Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman
Wasn't Deep Color just a fancy consumer-friendly term for 10 or 12 bit video depth? The only possible way of getting that is if the UHD standards committee shifts us off the junky 8 bit stuff of the past and into the pro-grade realm.
That's the way I understood it. My manual states "RGB/YCbCr30bit/36bit" is what's supported for the "Deep Color" format. And I know there are some Sony camcorders capable of recording in "Deep Color." Of course hooking that up to a display that's capable of "Deep Color," would help increase the amount of shades of color (or color detail) we can view on the screen.
However, now that I've sat here and given it some thought, there's much more to this. (So please, just stick with me on this for a few moments...)
I think high bit color simply means more variations between a fixed
number of colors a display can show.
For example, let's start with 1 bit (greyscale.) An easy example for JUST Black and White (greyscale) with NO greys, would be would be 1 bit. Anything and everything would be either just Black or just White. 256 shades of grey can be created with 8-bit (greyscale) between those two same shades of Black and White.
Now lets use the above example except this time with color.
Another words, what does bit depth mean when it comes to displaying color?
First, let's look at how many color variations that can be created between Red and Violet (the two extreme colors in a naturally occurring rainbow. (minus ultraviolet.)) 16-bit color can reproduce 32,768 different color shades between Red and Violet. 24-bit color can reproduce 16.7 million different shades between those two same colors of Red and Violet.
So now it's easy to understand that "Bit Depth" simply means the amount of different shades of color that can be displayed between any combinations of colors, nothing more.
Now for Color Space. Above, I mentioned the rainbow as a standard for all the colors between Red and Violet. What I didn't talk about till now is how much of that color spectrum can be created on a display. Is a display capable of showing us all of the color extremes that naturally occur in a rainbow such as extreme Reds, extreme Violets and extreme Blues?
That totally depends on the Color Space of a given capture device (such as film/scanners/video recorder etc.) and if a display is capable of reproducing the same color spectrum (space) that's captured with a recording device.
Simply put, different color space standards determine how much of the color extremes can be captured and displayed. For example, the HDTV color space standard REC 709 is capable of displaying Violet, Red, Blue, Green Yellow etc. However REC 709 (the standard for HDTV) is not capable of correctly displaying extreme Violets, extreme Reds, extreme Blues, extreme Greens, or extreme Yellows etc.
Better than a rainbow, here's a little graphic to demonstrate the differences between color spaces.
As I said above, the color space standard for HDTV is REC 709. From what I have learned about REC 709 is it's not much different than the standard sRGB (a color space used for computer monitors and the internet.) Look at the graphic again. Notice where sRGB falls within all those colors and that's about what the HDTV standard is capable of displaying.
Is there room for improvement? Yep! Will it make a big improvement? I would say it can, like viewing the printed results of a Adobe 98 color space image after having viewed it on a sRGB monitor. There is a difference. And depending on the types of colors captured, it can make a bit more of a dramatic difference such as deeper blues, deeper reds and deeper greens.
Again, a capturing device has to be capable of a recording a wider Color Space (and Deep Color (i.e. color detail)) that future HDTVs can correctly display. Then of course, the extended color pallet can then be enjoyed by the viewer.