In recent months we have been talking about Ultra High Definition/4K TVs a lot, while the majority of people are still using FHD, HD or even SD televisions in their homes. While we can now buy UHD TVs from many manufacturers, content is still sparse to say the least. Now many in the TV industry are taking the UHD discussion one step further. They believe that resolution is only one aspect for a better picture.
The main aspect that is added to the list of future TV technology is High Dynamic Range or HDR. In very simple words, the goal is to make images on our TVs look like a real life scene. Ironically, most HDR images today actually show scenes that look anything but real. Just take a look below.
And yes, you will be watching this pretty image on a monitor or other device unknown to us. So, how do we know the viewer will appreciate this image for the high dynamic range? Simple, we won’t.
This is where various associations come in to play. If we all follow ITU’s BT.2020 we are all clear, we hope. Of course the wider color gamut as described in the new standard, gives rise to a general issue. How do we distribute and view content with a wider color gamut on a display that does not have that ability? Does this lead to issues with the color perception at the consumer end?
Lars Borg, principal scientist in Adobe’s Digital Video and Audio Engineering Group said in a presentation at the SMPTE Technical Conference that there are challenges with the scaling of HD to UHD content, as the color spaces do not match. This is an issue that should be solved by using ITU’s BT.1886, referring to the use of the electro-optical transfer function.
As it seems, the widening of the color spaces in the UHD TVs will require some very smart people to make the right decisions to make all the viewers happy. Of course this applies to all kind of TV technologies including CRT, PDP, LCD and OLED. – NH