This below is a break down of what makes a great picture on your screen. You might be surprised to find out that resolution is 4th on the list.
When you push "Play" on your new UHD Blu-ray player, how will you know what is actually being output? Will the color depth be 8-bit, l 0-bit or 12-bit? Will the color sampling be 4:4:4, 4:2:2 or 4:2:0? Will the picture be displayed with High Dynamic Range (HOR) or Standard Dynamic Range (SOR)? Unless you have a TV or projector that displays color information on screen (a rarity), or you're using a Murideo Analyzer you won't know for sure. Besides not having an on-screen display (OSD) for color depth or color sampling, the choice of settings offered for those features on a UHD Blu-ray Player can be non-specific; AUTO or OFF may be your only choices. Subsequently, you won't know if Standard Color Depth (8-bit) or Deep Color (10-bit or 12-bit) is actually being output. The reason it's important to know the actual color depth output is because HDR requires at least 10-bit color. With 8-bit color HOR's benefits are not apparent rendering the benefits of 4K/HDR useless
On a recent trip to a dealer's store in Oregon, I experimented with the Oppo 203, one of the few UHD Blu-ray Players which allows individual selection of all parameters. I was able to individually select 4K 24Hz or 60Hz, 4:4:4, 4:2:2 or 4:2:0, 10-bit or 12-bit color and HOR or SOR. Wanting the best picture I chose 4K/60/4:4:4/l 2-bit/HOR. I pushed "PLAY" and got a picture. But, wait a minute that's not possible - I shouldn't get a picture because the settings far exceed the 18Gbs maximum data rate for the player, TV and the cable. If the settings exceed the systems specifications why did the TV display a picture? The reason is that the player automatically changed one of my settings, most probably the color depth from 10-bit to 8-bit. That brought the data rate back to l 8Gbps and, at 8-bit, HDR was compromised .. Therefore, if you want HOR don't set the player to 4K/60/4:4:4. Understanding the parameters, the possible combinations and how they impact the viewing experience are the keys to getting a display with the parameters you selected and ensuring your customers are getting the maximum return on their investment.
Here's a list of the parameters for setting up 4K a Btu-ray Player:
Frame Rate: 24Hz or 60Hz
Color Depth: 8, l 0, 12-bit
Color Sampling: 4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:2:0 Dynamic Range: HOR or SDR
The game-changing feature for the newest 4K displays is HOR. However, for HOR to have its maximum impact the UHO Blu-ray Player's output must have its output setup for Deep Color, i.e., a color depth of l O or 12-bit. One way to ensure that Deep Color can be output is to set the Frame Rate to 24Hz (the native Frame Rate of almost all UHD Blu-ray discs). Then you can select 4:4:4, 12-bit, HOR and still be well within the operational envelope of the player and display. Another solution is to select 60Hz, 4:2:2, 12-bit, HOR. This solution requires l 8Gbps performance for all the components in the system including the HDMI cable.
Possible Blu-ray Player Settings and Data Rates:
To ensure individual performance of all HOMI cable models each and every HOMI cable is
hand-tested at Tributaries using a Murideo Six-G HDMI Generator and a 4K/60 4:4:4 . (18G) display. All passive HOMI cables and UHDO Fiber Optic HOMI cables are tested and verified for 1 8G performance. All active UHDS and UHDP are tested and verified for 10.2Gbps. You won't receive a defective HDMI cable from Tributaries because the Quality Control testing of each cable is done in our factory not in your customer's home.
I recently attended CalMAN's webinar on Color Volume, I put together some things to take away from the webinar, because we are not sure they will be posting it for the public.
They spoke a little about color volume and mostly about CalMAN 2017 and it’s new features.
Here are my notes…feel free to reach out for further explanation! (email@example.com)
Remember…Color Volume is used for measuring performance, not calibration.
Color Volume notes
-There are currently 2 ways to measure Color Volume. CIElab and ICTCP. CIElab is more commonly used, but ICTCP is more accurate to how we see in real life.
