Technicolor's Alan Stein Explains How Acceptance of Technicolor HDR as an ATSC 3.0 Candidate Standard Offers More Options for Broadcasters
"Advanced HDR by Technicolor is a technology solution that consists of Technicolor HDR (SL-HDR1) and Technicolor Intelligent Tone Management (ITM). Technicolor HDR takes in any SDR or HDR format and distributes it to any device and appropriately presents the correct image for SDR-capable devices or HDR-capable devices. Technicolor ITM offers the ability to up-convert SDR content to HDR-capable devices during the distribution process," he says.
SL-HDR1 is a unique solution in that it takes HDR video and converts it into a format that can be viewed on legacy HD televisions. However, the content can be converted back to HDR for newer devices, so that one can address both the legacy market and the new television market within a single stream. SL-HDR1 can convert HDR to SDR – a process known as tone mapping.
"This is very interesting for broadcasters who are starting to do live productions in HDR, but deliver on their legacy networks in SDR. It is critically important for broadcasters, because they want to send one stream (not simulcast.) While over-the-top (OTT) providers can easily send multiple streams to consumers (SDR to SDR devices and HDR to HDR devices), broadcasters and -- to some extent – cable providers, would be burdened quite significantly if they had to simulcast multiple streams," Stein says.
Technicolor has successfully tested this capability several times over the past two years. Most recently, at the end of July, Technicolor worked with Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles to broadcast two Los Angeles Dodgers - San Francisco Giants games, using SL-HDR1's tone mapping to convert the HDR production to SDR for nationwide distribution.
Looking ahead, Stein says U.S. broadcasters plan to have large-scale trials in 2017 and early 2018 with commercial services possible later in 2018 and early 2019.
"The decision to add Technicolor HDR into the ATSC 3.0 toolkit encourages the technology's implementation into the next generation of television sets and other consumer electronics products," concludes Stein.
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