BBC R&D

Posted by Simon Thompson on , last updated

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is currently a major topic in the broadcast and consumer electronics industries. As reported here earlier this year, the BBC has proposed a candidate HDR Production system based on a Hybrid Log-Gamma law at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Since that blog post, BBC R&D have been:

BBC R&D - High Dynamic Range and Hybrid Log-Gamma

We recently collaborated with Samsung and SES to provide content for a demonstration of HDR video at the SES Industry days. This collaboration allowed the BBC, the satellite transmission provider and consumer electronics manufacturer to evaluate the feasibility of an end-to-end broadcast utilising a single distribution bitstream which can be decoded on both HDR receivers and legacy non-HDR receivers – a key feature of the Hybrid Log-Gamma system.

Unlike most previous HDR demos, the footage was not specially graded for the screen it was shown on – proof that the Hybrid Log-Gamma system allows interoperability between screens of different brightnesses and from different manufacturers.

BBC R&D - London's New Year's Eve Fireworks in UHD and HDR

BBC R&D - EBU/DVB HDR Workshop

The Industry Days were a great opportunity to get a world’s first broadcast of 3840x2160p50 using our High Dynamic Range proposal on air.

The HDR footage was provided by BBC R&D. The first was a sequence from the BBC Natural History Unit’s ground-breaking programme “Life Story”, colour graded using a Dolby PRM4220 reference monitor, adapted for use with the Hybrid Log-Gamma system by programming its internal Look Up Table (LUT). We’d like to thank the NHU’s Production Innovation team for their help.

The second sequence was shot by BBC R&D at the dress rehearsals of the recent Eurovision 60th Anniversary Event in London. It was graded using a SIM2 high dynamic range display, but this time adapted for use with the Hybrid Log-Gamma system using an external Look Up Table (LUT). We’d like to thank the BBC Events production team, the EBU (who organise the Eurovision Song Contest) for help with rights clearances and Panasonic for loaning us a 3840x2160p100 High Dynamic Range camera.

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BBC R&D - Blue Planet II in UHD & HDR on BBC iPlayer

BBC R&D - 4k UHD Trial of Planet Earth II

BBC R&D - 2016 in Review - High Dynamic Range

BBC R&D - A Major Milestone for HDR TV

BBC R&D - 2014 Ultra-High Definition Trials

BBC R&D - Defining the Future of Television

UHD Production Training and Skills from the BBC Academy including:

UHD production: What do I need to know?

4K and Ultra-HD: Making Programmes Podcast

What does the future hold for UHD?

This post is part of the Broadcast and Connected Systems section

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