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A Different — and Quiet — Format War

July 6, 2015 · Posted in M&E Daily, M&E Exclusive · Comments Off 

By Chris Tribbey

Since 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD) first emerged, the top players in both the consumer electronics and home entertainment industries have worked together to push adoption of the successor to 1080p.

Today, 4K sets from every major TV manufacturer are prominent in retail stores. Studios continue to sell 4K films to consumers on hard drives, and Netflix, Amazon and M-Go all offer 4K content. Most recently the Blu-ray Disc Association finalized specifications for 4K UHD Blu-ray, opening the door for UHD 4K content on disc and the sale of UHD Blu-ray hardware, just in time for Christmas.

But while the entertainment industry is busy pushing 4K, there’s a quiet battle going on behind the scenes, centered around a technology many consumers aren’t even aware exists: high dynamic range, or HDR. HDR technology promises the best-possible contrast between light and dark images (i.e., brighter whites and darker blacks), bringing greater (and more life-like) detail to every frame of video.

Several industry trade groups are working toward standardizing what is required of HDR, and what consumers should expect from the technology. The UHD Alliance, the International Telecommunication Union, the Advanced Television Systems Committee, and the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers are among those weighing in on HDR, and the standards that may be needed for it. Read more

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