London’s NYE fireworks give BBC 4K and HDR tests a blast

BBC Research and Development used London New Year’s Eve firework display to test the capabilities of 4K Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range technology.

BBC engineers worked alongside BBC One to capture the annual fireworks display across the River Thames opposite the London Eye using an HDR camera from ARRI.

High Dynamic Range is being developed as part of the move towards Ultra HD to deliver sharper, more colourful pictures which show a greater range of difference between the brightest and darkest images.

It’s quite common in still cameras, which can combine several shots of the same scene, but still in its infancy in cameras which require a new generation of image sensors.

Manish Pindoria, a BBC R&D engineer, blogged: “A fireworks show contains material that is ideally suited for HDR video as it has a very wide dynamic range, from the dark details of the sky and background at night, to the super bright explosion of the fireworks themselves.

“With HDR video we are able to capture and display potentially far more detail than would otherwise be available in a conventional camera; thereby producing significantly more realistic and vivid video, with the aim of maintaining this high level of realism all the way to the home screen.”

BBC R&D has been investigating a wide range of technologies that may feature in the next generation of broadcasting, from higher spatial resolution to wider colour gamut, and has identified High Dynamic Range as one of the most noticeable improvements.

Although still under development, HDR is one of the technologies under consideration by the DTG’s UK UHD Forum for future Ultra HD industry standards.

DTG Staff  |  15.01.2015

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