Sitting at home watching the Olympics 400m Women’s hurdles final live on NBC’s 4K HDR channel, home audiences were captivated by the sweat and effort displayed on screen with immersive sound of the runners’ feet hitting the track. Viewers thousands of miles away could be excused for thinking they had the best seat in the Japan National Stadium. The live 4K HDR broadcast of NBC’s primetime show throughout the Games were an extrasensory experience unlike any previous Olympics telecasts.
Building optimized systems that scale to meet peak demand delivers broadcast facilities that are orders of magnitude more efficient than their static predecessors. In part 2 of this series, we investigate how this can be achieved.
For many years broadcasters have been working with static systems that are difficult to change and upgrade. This two part series explores the unfolding of a more elastic future based on COTS hardware and flexible licensing.
There is a school of thought that suggests increasing the brightness through the contrast control on a television will give a higher dynamic range. However, this doesn’t necessarily increase the contrast ratio. Quantization noise is the enemy of dynamic range and increasing brightness in a system with a low bit depth makes quantizing banding obvious. When banding occurs, the brightness must be turned down to remove it or, the bit depth should be increased.
HDR is taking the broadcasting world by storm. The combination of a greater dynamic range and wider color gamut is delivering images that truly bring the immersive experience to home viewers. Vibrant colors and detailed specular highlights build a kind of realism into broadcast productions that our predecessors could only ever have dreamed of.
Many people and cultures celebrate special New Year dates. Organizations designate fiscal years. Broadcasters traditionally mark their new technology year mid-April, at annual NAB Shows. Old habits die hard.
In part 2 of this investigation, we look at why Apple’s new M1 processor benefits broadcasters.