Could CALM Act-like legislation one day in the not too distant future be needed for the video portion of TV?
Matthew Goldman, SVP Technology and CTO Group, at Ericsson thinks it’s a possibility.
With high dynamic range all the rage for Ultra HD, most are focused on the truly perceptible difference it makes to the appearance of a television image. HDR can reveal picture details in dark areas of the picture that can’t be seen today, for instance.
But, during the Ultra HD Forum conference session at IBC 2016 Sept. 12 in Amsterdam, Goldman raised a red flag for the future of HDR — not that it isn’t valuable and a desirable element of UHD and even possibly 1080p 60 HD in the future.
“Intentional or not, [we have all experienced] the abuse of audio to attract people’s attention. They maximize the audio volume,” he said of ad agencies pre-CALM Act passage.
“High dynamic range isn’t just about having a higher peak white level. It’s really contrast, so high dynamic range is meant to do this much higher peak level in a very small area of the picture,” he says.
“However, one could envision that we have a problem with ‘video loudness’ as I coined it.”
Video loudness is really the same problem but in a different domain, says Goldman.
During the main content of a television show, there could be a few hundred nits average light level, he says.
“Should an advertiser really want to get your attention, they can go boom at full 1,000, 2,000 or 3,000 nits. Not the brightest you could do, but so much brighter than the main content that it could momentarily shock the viewer,” he says.
Goldman notes that some countries already have rules regarding the use of flashbulbs in television scenes because of physiological problems “with epilepsy and other” conditions.
“Who knows what is going to happen if someone comes out with this and wham, all of a sudden there is this 3,000 nit or brighter average level because they want to attract you to it?” he asks.
Goldman recommends the issue is something the Ultra HD Forum explore and monitor. “We should set some guidelines and get ahead of the problem,” he says.