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Folded Space, a division of Panamorph, Inc., develops and commercializes proprietary algorithms to encode deeper color and higher resolution information into video content, has announced the availability of DCE encoding/decoding algorithms to deliver deep color movie content for new displays capable of showing the rich, vibrant colors available from original film elements and images captured by new high dynamic range digital cameras.

“Real life has a stunning range and depth of colors that has always been muted by limitations in the way content is delivered to the home,” said John Schuermann, who leads business development for Folded Space.

The company's proprietary yet simple and fast algorithms process original content with 12-bits per color and imperceptibly encode information about the fine color detail into a standard, backward compatible 8-bit Blu-ray disc. Newer displays and Blu-ray players with the decoding algorithm can then restore a 12-bit equivalent of the original image in support of much greater color range of recently announced displays.

In comparison to other proposed content delivery methods that require large amounts of valuable bandwidth or supplementary streams to deliver 12-bit color information, DCE is an efficient process requiring very little additional bandwidth or processing power to deliver true 12-bit equivalent color to compatible displays. The company plans on licensing the encoding algorithm to software partners free of charge to stimulate deep color, high dynamic range content production as soon as possible while licensing the decoding algorithm to player and display partners for a modest fee.

“This year’s Consumer Electronic Show was all about HD and UHD/4K displays that can deliver the high dynamic range color needed to finally make video look real. With DCE, studios can now release Blu-ray discs and even next generation UHD/4K physical media to support what’s commonly considered to be the most important, most visual improvement in next generation video,” said Mr. Schuermann.

Tags: 4K, UHD, UHDTV, Folded Space, Blu-ray

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 01/28/14 04:38:11 PM
Latest comment: 02/03/14 11:35:15 AM
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1. 
If this solves the transient artifacts introduced by compression (mostly noticed in non-static/non-slowly-refreshing images, where the content in a screen area changes completely, quickly, and continuously), it will be a HUGE step forward. If it doesn't, that's a far more important issue.
1 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 01/28/14 04:38:11 PM]
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I can't say I noticed anything wrong with any of the formats of recent years: MPEG2, MPEG4 ASP, MPEG4 AVC. And surely H265 will be at least as good.

Artifacts are usually the result of poor encoders, wrong encoding parameters, or too low bitrates.
1 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 01/29/14 11:12:45 AM]
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You're right--it's not really a codec issue, but a bitrate issue. I see the artifacts constantly, though... there's not one HD source where I haven't seen it, unless the content was static or slow-moving.
0 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 01/30/14 02:24:02 AM]
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That's very strange. On what type of videos do you see it, and what do you use for playback?
0 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 01/30/14 10:11:07 AM]
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One example is the HD/BR or 4k demos they have at places like Best Buy. If there's action in the scene (especially action/sci-fi movies), it looks awful. I saw the Samsung and Sony 4k demos a couple weeks ago and was saddened to see that, once the demos strayed from their over-saturated, near-static images of slow pans across landscapes and food, any action (even small areas) in the scene brought that blocky, pixelated fuzziness with it. Localized, it was like a JPEG with the compression cranked, with the noticeable grid and pixel blocks. It happens quickly, though, so it seems like most people don't pay any attention to it.

I point to that example because you'd think they'd want to highlight the image quality. But I see it everywhere. Another example that comes to mind is watching Star Trek Voyager on Netflix--on any scene in the sick bay, the pans across the area with the medical bed (with the vertical blind-like lights) produce a stuttering effect that is quite distracting. That's a separate issue from the JPEG-like artifacts in action scenes, but it's another example of issues introduced in the digital conversion and compression.
0 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 01/30/14 01:27:39 PM]
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BestBuy, no idea. Netflix is streaming, and not very high bitrate, so it's not a reference point.

Do you see any of that when you play locally discs or high-bitrate reencodes on your computer, or on a BD or DVD player?

0 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 01/31/14 09:55:58 AM]
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I don't have a BD player, so I couldn't say about that. I've watched BD content elsewhere, though, and I've noticed the issue particularly in action movies.

It was also quite clear watching HD broadcasts during the Superbowl commercials. It is most apparent when there is a camera change to an action scene (a whole-screen refresh).
0 0 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 02/03/14 11:35:15 AM]
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2. 
12 bit doesn't help with "rich, vibrant colors".

To get rich, vibrant colors, we need to enable wider color spaces by integrating some color management system into video formats with support in playback hardware.

Increasing bit depth helps with banding but this is not a noticeable problem at 8bpp, especially when compared to the other deficiencies of video (24fps, restricted color space, resolution to a lesser extent). I have never seen banding on 8bpp blu ray content. Editing should happen at >8bpp but for distribution 8bpp is fine.
0 0 [Posted by: CSMR  | Date: 01/29/14 10:38:16 AM]
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If you have a larger color space you need more bits.

Anyway, color space was already addressed by standards. UHD's Rec.2020 is improved over Bluray's Rec.709:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._2020
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._709

I just have no idea what the article talks about. It's more of a PR blurb than anything else, as it doesn't include any actual details on what this company offers. Bluray players don't normally support >8-bit or non-standard encodings, so the only thing I can think of that they may offer is dithering. But who knows.
0 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 01/29/14 11:15:01 AM]
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