Peak Whites Video, OR "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!"

One of the biggest changes in a long time in Home Theater Video has been the recent introduction of High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, and equipment which can display it properly.    HDR allows elements in scenes to be much MUCH brighter than with prior home video technologies (in comparison to other portions of the same image) -- excellent for sparks, glints, flashes, direct views of light sources, and details in bright objects such as clouds in bright sunlight.  However, there is plenty of Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) content out there which you will still want to look its best.  And the foundation for understanding what HDR brings to the table begins with an understanding of the proper rendering of SDR Video.

In my prior post on Blacker Than Black Video, I introduced the concept of the Headroom and Foot Room portions within the video encoding.  The "Peak White" pixels found in SDR Video simply reflect the Headroom authored into that video content.  Whereas HDR and SDR Video are quite similar in their treatment of Blacker Than Black pixels, they differ dramatically in how they handle these brightest pixels.

In this post we'll focus on setting up your TV to render Peak Whites properly whenever you are viewing SDR Video content:  I.e., what you SHOULD see and what you SHOULDN'T see.  So break out the sunscreen and get ready for a few Bright ideas!  COOLNESS NOTE:  Shades are optional.

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Digital Video, OR "Lost in Color Space!"

Few things cause as much confusion among Home Theater enthusiasts as the myriad details surrounding Digital Video formats. It is typical to run into settings choices, for example, which come with no useful explanation, nor even advice as to when or why you might prefer one over another. It is also typical to run into non-intuitive limitations: You can't do THIS because you are also trying to do THAT!

In this post, I will attempt to survey the entire topic of Digital Video formats as applied to Home Theater systems. There's way too much material here to cover everything in one post, but I will try to show you how the pieces fit together, and introduce the jargon you will see repeatedly in future posts as I get into more details.

So if you've ever wondered just what, "HDMI 4K/24 YCbCr 4:2:2 12-bit HDR10 BT.2020 with HDCP 2.2" actually MEANS (and why the heck you'd need to KNOW that), this post is for you!

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