-There is a new term to know called MDC or Millions of Distinguishable Colors. This is something that the marketing teams will run with. It explains how many millions of distinguishable colors the display will produce. It WILL NOT describe how accurate these colors are, just how many there are.
-If measuring Color Volume in the CIElab format, CalMAN has an app called the Color Volume Visualizer. This app will take the display’s color volume and map it in a 3d model. The user/calibrator can use his/her mouse to spin it, zoom in, zoom out, etc to see finer details.
-The Color Volume workflow is available in all versions of CalMAN
CalMAN 2017 notes
-Support added for autocal on 2017 Q series Samsung TVs
*Note about autocal…you don’t have to use it! Some calibrators will insist on making adjustments themselves. CalMAN will still connect to the display so you can make adjustments via your laptop instead of with the TV’s remote
-To connect the laptop to a Samsung TV, you must have a serial to USB adaptor AND a serial to 3.5mm adaptor. SpectraCal recommends a serial to USB adaptor with a FTDI chipset for better reliability. Once the adaptors are in place, the 3.5mm plug will plug into the Samsung TV’s “One Connect” box.
-HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) support added. HLG was developed by NHK (Japan) and BBC (England) for live broadcast HDR content. One of the things that makes HLG special is that there is no live metadata like there would be on a Bluray disc.
-Broadcast monitor workflow added. A workflow specifically for broadcast monitors
-Dolby Vision workflow added
-Support added for autocal on 2017 Panasonic OLED panels (not available in the US)
They mentioned 2 things about new hardware:
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me. Thanks.
Murideo Brings Affordable HDMI Testing to the Market with the Fox & Hound Testing/Troubleshooting Kit
New from Murideo, the Fox & Hound Testing and Troubleshooting Kit simplifies end to end system testing in an affordable, handheld, battery-powered device.
Sioux Falls, S.D. – Murideo, known for their reliable calibration, troubleshooting, and testing tools built specifically for the audio/video integrator, is proud to present the Fox & Hound: A/V Testing and Troubleshooting Kit – a revolutionary 18Gbps generator and analyzer set with an impressive feature list and attractive price point. The kit, which is now available for purchase on AVProStore.com, is equipped to test for 18Gbps distribution, HDR metadata, and more making it a necessity for the new wave of 4K60 (4:4:4) sources and content.
The Fox & Hound Testing and Troubleshooting Kit was built as the ideal troubleshooting solution for all custom and commercial A/V field integrators. With an innovative design and advanced functionality which allows the confirmation of correct bandwidth (up to 18Gbps), HDCP, resolution, timing, HDR metadata and more, the Fox & Hound can assist on the most basic to the most complex of system issues.
Jeff Murray, CEO of AVPro Global Holdings, stated, “Murideo has become the name to trust in HDMI testing and troubleshooting equipment. With the success of our Fresco Series, we set out to create a product of the same caliber to fulfil the need for quality testing gear for all integrators. We’ve delivered an HDMI test kit that so affordable, there is no reason it shouldn’t be in every integrator’s truck. The Fox & Hound is a must have for any integrator installing 18Gbps 4K (4:4:4) with HDR capable distribution systems and we couldn’t be more proud to present it to the industry.”
For more information or to purchase the Fox & Hound: A/V Testing and Troubleshooting Kit, please contact Murideo at 877-886-5112 or visit www.Murideo.com.
Murideo, an AVPro Global Holdings brand, was created to satisfy the need for modern testing tools in the custom A/V market. Through a depth of knowledge brought on from years of experience in the electronics industry, the team at Murideo has brought cutting edge testing equipment to the world that were previously only available to the elite. The philosophy of Murideo is simple, focus on technology, focus on design, and focus on our users. For more information visit www.Murideo.com or call (877) 886-5112.
Written by: Terry Paullin
May I have some Catsup with my Crow, Please? (and other matters)
I hate it when I'm wrong. I hate it even more when I'm wrong in print.
