Live From Sundance

CES 2019, Part 2

CES 2019, Part 2
It’s been a month since I attended (recovered from) CES. For many people, writing about CES is all about getting the latest tech info out in front—fast. But that’s not for me.

While I’d never compare CES to fine wine, I like to let the experience breathe. Letting it settle helps me consider the technology I saw that seemed meaningful to what I do: edit. That way I can skip over the smart couches, smart beehives and laundry folding robots.

Now that the electron dust has settled, what comes to the top? (Other than strangely confused metaphors.) In my previous post, I mentioned 8K UHD and how it’s still in its early years. High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays, on the other hand, were everywhere.

CES 2019, Part 2
HDR even topped Amazon Alexa in the list of features in a new Hisense display.

Whereas the past few years 4K was the buzzword for TVs, displays “with” HDR seemed to be the new “must have” at CES. While the battle amongst OLED, QLED and MicroLED was still very front and center, HDR had a definite presence.

Although not introduced at this year’s CES, I saw computer displays touting HDR as specified by VESA — the standards organization that deals with computer displays. These were labeled DisplayHDR™ and come in various levels depending on how bright the panels can go.

LG showed a 32” UHD 4K computer display that met the VESA DisplayHDR™ 600 specification. That means it approaches 600nits of peak luminance (350nits at longer durations).
LG showed a 32” UHD 4K computer display that met the VESA DisplayHDR™ 600 specification. That means it approaches 600nits of peak luminance (350nits at longer durations).

As with any show, I saw well-displayed content that was HDR and some that didn’t look that great. Interestingly, I saw the same HDR footage in different display manufacturers’ booths.

What I walked away with was the feeling that regular consumers (not the aficionados) will ask for HDR, but I’m not sure they quite understand what they’re getting. Couple that with more picture controls related specifically to HDR and it’s going to be messy for a while.

So far, it seems like calibration is going to be important to get the images that the technologists promise. And calibration is still expensive compared to the ever-lowering costs of displays.

That being said, as an editor I know I have to make sure that I learn as much as possible about creating content that plays well with these new displays.

MENU