By Boris Felts, VP Products, MediaKind
The media industry has championed the merits of High Dynamic Range (HDR) content in raising the picture quality threshold for several years now. Unquestionably, it has helped deliver a clear and visible improvement to 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) content. As a result, consumer demand for premium, next-generation viewing experiences is on a clear upward trend. Omdia’s TV Sets Emerging Technologies Market Tracker expects UHD TV shipments to account for almost 70% of all TV sales by 2024, up from 50% in 2019.
The difference between a standard 4K UHD broadcast and a UHD/HDR broadcast is notable – the brightness, color, contrast, and detail are all significantly enhanced, offering an image that truly pops. Dolby Vision, one of the leading HDR standard technologies, can deliver color highlights that are up to 40 times brighter and blacks ten times darker – resulting in a refined and lifelike image that captures every detail.
Driving the evolution of HDR
In recent years, consumer electronics companies and technology solution suppliers have made significant developments in rolling out HDR technology, bringing HDR into the mainstream television experience. MediaKind has played a leading role over the past decade in driving software and hardware-based video compression technology developments, helping our customers deliver high-quality immersive media experiences across all devices and formats.
Last week we announced the integration of Dolby Vision’s latest HDR technology, specifically the 8.1 and 5.0 profiles, within our Aquila consumer delivery solutions and encoding product portfolio. MediaKind has supported various HDR formats, including Dolby Vision technology, for many years within our encoding portfolio. Our ability to transform the different color formats and our proprietary tone-mapping algorithms have facilitated the deployment of this enhanced experience across more screens and more content. This new integration and certification of the latest Dolby Vision HDR technology profiles will significantly extend our ability to enhance picture quality and replicate UHD content while ensuring faster time-to-market and interoperability with the latest media players and devices.
The MediaKind Packaging and MediaKind Encoding Live products and MediaKind’s Aquila Streaming and Aquila Broadcast solutions now support Dolby Vision’s latest HDR technology, providing any video resolution from standard definition (SD) to UHD. This will enable our customers to deliver the highest possible quality video for broadcast, operator, streaming, and cloud-based services. This also covers a whole host of consumer devices, from the living room TV to smartphones and tablets.
A reality of immersive media
A handful of broadcasters and television manufacturers are quick to shepherd the evolution of 8K as the next phase of delivering cutting-edge media experiences. Yet, the reality is that 4K still has some way to go before reaching its full potential. 4K has affirmed itself as a cornerstone of the broadcast landscape, with broadcasters increasing the amount of content they produce in native HDR.
What’s more, major technology developments such as Machine Learning, cloud-based specialized processing and new compression standards are rapidly improving up-conversion techniques and driving significant improvements in video compression efficiency. As HDR standards increasingly become integrated and applied within the media landscape, the 4K UHD end-to-end ecosystem will increasingly become a reality.
The Dolby Vision integration marks an exciting period for MediaKind and our customers, helping us deliver on our mission to enable our customers to provide the best possible immersive media experiences and bring them to market faster than ever before