A few years ago, I predicted the demise of the DVD - expecting wholesale, unanimous adoption of the Blu-ray disc. Here we are now, two technologies advanced (BD & UHD) and DVDs are as abundant as ever. It has something to do with the number of players installed, the desire to save money and the pull of the moon, in my opinion. Perhaps there will be a resurgence of VHS tape...just kidding.
More recently, I opined that Dolby Atmos for the home wasn't likely to transfer from the Commercial Theatre version. I had been to a demonstration of a small venue (home theatre) set-up in Dolbyville (San Francisco), and at the time, I was underwhelmed. Perhaps it was the notion that the commercial version of Atmos was so dramatically good that enthusiasts (who else would crawl through the fiberglass in the attic to install four speakers) wouldn't buy the experience transfer. My clients weren't asking for it, so at some point I thought the home incarnation of Atmos might go the way of 3D and curved screens.
Recently, I got a call for an ISF calibration in a near-by, well-heeled neighborhood. The video calibration went fine but, as often happens, the owner wanted to take the opportunity to "show off" the audio side of his investment - my guess was he had spent mid six figures on this room. I hadn't even noticed the four speakers in his ceiling, until he pointed them out.
After hearing about 15 seconds of his first "demo" offering, I was stunned. I have experienced hundreds of high-end rooms and this was the best sounding theatre I have ever been in. It's hard to extract five-year-old aural impressions from memory and compare them to something that was being experienced in real-time, but I remember thinking that it was at least as good as I recall the premiere showing of "Brave" in the newly named Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
How much of this could I attribute to the overhead speakers and of course, the Atmos steering in the receiver? I had my client remove the Atmos by simply setting the volume of the four "height" speakers to zero and then asked him to replay the same clip. The sheer quality of the rest of his sound system yielded "decent" sound, but it was obvious something was missing. Back to restored settings, back to Atmos, back to incredibly enveloping sound.
That did it for me. I committed right then and there to upgrading my own, less worthy, theatre to Dolby Atmos.
Although I am doing a complete restoration of my room (audio, video, lighting, furniture, and candy selection) as I write, I have completed the Atmos upgrade portion. Included in the upgrade is a new Atmos equipped receiver, four new wide-dispersion speakers, a couple hundred feet of wire and a great Atmos demo disc thanks to my friends at Dolby. I'm WOWing friends and prospective clients already.
There was something unexpected with my first audition of Atmos in my own theatre. I was prepared for dramatic improvement in precision placement of "obvious" overhead cues such as helicopter flyovers, 747 take-offs and thunderstorms, however, what I was hearing was an unexpected benefit of subtle ambience effects, like birds, wind noises and extraneous sounds that add to the general feeling of being in the middle of the scene. I think that this is one of those things that someone must experience to fully appreciate.
As with less sophisticated audio codecs before it, Atmos is likely to get even better as movie sound mixers get more experience with the tools.
As I knew would be the case, the final post-calibration experience in my modest theatre was not quite the same as the theatre that sparked my inspiration (at 10 times the investment) but was absolutely, positively worth the trouble. Now, most sources in my system will get the benefit of Atmos "direction" and because of the "demo" I can now deliver. I predict many more clients will lean toward "Ceiling Atmos".
Installing four speakers in the correct place above your seating arrangement may not be an easy job. Indeed, in some installations, it may be impossible. If installing on your own, look on the other side before you drill any holes and be sure to use wide-dispersion Atmos speakers, especially if you have an 8-foot or less ceiling height. If you are paying someone else to do it, don't expect the bill to be cheap - it's not our favorite job! Either way, I'm confident you will deem the result to be well worth it.
Yes, I was wrong about Home Atmos (at least the ceiling implementation). Who knows? Maybe I will "accidentally" run into an "Atmos Enabled" configuration somewhere else and be surprised .... again.
