High Dynamic Range (HDR) video has been one of the most significant and appreciated improvements in video technology of the past decade. The innovation, in which EBU members organizations BBC and NHK were directly involved, has now garnered its contributors an Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Award.

HDR can result in higher image quality by allowing a video system to reproduce more of what the human eye can perceive, from the deepest blacks to the brightest whites. It adds ‘sparkle’ and clarity to the images.

The Award recognizes the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and specifically its Radiocommunications Study Group 6, for ITU-R Recommendation BT.2100, which contributed to the roll-out of HDR technology.

The Recommendation includes two HDR specifications: Perceptual Quantizer (PQ), and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). Both the BBC and Japanese broadcaster NHK played a pivotal role in the development and inclusion of HLG.

The development of HLG also benefitted from early discussions in the EBU Broadcast Technology Futures Group. The EBU and its working groups have since collected a vast body of know-how and best practice on the topic of HDR.

Many of these activities were made possible by the pioneering work of public service media engineers, who continue to share their critical eyes to achieve the best possible image results. The EBU also fostered the uptake in professional broadcasting applications through demos, webinars and workshops.

"It is only when you really start using technology such as this that you fully learn about and appreciate its impact and how best to apply it”, said Andy Quested, Chair of the ITU Working Party 6C. “Sharing that with peers in the EBU community has been most satisfying."

Since its first publication in July 2016, the ITU-R BT.2100 Recommendation had impacted the entire television industry, the Television Academy’s selecting committee writes, “from cameras, post-production (especially in color processing), delivery though traditional broadcasting and OTT (over-the-top) streaming services, and both professional and consumer display/television products.”

Public service media can be justifiably proud of their contribution. A short explanation pf HDR is given here: https://youtu.be/47BoQH6jI1c

The annual Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Award ceremony was held on October 18 in Los Angeles.

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