Tip #1029: HDR Playback to TV Screens

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1029: HDR Playback to TV Screens

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

HEVC was designed with HDR in mind. However, compression times are very slow.

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Stephen asks: I have been filming home movies for more than 60 years. I try to get the best output I can and future-proof my movies. Earlier this year my wife and I did an Antarctic cruise and managed to avoid Covid 19. I filmed this in HLG with a Sony PXW Z90.

I want to produce a deliverable HLG movie that I can watch on my HDR TV, an LG OLED. What format should I use?

Larry replies: You’ll need to use 10-bit HEVC. There are two flavors of HEVC: 8-bit and 10-bit. You MUST use the 10-bit version, 8-bit codecs, whether HEVC or H.264, do not support HDR media. (ProRes, though 10-bit and great for editing, is not a supported playback format for televisions.)

Apple Compressor, among other software, compresses into HEVC. However, on older computers, 10-bit HEVC will take a LOOOONNNGGGG time to compress. Probably 10 hours for a one-hour program. So, do a short test to verify this format will work on your TV, then allow enough time to compress the longer version.

Newer computers use hardware acceration for 8-bit HEVC, which speeds things a lot. However, I don’t know of any Mac hardware that accelerates 10-bit HEVC. I expect that to change in the near future.

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