The introduction of next-generation video technologies, particularly high dynamic range (HDR), provides a compelling new palette for content creators. Similarly, consumer displays with brighter screens and darker black levels are very appealing to consumers.

However, there are a number of challenges for content producers and device manufacturers that will be discussed in this paper.

It will examine some commercial HDR content and consider the impact of creative choices on consumer electronics devices, particularly related to power management.

This paper further explores opportunities to manage content and display device capabilities by analyzing content light levels during production, to help improve rendition of the content in display devices.

This paper further discusses opportunities for display manufacturers to manage content that exceeds the device capabilities, to ensure a compelling user experience.


Next-generation video technologies include a variety of features – 4K resolution, high frame rates, wide color gamut, and high dynamic range. One of the most novel features is high dynamic range (HDR), as it provides a user experience clearly distinguishable from existing HDTV programming. But it also poses a number of challenges – both for content producers and for consumer electronics manufacturers.


The process for mastering motion picture content has been fairly unchanged for a long time.

Usually the process consists of creating a theatrical master, commonly in a theatre environment with a theatre projector, and then applying a so-called “trim pass” to create a home video master.

The color grading of the home video master typically uses a professional mastering monitor to ensure the most accurate image reproduction.

Since the legacy workflows, based on the HDTV video specification defined by BT.709 [1] and BT.1886 [2], have been well established for many decades, both professional mastering monitors and consumer devices meet those specifications, albeit with varying degrees of accuracy.

In other words, the content is limited by those specifications in terms of color gamut, peak luminance and contrast ratios, even though modern display devices often exceed the capabilities of those specifications.

While this legacy workflow allows a filmmaker to create the desired look on a professional mastering monitor and ensure a reasonable reproduction of this look in consumer homes, the introduction of next- generation video technologies, particularly HDR, requires changes to the established workflows.

Next-Generation Workflows

From a content producer perspective, HDR provides a new palette for creative filmmakers to enhance their storytelling and render their creative vision.

Since these features are still very new, the workflows to produce such content are not yet fully established.

In fact, many aspects of the content mastering workflow, including the availability of professional mastering monitors, remain under development. Additionally, one other challenge becomes very obvious.

The next-generation home video specifications, including Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, based on BT.2020 [3] and SMPTE ST2084 [4], permit a very wide range of color and luminance to be represented in the video signal.

Building an affordable consumer display that can accurately render the available large color volume that is representable using BT.2020 and ST2084 may initially be difficult until display designs evolve further.

Consequently, some professional mastering monitors may exceed the initial next-generation consumer display device capabilities, making it possible to create content that exceeds what consumer displays are able to reproduce.


As stated above, the implementation of the full BT.2020 and SMPTE ST2084 specifications can be challenging for consumer display devices – both technically and economically.

While brighter screens and darker black levels are very appealing to consumers, and provide a much improved visual experience, there are concerns that increased contrast ratio and peak luminance may also result in increased power consumption.

Since power management is a very important consideration for consumer electronics manufacturers, HDR poses some challenges in that regard.