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HDR on Youtube - next big thing? Requirements?

Consider HDR already?   

57 members have voted

  1. 1. Consider HDR already?

    • Not interested at all.
      7
    • Don't need it now, will evaluate it when it's everywhere.
      27
    • I wasn't aware of the latest developments, but I'm looking into it now.
      16
    • I am already updating my workflow and hardware, HDR is the next big thing.
      7


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Never mind HDR, I'd wager that some 90% of shooters still have no idea how good their current kit is... If you've ever seen how incredible GH5 rec 709 video can look on a 55" OLED screen, you'll never want to settle for watching your videos on anything less, be it a 27" 5K iMac, let alone a 15" laptop ever again. :)  As far as pricing goes, I consider the Inferno at $1,000 to be on the expensive side, while I didn't hesitate dropping $2,200 clams on my LG C7. Go figure! Expect some competition in 2018. 

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15 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Never mind HDR, I'd wager that some 90% of shooters still have no idea how good their current kit is... If you've ever seen how incredible GH5 rec 709 video can look on a 55" OLED screen, you'll never want to settle for watching your videos on anything less, be it a 27" 5K iMac, let alone a 15" laptop ever again.  

I remember watching a clip I shot on the Sony HC1 in 2006 on a 19" CRT. It looked incredible, like looking through a window (CRT monitors had a tendency to make everything look great so I hanged on to my viewsonic for a very long time). I distinctly remember looking at the screen and going "Man, this is like I was there". Funny now in the age of HDR, 4k and all kinds of shit.

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Shooting HDR Video Update

About a year ago I  relayed my experience shooting HDR with my GH4 + Atomos Shogun, which gave me (V) log-gamma, 10bit 422 4K 30P, 12-stops DR video suitable for HDR. DaVinci Resolve was used to create an HDR video. I created and uploaded an HDR video for YouTube. The video was viewed 4.9 thousand times.

The biggest problem was viewing the video in HDR, and there was much confusion when people played the YouTube HDR video as to whether in fact YouTube was actually playing the HDR version - YouTube automatically plays its SDR version unless it detects the right viewer. Some thought by merely setting their TV to play in HDR that would automatically make YouTube play the HDR version. That was wrong, and there were comments from people viewing in HDR an SDR video. They were not impressed, but they actually did not see HDR or even SDR properly viewed. Chaos.

So, what's happened since then? Having upgraded to the Sony FS700R so I can now shoot 4K DCI 60P 12bit RAW 422 video with 14 stops of dynamic range, I was ready to explore HDR again:

1. Good news: The free version of DaVinci Resolve is now a full-featured editor, and it is actually easy to use for normal editing stuff. In addition, its color management makes it easy to produce SDR or HDR videos from log-gamma videos or RAW (or HLG). You tell it the input is Slog/Sgamut or RAW and the output and time line are ST 2084 for HDR or REC709 gamma 2.4 for SDR. Easy. I used the RGB parade to check white balance and to keep the dynamic range within the limits of SDR or HDR (the scopes show clearly how much more DR you get in HDR).

2. Good news: The free version of Resolve adds the appropriate metadata for HDR that YouTube uses to detect the video is in fact HDR. YouTube , not just DaVinci, makes this claim. Resolve is the only editor to do so.

3. No improvement: One still has to make, in the free version, a DNxHR HQX version to get a 10bit 422 HDR video. It has a ridiculously high bitrate, so a 2.5 minute 4K 60P video takes up 37 gigabytes! And I cannot even play it on my i7, 7th generation computer with Nvidia 1050Ti graphics card. The non-free version of Resolve gives better options (it is only $299 now, so that may be a good buy given that Resolve really obviates the need for any other editor).

4. Good news: Before, when I uploaded my HDR video, I was never sure YouTube had detected it was HDR. Now YouTube tells you it's HDR immediately (if it is).

So, it is easier and cheaper to make an HDR video if you have the camera equipment to do so - that would include GH5 owners, if they shoot UHD 30P 422 10bit in Vlog or HLG, or GH5 + Shogun Inferno to get UHD 60P 422 10bit (almost as good as what I got!). I would still recommend Vlog over HLG to get better dynamic range and to future proof against new HDR standards.

