For many, the introduction of HDR (High Dynamic Range) video is going to become the key element in attracting customers into buying an Ultra HD TV and Technicolor are trying to position themselves as a major force in its deployment.
To that end, Technicolor has announced the immediate availability of its new High Dynamic Range single-layer solution, which is compatible with MPEG HEVC standards, and creates a video which benefits from improved compression efficiency over unprocessed HDR files. It is also backwards compatible with legacy Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) displays. The promise is that their HDR single-stream solution will ease the burden on the ecosystem until adoption of next-generation TVs is complete.
The Technicolor HDR single-layer solution enables the coding and delivery of HDR content in a single stream to accurately display the content regardless of the display type. Designed for broadcasters, pay-TV operators and OTT streaming services looking to migrate to HDR video, it allows for the storage and delivery of one video file, which plays back on legacy SDR TVs and new HDR TVs coming to market.
“Today the option to view HDR content is an either or scenario depending on screen display, which creates duplicity and inefficiencies in delivering content to the consumer,” said Mark Turner, Vice President Partnership Relations and Business Development, Technicolor. “Our single-layer technology looks to address such challenges, dramatically reducing storage and bandwidth costs by eliminating the need for two delivery systems, which will mean more consumers will enjoy the benefits of HDR sooner and on more screens.”
The solution comprises an HDR pre-processing step, which will work with any HEVC compatible video encoder and a post-processor on devices after the video decoder. This latest offering, alongside the recent expansion of its HDR grading services, the launch of its Intelligent Tone Management plug-in, and its founding membership in the UHD Alliance, is part of Technicolor’s ongoing commitment to industry-wide collaboration to make next-generation content experiences a reality for consumers.
Technicolor has submitted the solution for standardisation to the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG). Testing is already underway with providers of hardware video decoders for devices, including Marvell Technology Group Ltd, MStar Semiconductor Inc, and STMicroelectronics.
On the encoding side, a first implementation has been achieved with the new ViBE 4K UHD HEVC encoder from Thomson Video Networks, demonstrating how rapidly the Technicolor HDR technology can be deployed. “The Technicolor solution capitalizes on delivering HDR and SDR experiences with a single layer, rather than two, which creates significant efficiencies for encoding and decoding solutions” said Stéphane Cloirec, Director of Product Management, Thomson Video Networks. “We’re pleased to be able to integrate Technicolor’s HDR delivery in to Squid Systems', leading 4K encoding and decoding solutions for over-the-top, cloud and video on demand distribution systems” said Dhaval Ajmera, Executive VP of Squid Systems Inc. “We see a strong market need for this kind of technology.”
Technicolor’s latest 4Kp60 UHD High Frame Rate HDR set-top box, as demonstrated during INTX 2015, already incorporates the solution to enable cable, satellite and IPTV operators to deploy HDR enabled set-top boxes now, and avoid the need to replace consumer equipment as their customers upgrade to HDR TVs.
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