Exploration into the endangered habitats of bears and the global crises that threaten the species recently aired in a landmark broadcast event for South Korean audiences. In January 2019, leading domestic television network MBC broadcast “Bear,” an episodic nature documentary series exploring the impact of climate change and urbanization on pandas, grizzlies, polar bears and beyond.
This marked the first simultaneous broadcast of HDR and SDR programming in South Korea, providing audiences with UltraHD HDR displays the opportunity to view the engaging wildlife documentary in more vibrant and vivid hues in a wider dynamic range.
The Seoul-based broadcaster’s first foray into high dynamic range transmissions was in 2018 for the Russian World Cup. For broadcasting “Bear,” MBC required a solution capable of transmitting content from an HDR source to HDR and SDR destinations concurrently. To manage the workflow, MBC enlisted AJA’s FS-HDR real-time HDR converter and frame synchronizer to run UltraHD HDR to HD SDR conversion, enabling real-time broadcast to audiences in either format. Based upon the HDR and resolution capabilities of their televisions, viewers could watch either version of the program at the same moment in time.
Throughout production on “Bear,” FS-HDR was tapped for gamma conversion of BT. 2020/BT. 709. “The HDR to SDR gamma conversion with FS-HDR is perfect, without any bandings in the highlight area. This allowed me to achieve a more natural grading feel, closer to how the human eye views color in real life,” noted MBC’s Chongmo Ki. “FS-HDR’s diverse array of adjustable parameters enables more accurate conversion, and the fact that I can control all parameters from my laptop is especially convenient.”
MBC is currently in production on an upcoming documentary entitled “Humanimal,” a nature series which will explore the relationship between humans and wild animals coexisting together in shared environments. Produced in HDR, the documentary will once again be broadcast to audiences simultaneously in HDR and SDR, and MBC intends to use a similar workflow powered by FS-HDR for real-time conversion. Throughout production on the series, MBC also hopes to explore AJA’s new HDR Image Analyzer as a solution for color grading monitoring and analysis.
FS-HDR, a 1RU, rackmount, universal converter/frame synchronizer, is designed specifically to meet the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) needs of broadcast, OTT, post and live event AV environments, where real time, low latency processing and color fidelity is required for 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD workflows. Developed in partnership with Colorfront, the FS-HDR’s HDR/WCG functionality is powered by Colorfront Engine proprietary video processing algorithms.