5. Good news: The standard YouTube app will play HDR videos on some cell phones automatically. These phones are the Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Note 8, Xperia XZ Premium and LG V30. And I have an S8!

Now, I can actually view my HDR videos easily in HDR on my cell phone. Now, it ain't 10bit, and likely not REC2020 all the way, or have 14 stops of DR. But the difference is still incredible. The white bus in sunshine in the video below, viewed in HDR, is stunning.

What else plays YouTube HDR video in HDR? The YouTube app on Samsung UHD TV's for sure. But Sony TV's? LG TV's? Still have to use Chromecast Ultra as an attachment? Seems like still confusion.

And how does one play an HDR video directly (insert USB stick into the TV and use  its player) without YouTube on an UHD HDR TV? What codecs will play? Does one need to convert to HEVC? Anyone know?

OK, here is the new HDR test video - 60P 4K:
 

If you cannot view the video in HDR, you will see YouTube's conversion from HDR to SDR. 

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9 minutes ago, jonpais said:

@markr041 Thanks for the update, Mark. The LG C7 OLED also correctly recognizes HDR content when using the YouTube app, with  a little flag appearing briefly in the upper right corner of the screen.

Excellent. Thanks. Having that flag is really useful to confirm what one is seeing.

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

@markr041 I tried watching your video, but even though it’s flagged HDR, no blacks, and even the bars top and bottom are grey. No such problem with content on the HDR Channel... ?

Thanks for the report. It looks fine (more than fine) on my Samsung S8 in HDR - full contrast plus blacks and clearly higher DR (see below). The scopes in Resolve show full range in HDR. And Youtube's conversion from the HDR to SDR looks fine, with blacks - surely that would have been mucked up too if the HDR had no blacks, since they just use a standard template?

Who knows what is going on. This is the same thing that happened a year ago, with viewers reporting odd stuff, and the end result then was that there was nothing wrong with the HDR video I posted. It was all screwball YouTube viewer (hardware not person!) behavior. But who knows. I am perfectly happy to look into this, if I could believe it (I have no doubt you know what you are doing). Anyone else seeing this in HDR?

I have attached a screenshot of the HDR video viewed in HDR on my Galaxy S8 showing the blacks are fine. This is definitely HDR, and it is definitely perfectly fine. Back to the chaos.

Screenshot_20171103-141836.png

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17 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Here's what it looks like.

IMG_0639.jpg

IMG_0640.jpg

Thanks for posting this. That is exactly what the video looks like if you are NOT seeing the video in HDR. See my screenshots of HDR in HDR on a player that works (without the brightness captured, of course).

Again, you are seeing the original HDR video, but in SDR unconverted. YouTube is indeed showing you the HDR version, but your TV is not in HDR mode. Your viewer is not working right. Can you force your TV into HDR mode? Same frustrations.

Screenshot_20171103-141836.png

 

Screenshot_20171103-143429.png

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Just to clarify why there is so much confusion:

1. If you watch the HDR video on an SDR TV using the YouTube app, you will see the HDR *converted* to SDR. It will look ok, nothing special.

2. If you watch the original HDR video *unconverted* in the YouTube app but the viewing device is SDR or not in HDR mode, it will look pale, just like what the jonpais screenshots looked like. It is like viewing a log file -  and you get complaints the picture looks washed out.

YouTube has to know that you have an HDR-capable viewer so it shows the HDR version unconverted and the TV or phone or whatever also has to be in HDR mode.

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I watched it on my Panasonic DX900 TV and Chromecast Ultra and it goes into HDR mode automatically ( info top left corner) just like in the YouTube HDR channel. I also get bad blacks and the grey 4K maskings though.

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17 minutes ago, Anders Bixbe said:

I watched it on my Panasonic DX900 TV and Chromecast Ultra and it goes into HDR mode automatically ( info top left corner) just like in the YouTube HDR channel. I also get bad blacks and the grey 4K maskings though.

