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Sound Advice: Breaking down TV formats and a cooler too cool to pass up

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

Q. Could you explain the television high dynamic range formats HDR10, Dolby Vision and HDR10+? It is confusing and I am angry there are now three competing HDR standards/formats.

—K.B., Santa Clara, California

A. It is indeed confusing, but there is no need to be angry as there is compatibility between the formats.

High dynamic range (HDR) expands the range of colors and brightness levels a 4K television can display. The program, playback device and display must all support HDR to show the HDR image. HDR10, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are formats for transmitting and displaying HDR material. Most products support at least HDR10.

HDR10 is an open format without licensing costs. Dolby Vision is a proprietary format with licensing fees. Dolby Vision has higher technical specifications than HDR10 and can potentially provide better picture quality, though I think the quality of video mastering and production and the quality of the TV itself has a bigger impact than the HDR format used. HDR10+ is an enhancement of HDR10 that is also free to use and backward-compatible with HDR10. It brings HDR10 capabilities closer to Dolby Vision.

Almost all Dolby Vision programming also supports HDR10. If you stream a Disney+ program broadcast in Dolby Vision, your HDR10 TV will still display it with high dynamic range at the HDR10 level. Theoretically it would look slightly better if the TV supported Dolby Vision, but again your have to consider the quality of the source material and the television being used. Samsung does not support Dolby Vision and they make some of the very best televisions you can buy. With the same Dolby Vision source material a top-of-the-line Samsung with HDR10 will produce a better picture using HDR10 than a competitive mid-level model using Dolby Vision. So for me, HDR10 is a must-have. Dolby Vision is nice to have, but not an absolute must-have.

 

Pelican 14QT Personal Cooler for only $109.95: In 2019 I covered cooking and outdoor gadgets and expounded upon the greatness of the $199.95 Pelican 20QT Elite Cooler. Most consumers gravitate to Yeti when they want the very best cooler, but those in the know find Pelican the way to go. Made in the USA in an ecologically friendly factory, with a superior latching system, rock-solid construction, superior ice retention and a lifetime warranty, Pelican checks all the boxes for the win while typically selling at lower prices. If I had to guess how they do it, it is because they probably spend much less on marketing and pass the savings on to the consumer.

As enamored as I was with the 20QT Elite Cooler, the $109.95 Pelican 14QT Personal Cooler is one of the coolest (no pun intended) and most brilliantly conceived and executed sports and outdoor products I have ever seen. It is a premium, high-end cooler rendered at full quality, but in a smaller size for personal use. There is a dry compartment in the top of the lid, a storage strap inside the lid and a removable inner tray. The generous 14QT capacity is achieved in the smaller size by using less insulation than the larger coolers, but it can still hold ice for at least three days.

To get to the $109.95 price point it is made overseas and the warranty is three years vs. lifetime. It is an acceptable trade-off and a steal at $109.95, and you can save 10% if you sign up for emails when you first visit the Pelican website. I am going to be buying quite a few of these for gifts! pelican.com

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