Introduction to Advanced HDR by Technicolor
Advanced HDR by Technicolor is a suite of High Dynamic Range (HDR) production, distribution and display solutions that leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to maximize the image quality of any HDR format. Advanced HDR by Technicolor was designed to protect -- and enhance -- investments made by industry and consumers in legacy infrastructure and devices.
When HDR was first incorporated into live production workflows, basic lookup tables called 3D LUTs used static mathematical mapping functions, which delivered unsatisfying aesthetic results in many cases. Now, real-time adaptive solutions such as Advanced HDR by Technicolor can deliver a visual experience for live events -- including live-action sports -- that is equal to existing best-in-class, offline post-production solutions used by filmmakers.
Leveraging AI, Advanced HDR by Technicolor enables content creators and broadcasters to conserve resources and reduce costs thanks to the suite’s highly automated conversion processes between SDR and HDR. At the same time, these solutions offer easy-to-use, full tuning capabilities to match any video quality requirement.
In addition to content production, Advanced HDR by Technicolor brings major benefits to distribution and rendering processes. The single-layer HDR distribution formats are compatible with existing SDR or HDR formats, allowing engineers to produce a single video stream that addresses both SDR and HDR devices. Consumers can be confident that a certified Advanced HDR by Technicolor device -- such as a TV, mobile device or dongle -- will dynamically adjust to offer consumers the best possible contrast and color presentation, regardless of the performance capabilities of display technology.
The AI systems integrated into Advanced HDR by Technicolor are modeled on the extensive knowledge of industry-leading image blending experts. It leverages Technicolor’s century of excellence in movie making and Philips’ vast experience in video standards and high quality TVs.
Advanced HDR by Technicolor is an award-winning solution that has been recognized by experts in the field for enhancing the production and distribution of content. Judges for the Advanced Imaging Society’s 2015 Lumiere Award recognized the innovations of Technicolor ITM (Intelligent Tone Management) technology in Advanced HDR by Technicolor. Judges for the 2016 Cable and Satellite International (CSI) awards acknowledged Advanced HDR by Technicolor in the category of Best Video Processing Technology.
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HDR Solutions Delivering Best in Class Quality for Live Events
AI enables the production of high-quality images in real time for live events. Images automatically delivered through Advanced HDR by Technicolor are comparable to the output produced by more complicated post-production solutions -- such as movies -- which require days of manually-intensive fine tuning.
AI technology embedded in Advanced HDR by Technicolor enables broadcasters and over-the-top (OTT) providers to deliver consistent image quality, regardless of the content source (video-on-demand, live, post production / live production)
Advanced HDR by Technicolor is a superior alternative to existing solutions because it integrates tunable (vs fixed) and adaptive (vs static) conversion capabilities. It is an improvement over:
o Existing tunable, but static, mathematical transforms and 3D LUTs
o Existing adaptive, but non-tunable, conversion solutions
Adaptive and Tunable
Enhancing Live Production Images
Adaptive solutions embedded in Advanced HDR by Technicolor enable each image to be optimized in real time. This addresses issues that frequently arise when producing live sports that feature changing light conditions. Advanced HDR by Technicolor automatically copes with large shifts in lighting that often occur over the course of outdoor live event broadcasts.
The adaptive features also remove limitations imposed by static converters that restrict the creative options available to video engineers. This enables engineers to produce both SDR and HDR content with high levels of quality through a single-production flow by simultaneously generating outputs in both formats. The AI technology embedded in Advanced HDR by Technicolor enables the unique ability to achieve high-quality results through an efficient, real-time, automated process.
- Unlike conventional static converters that treat all images identically, Advanced HDR by Technicolor can derive exceptionally high-quality SDR images that are independently optimized on a frame-by-frame basis, preserving maximum dynamic range.
- Advanced HDR by Technicolor can derive SDR images from high-quality HDR images that have consistently been judged as superior to natively produced SDR images. This is because video engineers have a higher quality starting point from which to create SDR images. Operators can see more detail on their HDR monitors and make better decisions about what is produced to optimize the SDR stream.
- Advanced HDR by Technicolor harnesses AI to convert SDR images to high-quality HDR images. For all intents and purposes, the up-converted images appear as if they were natively captured in HDR. The AI analyzes each SDR frame to determine the best allocation of contrast across an HDR image.
