IBC 2015: Technicolor teamed up with Elemental to demonstrate a live Ultra HD (UHD), high dynamic range (HDR) workflow in Amsterdam.
Billed as a world first, the demonstration showed Sony F55-shot 4K, 60 frames per second content that was processed using a server-based version of Technicolor’s Intelligent Tone Management application.
This is software that Technicolor already uses to post-produce HDR content for the likes of Amazon.
The live footage was then passed through the 4K/HEVC Elemental Live video encoder before being delivered to a Technicolor set top box (STB), where it was decoded and displayed on an HDR-capable consumer TV.
“Along with movies, sport is a big driver for pay-TV operators, but it was the big, ugly pink elephant in the room that no one was dealing with, so we decided to take it on,” said Mark Turner, Technicolor vice-president, partnership relations and business development.
A standard dynamic range STB is able to ignore the metadata that describes the HDR image, which allows for both HDR and SDR video signals to be delivered over a single stream.
“Without that backwards compatibility, it would be hard to launch HDR because an operator would require duplicate bandwidth for two signals,” said Turner.
An early prototype of the Technicolor HDR STB was shown at CES at the start of the year and will be ready for production in the firstquarter of next year.
“A lot of pay-TV companies are interested in launching HDR next year, not necessarily at 4K and high frame rate, but HD HDR,” said Turner.
“The next stage is to take this into real venues and OB trucks and test over satellite or cable, which we are going to do during the last quarter of the year in the US and Europe.”