The fall and early winter periods are important times of the year in the world of home AV. For many homeowners, it means buying new AV systems in preparation for a winter of staying home and watching movies, streamed content, and sports such as hockey and basketball.
The annual CEDIA Expo, which took place just after Labor Day, the 2023 event in Denver marked a milestone period for the electronics market. Recapping some of the most important video developments from the CEDIA Expo 2023 show floor in Denver, the latest CE Pro Podcast features our expert ‘Video Guys’: Joel Silver, CEO & lead developer, Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), Jason Dustal of Murideo, Robert Zohn, president and founder of Value Electronics, and first-time guest John Bishop of Bishop Architectural Entertainment Services.
“It’s about time to be able to say that it was an HDR show,” Silver states. “As much as we’ve been developing it for a long time. This was the show that I remember as not the coming out party for HDR, but proper demonstrations of HDR with a good choice of material, and we’ve matured to the next level of video.
“We got to thank the progress and streaming services and the big presence of Kaleidescape, which gave us really high-quality, high-bandwidth software. We saw good-looking HDR demos from flat panels to ultra-short throws [UST projectors], to dedicated theaters.”
Underscoring Silver’s points on content, Zohn notes the leaps forward in quality that today’s digital content offers users.
“I wanted to add that there’s been very nice improvements and enhancements in streaming compression, which now delivers a much better picture than it did last year,” comments Zohn. “Value Electronics’ streaming sound and picture is much better today than it was even as recently as a year ago.”
Zohn goes on to say that his area recently began to receive ATSC 3.0 (NEXTGEN TV) broadcasts and this content looks and sounds performs well. When asked by Bishop how reliable the signal has been in his experience, Zohn says that if a system is properly set up with the correct antenna pointed toward the broadcast towers, ATSC 3.0 is solid.
Value Electronics’ TV Shootout Rates Top 4K & 8K TVs
Moving on to the topic of Value Electronics’ annual 8K and 4K TV Evaluation Shootout events, Zohn adds that this year there was a noticeable leap in performance from all the products tested.
Dustal and the other ‘Video Guys‘, reiterating Zohn’s thoughts on the performance of modern displays, emphasizes the level of value and performance these products provide across the board.
“These TVs from all kinds of different price categories next to each other. And you look at SDR [standard dynamic range], and it’s like, wow … you know these things match the reference monitor, some slightly better than others, but for the most part they match the reference monitor well, which is really cool,” Dustal explains.
“Where I continue to get blown away is the native 8K HDR stuff. And Phil Holland [a Value Electronics expert judge] has brought his own computer that’s rendering and sending out these signals. My job behind the curtain is to make sure the system is functioning correctly, and we’re getting to a point now with the connectivity and cables and things like that to where that’s really not an issue anymore.”
‘Video Guys’ Laud Native 8K & HDR Content
Dustal says he had time to step out and look at some of this content, and was totally impressed especially by seeing native 8K and HDR on a native 8K HDR television.
“One of the shots that Phil had brought was it was a shot from a helicopter looking down at New York City … I’m inches from the screen, and there’s almost no noise. I mean, you really, really, really have to look for the noise, but being able to tell what color a woman’s purse was, as she was walking down the street from a helicopter was just absolutely incredible,” he recounts. “And that’s really where I’m getting really excited right now, because, personally, I’ve lived with 4K HDR In my own home since 2017 but getting these massive 85+ inch 8K TVs it’s a just a different thing.”
Bishop adds that during a recent SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) meeting in Boston, Hugo Gaggioni, CTO of Sony Imaging Products and Professional Solutions, Americas, showcased a new reference monitor that’s capable of producing 4,000 nits of brightness, including EOTF (electro-optical transfer function) capabilities beyond 1,000 nits.
Bishop went on to respond to Silver’s comments about Dolby Vision system design operating at 10,000 nits and BT.2020 color.
“All of it was intended to go through an ODT output display transformer. So, Dolby Cinema, the best example we have is 108 nits and it is a transform from whatever level they created. The original content could have been 1,000 [nits], it could have been 4,000 [nits], it could have been 10,000 [nits], which doesn’t exist,” he says.
“But it does in software. It’s really just a way to look at the detail in the luminous domain and then collapse it properly for demonstration as the final art, and right now the final art is 108 nits in Dolby Cinema.”
Hear much more from the Video Guys by listening to or downloading the podcast above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.