Sponsored Article from AJA Video Systems

 

Simplifying HDR Workflows for Live Broadcast & Sports Productions

During the pandemic, expanded use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual cameras has enabled broadcasters to deliver a more enriching and interactive experience for audiences at home.

Complementing traditional live broadcasts with VR/AR content or second-screen experiences for mobile devices or headsets expands entertainment offerings, while also providing consumers with more personalised content tailored to their unique preferences. Immersive AR and VR technologies and second-screen media have a wide variety of practical uses for live sports broadcasts; from allowing fans to follow along with real-time player statistics and team data, to offering virtual courtside seats with camera angles that provide the best views of adrenaline-charged gameplay, incorporating immersive technologies into workflows has allowed broadcasters to boost remote viewership at a time when many sporting events have been played to empty stadiums and arenas.

AR and virtual cameras require increased exposure length or processing time, demanding longer synchronization periods for additional sources in broadcast workflows. In response to growing industry demand for integrating immersive technologies into live productions, AJA recently upgraded its FS-HDR real-time HDR/WCG converter and frame synchronizer with a feature-rich v4.1 firmware update to better accommodate the latest broadcast workflows.

FS-HDR v4.1 increases the device’s frame buffer depth to support configurable delays of up to 20 frames, accommodating video processing for AR and virtual cameras. This free update is available to all FS-HDR users and does not require a hardware change. FS-HDR was developed in partnership with Colorfront, the industry leaders in color management.

Alongside integrating the latest immersive technologies, broadcasters across sports and entertainment are simultaneously challenged with producing the highest quality video and audio feeds to keep pace with audience demand. Consumers are accustomed to viewing vibrant HDR, WCG content at resolutions up to 4K/UltraHD, requiring streamlined production workflows that support timely delivery. For broadcasters looking to simplify HDR workflows and take advantage of the latest colour tools, FS-HDR v4.1 further extends support with a pair of newly released LUT packages: v1.5 BBC HLG LUTs and NBCU LUTs. The recently released v1.5 BBC HLG LUTs add two new LUTs for direct mapping and up-mapping conversions for SDR BT.2020 to HLG BT.2100, and improved colour saturation in display light HLG BT.2100 to SDR BT.709 down-mapping conversions. The new NBCU LUTs, developed by NBCUniversal Media, LLC, in collaboration with Cromorama, enable a workflow for single-master production of simultaneous HDR and SDR content with the highest quality possible. NBCU LUTs include SDR, HLG and PQ LUTs that maximize the dynamic range and colour volume in HDR, while maximizing core SDR broadcasts with extended nit values, standard on today’s displays.

In response to industry demand and user feedback, FS-HDR v4.1 also increases ancillary data pass-through or translation capabilities for a wide range of formats and conversions. For transmission applications requiring the use of SCTE-104 markers for ad insertion, FS-HDR will now automatically pass-through SCTE-104 packets. FS-HDR’s new Timecode Xlator will pass-through or translate ancillary timecode (LTC, VITC1, or VITC2). Additionally, FS-HDR v4.1 expands the set of conversions that support pass-through of Closed Captioning.

As HDR production continues to evolve, FS-HDR is at the forefront of streamlining workflows and helping broadcasters across sports and entertainment achieve the most vivid and color accurate HDR and WCG content. For more information, visit: www.aja.com/products/fs-hdr.

 

Jon Creamer