Dolby Offers Sneak Peek of New High Dynamic Range Display - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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According to a recent article published by Engadget, Dolby is preparing to debut a new imaging technology that allows for much higher peak brightness levels on high-definition displays. While the article does not provide any details about how this technology works, it does mention that those peak levels measure 4000 nits (candelas per square meter) on a prototype flat panel.


Image from engadget.com

The article states that typical TVs only get up to 100 nits of brightness, which is something that I fact-checked and found to be inaccurate. Modern HDTVs top out between 400 and 1000 nits in so-called "torch mode," and a calibrated TV should max out at 120 nits. Still, there is no doubt that 4000 nits represents a significant jump. I wonder if the demo unit was calibrated and maxing out at 4000 nits—that would be impressive.
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"The company, which is known more for its audio tech than its imaging capabilities, has been putting a lot of effort into developing a new type of imaging technology that offers up to 4,000 nits of backlight out of an LED panel. Compared to the TV standard of 100 nits, this is certainly a hefty improvement." source: engadget.com

I've been waiting a long time for a technology like this to come to fruition. As a professional photographer, I capture high-definition imagery that I cannot view on standard displays. By increasing the maximum potential brightness so dramatically, it is possible to display those images without the use of tone mapping—a form of compression that can make an image look either washed out or unnatural. With a true high-dynamic-range display, the same images look incredibly realistic, because the range between the darkest and brightest points is much closer to the actual limits of human vision.

The Engadget article was short on details, so I contacted Scott Wilkinson and asked him what the scoop was. He told me he plans to attend a demo of this new technology in a couple of weeks and report on it. I will have to wait until CES to see it, and I must admit that I am very excited. Apparently, this could be intended as a consumer-oriented display technology, not just a tool for pros to edit movies.

It is worth noting that the people who are establishing the standards for UHD consider higher dynamic range to be a top priority for the format. There is even talk of maximum brightness levels as high as 10,000 nits. Scott talked about this in his report from the SMPTE UHD symposium last October.
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post #2 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 05:26 PM
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That's pretty awesome looking. Thanks for posting.

Of course, 8-bit per color encoding (Blu-ray) will be inadequate - right? I wonder what encoding standards would be needed to take advantage of this technology?
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post #3 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 05:28 PM
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Interesting to say the least!
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post #4 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 05:58 PM
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I saw one of these at their facility about a year and a half ago. The brightness number was not nearly as high as they are supposedly now obtaining. It was definitely interesting, but unfortunately we did not have much time for them to demo the system.
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post #5 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 06:17 PM
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Won't that kind of brightness cause massive eyestrain in a dark room though? I thought that was one of the reasons we calibrate our TVs to well below what they're already capable of.


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post #6 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Won't that kind of brightness cause massive eyestrain in a dark room though? I thought that was one of the reasons we calibrate our TVs to well below what they're already capable of.

For the most part, the added brightness shows up in specular highlights, and regions that would display as pure white on conventional displays. The overall, average brightness of the screen should not change much, so your eyes won't get stressed. That said, using bias lighting is probably a good idea with displays like these.

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post #7 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 07:07 PM
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If eyestrain isn't that big of an issue, then why is it typically recommended to limit pure white to 30-40ftl in a dark room?

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post #8 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

If eyestrain isn't that big of an issue, then why is it typically recommended to limit pure white to 30-40ftl in a dark room?

Because 'pure white' only really exists as a result of of limits in dynamic range. In real life, you don't see much pure white. With HDR, what would have been pure white will actually have a shade, except for a much smaller specular spot, which won't affect your iris the same way. After all, your eyes can handle "real life" brightness levels just fine. HDR just brings displays closer to real life levels.

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post #9 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 07:29 PM
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So would we need HDR content to properly utilize such a display?

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post #10 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 08:36 PM
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I remember being at a yankee game when it was very bright and sunny. They have LCD displays that show the game, which no doubt are on torch mode. To my surprise the damn thing looked dull compared to what i was seeing in real life. The image do not look real at all when it came to the brightness we see in the real world.

Is that what this new technology would fix?

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post #11 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 09:07 PM
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Sorry for being dense, but can someone explain the photo associated with this thread? In the first photo the highlights are all washed out and in the second the dark areas are lost (and the colors are different). I'm just woundering what it's supposed to illustrate.

