CHAT ROOM High Dynamic Range of Opportunities

In the Chat Room this month, THE STANDARD sat down with Madeleine Noland, who chairs S34 (the Specialist Group on ATSC 3.0 Applications & Presentation). Noland, of LG Electronics, has been leading the inter-industry dialogue about high dynamic range or HDR, a key element of the ATSC A/341 Proposed Standard for video coding.

THE STANDARD: We understand that extensive discussions have been under way for some time about the last piece of the video standard – HDR. As of March, what’s the status?

NOLAND: I’m happy to report great progress. The just-released updated version of A/341 adds HDR technologies, specifically the PQ and HLG transfer functions, plus optional static metadata for PQ. As ATSC members consider the A/341 Video Proposed Standard for final standardization, S34 continues to discuss other HDR-related technologies like dynamic metadata, alternate color matrices, and so on. As additional technologies are approved, A/341 may be revised down the road.

THE STANDARD: How does the ATSC’s work on HDR complement or compete with other industry HDR efforts by Hollywood, online program providers, MPVDs, TV manufacturers and others?

NOLAND: The technologies documented in A/341 are closely aligned with the DVB’s latest specification and with the Ultra HD Forum’s guidelines (“Phase A Guidelines” v1.2). The ATSC is fortunate to have broad international participation from various facets of the video ecosystem including content producers, broadcasters, equipment suppliers, technology vendors, MVPDs, CE manufacturers and more. You know, HDR’s already gaining traction in the consumer marketplace, and those of us involved in the ATSC process are excited to help bring it to broadcast television content.

THE STANDARD: How will HDR powered by ATSC 3.0 enhance the Next Gen TV viewing experience?

NOLAND: I think ATSC standards really foster industry growth and promote adoption of new and exciting developments that benefit consumers. HDR is prime example of this. A growing body of research suggests that HDR together with WCG (Wide Color Gamut) will bring significant benefits to consumers; I mean, delivering an unmistakable “wow factor” to the viewing experience. HDR and WCG can be enjoyed at a variety of viewing distances and on a variety of display sizes. Broadcasters have expressed great enthusiasm about the potential of HDR with WCG as improvements that lots of consumers can appreciate.