Technicolor, Sinclair Complete Live High Dynamic Range Broadcast Test

The companies will be discussing their strategy at next week's NAB Show in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Just prior to the start of the National Association of Broadcasters Show, which opens this weekend in Las Vegas, Technicolor and Sinclair Broadcast Group revealed that they have completed a live broadcast test of Ultra HD (4K resolution) with high dynamic range (HDR), based on the proposed new broadcast system known as ATSC 3.0.

There's been a lot of attention on new Ultra HD (4K) TVs, which have the potential to display four times the resolution of today’s HD; and HDR, a feature that increases the range between the whitest whites and blackest blacks for a more realistic picture. But currently, there isn’t a system in place to broadcast these images live and over the air.

That’s what Technicolor and Sinclair are working towards. According to the companies, both HDR and legacy devices such as TVs and tablets, received and displayed the broadcast signal during the test. And, the companies claim its system met many of the requirements of the new proposed television standard from the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC).

A system for live over the air broadcasting of Ultra HD and HDR images will likely take years to implement as there are a lot of moving parts and needed standards. “We’re building a path toward new broadcast TV services that are appropriate for UHD and HDR," Vince Pizzica, Technicolor's senior executive vp of corporate development and technology, said in a statement. "We’re excited to reach the first milestone in our testing of real-world, challenging environments. This latest series of over-the-air tests confirms that Technicolor's HDR video solutions support broadcast at HD and 4K resolutions, as well as for standard dynamic range and mobile devices."

Technicolor has been demonstrating HDR images at select trade shows since CES in 2014, but is expected to reveal more of its strategy next week at NAB.

Currently, select streaming services such as Netflix deliver some 4K content (and Netflix has said it aims to add HDR to its lineup). Meanwhile, the Blu-Ray Disc Association has developed an updated format with Ultra HD and HDR support that it plans to begin to roll out later this year.