NovaStar Shows HDR Support on LED

NovaStar, like Colorlight (Colorlight Makes Controllers ‘in a Million Screens‘) is another controller manufacturer, not a LED wall manufacturer. The two new products they were highlighting were the MCTRL4K and the NovaPro UHD. Both of these units are 4K/UHD and HDR capable. The MCTRL4K was targeted at the high-end of the general purpose LED wall system while the NovaPro UHD was targeted specifically at the rental market for live events.

NovaStar MCTRL4K HDR resizeHDR-10 images processed by a MCTRL4K LED controller and shown on a InfiLED display. (Credit: M. Brennesholtz)

The MCTRL4K would handle true 4K images at 60Hz frame rates. It can handle a total of 9.2M pixels so it could also be used for a 8K x 1K 60Hz system. The system’s forte was HDR and it could perform 8, 10 or 12 bit processing. Video input was via DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 or dual DVI. A separate HDMI input was used solely for audio. Video outputs were via Neutrik EtherCON connectors x 16 and OPT ports x 4.

Control was via a wireless remote control, USB and TCP/IP and the unit was controlled using a webpage browser. The photo of an image with and without HDR shows up a common complaint – HDR images appear darker than the same images without HDR. With a LED display, this can be cured in most cases by turning up the brightness of the display to 2x or 3x the brightness of the display showing non-HDR content. If you are running your display at or near maximum brightness with SDR content, this just isn’t an option.

A NovaPro UHD controller and an image processed by the unit shown on a Transtech screen. (Credit: M. Brennesholtz)

The NovaPro UHD controller, in keeping with its use as a live show controller, had significantly more inputs than the MCTRL4K. These 4K inputs include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 and 4 x 12G-SDI. Like the MCTRL4K, the unit supports up to 4K x 2K at 60Hz but it is limited to 10 bit color depth. The system supports 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 video. Sending is integrated and includes 4 channel 10Gbps fiber and 16 RJ-45 Ethernet outputs. Optionally, it also supports 4 channel SDI outputs. The software includes features needed for live shows, like multiple 4K and 2K layers, layer transparency and switching effects. According to NovaStar, add a keyboard, mouse and monitor and you have a complete show control system. –Matthew Brennesholtz