As Sky launches 4K HDR on Sky Italia, is a UK announcement on 4K HDR broadcasts imminent?

posted on Monday, 21st May 2018 by Steve May

4K  HDR  Broadcast  Sky Q 

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It seems HDR from Sky UK isn’t that far off. Sister company Sky Italia has already begun broadcasting 4K HDR, using HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) on the Sky Q platform. Initial content available in 4K HDR includes the EUFA Europa League, La Notte Del Maestro, Rafaello principle dell Arte, Sky original production Britannia and a range of movies, including Baby Driver, Spider-Man Homecoming, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Tower, Scarlett Johansson’s Crazy night and Moonlight. 

Those Sky subscribers without an HLG compatible 4K TV will see the programming in 2160p resolution but without the extended dynamic range offered by HDR.

Sky’s decision to support HLG echoes the stance of the BBC on HDR. “Compatibility with non-HDR TVs is not optional,” says BBC Technology Head Andy Quested. “All BBC commissions will be HLG – unless someone pays us an awful lot more money to make it in something other than HLG.” Co-productions will likely be PQ/HDR10. Quested expects programme acquisitions to be in PQ/HDR10, but says distribution will be in HLG.

Quested says that the BBC will be HDR mastering to a 1000 cd/m2 nits reference (“this seems to be the sweet spot”) using Dolby PRM-4200 monitors, using HLG Look-Up Tables. “This will do for televisions for quite some time to come, even though we know TV manufacturers will want to get 10,000 nits onto their screens soon.”

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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