Dolby Vision vs 4K

Alexis Labadie Profile image

Written by:

Updated February 9, 2023

Many viewers considering a new television get confused by the specialized terminology used by manufacturers, like the difference between Dolby Vision vs 4K TVs. The best TVs include both 4K resolution and Dolby Vision.


  • A TV with 4K features has a resolution of about 4,000 pixels across the horizontal.
  • Dolby Vision refers to a type of high dynamic range content.
  • While a TV’s resolution improves the number of details and quality of the image, Dolby Vision enhances vivid colors and sharp contrasts.

TVs with a high dynamic range (HDR) and 4K produce pictures with vibrant colors, deep contrast, and excellent detail for some of your favorite content. You may also be interested in learning the difference between Dynamic Crystal Color vs PurColor. Or, you might like to understand the differences between an input lag TV vs a monitor.

Differences Between 4K vs Dolby Vision for TVs

Ultra-high definition (UHD) resolutions like 4K highlight details and textures on your display, making the image appear smoother. Resolutions are typically tied to how we perceive video quality.

Insider Tip

Dolby Vision and 4K TV technology combined produce detailed images with realistic, vivid colors and enhanced details.

Video technology formats that have HDR come in several forms, including Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Televisions equipped with Dolby Vision highlight vibrant, vivid colors and add even more detail to a 4K image with 12-bit color depth, making them perfect for streaming devices, streaming services, and cable.

If you prefer more traditional image creation methods, consider a DLP TV vs a plasma TV.

Precise Image Details

Each pixel within a display represents one small portion of the image. Therefore, you showcase more details as you increase the number of pixels. Because of the ratio of details to pixels, you will notice a difference between a more traditional 720p TV and a 4K model. Currently, 4K is the highest reasonably priced, widely available image resolution for TVs, though some high-end models boast 8K technology. The display technology can also greatly enhance a picture and your viewing experience. Check out the OLED 4K vs QLED 8K to see how these premium technologies compare. It should be noted that while 8K movies and films and the like are going to be much more popular in the future, it will be a while before these models are worth it because of content availability.

4k has precise image details

When you add an HDR format to the image, you increase the range of colors shown on your television. These additional colors provide a wide color gamut for your viewing pleasure. As a result, you can see greater detail in areas of the screen that may have been murky otherwise. And if you would like more immersion in your content, you may want to check out curved TVs. We have a great article on the comparison of curved TVs vs Flat 4K TVs.


Dolby Vision does not improve the resolution of your TV, but a UHD TV does.

Extravagant Colors

Although 4K does not provide additional colors, it makes it possible to see more precise colors in your screen’s picture. This is because the screen has more pixels per square inch, allowing for more nuance between each small section. This is why 4K is pricier than most other resolutions. To learn more about this, read our guide on why are 4K projectors so expensive.

Dolby Vision provides a wider color gamut and allows displaying of accurate and lifelike colors. As a result, you get more realistic images that include subtle colors and their nuanced variations, which standard models cannot display.

Deeper Blacks

Before the introduction of 4K displays, television screens lacked clarity in darker areas for streaming and live content. For example, a dark screen section was murky with few colors included. Since 4K TVs have more pixels, this allows for more color and contrast throughout the image itself. Although the increased pixel-per-inch ratio helps with contrast, Dolby Vision has a more significant impact on the screen, brightness levels, and content.

STAT: With ultra-vivid colors, sharper contrasts, and richer details, Dolby Vision gives you spellbinding picture quality. (source)

Dolby Vision enhances these colors and details by allowing for darker blacks and brighter whites. The resulting contrast leaves no question about where each color ends and the next begins. With the wide color gamut and 4K technology, Dolby Vision provides more realistic scenes, especially dark scenes, content, and videos, than traditional television. However, if you are in need of a display for your business, you may or may not need all that Dolby Vision offers. You can check out our comparison of conference room TV vs projector to see which is right for your situation.


Can you play games in Dolby Vision?

Some games support Dolby Vision, but you should check which games are made with this feature in mind. You can also still play games without Dolby Vision capabilities on a TV with this feature. They just won’t include the enhancements provided by this option.

What TVs support Dolby Vision?

Some newer models support Dolby Vision, and each model may be labeled as a Dolby Vision-Capable TV. If you aren’t sure whether your television has Dolby Vision, you can find the information on your manufacturer’s website or in your user’s manual.

Is Dolby Vision better than 4K?

Dolby Vision highlights colors, brightness, and contrast within content, scenes, and videos, while 4K refers to the image quality and resolution of the screen. As a result, neither feature outpaces the other for a streaming device, on-demand, or live content. Additionally, you will need a 4K Blu-Ray disc to watch content at a higher resolution.

Alexis Labadie Profile image