At NAB 2016, Samsung made the first public demonstration of static vs. dynamic metadata for HDR10, the open HDR format. Dynamic metadata will reportedly be added to the HDR10 standard later this year in an effort to improve picture quality, according to a report from Display Daily.
Dynamic metadata support in HDR10
There are currently two relevant HDR formats; the open HDR10 and Dolby Vision – with the broadcast industry working on a third. One of the main differences between the two is that HDR10 is based on static metadata whereas Dolby Vision supports dynamic metadata.
Dynamic metadata can be used to optimize the picture brightness curve on a scene-by-scene basis (even frame-by-frame). Dolby has positioned its Dolby Vision format as a premium format based on this factor and others.
However, the industry is working towards adding dynamic metadata to the open HDR10 standard and to ensure that it stays royalty-free, unlike Dolby Vision. At the NAB 2016 convention, Samsung demonstrated for the first time what dynamic metadata in HDR10 can do for the picture experience. Display Daily reports that dynamic metadata was ”clearly helping for the darker scenes”.
Dynamic metadata will allow a HDR TV to move up and down the average picture brightness level by adjusting the PQ curve. This can be done on a scene-by-scene (or even frame-by-frame) basis during a movie. It will allow TVs to get more details out of the HDR picture and potentially improve HDR reproduction in brightly lit environments. Currently HDR video is graded to be quite dark through the use of static metadata.
Dynamic metadata will apparently not require any changes to the mastering process in movie studios.
Will require an HDMI update
Dynamic metadata is being standardized in SMPTE’s new ST2094 specification that builds on input from Dolby, Philips, Samsung, and Technicolor amongst others. ST2094 builds on the groundwork of the current ST2048 specification, which defines the PQ (perceptual quantizer) EOTF adopted for HDR content.
To use dynamic metadata with for example an UHD Blu-ray player it will require an update to the HDMI standard. The industry has yet to confirm details but it will likely be in the form of the rumored HDMI 2.1 update that was leaked in a Philips whitepaper on HDR. In the whitepaper Philips documents its work on dynamic metadata for HDR. Philips has since updated its whitepaper to remove all references to HDMI 2.1 but you can see the original wording in our cached copy here.
It is not clear whether HDMI 2.1 is a hardware or firmware upgrade. However, Samsung confirmed to Display Daily that it will push out a firmware upgrade for its current TVs later this year to enable dynamic metadata for HDR. It is unclear if this update will apply only to 2016 models or if 2015 models will receive an update, too
Samsung’s promise suggests that a firmware upgrade is possible but Samsung might have been planning for it. Other TV manufacturers have yet to comment on the matter.
We expect to hear more about the development at IFA 2016 in Berlin this September.
See Display Daily’s full report below.
- Source: Display Daily, thanks to Kristoffer Abildgaard for the tip
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