Is your TV in HDR mode?  The symbol just means Youtube is playing the HDR version, it says nothing about whether the TV is in HDR mode. If I did not view the video myself in all its HDR glory I would think there is something wrong with the video, but I can and I don't. 

Again, you are seeing an HDR video in SDR, for whatever reason.

 

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No. I don´t see the YouTube symbol with Chromecast Ultra. My symbol is the Panasonic info top left corner. When it shows HDR the backlight and contrast goes up to max 100. There are other channels on YouTube like 4KEye which claims HDR videos but they don´t go into HDR mode (on my TV) like the HDR channel does. They are the only Youtube channel that I have found that shows HDR correct with  good blacks but most often too vivid colors.  

My FALD TV needs Chromecast Ultra to watch HDR but if one has an oled with pc connected one can right click the YouTube nerd info and see the codec shift from VP9 to VP9.2 when it is in HDR mode.

SnapShot.jpg

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34 minutes ago, Anders Bixbe said:

No. I don´t see the YouTube symbol with Chromecast Ultra. My symbol is the Panasonic info top left corner. When it shows HDR the backlight and contrast goes up to max 100. There are other channels on YouTube like 4KEye which claims HDR videos but they don´t go into HDR mode (on my TV) like the HDR channel does. They are the only Youtube channel that I have found that shows HDR correct with  good blacks but most often too vivid colors.  

My FALD TV needs Chromecast Ultra to watch HDR but if one has an oled with pc connected one can right click the YouTube nerd info and see the codec shift from VP9 to VP9.2 when it is in HDR mode.

SnapShot.jpg

I am waiting for a report from a colleague who has a Samsung USD tv that I know has a YouTube app that plays HDR correctly. If he has an issue, then I am happy to look more into this. 

In the meantime, your screenshot does look much worse than mine. So something is not right.

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3 hours ago, Anders Bixbe said:

Sorry for the bad screenshot. I  thought I had to make it smaller. This one (correct size) shows the grey bars better.

SAM_1075.JPG

I do not mean you took a bad shot or its too small, I mean it shows that you are not seeing HDR. Just look at the colors compared to my screenshot. Mine is HDR, yours is not - it shows what an HDR video looks like when viewed SDR. That's the point - you are not seeing the video in HDR. The writing just says it is an HDr video (which is just what the metadata say); it does not say that you are viewing it in HDR mode.

Screenshot_20171103-141836.png.8f47787640fe84276ed583916a79c845.png

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9 hours ago, markr041 said:

Now, I can actually view my HDR videos easily in HDR on my cell phone. Now, it ain't 10bit, and likely not REC2020 all the way, or have 14 stops of DR. But the difference is still incredible. The white bus in sunshine in the video below, viewed in HDR, is stunning.

I looked up HDR and wikipedia has this "SDR video, when using a conventional gamma curve and a bit depthof 8-bits per sample, has a dynamic range of about 6 stops (26=64:1).[1] When HDR content is displayed on a 2,000 cd/m2 display with a bit depth of 10-bits per sample it has a dynamic range of 200,000:1 or 17.6 stops,[1] a range not offered by the majority of current displays.[1]"

Once, again, there seems to be a lot misinformation perpetrated by the manufacturers.  Brightness information is not encoded in video, it is IMPLIED by the gamut.  Current technology assumes we can discern 16 million colors within 6 stops.  That is close to what scientists have determined about our biology.   

As far as I can tell, the only difference between HDR and SDR is that HDR displays more contrast between black and white.  That is, it has a wider gamut.  You don't need 10-bits to do that.  You can do 8-bit.  All you do is spread out the colors more (which is what LOG profiles do).  No biggie unless you shooting solid colors where you might notice banding.  There's no reason you can't shoot HDR in 8-bit IF the recording gamut matches the display gamut.

THE PROBLEMS HERE, SEEMS TO ME, ARE ALL ABOUT MIS-MATCHED GAMUTS.  If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll hear it about it here  ;)

In short, I believe you can manually change the brightness settings on a display to get HDR footage to look correct.  So you might experiment with that!  The reason the displays aren't doing this already (which is really SUPER TRIVIAL) is that the manufacturers are in a format war, so to speak.  Which makes me wonder how good this stuff is?  If it's so much better, why not allow one to simply choose an HDR gamut on their device?  What am I missing here?

