In Broadcast - August 2019 - 28

28

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 9 - Issue 7 | August 2019

InForm

Cobalt Simplifies HDR
Workflow for Live Sports
Production
T

here's no denying the appeal
of high dynamic range (HDR). It
delivers noticeably better image quality
with minimal bandwidth increase.
However, while HDR continues to gain
popularity with viewers, broadcasters
need to preserve standard dynamic
range (SDR), at least for the near
future, because a large number of
legacy consumer televisions do not
support HDR. That said, hiring separate
trucks and crews to produce one event
in HDR and SDR is cost prohibitive.

Real-Time Image Processing
Cobalt Digital has developed a
solution to eliminate the need for
broadcasters to use separate SDR
and HDR cameras and processing
paths for HD and 4K live sports. With
Cobalt's flagship 9904-UDX-4K up/
down/cross converter and image
processor, broadcasters can convert
SDR sources - including cameras,
servers, and graphics systems - for
HDR productions (using a process
called Inverse Tone Mapping). The
9904-UDX-4K provides an ideal
hardware platform for Technicolor
HDR solutions including the HDR
Intelligent Tone Management (ITM)
software, which offers real-time HDRto-SDR and SDR-to-HDR conversion.
In June, Cobalt's solution helped
France TV to produce and distribute
HDR and SDR content for the French

Figure 1: Cobalt HDR conversion

Open tennis tournament. Last year,
in the United States, AT&T relied on
Cobalt to deliver 4K HDR imagery of
its live coverage of "MLB Network
Showcase" games. NBC Sports
Group also delivered all seven home
games of the Notre Dame Fighting
Irish American football team's 2018
season in 4K HDR for AT&T's DirecTV
subscribers. The football games
were produced on site in 1080p and
upconverted live to 4K HDR using the
9904-UDX-4K in the mobile production
truck.
"Broadcasters see the value of
delivering HDR content using existing
HD and 4K equipment, which is why
Cobalt's HDR conversion solution
has been deployed by so many
truck operators and OTT providers,"
explained Chris Shaw, Cobalt Executive
Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
"The 9904-UDX-4K helps keep
operating and capital expenses low
while providing visually superior HDR
and SDR results."
Input Choices
Built for the openGear platform,
9904-UDX-4K
provides
diverse
input choices, including single link
12G-SDI quad-link 3G-SDI for 4K, plus
an integrated frame synchroniser
and a wide range of output formats.
Although many products are unable
to accept signals that differ from the

Real-time HDR / SDR conversion
with Cobalt's 9904-UDX-4K

house
reference
feed, the 9904-UDX-4K
accepts a variety of signals
and can convert them for use in a live
production. Other features include
audio
embedding/de-embedding,
keying, logo insertion, full RGB colour
correction, and LUT options that
provide 33 cube LUT mapping between
10-bit RGB and HDR colour spaces.
Software Capabilities
Technicolor HDR ITM, available
as a software upgrade for existing
9904-UDX-4K cards, uses a dynamic
algorithm to optimise each image in
real-time, essentially defining how
the available dynamic range is used.
It manages brighter lights and darker
shadows to deliver sharper, more
realistic images. While it automatically
adjusts content dynamically and
allows manual adjustments on the fly,
Technicolor's technology also allows
the use of preset profiles during
conversions to reflect different artistic
sensibilities.
Format Options
There are competing SDR-to-HDR
conversion technologies available, but
the Technicolor solution offers several
advantages, including a "learning"
algorithm that delivers outstanding
results, even if the operator is not an
HDR specialist. Bright spot analysis
and management ensures excessive
bright spots are not created during the
conversion process, and embedded
noise reduction optimises input
images before up-conversion.
The SDR input can be converted to
many HDR output formats - including
S-LOG3, HLG, or PQ. During live
events, the technology upconverts SDR
cameras or contribution feeds to HDR

(see Fig. 1.) The Cobalt/Technicolor
solution also performs SDR-to-HDR
conversion on previously recorded
content, allowing broadcasters to
further monetise archived content.
Technicolor HDR technology can
also be used to down-convert any high
quality HDR to a corresponding high
quality SDR, defining transfer curves to
describe the optimised conversion for
each image. As this down-conversion is
dynamic, any change in the HDR input
will be automatically reproduced in the
derived SDR, saving the need to have
two video engineers, one for HDR and
one for SDR.
For
distribution,
the
same
technology can also generate a single
layer video stream to distribute
SDR and HDR content with dynamic
metadata (SL-HDR). As a result, when
a network service provider transmits
an SDR feed that was generated from
HDR content, it will automatically
deliver a full HDR experience if
the viewer's TV or set-top box is
compatible.

"The 9904-UDX-4K helps
keep operating and capital
expenses low while providing
visually superior HDR
and SDR results"
Chris Shaw, Cobalt


http://www.inbroadcast.com http://www.cobaltdigital.com http://www.cobaltdigital.com http://www.cobaltdigital.com

In Broadcast - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - August 2019

Contents
In Broadcast - August 2019 - Intro
In Broadcast - August 2019 - Cover1
In Broadcast - August 2019 - Cover2
In Broadcast - August 2019 - Contents
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 4
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 5
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 6
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 7
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 8
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 9
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 10
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 11
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 12
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 13
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 14
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 15
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 16
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 17
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 18
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 19
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 20
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 21
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 22
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 23
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 24
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 25
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 26
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 27
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 28
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 29
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 30
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 31
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 32
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 33
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 34
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 35
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 36
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 37
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 38
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 39
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 40
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 41
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 42
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 43
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 44
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 45
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 46
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 47
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 48
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 49
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 50
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 51
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In Broadcast - August 2019 - 54
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 55
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 56
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 57
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 58
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 59
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 60
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 61
In Broadcast - August 2019 - 62
In Broadcast - August 2019 - Cover3
In Broadcast - August 2019 - Cover4
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