CES: As the Ultra HD Train Steams Ahead, Hollywood Eyes High Dynamic Range Imagery

LAS VEGAS--Ultra HD is a huge story at the International CES. But many also believe that resolution alone is not enough to entice consumers to make the switch from their current TVs.

Many in Hollywood’s engineering community believe it will also take a wider color gamut, higher dynamic range and higher frame rates to make the most noticeable improvement over today’s HD.

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Dolby, Technicolor and Sony are all presenting their plans to move the industry in this direction, this week at CES.

Meanwhile Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), the consortium behind the cloud-based Digital HD service UltraViolet, is looking into adding  support not just for 4K but for higher dynamic range and related features.

“4K (Ultra HD) is on our roadmap, and this will need to be a standard since it needs to work on a variety of devices and platforms,” DECE general manager Mark Teitell told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re also looking at high dynamic range, color space and frame rate. It’s likely to be a combination of those attributes that will represent the next generation. We are looking at what we need to do and take the best combination.”

Asked if DECE could end up adopting a proposed system such as Dolby Vision, he responded, “We don’t adopt things that are propriety, but it may well be a spec that Dolby Vision meets.”

The 85 member of DECE include Hollywood studios such as Lionsgate, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros. and Universal; as well as  video retailers and other technology companies. According to Teitell, there are now an estimated 15 million UltraViolet account holders in supported countries, and 12,000 supported movies and TV programs.

Meanwhile, Blu-Ray Discs with 4K support could be a reality by the end of the year, according to the Blu-Ray Disc Association’s global promotions committee chair Victor Matsuda.

Talking to THR at CES, he noted that the BDA board recently approved work to extend Blu-Ray to include 4K and will be exploring the best possible technical blueprint.

Driving this work are members of a task force made up of representatives from 17 companies including Sony, Technicolor, Dolby, Fox and Disney.

The target for completion is year’s end.

Email: Carolyn.Giardina@THR.com
Twitter: @CGinLA