The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

The UK’s reports that the future of television’s so bright you’ll have to wear shades. At least, that might be the case if plans to evolve television to a High Dynamic Range (HDR) future gather traction. HDR has been exciting the creative community for some time now.

Many argue that it’s actually a more significant upgrade than Ultra HD resolution, not least because any improvement in brightness and contrast is easier to appreciate than raw detail. But the future of HDR is far from clear cut, and it transpires that some unexpected obstacles may yet dull its brilliance.

In case you’ve not noticed, today’s TV picture quality revolution is a work in progress. Currently rolling out is UHD One Phase One, which combines 3840 x 2160 resolution images with frame rates of no more than 60fps and the long-established BT.709 colour standard (arguably more a low common denominator colour restraint).

However, UHD-1 Phase 2 is where things start to get really interesting. Potentially a commercial reality by around 2018, this second advance will see frame rate support rise to 100-120fps, a subset of the more advanced BT.2020 colour standard introduced and, crucially, HDR introduced.


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