SMPTE® Publishes Study Group Report on High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) Imaging Ecosystem

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Expert Report Addresses Gaps in Understanding and Standardization of HDR Technology, Offers Guidance on Implementation in Professional Media Workflows

Alan Lambshead

We are confident that this timely SMPTE publication will answer many of the questions that emerge as HDR is discussed and implemented

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced at the SMPTE 2015 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2015) the publication of the SMPTE study group (SG) report on the high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging ecosystem. The work of 170 top international experts, the SMPTE SG report summarizes an extensive discussion on the implementation of HDR in professional media workflows and addresses key questions that will arise for industry members as they move forward in taking advantage of HDR technology. The report also offers recommendations for further HDR standardization efforts by SMPTE and other organizations.

"HDR is a rapidly emerging and much-debated technology with the capacity to make a greater impact on viewer experience than can higher-resolution formats," said Alan Lambshead, vice president of standards for SMPTE. "Recognizing the remarkable potential of HDR and the media industry's growing interest in this technology, SMPTE created an HDR ecosystem study group and — within just 12 months — delivered a valuable consensus report on implementation of HDR and the creation of efficient HDR workflows."

The SMPTE SG report on the HDR ecosystem provides consensus guidance on HDR terms and definitions and presents detailed and useful information on HDR technologies that, up to this point, has not been readily available to the media industry. The report acknowledges that although HDR technologies, both proprietary and standardized, are available today and already can be implemented for non-real-time workflows, challenges remain in live or real-time applications. It further recognizes that implementation of HDR will be complex and affect many systems in a professional media workflow. The report catalogs HDR technologies, examines issues in both live and non-live HDR workflows, and describes the role of HDR metadata. Finally, it recommends industry harmonization regarding HDR technologies and parameters, stressing the importance of standardizing new technologies related to HDR and of updating current standards to enable HDR.

"Interest in HDR has begun to explode, and this report on the HDR ecosystem has been eagerly anticipated by engineers and technologists across the media industry," said Thomas Bause Mason, SMPTE Technical Committee (TC) 10E SG on HDR Ecosystem chair. "We are confident that this timely SMPTE publication will answer many of the questions that emerge as HDR is discussed and implemented."

SMPTE is actively working on the recommendations contained in the report and encourages industry participants to join the effort by contacting 10e-hdr(at)lists.smpte(dot)org. The report is available for download at

Further information about SMPTE is available at

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®)
The Oscar® and Emmy® Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®), a professional membership association, is a leader in the advancement of the art, science, and craft of the image, sound, and metadata ecosystem, worldwide. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 800 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines.

More than 6,000 members — motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students — who meet in Sections throughout the world, sustain the Society. Through the Society's partnership with the Hollywood Post Alliance® (HPA®), this membership is complemented by the professional community of businesses and individuals who provide the expertise, support, tools, and infrastructure for the creation and finishing of motion pictures, television programs, commercials, digital media, and other dynamic media content. Information on joining SMPTE is available at

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