RCS was on-site in the Netherlands on Sunday 18thNovember to provide graphics for a live high dynamic range (HDR) test for Fox Sports Netherlands. Fox NL is exploring the benefits and challenges of HDR and the latest step was an end-to-end HDR test on Sunday’s soccer match between FC Twente and Go Ahead Eagles at Enschede.
A dedicated HDR truck was used in parallel with the live broadcast so Fox NL could directly compare 1080p HDR BT.2020 with its standard 1080i output. Along with the HDR cameras and video servers supplied by United, RCS provided a Viz Engine running the latest version of Vizrt software with the new HDR features enabled and the RCS custom soccer control application and cloud-based data services.
The successful test provided the opportunity for RCS to better understand how to design and build graphics to optimise the benefits offered by HDR such as smoother shade gradations and more detail and nuance in bright and dark colours. The lessons learned will be studied by the R&D team at RCS and passed on to Vizrt’s developers.
Jinne Tania, Technical Director of Fox NL, was responsible for co-ordinating the test event. He was pleased with the progress made including seeing HDR graphics on air for the first time. “We are delighted with the role Reality Check Systems played in providing graphics for our test,” he said, “and we look forward to exploring the benefits of HDR graphics further in the future.”
David Peacock, Senior VP, HDR, was on-site for RCS and acted as the graphics operator for the match which ended in a 1-0 victory for Go Ahead Eagles. Peacock mused, “This was an exciting project. We have worked closely with Fox NL for five years and we enjoy our partnership with them because both parties look forward and strive to find solutions and developments to make the broadcasts better. We think 1080p HDR offers some interesting opportunities in the graphics space and this step was an important milestone in establishing what is already possible as well as giving us a foundation on which to build in the future.”