Production of 4K content may no longer present an issue but premium UHD programming will likely require treatment for high dynamic range (HDR) in order to display a fuller range of colour and contrast. Indeed, Netflix, Amazon and YouTube are primed to stream HDR later this year and are commissioning content accordingly.
As the industry gets to grips with the technology it must also understand the implications for SDR - or standard dynamic range. This is the range of colour and contrast that is able to be displayed now in accordance to specification Rec.709 and which the majority of viewers will be watching until such time as sufficient HDR-enabled TV sets penetrate the market.
Working to Rec.2020 contained in a new set of UHD specifications, images are so enhanced they are said to reveal far more naturalistic colours. At the same time, there are warnings from colourists pioneering HDR workflows to resist the temptation to show off the new effect unless it fits the content.
The workflow doesn’t change much for acquisition or when it comes to hardware and file handling. HDR is a purely a display technology, so only that end needs to evolve but there are some gaps – notably on-set reference monitors and more monitoring options than the Sony BVM-X300 which seems to be the only one of its kind on the market.
Leading colourists pioneering HDR talk about their experiences to date.