Technicolor unveils HDR and SDR compatibility solution

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 25 June 2015

As High Dynamic Range becomes an increasingly key element in 4KTV adoption, Technicolor has now made available single-stream HEVC HDR reference code for testing by MPEG and strategic partners.

Technicolor says that the single-stream code has been written to provide a universal, convenient and cost-effective method for supporting efficient delivery of HDR content to the consumer market that is not dependent on consumer adoption of HDR-ready devices. It adds that it is committed to enabling HDR across all aspects of content creation and that its new single-layer solution creates a video which benefits from improved compression efficiency over unprocessed HDR files.

TechnicolorThe code is also backwards compatible with legacy standard dynamic range (SDR) displays and the net result, says the video technology firm, is innovation for the future of digital storytelling and an easing in the burden on the video ecosystem until adoption of next-generation TVs is complete.

The package comprises an HDR pre-processing step, which is claimed to be able to work with any HEVC compatible video encoder and a post-processor on devices after the video decoder. The technology is designed to enable the coding and delivery of HDR content in a single stream to accurately display the content regardless of the display type. Targeted at 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."

Technicolor's latest 4Kp60 UHD High Frame Rate HDR set-top box already incorporates the solution to enable cable, satellite and IPTV operators to deploy HDR-compatible set-top boxes, avoiding the need to replace consumer premise equipment as their customers upgrade to HDR TVs. On the encoding side, a first implementation has been achieved with the new ViBE 4K Ultra HD HEVC encoder from Thomson Video Networks. "The Technicolor solution capitalises 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.