CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Oct. 19, 2017 — Cobalt Digital today announced that it is the first U.S. manufacturer selected to license Technicolor’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) technology for the broadcast television environment. Cobalt will make the Technicolor HDR ITM feature optionally available on its new series of 12G/6G/3G/HD/SD-SDI 4K cards for the openGear® platform and on its BBG-1000 series of stand-alone units. The HDR license will also be available for certain versions of Cobalt’s 9902-UDX card, which are installed in hundreds of locations worldwide. This upgrade path not only adds value to customers’ Cobalt investment but also unlocks the potential to remonetize content for HDR distribution using existing hardware.
“We are delighted that a company as prestigious as Technicolor has selected us to represent its contribution to HDR viewing. The reputation established by Technicolor’s technology over 100 years is second to none,” said Bob McAlpine, CEO, Cobalt Digital. “The licenses with Cobalt products, which have earned their own stellar reputation for quality and reliability, will be professionally managed through Technicolor’s partner program. Over the past 20 years, Cobalt has developed many problem-solving products that help customers get their jobs done, and combining Technicolor’s HDR ITM processing with Cobalt’s latest 12G/6G/3G/HD/SD-SDI 4K up/down/cross-conversion platform is going to make a lot of engineers happy.”
Technicolor’s ITM SDR-to-HDR process manages brighter lights and darker shadows to deliver sharper, more realistic images for the most compelling immersive entertainment experiences. Technicolor HDR ITM offers an immediate opportunity to unlock the millions of hours of existing SDR content and release it into an HDR world. Technicolor ITM analyzes video content in real time, enabling adjustments of luminance in the shadows as well as in midtones and highlights by leveraging Technicolor’s color science and color grading plug-ins. This provides broadcasters with an unparalleled level of control, allowing them to expand content to a wider space and higher dynamic range while being as true as possible to the creative intent of the original content.
In most cases, current broadcast productions require separate SDR and HDR processing paths. SDR and HDR cameras are used simultaneously, and the SDR camera signals are up-mapped to HDR so they can be used with native HDR camera feeds. By adding the outstanding HDR image quality that the Technicolor ITM SDR-to-HDR process provides, Cobalt can offer a solution that eliminates the need for separate processing paths.
For over 20 years, Cobalt has been designing and manufacturing high-quality digital-to-analog converters to meet high demand from mobile truck operators and studio engineers who had to accommodate new SD-SDI digital video signals. Cobalt’s converters allowed customers to continue using their existing CRT monitors, which lacked SDI inputs, until they could install monitors with native SD-SDI support. The alliance with Technicolor helps Cobalt continue its tradition of creating products that extend the value of its customers’ existing equipment.
“This announcement contributes to Technicolor’s ongoing mission to bring the best and most immersive cinematic-quality experience to consumers around the world,” said Kirk Barker, senior vice president, emerging products, at Technicolor. “Cobalt Digital is a key player in enabling live sports production. By embedding Technicolor’s HDR technology into Cobalt Digital products, consumers are now able to experience in stunning HDR content originally captured, produced, and distributed in SDR.”