I've said it here a gazillion annoying times.  An 8-bit LOG profile sacrifices color to achieve gross DR expansion.  Yes, I understand how 10-bit could theoretically show more DR on an HDR display, but I've yet to see it.  So I'd love to see some tests, Mark, or anyone else, that shows HDR video that has as much saturation as SDR video but with more highlights in the sky, or detail in the shadows.  When I look at the videos at BestBuy, on all the fancy TVS, they look a joke to me (all super high contrast).  I'd love to be proven wrong here, but so far, seems a total bunch of BS :) (Not you guys, the manufacturers)

I'm also still skeptical that wider display gamut would be comfortable to watch.  Okay, rant over!

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These guys, who’ve produced HDR content for several of the major players, including LG, Sony and Samsung, who’ve got something approaching 1/4 million subscribers on YouTube, and who’ve published half a dozen in-depth articles on producing and delivering HDR for the Web, explain the advantages of the tech quite well. 

Mystery Box

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9 hours ago, maxotics said:

When I look at the HDR videos at BestBuy, on all the fancy TVS, they look a joke to me (all super high contrast). 

Yes I have found the same thing. HDR demos in stores shows often normal contrast scenes adjusted very contrasty and colorful. The result is over saturated and eye watering unnatural images. When I go outside I dont see over saturated world. The normal world is actually quite dull and boring color wise. A good HDR system should show high contrast and high color only if the subject has it. Just like a good audio system is not making too much bass or too load sound all the time (Action movies does :)) .

It is a difficult question. If the HDR system works right the image should look majority of time normal. Only the high contrast/high color scenes will look different. But it is difficult to sell a new expensive system which looks the same as old majority of time. Film makers must find shocking colors and sunsets to make HDR shine but in normal life there are not so many shining moments.

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@maxotics Pardon me for sounding dumb, since it's obvious you've got more knowledge about this stuff than I do, but why is saturation so important? I'd willingly sacrifice some color saturation for greater dynamic range, if that's actually what's going on here. I seldom if ever add saturation to my own videos, and I just about always dial saturation way down when shooting, yet not a single viewer has ever commented on my YT channel that my videos weren't saturated enough, quite the opposite in fact. And while I typically don't use a vector scope while watching shows on Netflix, it appears most colorists are rather restrained when it comes to deep, saturated colors. I think I would actually find super saturated colors uncomfortable to watch, to be honest. As far as 8 bit vs.10 bit goes, from what I've read and seen, the biggie is in color grading - and according to Mystery Box, 8 bit just falls apart too easily. I sort of consider them authorities on the subject, as they've uploaded countless HDR videos to YT, many of which are breathtakingly beautiful. I also wonder if you've ever even shot HDR or own an HDR television. Because if you did, I think you'd know that just changing the brightness of the display is not going to make the footage I'm seeing from Mark look correct. The format wars you mention, they are a reality of sorts (although I believe a couple can coexist peacefully); for example, the great thing about HLG is that it is backwards compatible, which to the best of my understanding, the others are not, so there's that.... And it was developed specifically for broadcast, which again, afaik, the others were not... In any case, TV sets in 2017 are quite capable of recognizing as many as three or so different HDR formats and displaying them correctly with no action on the part of the viewer required. If content is HDR10, my set displays it correctly; if it's HLG it also displays it correctly, and if it's Dolby Vision, no problem. I think requiring the user to choose the format manually each time a video plays would be quite inconvenient. Lastly, I think it is silly to judge a television picture at a Best Buy shop,  I wouldn't even have done that fifteen years ago. Oh, and I can assure you I suffer no eye strain whatsoever watching HDR content at home. Though my TV is only 690 nits, not the brightest around I guess.

Edit: One more thing, is that HDR is not at all about oversaturated images, but about showing the world more as our eyes see it. Have a look at Nick Driftwood's Isobel and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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