Digital technology giants 20th Century Fox, Panasonic Corporation, and Samsung Electronics have announced a new tripartite partnership which would see them creating an open, royalty-free dynamic metadata platform for High Dynamic Range (HDR). The platform would be created through an associated certification and logo program which is tentatively called HDR10+. The three partnership would form a licensing body which would begin issuing the license for the HDR10+ platform in January 2018.
Samsung first announced the new HDR10+ (HDR10 Plus) standard in April 2017 in conjunction with Amazon Video. HDR10+ is an update of the HDR10 standard, adding dynamic metadata which is based on Samsung application SMPTE ST 2094-40. The dynamic metadata is additional data that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis. HDR10+ is a royalty-free open standard and is supported by Colorfront’s Transkoder and MulticoreWare's x265. HDR10+ video is already expected to hit Amazon Video later in 2017. With this latest tripartite licensing partnership, the metadata license will be open to content companies, ultra-high definition TVs, Blu-ray disc players/recorders and set-top box manufacturers, as well as System-on-Chips(SoC) vendors, without having them pay royalty but only a nominal administrative fee.
According to Samsung, the cutting-edge HDR10+ technology, building upon the benefits of HDR televisions, offers the best possible viewing experience for next generation displays. It provides unprecedented picture quality on all displays with brightness, color, and contrast automatically optimized for each scene. Whereas in the case of previous standards like HDR10, static tone mapping applied a fixed enhancement across an entire piece of content. With HDR10+ dynamic tone mapping, every scene is individually enhanced to bring to life vibrant visuals and achieve unprecedented picture quality. This new enhanced visual experience will enable viewers to see pictures that match the intention of filmmakers.
They also went further to highlight the numerous benefits that would be enjoyed by partners who adopt the platform for their HDR10+ compliant products. One of the benefits is that HDR10+ offers system flexibility, thus allowing a variety of partners, including content creators, content distributors, TV manufacturers and device makers, to incorporate this platform and improve the viewing experience for audiences. The HDR10+ platform was designed to allow for future development and innovation in order to deliver a more powerful technology in the years to come.
Samsung and Panasonic will provide further details of the HDR10+ technology at their various booths during IFA Berlin 2017. The three companies also disclosed that they will be announcing the modalities for the licensing program as well as provide a demonstration of the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas.