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Hi all,

I was wondering what's the status right now with hdr capable reference monitor.

At the moment almost any modern TV claim to be hdr (even if it's not true 100%) but the only monitor I keep hearing about it's sony and dolby and the cost of either is something like $36k.
But as I said since lots of tvs are claiming to be hdr, lots of people are starting to talk about it (in a completely wrong way by the way)

Something like that cuts out every freelancer and small grading houses, as someone like me for example can't even practice grading hdr and become proficient with the pros and cons.

So, to cut it short, do you know if it even exist a hdr monitor, not as good as the sony or dolby, but good enough?

How do you guys are approaching and practicing this new technique?

cheers,

Orash

 

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Some of the most common monitors are the ones listed below, but you probably know that. 

  • The Sony BVM X 300 (30″, 1000 nit peak luminance, 4K)
  • The Dolby PRM 32FHD (32″, 2000 nit peak luminance, 1080)
  • The Dolby Pulsar (42″, 4000 nit, 1080)
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Yeah i know those ones, as i said on the previous post this are extremely expensive.

Are there any inexpensive hdr monitors?

How do colorist start practicing on grading hdr if there are not entry level monitors?

 

Edited by Orash Rahnema

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I think the whole HDR grading issue is a constantly moving target, and whatever experience one gains with present monitor technology, will need modifying in the future.

The holy grail of HDR seems to be displays achieving UHD with Rec 2020 colour space and 10,000 nit brightness, but there's no current monitor that can achieve this. For those of us lucky enough to be able to work with one of the monitors previously listed, we can experiment with working in DCI P3 at somewhere between 1000 - 4000 nits, but as monitor technology improves, we will no doubt need to modify/adapt our techniques. There's many other issues that come to mind that will need addressing, such as...

How will HDR effect us in terms of eye fatigue or metameric failure?

Will we need to think about adjusting room illumination/monitor backlighting with these new displays?

HDR monitors are only designed to display a small percentage of the available pixels at their peak brightness due to problems with power consumption and overheating panels. All HDR monitors thus have protection circuitry built in to clamp pixel brightness should you exceed the safe limits. The current thinking on grading HDR seems to be that the majority of the frame will still sit somewhere in the 0 to 120 nit range, but that speculars are allowed to exploit the full range of brightness available. Of course, we all know that if you have the potential of pushing (say) large portions of sky to 3000 nits, someone will insist you do it, even if you tell them that the protection circuitry is kicking in. Although it might be artistically valid on your monitor, it's likely to look worse on domestic monitors that can't achieve the same results.

It seems that there will be a need to create a SDR version along with our HDR master, to cope with the viewers who will be watching with older monitor technology. How easily are we able to 're-adjust' to doing a grading pass in SDR, after a long session in a HDR suite? An hour... a day?

It would be interesting to hear the experiences of anyone on this forum who has had the chance of working with HDR, on the problems they've encountered.

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14 hours ago, Orash Rahnema said:

Yeah i know those ones, as i said on the previous post this are extremely expensive. Are there any inexpensive hdr monitors? How do colorist start practicing on grading hdr if there are not entry level monitors?

Short answer: No, there are no inexpensive HDR grading monitors. (Not yet.) As far as I know, Netflix and Amazon are the only companies demanding HDR delivery, and I believe they're asking for Dolby Vision masters. 

It's hard for a consumer set to even hit Rec709 specs, and HDR is literally 10 times harder. You can make a good case that nobody is going to see precisely the same HDR pictures on different consumer displays, but this will get better over time. 

Here's a link to some miscellaneous HDR tech documents if you'd like to read them:

https://spaces.hightail.com/space/nEaXy

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21 hours ago, Marc Wielage said:

Short answer: No, there are no inexpensive HDR grading monitors. (Not yet.)

Hi Marc!

I was expecting this answer :(

I'm reading quite a lot of things on hdr, thanks for sharing more.

What I honestly can't understand is how "the industry" is expecting to get quality product out.

I mean, TVs are already pushing for hdr, same for very small monitors like SmallHD, Atmos, etc. so, people on set are starting to talk about it and expect to see it.

I know that right now only netflix and amazon are demanding it, but when someone else will start to demand it as well how are we going to be ready?

Unfortunatelly with hdr is not just matter of grading, as said before is understand what's the limits, what is going to hurt eyes, what's going to be "safe" for monitors, even more, how to handle noise on the low levels as everyone says that is the biggest pain in the ass.

On top of that I wander about QC, how to handle metadata, gamma curve, grading both HDR and SDR.

I mean, without monitors to try and practice is going to be hard to be ready.

 

Do you think could be a good idea to use one of those SmallHD, or Atmos to practice?

Or is it just a stupid thought?

Here where I live (italy) is not possible to rent a sony monitor, otherwise what i would have done was to rent it one a month and do it.

I'm asking to you guys with lots more experience and in market where I believe this issue will hit before than here!

thanks! 

 

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Hi Orash,

1 hour ago, Orash Rahnema said:

What I honestly can't understand is how "the industry" is expecting to get quality product out.

I think 'the industry' doesn't really have a united voice when it comes to addressing training on new technology. The simple fact is that big facilities and post houses will be the ones who can afford to invest in the HDR equipment and address all of the potential issues in meeting the broadcaster specs. They will no doubt charge a premium for this service to make it profitable for them to invest in the technology, and they won't really want to make it easier for smaller boutiques or freelancers to be able to offer similar services, as that will drive down prices (and profit margins). A similar thing happening when HD first arrived. I remember the post house I was working at replacing it's Meridian Symphony for a Nitris, adding a Sony HD monitor and charging an extra £60/hour for the hire of the suite. Of course, eventually someone like Blackmagic will produce a HDR monitor at an amazingly good price, and the floodgates will open. Remember when broadcast cameras, Avid edit workstations and grading equipment cost many tens of thousands of dollars?

For a freelancer like myself, I don't see how I will be able to gain the necessary experience in the near future.  My options would be to work for a post house with the necessary equipment or hope that one of the independent training houses produces a course at a reasonable price. I still face the problem of buying a professional 4K HDR reference monitor, which will simply be out of my price range for the next few years.

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