January 08, 2018

Cobalt Digital’s Jesse Foster Discusses HDR’s Rosy Outlook for 2018

Industry insiders are forecasting 2018 to be the year of High Dynamic Range (HDR). At the ready are partners such as Cobalt Digital and Technicolor, who are working together to upgrade and develop new products that will enable the broadcast television industry to create and deliver vibrant HDR content and entertainment experiences.

This is in fact why Cobalt, which makes audio-visual equipment for the broadcast industry, is licensing Technicolor’s HDR Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) technology. Making the Technicolor HDR ITM feature optionally available on its new series of 12G/6G/3G/HD/SD-SDI 4K cards for its openGear platform – as well as its BBG-1000 series of stand-alone units and for certain versions of the 9902-UDX card – adds the potential to remonetize content for HDR distribution using existing hardware.

According to Jesse Foster, Director of Products and Business Development at Cobalt Digital, much of the HDR development for content is focused on concerts, sports, and other live events.

“Generally, those consumers are technically savvy, and if they can’t go to the concert or the game, they want to really have the best experience they can at their house,” he says. “We’re seeing the most excitement and actual tests and field work going on around those types of venues.”

As the technology matures, the broadcast industry’s interest in HDR is rapidly evolving – especially as it begins to implement ATSC 3.0, which includes support for HDR. With plans to incorporate HDR processing at multiple points within the broadcast delivery chain, Cobalt is aggressively marketing its new integration with Technicolor’s ITM, and participating in field tests and other industry events.

“The goal for broadcasting in the foreseeable future is to deliver one stream for both SDR and HDR, and to deliver a great HDR experience,” says Foster. “The next step is to fully leverage the Advanced HDR solution from Technicolor so that it finds its way onto our hardware offerings.”

Cobalt supports open standards, and whenever possible uses standards as a reference point. The company then adds features and functions to differentiate its products from others on the market. The partnership and development plans with Technicolor also give Cobalt first-to-market advantage.

“We definitely feel we have a leg up on the competition right now, based on the fact that we've embraced Technicolor’s HDR ITM processing,” concludes Foster.

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