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post #12 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for being dense, but can someone explain the photo associated with this thread? In the first photo the highlights are all washed out and in the second the dark areas are lost (and the colors are different). I'm just woundering what it's supposed to illustrate.

It demonstrates that the HDR-capable display exceeds the dynamic range capabilities of the camera used to take the shot.

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post #13 of 70 Old 12-05-2013, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I remember being at a yankee game when it was very bright and sunny. They have LCD displays that show the game, which no doubt are on torch mode. To my surprise the damn thing looked dull compared to what i was seeing in real life.[/B] The image do not look real at all when it came to the brightness we see in the real world.

Is that what this new technology would fix?

That's exactly what HDR is all about.

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post #14 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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So would we need HDR content to properly utilize such a display?

Correct. Without true HDR content, it's just going to be torch mode plus. With true HDR content, imagery will simply look more natural, with better contrast and tonality. It's a good bet that gamers will be among the first consumers to take advantage of technology like this.

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post #15 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 12:07 AM
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But how do you know if it is not just some HDR manipulation done in software? Like those "dynamic range" settings in every TV?
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post #16 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
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But how do you know if it is not just some HDR manipulation done in software? Like those "dynamic range" settings in every TV?

The dynamic range trickery employed by current-generation TVs has nothing to do with true HDR. Current TVs simply cannot achieve that level of brightness in the highlights while maintaining deep shadows. As noted in the post, there is precious little information about the underlying technology—but what's being described is not simply "ultra torch mode." I look forward to Scott's report.

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post #17 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 12:49 AM
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Without true HDR content, it's just going to be torch mode plus.

I don't think that's the case; I believe the display DR determines the, er, displayed DR.

Calibration will result in O IRE being mapped to the dimmest the display can get and 100 IRE to the brightest.

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post #18 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Without true HDR content, it's just going to be torch mode plus.

I don't think that's the case; I believe the display DR determines the, er, displayed DR.

Calibration will result in O IRE being mapped to the dimmest the display can get and 100 IRE to the brightest.
You can map out lower dynamic range content so it spans the luminance gamut of a HDR display but all you're going to do is scorch peoples retinas whenever there are overexposed highlights in a scene. It's a fact, you cannot currently display HDR content on a conventional display. You can play 8-bit video on a HDR display but to take full advantage requires HDR source material.

I've been working with HDR imagery for almost fifteen years, I have waited long time for tech like this to become commercially viable.

Utimately, HDR simply means more bits per pixel. More bits allows the representation of a greater range of tones. All of this can be directly related to photographic f stops. The article discusses how today's displays are too limited to do cinematic work. Film-making equipment is already capable of HDR capture.

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post #19 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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This wikipedia article is a worthwhile read, offers a good hint at what we're likely to see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BrightSide_Technologies

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post #20 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 03:40 AM
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It seems to be a full array local dimming set, with more zones than current sets and very high powered LEDs.

When you have such large variances between the brightest and darkest LEDs (in a local dimming set) you really need a heck of a lot of zones to minimise blooming. They were talking about 2200 some years ago; I imagine it is quite a bit more now.
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post #21 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
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Sorry for being dense, but can someone explain the photo associated with this thread? In the first photo the highlights are all washed out and in the second the dark areas are lost (and the colors are different). I'm just woundering what it's supposed to illustrate.
We are viewing an LDR image on LDR displays, so it can't accurately reproduce it.
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post #22 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 06:22 AM
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it reminds me of the difference between 2k-4k digital(bad) and 65mm-70mm film(very good)...

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post #23 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 06:29 AM
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This is probably the failed Dolby professional LCD monitor warmed over for the consumer market.

About three years ago Dolby set out to build a true reference grade LCD monitor for video mastering facilities based on the BrightSide technologies. The monitor was 40inches and retailed for $40K. It was a flop in the industry. It looked very good but the industry has gotten used to buying $2000 Panasonic plasma TV's and throwing another $500 for a LUT box to pull it into spec. So the Dolby monitor while good, was not $37K better.

It's also interesting to note that the reference Sony 32in CRT monitor cost $40K in it's day. We guess that Dolby just figured we were used to that price. Well, we are now spoiled with getting acceptable performance from prosumer TVs and adding LUT boxes plus HDSDI to HDMI converters. That $40K ship has sailed never to return.

