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Anticipated Post-Pandemic Renaissance of Live Sports Offers Broadcasters Opportunity to Enhance Home Viewing Experience with HDR

By: PRLog

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Aug. 31, 2021 - PRLog -- The return of live sports -- including the 2021 Summer Olympics -- as we hopefully approach a post-pandemic era is encouraging sports fans around the world to gather and view major events in stadiums, bars, restaurants -- and homes. The challenge before broadcasters rests on delivering consistent, high quality, high dynamic range (HDR) and ultra-high definition (UHD) content while addressing unpredictable environments of outdoor events. So say Bob Nicholas, Vice President International Sales at Cobalt Digital and Guy Ducos, Business Development Executive for Advanced HDR by Technicolor in a recent podcast interview for journalists.

Getting HDR right in today's live broadcasting environment is critical because consumers have grown accustomed to the high production values that major theatrical releases and episodic television series make available through streaming services. This high-quality content stems from highly controlled studio environments and comprehensive post-production efforts that carefully apply HDR and UHD technologies to enhance the visual experience.

"This is a real challenge faced by live broadcasters that is not shared by streaming service providers. During live events, live broadcasters have to work with a mix of content -- the sporting or entertainment event itself and advertisements that are provided in a wide range of formats. Once they decide to broadcast in HDR they need to harmonize and distribute a consistent, high-quality broadcast stream," explains Ducos of Advanced HDR by Technicolor.

Advanced HDR by Technicolor is a suite of HDR production, distribution, and display solutions that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to maximize the image quality of any HDR format. The single stream solution (which simultaneously delivers standard dynamic range and high dynamic range signals) was designed to protect -- and enhance -- investments made by industry and consumers in legacy infrastructure and devices.

"Great strides have been made to address the complex challenges of delivering high-quality live broadcasts by integrating emerging technologies into the live production process to facilitate the delivery of enhanced video. Artificial intelligence, for instance, has emerged as a critical factor in managing the high level of complexity associated with optimizing the production and distribution of live content," says Nicholas of Cobalt Digital.

Cobalt Digital designs and manufactures award-winning edge devices that help live-video production and master-control clients transition to IP, UHD, HDR, the cloud, and beyond. The company brings a wealth of experience in optimizing outside broadcasting (OB) trucks to support the effective transmission of live events.

"With live sporting events, there is no post-production stage. This is forcing broadcasters to explore how to accept various video formats and levels of quality as input and then generate a single consistent high-quality broadcast stream to standard dynamic range (SDR) and HDR televisions. It is important for broadcasters to ensure that all end-users enjoy a consistent high-quality experience throughout the entire event," says Ducos.

Delivering on this imperative raises a range of technical and economic complexity. The single stream solution that Cobalt Digital and Advanced HDR by Technicolor offer broadcasters address both challenges.

"Placing Advanced HDR Technicolor within our 9904-UDX-4K cards, for instance,  makes HDR management easily accessible in the transmission chain for broadcasters. Moreover, there are many benefits to single-stream, apart from the fact that it significantly cuts down transmission costs," says Nicholas.

These attributes are capturing the interest of a growing number of broadcasters who are preparing to deliver enhanced live sporting experiences to their audiences.

"You can really see the benefits of our joint approach in the NextGen TV stations being deployed by the Sinclair Broadcast Group across the United States, which is using Advanced HDR by Technicolor," says Ducos.

Broadcasters are able to stream SDR with metadata, which means that any TV or mobile device can receive and display a high-quality image. The stream can then be converted to HDR by devices that are properly equipped.

To access the entire interview with Cobalt Digital's Robert Nicholas and Guy Ducos of Advanced HDR by Technicolor, visit:

Advanced HDR by Technicolor

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

Guy Ducos, Advanced HDR by Technicolor Bob Nicholas, Cobalt Digital Advanced HDR By Technicolor

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