Panasonic and Fox join Samsung to back HDR10+ dynamic metadata standard

posted on Tuesday, 29th August 2017 by Steve May

4K  HDR  IFA 2017  Dolby Vision 

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Dolby may be undisputed king of 3D audio with Dolby Atmos, but it’s finding support for Dolby Vision amongst the CE community an uphill battle.

Now both 20th Century Fox and Panasonic have partnered with Samsung to create an open dynamic metadata platform for HDR (High Dynamic Range), with associated certification and logo, using the rival Samsung developed HDR10+ standard.

The three companies are forming a management body to license HDR10+ from January 2018. The royalty-free HDR metadata standard will be offered to content companies, makers of HDR TVs and playback devices, and chip vendors. The group says only a nominal administrative fee will be charged.

The Hollywood major has a history of working closely with Samsung, but Panasonic is a more unlikely bedfellow. Earlier this year, Samsung announced Amazon Video as a supporter of the technology.

“As leaders in home entertainment content and hardware, the three companies are ideal partners for bringing HDR10+ into the homes of consumers everywhere,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are committed to making the latest technology available in our TVs and are confident that HDR10+ will deliver premium quality content and enhance the way you experience television programs and movies in the home.”

Like Dolby Vision, HDR10+ automatically optimizes brightness, colour and contrast for each scene. With basic HDR10, static tone mapping applies fixed enhancement across an entire piece of content. 

“HDR10+ is a technological step forward that optimizes picture quality for next generation displays,” said Danny Kaye, Executive Vice President at 20th Century Fox and Managing Director of the Fox Innovation Lab. “HDR10+ provides dynamic metadata, which precisely describes every scene to deliver unprecedented picture quality. Working in partnership with Panasonic and Samsung through the Fox Innovation Lab, we are able to bring new platforms like HDR10+ to the market that more accurately realize the vision of our filmmakers beyond the theater.”

Samsung says the HDR10+ platform will support future development “in order to deliver a more powerful technology in the years to come.”

“Panasonic has a long history of working with industry leaders to develop lasting technical formats. We are delighted to work together with 20th Century Fox and Samsung to develop a new HDR format, which will bring consumers so many benefits,” said Yuki Kusumi, Executive Officer at Panasonic. “By offering considerable HDR picture quality improvements across a wider range of TVs while accelerating the amount of premium HDR content available, we expect HDR10+ to quickly become the defacto HDR format.”

It's not clear yet what content, be it packaged media or streamed, will get HDR10+, or indeed in what territories. Neither is it clear if there is any backwards compatibility for 2017 or older sets, via firmware updates. Visitors to IFA this week, can expect to hear more about HDR10+ technology, but it remains to be seen if this alliance is actually more about politicking than picture quality. Demonstrations of HDR10+ are promised for CES 2018.

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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