[The Future of Viewing] ② HDR10+, The Secret Behind the High Resolution Detailing on QLED 8K

on 06-07-2020
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(From left to right) Youngwook Sohn, Guiwon Seo, Martin Junseob Kim, Beomjoon Seo and Seonseok Kim of the Picture Quality Solution Lab of Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business

 

To create the fully immersive picture quality of Samsung’s 2020 QLED 8K TVs, a variety of technologies came together. The 2020 QLED 8K TVs provides users with the best resolution in the industry thanks to 100% color volume, which can recreate around 1 billion different colors on-screen for a natural screen experience, anti-reflection 2.0 technology, which eliminates the effect of bright light conditions on the screen quality, and AI upscaling technology that enhances lower-resolution content into 8K picture quality.

 

Samsung’s 2020 QLED 8K TVs also feature HDR(High Dynamic Range)10+, an enhanced version of HDR10 that leverages dynamic metadata to maximize the contrast between each and every scene’s black level and peak brightness on a display. HDR10+ performs a key role in delivering users their best display experiences yet by optimizing brightness and contrast for each scene. Along with innovating users’ viewing experience, Samsung’s HDR10+ has also been setting new standards across the home entertainment industry at large.

 

Samsung Newsroom interviewed the developers at the Picture Quality Solution Lab of Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business to learn more about the game-changing HDR10+ technology and how it brings out hidden details on QLED 8K.

 

Enhancing Display Immersion with Vivid Details

In 2017, Samsung introduced its HDR10+ technology to bring more vivid TV watching experiences to viewers. The reason why HDR10+ has become a key element in ultra-high-resolution video is because of its rich contrast range and wide color gamut. “Previously, we followed the SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) standard that is characterized by a low brightness level of 100 nits and a narrow color gamut,” noted Seonseok Kim. “But when HDR10 was introduced, with its high brightness levels and wide color gamut of over 1,000 nits, we were able to offer brightness and color ranges to users that previously unimagined.”

 

Each content producer offers content with differing encoding methods, brightness and color settings. The resulting picture quality that viewers see can be different depending on the analysis methods done by HDR technologies. HDR10+ is unique as it breaks down the video into ‘scenes’ while processing the file. “The previous technology, HDR10, applied a singular contrast range curve to an entire video, but HDR10+ analyzes the average brightness, maximum brightness and accumulated data distribution by scene to apply different contrast range curves where appropriate,” highlighted Beomjoon Kim.

 

For example, when portraying a scene including an airplane flying across a heavily sunlit sky, contrast range is, of course, important but so is the gradation of the scene – gradation being the stages of change as a shot moves between light and dark. When gradation is poorly executed, the signal around the object in a scene can end up bound, meaning that details are blurred or excluded. “A good gradation of such a scene would present viewers with accurate representations of the sky and clouds as well as the airplane,” noted Guiwon Seo. “All characteristics in a video need to be analyzed to successfully achieve this. Our technology will automatically adjust the HDR curve when there is a high amount of gradation signal distribution to ensure these signals are not mixing with other specific gradation features.”

 

The image on the right, good gradation has been applied to bring out all of the scene’s details, even on the background clouds

 

Developing Algorithms for All Kinds of Display

Viewers can experience different picture qualities when watching the same video, depending on how bright their displays are. When posed the question of ‘what is the most difficult task in developing HDR technologies’, Martin Junseob Kim responded saying that it was ensuring that different TV products, with different brightness settings, could provide the same display experiences.

 

It is no small task to maximize the display effects of a video with the same analyzed video characteristics on TVs with various brightness settings. Nevertheless, the Picture Quality Solution Lab’s developers were able to overcome this challenge by developing a proprietary adaptable HDR processing algorithm, a process that took numerous discussions and much trial-and-error.

 

Development Fueled by Collaboration

Viewers need more than just a good quality TV to fully enjoy a piece of content with high quality detailing. To provide the most immersive TV watching experience possible, Samsung understands that collaboration with the home entertainment market at large, including content creators and streaming services, is necessary. This is why Samsung has been focusing on establishing the industry-wide standard specification for HDR10+.

 

“Samsung established HDR10+ Technologies, LLC, along with 20th Century Fox and the Panasonic Corporation, and as of January 2020, 94 companies had joined,” explained Youngwook Sohn. “We at HDR10+ Technologies, LLC, provide free specification details on the technology and the relevant tests, along with the verification logo and user guide. This allows us to bring more realistic and richly colored video images to more users. We are set to improve our HDR10+ specification based on feedback from each of our member companies.”

 

To produce high-quality TV displays, Samsung’s Picture Quality Solution Lab developers are constantly working hard to bring realistic video experiences to users; they are already on their way to realizing technologies that improve on existing ones. “Our goal is to bring about previously unimagined viewing experiences by creating the best possible HDR quality for next-generation displays,” affirmed Sohn.

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