27 September 2016 Single-layer HDR video coding with SDR backward compatibility
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Abstract
The migration from High Definition (HD) TV to Ultra High Definition (UHD) is already underway. In addition to an increase of picture spatial resolution, UHD will bring more color and higher contrast by introducing Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. As both Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) and HDR devices will coexist in the ecosystem, the transition from Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) to HDR will require distribution solutions supporting some level of backward compatibility. This paper presents a new HDR content distribution scheme, named SL-HDR1, using a single layer codec design and providing SDR compatibility. The solution is based on a pre-encoding HDR-to-SDR conversion, generating a backward compatible SDR video, with side dynamic metadata. The resulting SDR video is then compressed, distributed and decoded using standard-compliant decoders (e.g. HEVC Main 10 compliant). The decoded SDR video can be directly rendered on SDR displays without adaptation. Dynamic metadata of limited size are generated by the pre-processing and used to reconstruct the HDR signal from the decoded SDR video, using a post-processing that is the functional inverse of the pre-processing. Both HDR quality and artistic intent are preserved. Pre- and post-processing are applied independently per picture, do not involve any inter-pixel dependency, and are codec agnostic. Compression performance, and SDR quality are shown to be solidly improved compared to the non-backward and backward-compatible approaches, respectively using the Perceptual Quantization (PQ) and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) Opto-Electronic Transfer Functions (OETF).
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S. Lasserre, E. François, F. Le Léannec, D. Touzé, "Single-layer HDR video coding with SDR backward compatibility", Proc. SPIE 9971, Applications of Digital Image Processing XXXIX, 997108 (27 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2235741; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2235741
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