Samsung Electronics and Amazon used the site of next week’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention Wednesday to formally announce that Amazon Video will be carrying content with dynamic metadata supporting Samsung’s HDR10+ technology.

HDR10+ is a Samsung-developed “open standard” that will bring HDR-like benefits—including enhanced contrast and colors–to a wide range of HDR-supporting Ultra HDTVs.

All of Samsung’s 2017 Ultra HDTVs, including the top-tier Q series models, support HDR10+ out of the box, and Samsung’s 2016 4K Ultra HDTVs will soon add support for it through a pending firmware update, the company said.

Samsung will be looking for additional partners to consider adding support for the open HDR10+ system in broadcast and streaming services as well as other televisions.

Read more on Samsung’s HDR10+ announcement after the jump:

In the announcement, both Samsung and Amazon revealed that Amazon Prime Video will be the first streaming service provider to begin development of streaming content with HDR10+ dynamic metadata for its audiences.

HDR10 is the open baseline standard for high dynamic range (HDR), which was first offered in the market through select Amazon Video 4K Ultra HD streaming programs in May 2015. It was used in first-generation 4K Ultra HD HDR-enabled TVs from manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG and others and continues to be widely used in 4K Ultra HDTVs with HDR today.

Although HDR10 is the most broadly used HDR standard today, it is based on static metadata.

Samsung’s HDR10+ system enhances the HDR10 HDR standard using dynamic metadata to perform dynamic tone mapping. This will enable scene-by-scene color mapping to complement the enhanced brightness levels already in the scene.

The current HDR10 standard uses static metadata that remains at one level throughout the playback of a program, despite changes in scene-specific brightness levels. As a result, image quality may not be optimal in some scenes. For example, when a movie’s overall color scheme is very bright but has a few scenes filmed in relatively dim lighting, those scenes will appear significantly darker than what was originally envisioned by the director.

HDR10+ incorporates dynamic metadata that allows an HDR TV to adjust brightness levels on a scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame basis. Samsung said HDR10+ will produce images that are closer to the director’s intent by producing not only a wider range of contrast from dark blacks to bright whites, but will include more detailed highlights and a richer range of colors, as well.

HDR10+ should not be confused with the similarly named HDR+ system that was developed to bring HDR-like brightness and color boosting benefits to TVs with only standard dynamic range (SDR) capabilities.

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“As an advanced HDR10 technology, HDR10+ offers an unparalleled HDR viewing experience — vivid picture, better contrast and accurate colors — that brings HDR video to life,” said Kyoungwon Lim, Samsung Visual Display Division VP. “We’re excited to work with world-class industry partners, including Amazon Video, to bring more amazing HDR content directly to our 2017 UHD TVs, including our QLED TV lineup.”

Samsung said it is also working with others in the industry to deliver HDR10+ supporting content through the development of an HDR10+ ecosystem.

Previously, Samsung collaborated with Colorfront to improve HDR10+ workflows for creative post-production mastering by using Colorfront’s Transkoder. Samsung also partnered with MulticoreWare to complete the integration of HDR10+ support in the x265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which is available for free under an open source license, and is used by many popular commercial encoding system providers including Telestream, Haivision, and Rohde and Schwarz.


By Greg Tarr


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