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Huge questions over HDR+

A jam-packed, standing room only gathering of IBC delegates heard the UHD Forum panel of experts discuss and review the likely road-map for the next developments in Ultra HD. The news was generally good, but they urged caution in expecting too much too soon.

Nandhu Nandhakumar, SVP at LG Technology, said the success of 4K, whether LCD or now in OLED sales in the retail sector has caught the industry by surprise. “The studios, networks, infrastructure vendors…they have all been caught out. Last week’s IFA show in Berlin proved that HDR and UHD in general were the hottest of hot topics.

Dolby Labs’ executive director Pat Griffis (pictured) agreed, saying that at CES there would be another slew of high-end displays showcased which would add another set of parameters to the mix and claim ‘compatibility’ with HDR, Wider Colour Gamut and possibly even High Frame Rates despite a lack of agreed standards for most aspects.

The EBU’s David Wood also cautioned delegates saying that broadcasters wanted to know three key facts: “What differences can I see? Will this boost my audience, and how much will it all cost?” He said that today it was extremely difficult to give any positive answers to these questions. “Most of Europe’s public broadcasters want a whopping step-change for UHD.”

Matthew Goldman (SVP technology, TV compression at Ericsson) said there was now a body of opinion that suggested that HDR+, a catch-all description for HDR and Wide Colour Gamut would not see implementation much before 2017-18, and even 2019-2020 when 100/120Hz frame rates were to be included.