Technicolor and Sinclair Demo HDR UHD Live Over-the-Air Broadcast

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.—Technicolor and Sinclair Broadcast Group have announced a successful demonstration of UltraHD with high dynamic range live broadcast based on proposed ATSC 3.0 technologies. They are calling it a “world’s first,” and saying it “marks a significant step forward in the distribution of live UHD and HDR content for future broadcasting systems.”

Indeed, the video engineering community agrees that high dynamic range, or HDR, is integral to the advancement and success of UltraHD or 4KTV, especially since some argue that higher resolutions alone are only detectable on large screens at very small distances. HDR, on the other hand, is noticeable. (For more on HDR, see links below story.)

Sinclair and Technicolor described the HDR 4KTV transmission demo as follows:

The series of broadcasts, integrated into Sinclair’s experimental OFDM transmission system and transmitted under real-world conditions outside of a laboratory, delivered high quality HDR content broadcast at HD and 4K/UHD resolutions in a single-layer with backwards compatible standard dynamic range. Both HDR and legacy devices, including fixed position TVs and mobile devices, were all able to receive and display the broadcast signal. Based on open standards from MPEG (HEVC, SHVC, 3D Audio from MPEG-H) plus HDR, with MMT and DASH transport streaming standards, and Technicolor’s Staggercast and Fast Channel Change technologies, the broadcast met the most ATSC 3.0 requirements of any previously demonstrated system. Mobile tests yielded a received signal at up to 60 miles away and, separately, the receipt of the mobile broadcast signal at up to 120 miles/hour.

“We’re building a path toward new broadcast TV services that are appropriate for UHD and HDR,” said Vince Pizzica, Technicolor senior executive vice president of corporate development and technology. “We’re excited to reach the first milestone in our testing of real-world, challenging environments. This latest series of over-the-air tests confirms that Technicolor’s HDR video solutions support broadcast at HD and 4K resolutions, as well as for standard dynamic range and mobile devices, presenting a whole new world of opportunities for broadcasters.”

This latest demonstration follows Technicolor and Sinclair’s deployment of Technicolor’s ATSC 3.0 4K UltraHD test bed platform and receipt of an over-the-air signal, an industry first completed in October.

“With Technicolor’s tremendous resources, we’ve made great use of Sinclair’s full-powered UHF ‘Next Gen’ development system and realized a full-featured ATSC 3.0 upper layer testbed that supports a remarkable number of capabilities,” said Mark Aitken, vice president of advanced technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group. “This accomplishment will allow broadcasters to envision new business opportunities and achieve fully scalable, robust audio and video capabilities for our viewing audience.”

On Sinclair’s 4K transmission tests last fall, see…
Sinclair and Technicolor Do ATSC 3.0 4K Over-the-Air Broadcast
Sinclair Broadcast Group and Technicolor delivered an industry first by successfully deploying Technicolor’s ATSC 3.0 4K UltraHD testbed platform and receiving an over-the-air signal.

On HDR, see…
November 14, 2014
Creatives and Manufacturers Experiment With High Dynamic Range
Dolby, through its Dolby Vision product, is among the companies most advanced in developing HDR video technologies.

October 21, 2014
SMPTE 2014 HPA: Possibilities of High Dynamic Range Production Explored
Although Howard Lukk, formerly a technology executive at companies including Disney and Pixar, has moved into directing (Toy Story 3), he certainly hasn’t left technical innovation behind. At the SMPTE 2014 HPA Symposium held Monday, he presented a clip from his new short film “Emma,” among the very first such projects produced for viewing via high dynamic range display.

October 21, 2014
SMPTE 2014: HPA—More Resolution, Frame Rate or Dynamic Range?
The foundation of ultra high-def TV is more pixels, but Mark Schubin questions if that’s the best option for improved pictures. Contrast, color, frame rate, screen brightness and even immersive sound impacts how moving images are perceived, he said.

For a further understanding of how compression plays into the delivery of HDR 4KTV, see…
February 24, 2015
HEVC: Raising All Resolution Boats?
From SD to UHD, the High Efficiency Video Coding codec also known as H.265 is predicted to change the media viewing landscape in 2015.