At Focus we’re constantly monitoring how technology is developing and what we think the new trends are. Whilst not every technology develops into a mainstream tool many do or at least a version of it. By investing our time to learn about and test the technology we can help our clients better understand what is happening and discuss the potential value to them.
An interesting new technology is one that makes use of the full colour and contrast range of the new smart TVs. It is called HDR (High Dynamic Range). The idea with HDR is that it can provide a higher contrast between light and dark images (i.e dark images are darker and other colours are brighter) so that the overall effect is a more realistic image that enhances the viewers experience. An example of the enhanced image can be seen below.
You can see the colours are crisper and so stand out more.
A few years ago 4k (Ultra High Definition) TVs and displays were launched. This gave a 4x improvement in resolution over HD TV. Video cameras supporting 4k quickly followed and are now in regular use by video production companies including ourselves.
Here’s a great explanation of what HDR is all about.
So how will this impact our production team in the studio?
The answer will be ‘not a lot’. Our editing workstations and software are already HDR enabled. We will have to upgrade our display screens to support the new standard. We will start experimenting with content in the New Year to understand what the impact (if any) will be on our workflow and authoring/publishing process. We already colour grade and balance our output so will have to be able to do this for the HDR standard too.
For the general public they will see more TV and monitor suppliers and video hosting sites like YouTube supporting this standard. This, together with HDR support in smartphones, will help drive this to become mainstream over the next couple of years.