Samsung HDR10+ Certification Program, Q8FN QLED Series Go Big Screen
On the day Samsung’s HDR10+ high dynamic range (HDR) licensing and certification program was formally launched, the South Korean TV manufacturer gave a group of U.S. AV technical press an update on its 2018 4K Ultra HD QLED TV lines, all of which support the dynamic metadata-based HDR format.
During the session in its New York City SoHo “loft,” which was set up to demonstrate the extensive home automation tasks that can be executed via vocal commands over Samsung’s Bixby platform, Scott Cohen, Samsung TV product retail trainer, revealed that the company has added a new 82-inch screen size to the Q8FN series tier (for the North American market), which is one step down from the flagship Q9FN series.
Both series offer direct full-array LED back lighting with local dimming. This greatly improves black levels over more edge-lit LED LCD displays in lower tier models, and has higher peak brightness levels. The Q9FN offers more LED back light zones for better lighting control and brightness.
All of the 2018 QLED tier televisions incorporate a film layer containing quantum dot nano particles that boost color, color volume and color gamut, in addition to enhancing the contrast performance of the television. This works in association with the company’s powerful proprietary processing chip, as well as Q Color and Q contrast processing systems.
Samsung’s higher-end models also include an advanced glare-reduction filter that helps to dispel reflections and ambient light interference with the contrast and black levels.
Cohen said that although Samsung has won praise for the 2018 One Connect outboard connector hub with a single thin-cord connection carrying power and source signals to the panel, some retailers/installers have reported that the outboard box isn’t ideal for all set ups and installations. The Q8F series, therefore, omits the One Connect box for a more conventional input connection approach.
The newly added 82-inch Samsung QN82Q8FN (shipping in August at a price to be announced), like Samsung’s HDR10+ HDR profile, addresses the growing consumer demand for larger screen size televisions, and maintains a high level of picture quality at the same time. The 82-inch model joins models measuring 55-, 65- and 75-inches in the line.
Meanwhile, Samsung and its HDR10+ parterns — Panasonic and Fox — are now encouraging more display and device manufacturers and brands to start licensing and supporting the HDR10+ HDR profile in new-generation 4K UHD products. Samsung (globally) and Panasonic (outside of the U.S.) already sell HDR10+ certified TVs, although so far HDR10+ enabled source devices are scarce. Panasonic plans to market a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player that later in the year will support HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR profiles.
“With an increase in demand for larger displays and premium picture quality, we are thrilled to announce a new HDR10+ licensing and certification program,” said Bill Mandel, Vice President of Industry Relations at Samsung Research America. “This program was designed with consumers in mind, highlighting our commitment to improving the overall HDR experience while simultaneously extending the HDR10+ ecosystem globally.”
The HDR10+ format was developed and championed by Samsung, which enlisted supporters 20th Century Fox and Panasonic. HDR10+ now has been transferred into a joint venture company called HDR10+ Technologies, including the initial, aforementioned members.
“The royalty-free adoption of HDR10+ for content production, distribution and consumption has already gained momentum with over 40 supporting companies,” the Alliance said, adding that the technology “was designed to allow for future development and innovation in order to deliver a more powerful technology in the years to come.”
On the content provider side, both Amazon and Warner Bros have committed to offering HDR10+ content through their services.
Unlike the similar Dolby Vision HDR profile, HDR10+ is an open form of dynamic HDR, which will not have royalty-based licening fees like the competing Dolby Vision profile, although there are certain agreements participants will have to make to sign up.
For example, the HDR10+ license for display and playback devices imposes nominal annual administration fees and will licensees will have to submit products for certification testing.
In exchange for agreeing to the HDR10+ Alliance terms and conditions, members will have access to a logo they can use to help consumers quickly identify that a product supports the HDR10+ profile.
HDR10+ uses dynamic tone mapping to present scene by scene or even frame by frame variations in brightness, color saturation, and contrast.
As with Dolby Vision, at it’s core is the base HDR10 HDR profile that uses static metadata based on one set of color grading parameters for an entire production. This base layer, ensures backward compatibility with HDR10 televisions.
According to the HDR10+ Alliance mission statement: “The HDR10+ license and logo certification is available to interested companies that meet HDR10+ technical and testing specifications. The HDR10+ certification program qualifies the compliance based on different device categories and their technical performance to ensure that HDR10+ compliant products meet high standards for picture quality.”
“The new HDR10+ licensing and certification program represents a technological step forward for next generation displays,” said Danny Kaye, EVP, 20th Century Fox and Managing Director, Fox Innovation Lab. “HDR10+ improves the viewing experience for all audiences by delivering higher picture quality to a wider range of affordable TVs and devices.”
By Greg Tarr
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