Industry Perspectives and Opinions

Periodically we publish opinion pieces to provide a perspective on a particular hot industry topic. Experts share their insights and provide another view into complex topics of the day.  In the future, we hope to expand this program to include moderated feedback so that readers can join the conversation.  If you would like us to cover a particular topic in a future Industry Insight, send a message to Dianne Purrier.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers - SMPTE.

Image Dynamic Range in TV Applications

This paper was originally presented at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat

With the ongoing refinement of Ultra HD (UHD) standards, there has been a great deal of talk about high dynamic range (HDR). Current UHD standards work aims to address not only image resolution, but every parameter that can be improved, including frame rate, color gamut, and dynamic range. As part of future UHD standards, HDR may play a vital role in bringing a greater sense of “realness” and immediacy to viewers.

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Spectral Color as An Alternative to CIE 1931

This paper was originally presented at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat

With the advent of ultra high-definition television (UHDTV), the common availability of wide color gamut and high dynamic range (HDR) is presenting new challenges in color matching and reproduction. The current paradigms are based on CIE 1931, a color system that was created at a time when television was still in its initial development. In 1931, there was no convenient means of measuring spectra captured by the sensitivity function of a camera, nor measuring the emitted spectra of presentation equipment including displays and projectors.

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Moving Beyond High-Resolution Hype Toward Better Moving Images - By John Watkinson

This paper was originally presented at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat

The standards on which the industry has been built simply do not address all we now understand about how humans watch objects in motion—as things often are in high-value sports and entertainment content. Current conversations about how to improve viewers’ experience of moving images are dominated by a focus on increasing pixel counts. The obsession with 4K and 8K resolutions is fueled by a simplistic “bigger numbers must be better” approach that makes for good marketing material, however disregards the way in which humans actually see moving images. The idea that the more pixels there are in an image, the better that image will be is, unfortunately, true only for still images.

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Higher Resolution, Higher Frame Rate, and Better Pixels in Context -The Visual Quality Improvement Each Can Offer, and at What Cost - By Mark Schubin

This paper was originally presented at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat

Now that high-definition television (HDTV) has penetrated a majority of homes and TV sets in the U.S., manufacturers, program distributors, and producers are planning what comes next. It’s generally called ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV), but the term encompasses not only higher spatial definition or resolution, but also higher frame rates, immersive sound, and higher dynamic rage and wider color gamut, the last two sometimes collectively called “better” pixels. This paper, adapted from a presentation at the 2014 Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat, will outline and compare findings that bring the costs and benefits of higher resolution, higher frame rate, and better pixels into sharper focus.

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Making Mobile TV a Reality - By Thomas Edwards

This paper was originally presented at the 2013 HPA Tech Retreat, February 18 – 22.

The past few years have seen pioneering work in the development and delivery of digital television signals to mobile devices. Broadcasters throughout the U.S. are using the broadcast spectrum to provide content, including live local and national news, sports and entertainment programming, to a growing number of portable devices. In establishing these services and supporting systems, broadcasters faced a variety of challenges.  The following paper discusses the lessons learned through this process and provides insight that may inform future launches of mobile DTV services.

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Automating QC for Language and Captions - By Michael Goldman

This paper was originally presented at the 2013 HPA Tech Retreat, February 18 – 22.

On a digital broadcast landscape littered with multiple channels, platforms, devices, formats, delivery options, and most importantly, raw data, the issue of how to most efficiently apply closed captions, subtitles, languages, and other metadata to different versions is a problem that has grown exponentially in recent years. Literally millions of files, possibly billions, directly related to online broadcasting applications are traveling through servers and into consumer homes each day, with individual assets potentially having dozens of mezzanine files associated with them for different versions and languages. Now, the FCC has applied stricter rules regarding the captioning of Internet video, directly impacting the requirements for distributing such video over IP networks. 

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X-Curve Is Not An EQ Curve - By Michael Karagosian

A commonly misunderstood tool in cinema sound is the X-Curve. The very name suggests it has something to do with equalization of the sound track. In fact, it has nothing to do with soundfield equalization. Far from it, X-Curve describes a measurement method designed to allow the setup of a cinema sound system to match the sound heard by the director in the mixing room.
 
To understand X-Curve measurements, it’s important to understand the challenges of equalizing cinemas. The most prominent mechanisms that influence the sound of an auditorium are the loudspeaker characteristics, room reverberation, acoustical
reflections in the room, and the absorption of sound by air. The primary tool by which we attempt to overcome the audible artifacts introduced by these mechanisms is the equalizer. Unfortunately, even a finely adjustable equalizer is not a match to the complex acoustical anomalies that can occur. But some correction is possible, and it is that which we pursue.

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