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Rob Marshall’s 2002 Best Picture Oscar winner Chicago has been remastered in Dolby Vision — and this master was used to create the Chicago Diamond Edition Blu-ray that goes on sale Feb. 11. Additionally, the Blu-ray audio has a new Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix.
Unveiled publicly last month at the International CES, Dolby Vision is Dolby’s technical specification for an image format with higher luminance, wider color gamut and higher dynamic range than what is offered today. These characteristics could be offered with HD or 4K resolution images.
“While we’ll have to wait for Dolby Vision TVs and content to get the full Dolby Vision experience at home, we were able to use the technology to dramatically improve what Chicago looks like on today’s TVs and today’s Blu-ray Discs,” Dolby said in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter. “It looks much better, but we do not consider it Dolby Vision content because Dolby Vision would require a Blu-ray Disc spec change and a Dolby Vision-enabled TV for playback — so this Blu-ray does not have Dolby Vision.”
“Once the rest of the ecosystem is in place, it will be possible for Lionsgate to create a true Dolby Vision release [including OTT] if they choose to do that,” read the Dolby statement. One source said a theatrical re-release was also being considered.
Dolby is recommending its Dolby Vision blueprint for production through distribution. In the case of Chicago, which was shot on film, the remastering process involved color grading to the Dolby Vision spec, using a developing plug-in for existing color grading systems (and a prototype Dolby professional reference monitor that supports the format).
Dolby aims to have 20 to 25 movies — mostly new titles — completed in the format over the next year.
Last month at the International CES, Dolby announced that Amazon (Amazon Instant Video), Microsoft (Xbox Video), Netflix and Vudu hope to deliver movies and TV shows in this format once there are TVs in the market and content mastered and graded in Dolby Vision.
To that end, it was not ruling out the possibility that House of Cards season 2, which debuts Feb. 14 and was produced in 4K, would get Dolby Vision treatment.
Dolby’s business model is to build a complete system that includes ways to create, encode and deliver Dolby Vision. It intends to license its system to set makers and other partners.
Prototype Dolby Vision televisions were unveiled by Sharp and TCL during CES. They are expected to be available for retail purchase later this year.
Technicolor is additionally developing its own high dynamic range imaging system, including a method for encoding high dynamic range (HDR) content for delivery to the home, mapping this spec to existing content, and postproducing HDR content.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is also working to develop HDR mastering techniques.
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