- Want to see live HDR production?
- Want to discover HDR and HFR real-time sport sequences?
- Want to test NextGen audio combined with HDR in a home environment?
- Come and visit the 4EVER-2 stand, Future Zone, 8.F24!
Everybody knows by now that the visual benefit brought by 4K is not sufficient to make a real difference compared with standard HDTV at home.
Everybody also knows that HDR (High Dynamic Range) can help to significantly increase this visual benefit, and that is very good news! Now is this improvement sufficient in terms of Quality of Experience?
We at 4EVER-2 think that HDR is strongly linked to HFR (High Frame Rate), because HFR technology improves the visual quality of high-motion pictures, especially for sports content. For example, blurry areas in fast moving scenes, like backgrounds, will look sharper, offering a greater sense of comfort, which will bring a great improvement when watching sport on TV.
Our demos this year will prove how both High Dynamic Range and High Frame Rate are needed to really change the Quality of Experience for video quality at home.
But TV Quality of Experience is not only a matter of image quality; it also requires the best of audio! This is why you will also be able to listen to NextGen audio on our stand, combined with our UHD-TV phase 2 sequences, for a completely new audiovisual experience.
Now, it’s one thing to present beautiful sequences, but it’s another one to prove that they can be produced and delivered with realistic and cost-effective solutions. So we have worked in 4EVER-2 on this essential aspect through experiments on TV major events, as well as in our labs, researching and doing quality perception evaluations.
To share our conclusions, we have set up for IBC2016 several demonstrations of our results:
– Live HDR shooting, encoded (HEVC) and broadcast (DVB-T2) continuously during the IBC Show, from the brand new AMPVisualTV OBvan “MS12” (exhibited on the outdoor VIDELIO MEDIA stand 0.E02), alternating an HDR live signal from a Sony HDC-4300 Camera System and pre-registered HDR TV sequences, all associated with binaural audio. The goal is to prove that a mature and cost effective end-to-end technical chain is available now, so we use HDR HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) technology that allows a single production to generate both HDR and non HDR (SDR) formats at the same time.
– A real-time encoding and distribution chain (DVB-S2) of combined HDR and HFR sequences towards a 2016 LG 4K OLED TV through several format combinations: 4K-HFR and HD-HDR-HFR. This will be a great opportunity to realize how much benefit can be brought by HFR and how this technology can easily be integrated into the delivery chain.
– NextGen audio associated to HDR sequences, especially with binaural sound to provide a full immersive audiovisual Quality of Experience.
HEVC encoders are provided by ATEME, HEVC decoders come from INSA and HEVC players are developed by Télécom ParisTech. DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 solutions come from TeamCast. Pre-registered HFR and HDR sequences have all been shot by AMPVisualTV, France Télévisions and Orange during live events. Binaural and object-based sound is generated by France Télévisions and Orange.
Ultra High Definition phase 2 technologies, NextGen audio and challenges
When HDR technology is correctly implemented and configured on every component of the technical chain, from the camera to the screen, and going through appropriate compression methods, it provides an experience closer to what the human vision system can get in the real world. For example, sensation of immersion is very strong with scenes offering a mix of dark and very bright areas. HDR also offers more details in high lights like specular lights, breaking current rules on TV production.
Appropriate video representation and compression capacities are key characteristics for supporting today’s video sensor extensive sensibility without altering the data quality and the color gamut.
4EVER-2 has worked on a number of HDR curves and has also studied backward compatibility to non HDR displays. HEVC encoding adaptation to this new kind of video signal with extensive dynamic has also been taken into account.
Hybrid Log Gamma curve is a good candidate today, because it offers a compromise between HDR and non HDR needs, for TV production but also for TV distribution.
HFR solves some issues in relation with the rendering of motion on TV. In particular it reduces blur artifact that is due to the exposition time of the camera sensor. Thanks to HFR technology, we can provide a much more comfortable experience to the viewer and we can recover a very natural feeling, closer to the real world experience when capturing fast moving actions like sports.
Thanks to HEVC efficiency, the sharpness of HFR images can be reproduced on the TV panel with no additional cost in terms of bitrate. This conclusion was confirmed by the latest subjective tests showing that for the same bitrate, HFR encoding always provides the same or better quality pictures when compared to conventional frame rate encoding.
Nextgen audio combines several new features to personalize the listener experience and adapt it to the environment (available hardware, disability, ambient noise). Thanks to the Object-Based Audio approach, which adds a rendering processor within the receiver, the user can now adjust the intelligibility level, switch on binaural immersive sound when listening over headphones or quickly access to alternative languages or descriptive commentary.
The combination of HFR, HDR and NextGen audio allows reaching a totally new and immersive audiovisual Quality of Experience and provides the opportunity for defining new content production grammar.
The main challenge remains the set-up of an HDR and HFR high quality production workflow that does not require a double production system (one for HD and one for UHD) in order to minimize extra production cost, and which must, therefore, still focus at first on legacy HDTV production.
Next steps for 4EVER-2 partners
4EVER-2 next step will be to demonstrate live HDR and HFR production on premium events, with live broadcasting over several distribution networks, and still in collaboration with major industrial manufacturers.
4EVER-2 project also intends to continue contributing to standardization bodies and international forums working on Ultra High Definition, as well as to share their visual assessment results and live trial results with these communities.
About 4EVER-2 (More information at www.4ever-2.com and https://twitter.com/4ever_project)
4EVER-2 is a French collaborative project of nine academic and industrial partners: Orange, AMP Visual TV, ATEME, France Télévisions, GlobeCast, Highlands Technologies Solutions, INSA Rennes, TeamCast and Télécom ParisTech. 4EVER-2 has also established collaborations with centers of international public and industrial research and with numerous suppliers of TV production work equipment and display manufacturers.
Started in June 2015, this project follows 4EVER (June 2012-June 2015), which successfully demonstrated that the technologies of UHD TV and HEVC standard allowed a significant improvement in the perception of video quality. The main objective of 4EVER-2 is to identify, test and evaluate technologies for live production and transmission to clearly improve the user experience compared to standard services while controlling their impact on the end-to-end technical chain.