Technicolor wants to bring HDR to more TVs, including SDR 4K TVs.

by on June 30, 2015

Stephan Jukic – June 30, 2015

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is becoming one of the key elements in the adoption of 4K UHD TVs and is already emerging in the next generation of UHD content from online streaming providers and solid media providers both.

Thus, it’s no surprise the Technicolor has been working on a solution for single-stream HEVC HDR reference coding for testing by MPEG and other partners.

Technicolor has explained that the new single-stream code has been designed to provide a universal, cost effective and highly efficient means of allowing delivery of HDR programming to the consumer market without it being dependent on consumer adoption of HDR-enabled TVs and other devices.

The company also elaborated that it wants to enable HDR across all sections of content creation and the new single-layer code they’re working on creates a quality of video which is further benefited by improved compression efficiency over raw HDR files.

HDR display in a 4K TV screen

HDR display in a 4K TV screen

Even more interestingly, the Technicolor code is backwards compatible with the older and still much more common standard dynamic range which dominates most of television for now. The net result of this dual compatibility is that it will ease the burden on the video ecosystem until full adoption of next-generation TVs is completed.

The new code package consists of an HDR pre-processing step that supposedly works with any HEVC compatible video encoder, followed by a post processor on devices after the decoder.

Basically, the technology is designed to allow the coding and deliver of HDR content in a single whole stream that can be shown with accurate dynamic range and other characteristics on any sort of display. The technology also allows for storage and delivery of video as a single file that can be played effectively on older SDR TVs and the newest HDR 4K TVs that are starting to emerge.

This Technicolor technology is aimed largely at broadcasters, pay-TV operators and OTT services that want to switch over to HDR as soon as feasible.

According to Mark Turner, VP of business development and Partnership relations at Technicolor, “Today the option to view HDR content is an either-or scenario depending on screen display, which creates duplicity ad inefficiencies in delivering content to the consumer”…. “Our single layer technology looks to address such challenges, dramatically reducing storage and bandwidth costs by eliminating the need for two delivery systems, which will mean more consumers will enjoy the benefits of HDR sooner and on more screens.”

Technicolor itself is already releasing the technology directly to consumers commercially in the form of the company’s latest 4Kp69 UHD Frame Rate HDR set-top box, which incorporates the new HDR single-layer code to enable cable, satellite and IPTV operators who want to release ther own compatible HDR set-top boxes.

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