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SMPTE Publishes HDR Study Group Report

LOS ANGELES —From the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers: SMPTE announced the publication of its study group report on the high-dynamic-range imaging ecosystem. The work of 170 top international experts, the SMPTE SG report summarizes an extensive discussion on the implementation of HDR in professional media workflows and addresses key questions that will arise for industry members as they move forward in using HDR technology. The report also offers recommendations for further HDR standardization efforts by SMPTE and other organizations.


“HDR is a rapidly emerging and much-debated technology with the capacity to make a greater impact on viewer experience than can higher-resolution formats,” said Alan Lambshead, vice president of standards for SMPTE. “Recognizing the remarkable potential of HDR and the media industry.’s growing interest in this technology, SMPTE created an HDR ecosystem study group and—within just 12 months—delivered a valuable consensus report on implementation of HDR and the creation of efficient HDR workflows.”

The SMPTE SG report on the HDR ecosystem provides consensus guidance on HDR terms and definitions and presents detailed and useful information on HDR technologies that, up to this point, has not been readily available to the media industry. The report acknowledges that although HDR technologies, both proprietary and standardized, are available today and already can be implemented for non-real-time workflows, challenges remain in live or real-time applications.

It further recognizes that implementation of HDR will be complex and affect many systems in a professional media workflow. The report catalogs HDR technologies, examines issues in both live and non-live HDR workflows, and describes the role of HDR metadata. Finally, it recommends industry harmonization regarding HDR technologies and parameters, stressing the importance of standardizing new technologies related to HDR and of updating current standards to enable HDR.

“Interest in HDR has begun to explode, and this report on the HDR ecosystem has been eagerly anticipated by engineers and technologists across the media industry,” said Thomas Bause Mason, chair of the SMPTE Technical Committee 10E SG on HDR Ecosystem. “We are confident that this timely SMPTE publication will answer many of the questions that emerge as HDR is discussed and implemented.”

SMPTE is actively working on the recommendations contained in the report and encourages industry participants to join the effort by contacting 10e-hdr@lists.smpte.org. The report is available for download at https://www.smpte.org/standards/reports.

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