Waiting to see the Light
The big buzz in our community is 4K/HDR. The 4K part is great, especially if you have a large screen (75"+) or a projector/screen combo, but the real prize here is HDR and all that it brings with it. High Dynamic range is all about "blasting" selected pixels with extra luminance. This requires a display device to be a "light canon". Flat panels are a step ahead of projectors in this regard, but if your wallet is stout enough, you can have it today. The Sony VPL-VW5000ES ($60,000), the not-as-bright JVC DLA-RS4500 ($35,000) and the Wolf Cinema DLD-380FD ($38,000) can render what is required for impressive HDR.
For those of us not willing or able to secure a second mortgage for a flat panel, will have to wait for prices to come down while the nits go up.
It’s not always best to be the new kid on the block. The benefit of waiting has more to do with second generation performance increases - the benefit of second generation lower prices is just a bonus.
By Jason Dustal (Imaging Science Foundation | Murideo | AVProStore)
Fast forward a few years and I started to realize that things can be modified and made better. This didn’t make sense at first; why wouldn’t the product be its absolute best from the factory? Why was there so much room for improvement?
By the time I was 16 I was looking for ways to modify everything in my life, ESPECIALLY my car. Once I figured out that I could improve the car’s performance with a better air filter and a better muffler, I was hooked. Next came the suspension, brakes, and just about everything else on the car. I had a goal...maximize performance. The question still remained: why wouldn’t the car perform its best from the factory?
In 2001 I was selling high-end A/V at a store in Tallahassee, Florida. One day I overheard one of my co-workers talking to a customer who was looking at a very expensive Mitsubishi Diamond CRT rear-projection TV. In those days, the showrooms were much more dimly lit than showrooms are today. My co-worker was going through the picture menu of the TV and explaining what some of the settings will do to the picture. One sentence that he said changed my life forever.
“This is as good as the picture will get without hiring someone from the ISF to come to your home and calibrate the TV to YOUR room”.
As you can imagine, my curiosity went into overdrive. You mean I can make my TV look better than it does now? WHAT will look better? Who is the ISF? I’m in — where do we start?!?!?! Some very familiar feelings and questions hit me. One of them being “why wouldn’t they just optimize the picture at the factory?” From there I found a test DVD called the “Avia Guide to Home Theater”, and as they say, the rest is history!
Back in those days, calibration was all about taking the TV cabinet apart, making difficult (and sometimes dangerous) adjustments to the CRT guns, navigating through the confusing (and sometimes dangerous) service menu for adjustments, lining the inside of the cabinet with darker material for better contrast, and hopefully getting everything assembled back together in such a way that the TV still worked. Calibration was very mechanical, time consuming, and potentially deadly. Calibrators at the time were actually wearing 3 hats...calibrator, mechanic, and hacker. Plus, at that time there were only a handful of certified calibrators in the country. Because of this, calibration was very expensive. Most people didn’t understand why we were doing these things and thought that we were absolutely insane!
Luckily, calibrators survived the CRT days and continued to learn and grow. DLP TVs were a bit easier to work on but were still potentially headache inducing. Luckily we survived those days too! It wasn’t long until we saw the popularity of flat panel TVs explode. This was a game changer! Most (if not all) mechanical adjustments were non-existent in the digital world. The days of taking things apart and making manual adjustments were over. Most adjustments could be done in the picture menu, and what couldn’t be adjusted in the picture menu could usually be done in the service menu. We were still playing calibrator and hacker, but the mechanic hat could be retired. At this point calibrators were rejoicing!
It sounds like things were getting simpler, right? Well, in a way they were. The mechanical adjustments were gone, but the days of advanced settings and features were only beginning. Most manufacturers moved settings like white balance from a circuit board in the CRT/DLP TV to the service menu of the flat panel TV. Some of these service menus were difficult to access and sometimes even more difficult to navigate. One wrong move in there could flip the image upside down. Another could potentially render the TV useless. As you can imagine, this made many calibrators (and TV owners) very nervous! (If you don’t believe me, Google “Samsung HDMI calibration failure”)
Most manufacturers started getting tired of fixing TVs that end users were breaking. End users were upset because these were not considered “warranty” repairs. Manufacturers started charging owners for repairs; after all, the end user was not an “authorized service technician”. As soon as they entered the service menu, the warranty could technically be voided. This caused a lot of headaches, and a lot of otherwise good TVs found their way to the recycle bin...or even worse, the dump.
