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HDR & 4K UHDTV

I started woking on HDR technology from early days 2014, when we at Futureworks started to explore opportunities with Dolby PRM monitors, ever since there had been a very studious approach taken towards high range images for distribution and mastering. There were various options explored in the early days and HDR10 which is an open platform for monitoring and mastering. There was success in executing HDR10 content and understanding the dynamic and creative application as we started to venture in this wide color gamut and high luminance realm, revealing details which we always struggled and wished to seeing them reproduced. One of the finest aspect of HDR as a concept as the detailing and ranges seen on the high ranges, We were surprise to even see the dimension in high ranges at times probably not even seen by naked eyes. 4K resolution with additional bit depth allowed to dig more into the finest details in shadows and highlights. HDR by concept is going to change the way we look at imaging, Vfx houses will be having more range to work. Working over long period of time and eventually studying Dolby Vision we were aware that sooner or later 4K UHD HDR is going to stay as a part of our day to day life. 

 

4K resolution eventually has become the default mastering resolution for various distribution and archival platforms, Most of the Camera manufactures now have their resolution above 4K. The development and advancement of data transmission over IP has enabled this very resolution feasible for streaming over IP. Various consumer televisions are now equipped with 4K or UHD as their resolution where by giving the boost for this format. 

 

As we moved along from SD to UHD there has been a steady development of light technology in consumer televisions ie. from CRT to OLED, this has enabled the concept of HDR (High Dynamic Range) by taking the advantage of more light which could also easily incorporate a wider color gamut REC2020 giving a much needed tonal ranges and higher color depth. Various technologies use HDR10, HDR10+, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), Dolby Vision. While HLG is been used for live broadcast there is some development happening for commercial mastering also. 

 

Dolby is one company who took this advantage by realising that most of the digital cameras are acquiring large ranges via their sensors, their reproduction for larger color and tonal depth was restricted due to various characteristic of digital displays i.e. Projector, CRT, LCD etc.. Dolby developed their own proprietary DOLBY VISION technology and took advantage of 12bit colors by using their dynamic metadata across the entire duration of clips for thorough reproduction. This enables Dolby to map the colors to various displays and their luminance characteristics with their proprietary algorithm. e.g we would color correct and master a film using 1000 Nits of brightness, with the same setting Dolby Vision allows one to map the data to 4000 Nits, 2000 Nits, 600 Nits, Rec 709 100 nits. this gives a huge advantage for easy content distribution and mastering across various platforms. Dolby also has developed their DOLBY CINEMA which eventually uses similar technology to master content for Big Screen using Laser Projection.

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