How well do current professional video monitors perform when used to work with High Dynamic Range (HDR) content? And how can their performance be measured? Those were two headline questions addressed by a group of engineers from EBU Members during a session at the 'Hacker Studio', a dedicated space for experimentation and testing recently set up by Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS).

Stage one: testing

Over the course of three days, seven HDR-capable high-end monitors were measured against the requirements specified in EBU Tech 3320 – the EBU's guidance document for professional broadcast video monitors. The tests were prepared and led by EBU Members BBC, CBC, IRT and RAI, with support from monitor manufacturers and several other Member broadcasters who contributed suggestions or testing material and participated in subjective evaluations. In order to facilitate measurements of characteristics such as black level, contrast ratio and uniformity, which require very dark conditions, RTS set up a temporary black box.

Sharing the insights

This first stage of the collaborative effort gave participants a good overview of the capabilities of the current crop of high-end broadcast monitors. Next, the group will process the detailed measurement data it collected and prepare to publish a summary report on trends in HDR monitor performance. Some of the insights gained will be also be used to update the EBU's specification for monitor measurements – EBU Tech 3325 – and to create new UHD and HDR test patterns for future monitor testing.

Collaborative testing

The measurement exercise at RTS is a great example of an excellent collaboration between EBU Members and professional broadcast equipment manufacturers – and further collaborative work is already being planned by the EBU Members organized in the EBU Video Systems group. Two areas of particular interest are the creation of more UHD, HDR and HFR testing material, and testing of professional cameras. Those who would like to take part in such activities can join the EBU Video Systems group by using the link on its webpage.

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