New Standard in Digital TV Aerials HDR Broadcasts

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Technicolor-Vubiquity partnership is set to deliver HDR to TV networks, though premium rates come with it.

High Dynamic Range video could well be the next big thing, the holy grail 4KTVs and the enhancement that prompts the next trend of TV modernisations. Thanks to a new deal between Technicolor and Vubiquity, it should be accessible to hundreds of TV networks and studios by the end of 2016, and that also goes for content not made in that format either.

Technicolor believe that with their current partners, HDR will become the upgrade which customers will be willing to pay more for.

The partnership wishes to give hundreds of TV networks and streaming facilities the capability of bringing HDR video to customers, including content that wasn’t even made for HDR. The service will embrace an “in-network” High Dynamic Range video “upscaler” that the businesses say is the first of its kind. It takes material originally intended for existing TV standards and transforms them into HDR video.

“We have some live sports that we have up-scaled and I don’t think anybody would see the difference. It’s pretty spectacular,” stated Mark Turner, who is the Technicolor VP.

“HDR makes the highlights more vibrant, the shadows darker and inserts contrast in the middle tones,” said Turner. This therefore allows TVs to show colours that can’t be shown normally, only lacking the extra brightness and contrast. The outcome is a clear enhancement over the pictures today’s viewers see on all TVs, phones, monitors, and even in cinemas.

Once the service includes its upscaling tech, the quantity of HDR programmes up for grabs will surely swell. This would help solve the problem of content producers not wanting to pay up for content for a system no one is watching, and consumers not wanting to upgrade to something no one is making content for.

Technicolor is delivering two important pieces of HDR technology for the facility: its HDR Intelligent Tone Management scheme, which will handle the upscaling of the HDR content; and its HDR delivery tech, which lets a single video signal to go to both new HDR-capable displays, and older TVs too that can’t show HDR content.

“With this scheme you don’t have to construct an additional network and everybody gets the benefit,” said Turner. Technicolor’s delivery technology is a competitor of Dolby Vision, which instead attaches HDR onto a standard video channel or stream.

Earlier on in 2016, the UltraHD Alliance proclaimed its “UltraHD Premium” benchmark, which includes HDR. There are two types of UltraHD premium however, one which takes into account LED screens, which are rather bright but don’t have deep, inky blacks, and another that works for OLED displays, which have those rich blacks but can’t quite manage the same brightness as LED can.