So what is different today? We are no longer dealing with mechanical adjustments, and we are barely dealing with service menus. Calibration should be a breeze, right? It should only take an hour, right? The price of the equipment should be lower, right? All of this should bring down the price of the calibration...right???
In reality, things today are as complicated as ever. Yes, we are no longer sticking screwdrivers next to CRT guns that are carrying tens of thousands of volts of electricity. Yes, we are no longer worried about bricking TVs in the service menu. Yes, the calibration no longer takes 2 people and a full 8 hour day. Yes, the CalMAN software gives us a workflow in which you can’t miss any steps. So why does it still take several hours and carry a cost of hundreds of dollars (or more)?
In years past, there were only a handful of adjustments that we were concerned with. Getting to the adjustments was the hard part. Today, we can easily get to the adjustments, but there are many more adjustments. Let’s take a look at a recent system that I calibrated for a client.
He has a 65” LG E6 OLED in a room where the lighting is 100% under his control. Most of his content comes from either an Oppo HDR Bluray player or a cable box. Some material he watches is in standard definition, some is in 1080p high definition, some in UHD (4K HDR). His room can be as dark as a cave or as bright as a sunroom. When it’s movie time the room can be black, but during football on Sundays when his friends are over the room can be bright. He has three theater seats in the room. His seat is dead center to the screen, but the other two seats are at a slight angle. The TV has the ability for a “day” and a “night” picture mode. This allows for maximum performance regardless of the room lighting. TVs traditionally have two adjustments for white balance; this model has two AND 20. Most TVs have two adjustments for color; this model has two AND 18. In this situation, the TV has upwards of 80 possible adjustments. Luckily he doesn’t care about 3D or that would have been a couple dozen more adjustments!
That’s just one of the two (day/night) modes.
I also have to consider the viewing angles from the other two seats and all of the advanced settings in the Oppo Bluray player. Oh, and the cable box? That has settings too. Luckily in this case, the video was not passing through a receiver. If it had been, I would have had to calibrate the video portion of the receiver too!
That’s just SDR (standard dynamic range).
Now we are finally getting a handle on calibrating the HDR (high dynamic range) mode in the TV. This opens up a brand new can of worms. Once the TV receives an HDR signal, it has a completely different menu for picture settings. Yep, you guessed correctly, now there is an HDR “day” mode and an HDR “night” mode! By the time I was finally done, I had about 5 hours of work poured into his system.
On top of that, we are dealing with multiple types of HDR. For example, calibrating a Samsung in the HDR mode is very different than calibrating an LG in HDR mode. Just figuring out the TVs menu structure and what the manufacturer names all of the different settings can be a time consuming task.
Can we use our old calibration equipment to calibrate new TVs? NOPE! With the introduction of 4k resolution and HDR, all of the calibration equipment has to be updated. Will my UHD equipment last me the rest of my life? NOPE! It’s only a matter of time before we see displays with 8k resolution at 120hz. I will be upgrading equipment for the rest of my career!
One question still remains: why didn’t they optimize the TV’s picture at the factory? The answer is the same as it has always been. The manufacturers are very good at what they do, but they have no idea what room the TV will end up in, what components will be feeding the TV, where the end user will be sitting, or what they will be watching. Calibration has and always will be a custom service. In the 9 years that I have been calibrating, I have learned one very important lesson. Every system and client is different, but we all are trying to achieve the same thing: the most accurate image possible!
And The Emerging Technology Alliance (ETechA) has announced that Murideo and AVProConnect have joined its team of companies dedicated to growing the AV integration industry and increasing the success of integrators in every market segment.
