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HDR - new marketing idea
  • 2016 is a year of HDR, as 2014 had been for basic 4K and 2015 had been for color gamut and quantum dots.

    Current REC.709 televisions only display 33% of the actual amount of colours you can see and they are also limited to around 100 NITS of brightness (NITS are the unit used to measure brightness),

    And this is that happens if you read too much marketing literature.

    In reality most consumer TVs are not 100nits (and at retail demo rooms they are even more far from it). And they are NOT limited here.

    Next thing people do not understand that sRGB color gamut is not so limiting due to fact that we see reflected light in nature and super saturated colors that is not included can be rarely seen in nature.

    Next trap lies in complete misunderstanding on that dynamic range of reproduction device is (and replacing it in the head with dynamic range of camera).
    Dolby lie comes from marketing proposal that limiting factor of consumer sets comes from maximum brightness, and it is just not true. While actual limiting factor now come from black level on LCD sets. And all modern quantum dots and so called "UltraHD Premium" marketing labels have nothing to do with it.

    Real cure can come from OLED side, where black level is limited only by room reflected light. OLED also can be made with very wide gamut with ease. Main issue with them is... color degradation and burn in, especially with long time high brightness.

    In reality that Dolby want to do now is to introduce premium theaters where they will check reference brightness level and try to keep it at acceptable level (saving on bulbs in theaters is very common business, as with brightness reduction very expensive bulbs work much longer) and also check quality of projectors and used screens to do not have washed out colors.

  • 14 Replies sorted by
  • Having seen early examples like the "Exodus" and "Life of Pi" HDR versions on my OLED TV, I'd say it's a mixed bag of marketing hype and actual improvement.

    HDR makes a difference only for the realistic impression of certain materials - well lit glossy materials like metal for instance, look much more realistic in the HDR version, simply because the reflections are so much brighter in reality than they look in conventional material.

    As for the colors, again, there are some scenes which really benefit - like showing documentaries of exotic flowers or computer rendered artificial stuff, like "laser swords".

    But of course, there are entire genres of movies where you will never see any significant difference - a sitcom, a dimly lit horror movie and such - no chance to expose any new HDR or color space capabilities.

    And while a shiny Colt in the hand of a western hero might look better in HDR, the quality of the movie experience in total will depend very little on such.

    Then, there is adverse side effects to be expected when directors make bad use of HDR: You can easily turn a nightly movie watching session into an unpleasent event if you blind people by showing super-bright "camera looks into the bright sunlight over a desert" scenery on a "thousands of cd/m^2" display. (I refuse to use "nits" which are an obsolete equivalent to the SI units cd/m^2.)

    I think we should regard HDR and BT.2020 as incremental improvements, which are not bad, while not "revolutonary". If cameras and displays are going to support them more and more, it's a good thing.

  • @karl

    I agree. But note that major number of sets will be LCD and most people set brightness as they like (that in HDR case can result in reduced brightness as many people won't like too bright scenes).

    You can make parallels with sound. As film soundtracks are made and mixed for specified volume level (usually quite high for dramatic moments), and for sound changing sound level significantly changes perceived spectrum. Yet it is only some film lovers, usually with good speakers, who set level properly. Most sets and home theaters I saw are set too low (add to this that many of people are old, that also add its own effect on ear perception).

  • Regarding "set brightness as they like": At least the LG OLED TVs make picture brightness and contrast controls unavailable when displaying HDR content, setting them to fixed values.

  • At least the LG OLED TVs make picture brightness and contrast controls unavailable when displaying HDR content, setting them to fixed values.

    I mean here actual TV sets (most of them have no idea about HDR). This idea to ignore settings can work at first stages but it is quite clear that people won't like if their TV will start to set brightness by itself, and due to support costs this will change soon.

  • HDR = Manufacturer & Colorist Trust Fund for next years brighter TV model... Another logo to slap on your product, while allowing TV manufacturers to price gouge TV at 3 separate tiers... They should focus on 99% DCI P3 and Rec 2020 at max 400 nits HDR, easily achievable brightness by both OLED and LCD, and stop pissing off consumers for at least one cycle

  • Why should they stop? It's the job of marketing folks in a capitalist system.

    First there was "HD Ready" – total crap. Then "True HD" – so they publicly admitted the first cycle was a scam !

    And so on and so on…

  • I am absolutely sure as they will move to OLED HDR will be dropped and it will be advertised as "True 12bits" or such.

  • Starting today, you can watch YouTube videos in HDR on supported devices, such as HDR TVs with the new Chromecast Ultra, PCs hooked up to an HDR monitor and soon on all 2016 Samsung SUHD and UHD TVs.

    Youtube is in play.

  • Xbox support

  • Third standard coming

    Samsung and Amazon have announced a new open standard for high dynamic range video called HDR10+.

    The companies are describing it as updated version of the HDR10 standard, with the major addition being “Dynamic Tone Mapping.” What that actually means is that the metadata attached to a video is dynamic based on individual scenes, allowing the brightness levels to shift depending on whether the particular scene is brightly lit or dark. That’s a change from HDR10, which mastered video content as a single unit with static data — meaning that if a movie was mostly dark with just a few brighter scenes, for example, then those scenes would have previously been oversaturated relative to the rest of the film.