Industry Places Spotlight on High Dynamic Range at IBC 2015

At the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, high dynamic range was a focus of conversation: how to define it, standardize it and distribute it. Broadcasters and purveyors of cameras, post production gear and theatrical exhibition all showed off their own versions of HDR. The key to success, say experts, however, is to come up with a single standard, a feat that both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are busily working on.

videostreamAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, other players with skin in the game include the British broadcast group Digital Production Partnership (DDP); Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), which hopes to add HDR to its digital cinema spec; and the UHD Alliance, a coalition of Hollywood studios, broadcasters and manufacturers, that plans to release its quality standards for HDR in home entertainment in January.

With or without standards, broadcasters and manufacturers are plowing ahead with implementing a version of HDR. TV set manufacturers, for example, nearly all have UHD TVs, some with HDR and others with HDR-to-come.

At IBC, Technicolor and Dolby both showed technology demonstrations for live HDR broadcasting, says THR. Technicolor used its Intelligent Tone Management software, teamed with Elemental (acquired by Amazon Web Services) to showcase a live broadcast delivery system of 4K with HDR. Dolby also demonstrated 4K with HDR, playing live images captured on the Grass Valley LDX series broadcast camera that now supports HDR, and encoded by an Envivio Muse Live encoder.

Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a technology demo of its 8K Super Hi-Vision system, with HDR, played back on a prototype 8K/HDR-supported Sharp TV set. Other companies showcasing HDR-ready gear included ARRI, Cinegy SAM (formerly Quantel), SGO, and Rohde & Schwarz.