’s kind of where I am, determining if I wasted money. You’ll note that I didn’t mention Dolby Atmos or Dolby Vision until many weeks after purchase, which should on its own put paid to the idea of me being ‘sold’ with hype.

I have merely noticed these two things long after the purchase, and now wondering if I overpaid, i.e. by purchasing ‘stuff’ I can’t actually benefit from. I am not complaining about not being able to benefit from them, just trying to see how much of this ‘package’ I paid for isn’t actually of any use to me. I’d like the best screen quality i can get, sure, who wouldn’t. But I can live with it as it is.

Please also understand my ignorance level on tech matters, which is another reason I may have given the wrong impression in my question. My mind just doesn’t ‘get’ a lot of this stuff. For example, I am wondering “if I bought a machine with Dolby Vision, but can’t use it due to lack of proprietary bits and bobs, am I actually getting a much WORSE screen performance for that reason?”

The answer may be “of course not”, but it isn’t obvious to me at all. for all I know, the screen can’t function correctly at all without that Dolby Vision stuff. The screen is passable that’s for sure, I dont ‘need’ any better.

Ignorance does make these threads much harder to ‘get right’. I often ask a question which turns out to be stupid once I understand the underlying technically stuff behind the question!

So, thanks again, no offence taken, but no I am not trying to ‘get’ Dolby Vision (which I assume is practically imperceptible as most such things are)!

Dolby Atmos - that’s another matter, as until I sort that I have two mice tweeting for speakers :smiley: - But I found a thread with some instructions to try Pulse Effects and I will give that a go later. I don’t need other worldly audio, just stereo of audible levels will be perfectly usable, here’s hoping I crack that!

Thanks, never heard of HDR10 (barely heard of HDR!) but sounds like it might be worth finding a few commands to see if I can activate that somehow. if you have any instructions/links, I’d be grateful to have a peek.

That actually makes me think of another (potentially dumb!) question…

Forgive my ignorance, but what determines the output resolution/quality a machine can produce? I ask because I usually work with external displays and hope to with this once it’s set up. I have some Dell 27", can’t remember model but it’s nice enough for what I need. What I am wondering is, if the native resolution of my laptop’s display is 1900 x 1200, can the machine only put that out to an external screen, or can it go higher? Is it limited by the display, or the video card?

thanks

HDR is used for displaying extra bright & vibrant content to the screen. This is mainly used when viewing HDR-enabled videos, or playing HDR-enabled games. So in order to take advantage of it, you need 2 things: an HDR-capable display (which you have), and HDR-enabled content (videos/games).

For games, there are instructions on the page linked to in the footnote on my previous post. Just note that you’ll probably end up needing to do some troubleshooting, as these technologies are evolving rapidly in the Linux space and the documentation is likely not up-to-date with the latest bugs/tweaks. As it notes, the technology is “experimental” at this stage.

As for videos, I’m not sure - I’ve heard Kodi (a media player) has been working on making it work, but instructions and user reports are conflicting[1]. In reality, HDR media playback support in Linux is still in early development, so finding a way to make it work for you, with your display, your media, and your distribution (Fedora), will be scarce to non-existent.

That being said, HDR is a media-consumption feature. Normally people don’t use it while web browsing, text editing, or anything other than video and games (which need to be HDR-enabled). So if you aren’t interested in HDR video or games, you’re not missing anything.

If you are not technically inclined, you’re probably best off just waiting another year or two for HDR support to evolve on Linux. At that time hopefully things will be more plug-and-play.


  1. https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=375348 ↩︎

2 Likes

I see now, thanks. Yes it’s one of those modern bells and whistles which won’t interest me but thanks for explaining. I do like to get a reasonably good picture if possible, mainly just for photo or video editing . I don’t do any gaming and HDR sounds pretty useless to me :slight_smile:
thanks again