High dynamic range (HDR) is the next big thing in both movies and TVs. We’ve seen 4K in the cinema and ultra HD arrive in our homes, with more and more content for both appearing. Now Technicolor is getting behind the tech, and is offering a way to both back-render standard range (SDR) content as well as stream full HDR video.
HDR is the visually rich step up from UHD fidelity which the move from 1080p to 4K simply hasn’t been.
Essentially, HDR is designed to give far more depth to an image, offering more range to colours and more detail to shadows. Imagine a ray of sunlight in a variety of orange and yellow hues rather than just straight white light.
It makes things pop.
I recently checked out Dolby Vision, that company’s proprietary HDR tech, at a screening of Pixar’s Inside Out and it was stunning. Having seen an SDR version of the movie now, and how flat the iridescent colours look by comparison, I’m sold.
Technicolor, though, is claiming its HDR tech is both open and able to be applied to SDR content for a high dynamic range upscale. It’s also planned to be one of the HDR options available to the upcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray specification.
That alone will massively boost the amount of HDR content available.
The upscaling gives content providers real-time access to the colour information in a video, allowing for direct control over both the highlights, lowlights and mid-tones. As well as being able to apply this to existing content there’s speculation that it could work for live events, such as sport, too.
Quite how the upscaling will compare with full HDR content, only time will tell.