Advanced Television

4K High Dynamic Range debuts

July 29, 2015

By Chris Forrester

On May 20th the Coppa Italia final (Juventus vs Lazio) took place at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, before 60,000 dedicated fans. Juventus won 2-1 in extra time, and secured the trophy for the tenth time.

So far, so ordinary. But this game was captured with the latest Sony HDR 4K cameras, and claimed to be the first football event ever to be shot in 50p High Dynamic Range.

The game, captured by Rome-based production house DBW Communications, has now been followed up by the company filming “The Barber of Seville”, again in 4K-High Dynamic Range, and again claiming a World’s First for an opera. DBW were working with RAI Com, the commercial arm of Italian public broadcaster RAI.

The production was captured at Turin’s Teatro Regio using 8 camera positions (itself a challenge in often cramped opera houses) to accommodate the Sony PMW-F55 cameras and matching 4K Prime Lenses for their optics.

HDR does what it says on the tin, showing significantly improved – and realistic – images in terms of shadow and light. Indeed, Netflix said back in June that HDR is a more significant step forward than ‘ordinary’ 4K images. They are mastering their new Marco Polo drama series in HDR. Netflix’s Neil Hunt (chief product officer) said:  “With 4K, there are enough pixels on the screen that your eyeball can’t really perceive any more detail, so now the quest for more realism turns into, can we put better pixels on the screen?” said Hunt. “I think that’s actually a more important quality improvement to get to the brightness and detail in the picture than the 4K is by itself.”

DBW and RAI.Com will showcase ‘The Barber of Seville’ at MIPCOM (October 5th – 9th).

Categories: Articles, Production, UHD