Arrival of high dynamic range TV highlights artistic intent challenges

HDR10 And HLG Set To Become Leading HDR Industry Standards

Boston, MA - November 9, 2016 – The latest trend in television technology, known as High Dynamic Range (HDR), will help raise the viewing experience to new levels of engagement, according to a new report, “High Dynamic Range TV: Content and Technology Implications”, from Strategy Analytics. HDR also highlights the importance of “artistic intent”. HDR allows movie and TV producers to create video content which better reflects reality and can help viewers to see pictures which are closer to what the director intends. But the report also suggests that confusion in marketing and consumer messaging may prevent HDR delivering on its full potential.

HDR is a new set of technologies which will improve the quality of TV and video images. It is becoming available on many of the latest 4K Ultra HD TVs and has been introduced by leading SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon as well as YouTube. HDR improves the contrast between whites and blacks so that more detail is available in many scenes and highlights become more dramatic. A related technology, Wide Color Gamut (WCG), also improves images by making colors more realistic.

There are a number of competing HDR technologies, including Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), which was originally developed by the BBC. The report concludes that HDR10 has already become the leading standard, and HLG will also become widely adopted during 2017, while Dolby Vision will remain as a premium HDR option.

“HDR allows content creators to get closer than ever before to delivering artistic intent,” says David Mercer, Principal Analyst and the report’s author. “But they still have to decide which technologies to use and understand the different ways HDR is implemented in consumer TVs.”

The report finds that TV manufacturers are describing HDR in many different ways, and that there are many differences in the capabilities of HDR-enabled TVs. Some will deliver a superior HDR performance, but even basic HDR TVs will offer a significant enhancement over non-HDR TVs.

“HDR ultimately raises the question of what artistic intent means and whether there is a single technology that can deliver it,” says Mercer. “The creative community is only now beginning to explore the potential for HDR to transform the video experience and its impact on viewers.”

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