In a new paper released today, “The Road to Enhanced Pictures: A technical guide to HDR and WCG”, Peter Schut - Axon’s CTO and VP of R&D - discusses the challenges faced by both broadcasters and manufacturers as they strive for better pixels, improved colour reproduction and a higher dynamic range.
Whilst Ultra HD is still in the very early stages of roll-out for both production and transmission, the new breed of entertainment services, notably Netflix and Amazon Prime, have made UHD a primary specification for programming and are looking at techniques to further enhance the viewing experience. To compete and survive, broadcasters must now provide viewers with absolutely stunning pictures, regardless of the platform they are watching on. However, with broadcast image technology currently in a state of flux, with several formats and systems - both old and new - likely to co-exist for some time to come, the industry is still learning what all this means and what needs to be done.
In this new guide from Axon, developed from its successful webinar series on the subject, Schut explains about the colour and imaging issues involved and how the broadcast sector might address these changes in the coming years. “Unlike other emerging technologies, HDR is a real game-changer, Schut claims. “It will provide a transformative viewing experience to the mass market and one that requires minimum effort from the viewer. As an industry, we need to provide better pixels and do it right first time. We have one chance and if we get it wrong audiences will switch off.”
He asserts that the signs are that broadcasters are already planning to launch HDR services. Although full services are unlikely to begin in the next 12 months we will see the first trials on the production side. “It is in live sports broadcast where attention will be focused and initial success achieved – with OB providers preparing to drive the next TV revolution forward” he concludes. “HDR and WCG come into their own in sport, delivering vivid life-like pictures with wider contrast and greater depth – banishing shadows that often plague viewers’ enjoyment of the action.”
Axon’s Technical Guide to HDR and UHD can be downloaded from the the company’s website at www.axon.tv/knowledge/hdr-wcg