NABA and the Evolution of HDR in the ITU Process

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Originally Aired - Sunday, April 14   |   1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PT

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The International Telecommunication Union allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits and develops technical standards to ensure networks and technologies interconnect. But many broadcasters are not aware of the role of the ITU-R and its impact on their business. NABA has been a member of the ITU for 25 years and follows the ITU-R’s work as it affects spectrum and broadcast technologies. This session will provide an overview of the ITU, including some of its historic decisions, and highlight some of the ITU proceedings that NABA has been involved in.

The session will consist of the following presentations:

Overview of the ITU structure and where broadcast decisions are made. Historically, the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (“ITU-R”) is where most broadcast topics were addressed. However, as broadcast operations become increasingly IT-driven, the work of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (“ITU-T”) will become more relevant to broadcasters. This overview will summarize the broadcasting issues before both the ITU-R and ITU-T.

Presenter: Rebecca Hanson, Director-General, NABA (15 minutes)

Summary of the WRC-23 decisions. WRC-23 focused on Region 1, meaning that the decisions coming out of this conference directly affect Europe and Africa. This summary will also forecast the issues to be considered at WRC-27, which will directly affect North America.

Presenter: Louis Libin, VP Spectrum Strategy & Engineering, One Media Technologies (15 minutes)

Overview of NABA’s work on display luminance and its related ITU-R proceeding.
In 2023, NABA, NBCUniversal, and MovieLabs conducted a preliminary study that (i) examines the average luminance of consumer TVs out-of-the-box and with different picture modes in standard dynamic range (“SDR”), (ii) looks at the deviation from PQ and HLG transfer function standards (EOTF and OOTF), and (iii) examines how different picture modes change the image, and establishes a term to identify gamma changes or deviations from the reference tone mappings.

Presenter: Matthew Goldman, Chair, NABA Technical Committee (15 minutes)

Recommended viewing conditions for HDR and SDR monitoring in close proximity within a single-master HDR/SDR production environment.
NABA is contributing to new proposed ITU-R Recommendation regarding viewing conditions for to high dynamic range (HDR) and standard dynamic range (SDR) monitoring in single-master live production where HDR and SDR displays are in close proximity. As with SDR to HDR conversion, HDR to SDR down-mapping can be performed using either scene-light or display-light. Scene-light conversions match the appearance of SDR cameras but are no longer widely used for down-mapping as they change the appearance in both color and tone of embedded graphics. Display-light down-mapping attempts to maintain the “look” of the HDR source when converted to SDR and is usually preferred. Report ITU-R BT.2446 describes three example methods of display-light HDR to SDR conversion (and vice versa). Each method attempts to preserve the subjective appearance of the lowlights and midtones in the HDR image when the tone-mapped SDR is shown on a Recommendation ITU-R BT.2035 100 cd/m2 display. NABA has proposed technical methods which optimize viewing of HDR and SDR images that are in close proximity (shading, multi-viewers, etc.) so that comparisons of both images can be made efficiently in the case of single-master production where HDR and SDR images are created simultaneously.

Presenter: Matthew Goldman, Chair, NABA Technical Committee (15 minutes)


Matthew Goldman
NABA Technical Committee
Rebecca Hanson
North American Broadcasters Association
Louis Libin
VP, Spectrum Policy & Engineering
One Media Technologies