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Panasonic 4K Picture Quality meets Hollywood Standards

As the content creator intended

by Phil Hinton Jul 10, 2015


  • At the end of June 2015, Panasonic invited AVForums out to Hollywood for a series of presentations and demonstrations of how their new 4K TVs can display images just as the director intended.
    First stop was the Panasonic Hollywood Labs situated in Universal City. Here we were given presentations on the new 4K Pro – studio master processing chip used in the higher end 2015 TVs from Panasonic. To further enforce the creator's intent message was Cinematographer Daryn Okada and Digital Intermediate colourist Mike Sowa. Both men spoke about their disappointment that most TVs on the market are not capable of showing their work as it was intended to look in terms of colour and contrast. Mike Sowa who recently worked on Oblivion went through a few scenes from the movie on a 2015 TV from Panasonic in an accurate out-of-the-box mode to highlight why it now looked correct and as it was intended to be seen.

    Next stop was Technicolor in the heart of Hollywood. We were shown a typical grading room and the colourist explained how they work with cinematographers and directors to decide on a look for the film or TV series and then the colourists work with that vision to make each scene match. In the room was a reference monitor alongside a Panasonic AX900 consumer screen. They stated that with plasma disappearing, a product they used in all their facilities for accuracy, they hunted for a new screen to replace it. They ended up with the AX900 as it looked as close as possible to the plasma image and was accurate enough to be used in such rooms. We were also shown the calibration tools used to make sure each screen was identical to the next for grading and other critical work. They used the same Klein K10 and CalMan software we use for testing and evaluation in our reviews.

    Industry standards are important to make sure there is a consistent image on everything from professional monitors to domestic TVs and THX also pressed home how they test consumer TVs so they show what the creator intended. They also gave us a tour of the original ILM building in San Rafael, with the help of effects wizard Phil Tippet, famous for Star Wars and Jurassic Park. The ILM sound stage was used for most of the Return of the Jedi effects shots with miniatures and models made in the workshop next door and then blown up on the stage. There was also a look around a very famous ranch in a 'galaxy far, far away', but no photos or video were allowed, sadly.

    In the video below we show you some of the highlights of the presentations and demonstrations as well as a full interview with Ron Martin, VP and Director of Panasonic Hollywood Labs. We talk about HDR, Ultra HD Specifications, Rec.2020 and other colour spaces and the 'Director’s Intent'.




    Below is a promotional video by Panasonic explaining their 'Director's Intent' message





    You can also listen to this week's podcast for more detailed discussion of the tour and demonstrations

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