Technicolor offers HDR grading services and software licensing

Monday, April 13th, 2015
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Technicolor Offers HDR Grading Services and Software Licensing to Empower Content Creators and Broadcasters with Next Generation Video Capabilities

  • Company makes commitment to supporting High Dynamic Range content development and distribution across entertainment ecosystem

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; OTCQX: TCLRY) today announced it will further support content creators in the transition to next generation video technology by expanding its color grading service offering to include high dynamic range (HDR) grading for movies, TV shows and commercials. Additionally, the company is licensing an Intelligent Tone Management plugin that will enable broadcasters to create HDR content in their own facilities, empowering an additional segment of the entertainment ecosystem with next generation video capabilities.

These tools and services are part of Technicolor’s ongoing commitment to enabling HDR across all aspects of content creation and distribution. The demand for studios and broadcasters to provide HDR content is increasingly important as new HDR-enabled devices come to market. HDR is a standard feature of UltraHD Blu-ray, part of the Ultra HD specifications to be determined by the UHD Alliance and under consideration for the next generation broadcasting standard ATSC 3.0.

“Moving the industry forward in production and display technology has been part of Technicolor’s mandate since the invention of color in film,” said Vince Pizzica, Technicolor SEVP corporate development & technology. “We understand the massive changes new technologies drive across the ecosystem and are committed to leading these industry developments by empowering every segment, from production and creative services, to delivery, through device technologies and set-top boxes. As the only company in the world that spans the entire workflow of video content, only Technicolor can truly offer an end-to-end solution for High Dynamic Range video.”

HDR grading for legacy and new content

Technicolor’s HDR grading services expand the dynamic range for an increase in video quality that more closely matches what the human eye actually sees. The result is a more realistic, immersive cinematic experience with greater depth, richer colors and more details in both the shadows and highlights. HDR color grading services will launch at Technicolor facilities in 2015, beginning in Los Angeles, and will include a range of solutions and budgets for both existing libraries and new content creation from camera captured RAW content.

Projects will be graded to the HDR specifications set forth by the UHD Alliance, a global coalition of leading film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers, content distributors and technology companies that have aligned to define the next generation premium UHD experiences including high dynamic range, wide color gamut, high frame rates and advanced audio. Technicolor is a founder and board member of the UHD Alliance.

Intelligent Tone Management plugin licensing for major color grading systems

The new Technicolor Intelligent Tone Management plugin will give broadcasters and content owners new options for efficiently producing HDR content by analyzing video content in real-time and providing colorists with direct control of luminance in the shadows, mid-tones and highlights for an unparalleled level of control for grading both HDR and Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) legacy content. The plugin will be licensed by Technicolor across multiple popular color grading platforms including Autodesk’s Lustre and Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve. An OpenFX version of the plugin will also be available, enabling use across all platforms that support the interoperable plugin format.

“Autodesk’s Lustre has a long history with Technicolor, so we’re thrilled to see the company’s new Intelligent Tone Management plugin launch on our system,” said Marc Stevens, Autodesk’s vice president of film & television solutions. “The plugin does a fantastic job of helping colorists control whole sections of an image simultaneously, creating a rapid HDR grade that colorists can then trim or fine tune using Lustre’s advanced tools.”

“We’re excited that Technicolor is offering its many years of color science and grading experience to our DaVinci Resolve customers via its Intelligent Tone Management plugin,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “Demand for HDR content is growing and we’re seeing the community embrace it’s power so this is a perfect time for the launch of a Resolve plugin to fully explore the new medium.”

The plugin will be on display at the Autodesk (Booth #SL3317) and Blackmagic (Booth #SL219) booths during the National Association of Broadcasters’ Show in Las Vegas April 11-16.

World’s first UHD and HDR free over-the-air broadcast

In addition to support for content creators, Technicolor continues to iterate new technologies for the delivery of HDR content, most recently through the successful demonstration of the world’s first UHD with HDR live broadcast based on proposed ATSC 3.0 technologies.

The series of broadcasts, integrated into Sinclair’s experimental OFDM transmission system and transmitted under real-world conditions outside of a laboratory, delivered high quality HDR content broadcast at HD and 4K/UHD resolutions in a single-layer with backwards compatible standard dynamic range. Both HDR and legacy devices, including fixed position TVs and mobile devices, were all able to receive and display the broadcast signal. Based on open standards from MPEG (HEVC, SHVC, 3D Audio from MPEG-H) plus HDR, with MMT and DASH transport streaming standards, and Technicolor’s Staggercast and Fast Channel Change technologies, the broadcast met the most ATSC 3.0 requirements of any previously demonstrated system.

This latest test follows the Technicolor and Sinclair’s deployment of Technicolor’s ATSC 3.0 4K UltraHD test bed platform and receipt of an over-the-air signal, an industry first completed in October.

HDR set-top box for pay-TV operators

To ensure the creative vision behind every piece of content is delivered to the consumer as intended, Technicolor is developing the world’s first UHD, High Frame Rate (p60), HDR set-top box. Designed for pay-TV operators looking to leverage the benefits of UHD, the box will decode both HDR and SDR versions of the same content using Technicolor’s backwards-compatible, single-stream HEVC solution for HDR delivery. With this solution, operators will be able to deploy a single set-top box to consumers that will accommodate both current SDR signals and the transition to next generation video technologies.