Today’s TV signal is dull compared to what the eye can discern.
What if you could see images on your TV that delivered all the brightness levels your eyes are capable of seeing? Today our TV standards top out at only about 100 nits, and yet we’re capable of seeing and discerning 100,000 times that. (Nits are a measure of brightness, also known as candelas per square meter, or cd/m2. For reference, a 100-watt light bulb radiates about 18,000 nits.)
Dolby says their new imaging technology will help content creators and TV manufacturers deliver true-to-life brightness, colors, and contrast. It augments the fidelity of Ultra HD and HD video signals for over-the-top online streaming, broadcast, and gaming applications by maintaining and reproducing the dynamic range and color palette of the original content.
Even though most television shows and movies are recorded using camera technology that captures the colors and brightness of real life, much of that richness is lost as the content is passed through various stages of distribution. That’s because current television and cinema standards are based on the limitations of old technologies and require that the original video content be altered—dramatically reducing the range of colors, brightness, and contrast—before it can be reproduced for transmission and playback.
Dolby says their new imaging technology changes that, giving creative teams the freedom to use a fuller range of colors, peak brightness, and local contrast with the confidence that once the content is encoded for transmission with Dolby’s new imaging technology, it can be reproduced on televisions with Dolby’s new technology.
According to the company, what Dolby’s technology will deliver to consumers is dramatically brighter and more vivid images with more accurate color and higher contrast to make it easier to discern details that might have previously gone unnoticed. The technology will do this through an expanded color palette for movies and broadcasts to include more of the colors the human eye can actually see.
Dolby believes that it will succeed because this new technology will allow creative teams to use the full range of colors, peak brightness, and local contrast already captured with current camera technologies. This new technology will, says Dolby, give the creative teams the confidence that films and TV shows encoded and transmitted with Dolby’s new imaging technology will be reproduced faithfully on televisions.
Dolby says their new imaging technology is already getting support from all points in the ecosystem, from those who create and distribute entertainment content, to those who manufacture the devices to display it.
Filmmakers and other content creators get to unleash their creativity with the broader range of colors and brightness already captured by their cameras, and TV OEMs can offer consumers a dramatically improved video experience, regardless of screen size or distance.
TV manufacturers such as Sharp and TCL are showing prototype televisions at CES that illustrate the benefits of Dolby Vision on various panel types and screen sizes. In addition, Dolby has fostered an Ecosystem with partners like Amazon (Amazon Instant Video), Microsoft (Xbox Video), and VUDU. They hope to deliver movies and television shows in Dolby Vision once there are TVs in the market and content mastered and graded in Dolby Vision.
More background on the technology can be found at Dolby Lab Notes blog: http://blog.dolby.com/2013/12/tv-bright-enough/