Live From CES 2020: UHD Alliance Garners Wider Adoption of Its Filmmaker Mode For Film, Episodic-Content Viewing in the Home
Samsung and Philips are the latest display manufacturers to adopt, joining LG, Panasonic, and Vizio
How many times have you visited a friend or loved one and felt your stomach turn as they show off their brand-new television set?
If they’ve got a sports-video professional, like yourself, in their life, they are one of the lucky ones. For many, a new television purchase means potentially accepting ugly default settings, leading to a failure in experiencing the optimal clarity, quality, or coloring that the creator intended for the content.
This is a challenge that the UHD Alliance has spent the past couple of years collaborating with the entertainment industry to solve for the home-cinema experience. In August, the organization announced what it calls Filmmaker Mode: essentially, a television-set mode that allows screen settings to be applied to content so that viewers at home can easily access it – or have it automatically accessed by the device itself.
“Our membership represents the entire entertainment ecosystem from content creators, distributors, technology enablers, all the way to device manufacturers,” said UHD Alliance Chairman Mike Zink in making the announcement. “That unique position has been instrumental in us achieving our goals of delivering premium experiences to consumers. A big part of delivering a premium experience is maintaining the artistic intent of filmmakers so that consumers get to see the content the way that it’s supposed to be seen.”
Collaborating with the creative community has proved very successful for the UHD Alliance, with the Directors Guild of America, The Film Foundation, the International Cinematographers Guild, and the American Society of Cinematographers officially endorsing Filmmaker Mode as the preferred way to watch movies and episodic television in the home.
However, that support is all well and good but doesn’t go far without the support of the consumer-television manufacturers themselves. At a press conference at CES in Las Vegas on Monday, the UHD Alliance announced two major additions to the cause, with Samsung and Philips agreeing to add Filmmaker Mode to selected UHD/HDR models released beginning this year. They join LG, Panasonic, and Vizio, who signed on when the mode launched in August.
“The direct involvement of the creative community in collaboration with CE companies is a first for our industry, and it’s what made Filmmaker Mode possible,” said UHD Alliance President Michael Fidler. “At this point in time, we have that broad, strong, worldwide presence and impact in the retail marketplace.”
Providing an elite viewing experience in the home has been the north star for live sports producers since the very beginning. Now, as televisions get more advanced and streaming services are delivering premium film and episodic content to subscriber homes, the film and television industries are clearly working to ensure that the same can be said for their content.
Films have long been designed to deliver a premium experience in the cinema, despite the fact that the vast majority of film and episodic television viewing is done on the home screen, where the creator might have little control over the conditions and the quality of that delivery and presentation. In this new decade, that fact is only growing more prominent. Referencing a study by ResearchandMarket.com, the UHD Alliance revealed that $159 billion in revenue is expected in global online TV and movies in 2024. That’s a forecast 200% increase over 2018.
“That is a trend that has not gone unnoticed by the creative community,” said Zink. “The home-entertainment experience has been more and more relevant for filmmakers.”
While Filmmaker Mode may begin as a feature that users can access on new television screens, work is being done to perfect automating the process for consumers. The UHD Alliance is working with a company called Kaleidescape to actively engage with distribution platforms in the U.S. and Europe to roll out metadata-fueled processes that can ensure that film and episodic content can always be viewed in the visual nature intended by the content’s creator.