IBC2019 general venue photo


Speaking at an IBC2019 session on Beyond the Pixel Race: Preserving Creative Intent from UHD and HDR to 8K and beyond Warner Bros. VP, technology Zink outlined the thinking behind the UHD Alliance’s move.

He said: “The aim is to ensure that owners of 4K television will be able to easily select a viewing mode for movies, high end episodic TV which will display the films as their creators intended.”

The Alliance recently released a video featuring high profile Hollywood names such as JJ Abrahams, Ryan Coogler, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron emploring viewers to use the setting which disables motion smoothing technology, and sets correct colours, aspect ratios and framerates on displays to preserve the intended viewing experience.

Filmmaker Mode makes sure displays are calibrated to the D65 white point which sets the right colour temperature for movies, which is different to sports broadcasts.

Manufacturers LG, Panasonic and Vizio have already said they will support the Filmmaker Mode, which will either be activated automatically through metadata embedded in the content or will be selected using a single button, rather than making viewers navigate multiple screens of menus. The ambition is for Filmmaker Mode to be a consistent setting across a wide range of 4K TVs.

Research from manufacturers found that despite purchasing new 4K capable TVs, 86% of consumers simply took the TV out of the box and never changed the factory settings.

Zink revealed that the Filmmaker Mode initiative was prompted when the UHD Alliance was approached by big name filmmakers 18 months ago.

“First we needed to find out who really cared. We asked filmmakers a bunch of questions and found that 400 high profile people responded, which showed us that it was something that people were really passionate about.”

Zink said that Netflix Calibrated Mode – a similar innovation from the streaming company ­– had the same goal, although he added: “We are trying to make FMM a bit more generic – so that it covers a wider range of manufacturers.”

Maria Rua Aguete, technology fellow and executive director, media service providers & platforms, IHS Markit (research company) also said at the session that consumers in many territories still needed to be persuaded of the benefits of 4K, let alone 8K.

In 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic Games, HIS Markit forecasts that only 62,000 Japanese homes out of total of 51 million will have an 8K capable TV, and only 19% of homes in Japan will have 4K sets.