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.
We’ve heard the hype, and I admit I’ve contributed my fair share. The iPhone is able to capture impressively sharp, high-resolution images that stand up to critical examination even when magnified and viewed on a 20-meter cinema screen. The iPhone’s onboard software compensates for the most egregious image defects, applying on-the-fly color correction, noise reduction, and broad optical compensation that eliminates chromatic aberrations, barrel distortion, and a host of other things, from what is, after all, an exceedingly modest lens.
Speculative fiction is something that’s often hovered on the borders of drama, fantasy and sci-fi, and one of the huge benefits of the streaming media revolution is that much more of the genre has found a way in front of both a camera and a large audience.
In this final part of the series, an attempt will be made to summarize all that has gone before and to see what it means.
Read too much film and TV industry technical literature, and it’s easy to get the impression that everything about the technology is built to carefully considered specifications. As Philo Farnsworth’s wife was probably aware, though, as he tinkered with the electronics while she sat in as a test subject, it’s often the other way around.