May 3, 2016
HDR Images launch with Netflix
Netflix is one of, if not the leader in technology today, and it seems that they’ve quietly launched HDR (High Dynamic Range) to one of their lesser known shows. For years, we’ve had basically the same palate of colors capable of being displayed on our screens, but if you’ve ever seen an interview of a person inside a building with a washed out window, or been watching a movie with characters in the shadows that you couldn’t quite make out where they were, HDR is here to solve that problem.
There are a couple different competing formats of HDR, Dolby Vision or HDR10 so we’re likely to see some pretty heavy investment in advertising and marketing to end user / consumers pretty quickly here. In my opinion, HDR10 is likely to be the winner here, as it has more industry backing and won’t require an additional chip from Dolby to function. Dolby can certainly lean on it’s name recognition, but to the consumer (and producers of these screens) dollars seem to win out more often than not (VHS vs Beta anyone?). If a few bucks can be saved, they will.
Either way, there’s a much more compelling reason for content producer to shoot RAW files now. These files contain much greater detail across all the brightness levels. In the past, it’s allowed content creators additional control in the edit suite so that they can adjust the colors and brightness to bring out the details that are most important to them, but with HDR, they’ll have a larger range of color/brightness to display, making the images even closer to what the human eye sees naturally. Camera technology has been making huge leaps and bounds in the past few years, and consumer level technology is starting to catch up very quickly.
So here’s my take. It will be a short time still, but just like the move to HD, once manufacturers (Sony, Panasonic, LG, Samsung) stop making HD sets and switch all their manufacturing lines to 4k HDR screens, there is going to be quite a demand for this new content. If you’re not planning now, or moving toward that eventuality you’re behind the curve. Netflix has the ball rolling here, 4K & HDR will be the norm before you know it!