ETechA offers members distinct benefits of collaboration and efficiency such as holistic product development; system and project design; marketing collateral and trade show participation; increased product visibility and cross-functional promotion with other manufacturers’ equipment and systems; and cross-member distribution opportunities.
“We could not be more excited to join forces with ETechA,” said Jeff Murray of AVProConnect/Murideo. “Murideo and AVProConnect specialize in 4K video testing and distribution; joining the Emerging Technology Alliance is the perfect match to continue to provide the audio video world with shared information that can help integrators and manufactures alike. Our engineers are consistently looking for ways we can better work with emerging technology, and being a part of ETechA will allow us to share and receive information that will benefit everyone involved.”
Offering collaboration between key links in the AV integration chain, ETechA is dedicated to advancing technology, ensuring cross-compatible audiovisual hardware and software, and improving the efficiency and profitability of low-voltage integrators and resellers. “By adding Murideo’s line of advanced tools to support the accurate and efficient implementation of AV integration projects, as well as the unique, out-of-the-box solutions that AVProConnect supplies to the home and commercial AV market, ETechA has expanded its reach and ability to create value for integrators across the entire industry,” said Gary Vlaeminck, managing director of ETechA and founder of Hexacon AV.
ETechA’s other members represent important hardware and service segments of integrated systems: Hexacon AV, an international business development consultancy; Niveo Professional, makers of advanced AV networking equipment; TechLogix Networx for audiovisual signal distribution electronics; and Cleerline Technology Group, which manufactures fiber optic connectivity products to connect all these components into future-proof projects. The addition of Murideo and AVProConnect to the ETechA roster complements the existing alliance members and extends these benefits to testing/measurement and more video elements of world-class AV integration projects.
And Dont Forget about the one day 4K Event:
Save the Date: Spring ETechA 4K Conference
Join the Emerging Technology Alliance (ETechA) for a special FREE educational event and technology showcase featuring training on current industry essentials.
When: Thursday, April 6, 2017
Where: Las Vegas Country Club, 300 Joe W Brown Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89109
On April 6th, 2017 ETechA is hosting a 4K Event specifically built for AV integrators and other industry members to learn the ins and outs of 4K and High Dynamic Range. The industry is in a transitional period where you need to be offering 4K options to stay ahead of the competition. This event will help you learn how to design and build an infrastructure that can handle 4K and HDR content. Also, with the many different types of 4K, it is a must to understand why every type is not created equal and why 18Gbps is more important than ever.
This daylong event will feature many courses from top industry leaders including: “Current Network Requirements for 4K”, “Industry Acronyms”, ”Best Practices for 4K Video”, “4K Demystified” and “Corporate AV & Commercial Trends”.
Gain the knowledge you need to stay on top of our ever-changing marketplace while getting your hands on the latest products and technologies at this essential training event.
If you would like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know Murideo sent you.
Murideo visited Amsterdam again this year for Integrated Systems Europe 2017 and it was a success. We talked with endless industry people all needing a true 18Gbps 4k testing equipment and were happy to be the answer they were looking for. We had a great time at OneAV's booth (our distributor for EMEA), Metra Home Theater's booth (our partners in distributing 4K), and our own booth. We took lots of pictures of the show, take a look below. Also if you were there what was your favorite part?
AVProConnect and Murideo Debut the “Fox and Hound HDMI Sidekick” at ISE 2017.
The “Fox and Hound HDMI Sidekick” is the ideal on the run video and audio distribution troubleshooting tool. Distribution issues driving you crazy? Cut your in-the-field troubleshooting time in fractions by using this new state of the art tool.
HDMI is the standard in the current AV Industry. HDCP, Bandwidth, and EDID issues being common occurrences working with HDMI. In order to work though these issues you must have a way to generate a multitude of precise resolutions along with varying bandwidths through the distribuiton system, and analyze that signal throughout. This Fox and Hound does just that.
The Fox and Hound comes with a hand-held 4K Generator, and 4K Analyzer all in a custom carrying case, a must have in every integrator's truck.
This product will be shipping Quarter 2, 2017.
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