At the Flanders Scientific NAB 2018 exhibit visitors could see High Dynamic Range images on a 65-inch screen more clearly than almost anywhere else in the Las Vegas Convention Center.
HDR (High Dynamic Range) is all the talk at this year’s NAB Show 2018, but the problem is that outside of some technology preview sessions, it was rarely seen on large screens. There are three factors for that: A) It is difficult to reach the 900-1000 nits level of brightness required by many of the HDR versions, B) There is precious little source material that is color graded to HDR specifications, and C) with new concepts of HDR seemingly being announced almost every month, this is such a moving target that Display manufacturers don’t know when to pull the trigger.
But right in the middle of the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center I was stopped in my tracks when I saw the stunningly beautiful side-by-side XM65OU 65-inch OLED displays at the Flanders Scientific exhibit.
The one on the left was showing UHD HDR, the one next to it UDH SDR (Standard Definition Recording).
Finally you could really see what the excitement over HDR was all about.
They showed the light at the peak of the Luxor casino pyramid, called the Luxor Sky Beam. At 42.3 billion candela it is said to be the strongest beam of light in the world. Collected from 39 xenon lamps I can personally attest that on a clear night you can actually see it from the Los Angeles International Airport.
As Bram Desmet, CEO of Flanders Scientific, explained to me, these displays are intended to qualify for Dolby Vision certification, one of the few HDR formats that is firmly specified.
Jay Ankeney (left) interviewing Bram Desmet (right).
“Right now this panel is producing 900 nits on an L 20 patch, the common way screen brightness is measured for Dolby Vision qualification,” he said. “We can actually go brighter on a smaller test patch, up to 1,000 nits. We have no promises, but we think this is the largest OLED display that is being submitted for Dolby Vision consideration. And it has 12 Gb/s connectivity, all over a single cable.”
Actually, the only technology that comes close is LCD, and it has its own problems at that level of luminance with artifacts and heat.
To maintain my objectivity, let me admit I find this level of brightness might be somewhat uncomfortable over extended viewing sessions, and some at Dolby Labs even speak of hitting 4,000 nits.
But I have to give Flanders Scientific due credit for showing NAB 2018 attendees what the potential of HDR on a large display can actually look like.
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