Advanced HDR by Technicolor optimizes the integration of both HDR and SDR cameras during production of live events. The solution leverages Technicolor ITM tuning capabilities to set and match any native HDR image so that SDR sources (including live camera shots as well as regular and slow-motion replays) can be appropriately up-converted in real-time, without disrupting production consistency. Once SDR cameras and Advanced HDR by Technicolor are tuned prior to an event, the AI functionality automatically adapts images in real time. This introduces unprecedented operational efficiencies. It frees video engineering talent to focus on higher-order activities, while simultaneously reducing costs by simplifying multiple -- and concurrent -- conversion processes from different SDR sources.
During live productions, video engineers can tune the system to meet aesthetic preferences prior to events and allow Advanced HDR by Technicolor to generate HDR output in real time.
Beyond “Live” Applications
While Advanced HDR by Technicolor has been developed for live production, the solution performs at such a high level that it is also used in post-production as an alternative to existing, complex, and time-consuming solutions. The AI-driven adaptive and tunable capabilities of Advanced HDR by Technicolor make the SDR to HDR conversion so easy that it is used by colorists to save time.
These same capabilities are important for content owners who own large volumes of legacy SDR content. Advanced HDR by Technicolor enables legacy SDR libraries to be rapidly converted into high quality HDR content in less time than it takes conventional post-production methods.
Broadcast & Streaming
An Ideal HDR Solution for Broadcast & Broadband Distribution
Advanced HDR by Technicolor has emerged as an ideal solution for broadcasters and streaming providers. Once a live program is produced, the adaptive capabilities of the solution can be applied to enhance distribution operations.
Advanced HDR by Technicolor accepts any mix of input content (including: live events, movies, episodic series, news broadcasts and advertisements). Broadcasters receive content in many different formats and levels of quality. Advanced HDR by Technicolor is able to aggregate and generate a single, consistent, high-quality broadcast stream in whatever formats broadcasters choose.
Currently, U.S.-based Sinclair Broadcast Group has commercially deployed Advanced HDR by Technicolor to 15 of their most technologically advanced NextGen TV stations. Sinclair has aggressive plans to expand the application of Advanced HDR by Technicolor as it upgrades TV stations over the months and years to come.
The sharp increase in demand for streaming content has put stress on the supply of video content. As a result, streaming providers are looking for ways to enhance their back catalogs of movies, episodic series and other video content. Advance HDR by Technicolor offers streaming providers the opportunity to leverage legacy libraries of content to fill the gap by up-converting SDR content to HDR in a technically efficient and cost-effective manner.
Going to Market with Advanced HDR by Technicolor
Advanced HDR by Technicolor has been embedded as an enhanced feature in the offerings of:
- Cinnafilm - in Dark Energy Xenon - a media and conversion solutions company for television, film and multimedia delivery. Advanced HDR by Technicolor complements Cinnafilm’s high-quality de-noising and resolution up-conversions to HD or to UHD.
- Cobalt Digital - in their 9904-UDX-UHD conversion cards- a provider of best-of-breed interoperability signal processing platforms for the broadcast community. Advanced HDR by Technicolor is an additional option for live cross-conversion cards offered by Cobalt.
- BBright - Playout solution UHD Channel - a developer of high-end software-based technologies that run on broadcast-grade appliances and/or virtual machines. Advanced HDR by Technicolor enhances the ability of BBright’s UHD Channel line of playout equipment to flexibly accept any format or input to produce any desired output format.
- ATEME supports Advanced HDR by Technicolor in its TITAN Solutions
- Sinclair Broadcast Group for SL-HDR1 deployment as part of Next gen TV in USA
- ARTE France for their experimental HDR channel
Experiences & Webinars
Learn more about Advanced HDR by Technicolor through the following shared experiences and webinars.
Best live HDR experience on any screen for TV and mobile offering
- How to easily handle live UHD HDR & SDR events (BBright example)
- Simultaneous distribution of SDR and HDR over a single distribution channel (Brazilian experience)
- Perfect viewing quality on any legacy and future screen for TV and mobile (Display Adaptation example)
- Supported by silicon solutions offered by many TV silicon providers (Mediatek MT9612 example)
- Live up-conversion from SDR to HDR without artefacts (ARTE HDR experimental channel example)
- Legacy support of SDR TVs by automatic down-conversion of HDR
- Automated legacy content and studio content conversion with low cost tools