Now we in the broadcast and mastering industry are all looking forward to OLED when they get one at 40 inches that is stable and reliable.

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post #24 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 06:38 AM
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They probably using Power Leds for the backlight, just like in all modern cars.

Careful not to go blind.

 

Brightness or not, the contrast ratio is still the same.

 

What would be a true game changer is that the media (blu-ray) will have full control of the brightness level,

then the movie will have "true to life" dynamic range according to what scene in what place is being shot.

It can be done easily because Led backlight responds instantly unlike CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent lamps).

 

Your eyes can't see more than around 800:1 contrast ratio, but Dynamic contrast ratio of the human eye is a whole different beast.

 

 

Your typical IPS panel with 1000:1 CR is more than enough for your eyes.

Let the movie industry have more control of a super-bright backlight to match scenes in Caves or in direct Sunlight,

only then things will start to look realistic even with only 1000:1 like we have now..

No OLED is needed. :D



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IPS with its mediocre black levels is in no way enough for my eyes. wink.gif
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post #26 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 09:26 AM
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my question is why? todays plasmas are already too bright for good viewing environments. i have my f8500's cell light at 50% because it was giving me headaches.

these tv's would be applicable for outdoor use only imo.

it's like instead of trying to fix a problem that was worth fixing(better blacks, viewing angle, motion handling, etc) they deciding to improve what they were able to. so awesome, now i need to have sunglasses by my seat because i have to put them on for daytime scenes, and take them off for night time scenes...

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post #27 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Because 'pure white' only really exists as a result of of limits in dynamic range. In real life, you don't see much pure white. With HDR, what would have been pure white will actually have a shade, except for a much smaller specular spot, which won't affect your iris the same way. After all, your eyes can handle "real life" brightness levels just fine. HDR just brings displays closer to real life levels.

no, not really. could you imagine living 'movie life'. where you go from a pitch black cave, to some sunny desert and back 6 times in one minute(as a movie tries to tell the story of two locations at the same time)... i never go outside in the summer without sunglasses on because i can't handle the glare, same could be said in the winter if there was every sunlight...

when a car approaches on screen, i don't want to have to look away(like driving at night, don't look at the headlights...).

there's are a LOT of examples where real life would be detrimental to the viewing experience. not only would i not want one of these personally(unless i had a place for it outside, and it was weather proof), but i think i would actually hate watching anything on one if a friend bought one.

just my 2cents

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post #28 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

my question is why? todays plasmas are already too bright for good viewing environments. i have my f8500's cell light at 50% because it was giving me headaches.

these tv's would be applicable for outdoor use only imo.

it's like instead of trying to fix a problem that was worth fixing(better blacks, viewing angle, motion handling, etc) they deciding to improve what they were able to. so awesome, now i need to have sunglasses by my seat because i have to put them on for daytime scenes, and take them off for night time scenes...

The answer to "why" is that the human eye has a far greater dynamic range than the current generation of displays, and that higher dynamic range translates to heightened realism.

Technology like this has nothing to do with making displays even brighter—a calibrated HDR display will not be any brighter—on average—than a calibrated conventional display. Instead, the added brightness is used to extend the highlights, which is the usual approach to HDR.

I am not really talking about the "real life" that results in so many terribly-lit amateur photos—photos that would benefit tremendously from HDR, I might add. We're talking about the "real life" of controlled lighting, and capturing/displaying exactly what a director of photography envisions.

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post #29 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Correct. Without true HDR content, it's just going to be torch mode plus. With true HDR content, imagery will simply look more natural, with better contrast and tonality. It's a good bet that gamers will be among the first consumers to take advantage of technology like this.

ok, i'll give you this one, could you imagine if tossing a flash bang in a fps ACTUALLY blinded your opponent for a couple seconds... haha

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post #30 of 70 Old 12-06-2013, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Correct. Without true HDR content, it's just going to be torch mode plus. With true HDR content, imagery will simply look more natural, with better contrast and tonality. It's a good bet that gamers will be among the first consumers to take advantage of technology like this.

ok, i'll give you this one, could you imagine if tossing a flash bang in a fps ACTUALLY blinded your opponent for a couple seconds... haha

That would be a legitimate use. HDR is a lot like glasses-free 3D—it's pretty much impossible to describe without seeing in in-person. It is—literally—impossible to show what HDR can do for IQ on a standard dynamic range (8-bit) display.

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