Thoughts From BVE 2016

logo-BVE.jpgBVE Expo is the UK’s largest industry trade show strategically placed half-way between IBC in September and NAB in April. Located in London, it also feels geographically halfway between Amsterdam and the US. I’ve attended the show the last several years and enjoy it a lot.

With more than 300 exhibitors and 15,000 projected attendees, BVE is a show you visit to get your hands on the gear and learn. While there are always new product announcements, this isn’t a “new product” show. I enjoy wandering the aisles and discovering, yet again, how much more there is to learn about the technology in our industry.

Here’s a series of unrelated nuggets that I picked up during my visits.

HDR

HDR (high-dynamic range video) is not just a camera or monitor, its an entire workflow. However, the standards for HDR – especially in monitors – are still evolving. Here’s what you need to know now.

You can shoot HDR-ready material today — just record in RAW or LogC format. While this means that you need to allow time for color correction when your project is complete, as long as the media you are shooting is 10-bit, or greater, RAW files, you are fine. This is a great way to preserve assets you shoot today so they can be repurposed when HDR finally reaches the home – probably by Christmas this year.

NOTE: Rec. 709 files have the color LUT baked into the video and clamp white levels after only six stops of dynamic range. You can covert these to HDR, but they won’t look as good as if you shot the material in RAW format. Rec. 709 is the color standard for HD.

There’s a new moniker coming called “Premium UHD.” This marketing label/standard for TV sets requires a minimum a display of 10-bit color, 4K resolution and HDR. This first appeared at CES, we’ll see much more at NAB.

The HDR workflow requires:

HDR monitors are VERY scarce and very expensive. Expect this to change – at least in terms of choice, if not price – at NAB. Ari was showing 4K HDR in their booth on a Samsung monitor and it was lovely. Really, really lovely.

There are at least two competing standards for HDR display: Dolby Vision, SMPTE, and, if I remember correctly, one the BBC supports. There may be others – the key is that the specs for monitoring HDR are evolving; don’t buy a monitor unless you can afford to lose your investment if the spec changes. I expect this to be fully nailed down by the fall.

CAMERAS

OTHER STUFF

BVE was a fun show and, as with any trade show, I learned a lot. I’ve added a few links here so you can learn more yourself.


4 Responses to Thoughts From BVE 2016

  1. Candice says:

    The cloud may not be ready for post production of full resolution source material over low speed connections, but Forscene has been offering cloud based post production using proxies with enormous success for quite some time. The cloud is absolutely ready for post production!

  2. Clayton Moore says:

    I think HDR will be somewhat painful at first (for post production), but clearly worth it in the long run.

    We got locked into a standard that was a hold over from color phosphor technology limitations of the 1960’s. We’ve not really moved on from that. Meanwhile our technology can go way beyond that and its high time we move on, I can’t wait.

    BTW, budget flat panel TV manufacturer Westinghouse is owned by content creator / broadcaster CBS, so Id expect to see aggressive HDR pricing in places like Target and Best Buy close to Christmas.

  3. You nailed it Larry. All I saw at BVE seemed to be a lot of cameras (no sony!) and a lot of lights, and a surprising lack of Frankenstein rig manufacturers.

    Enjoy the scotch.
    Rgds from the uk

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