goHDR has access to the world’s first true High Dynamic Range (HDR) video camera as well as the world’s largest HDR display. The encoding/decoding software being developed by goHDR, has the potential to be the enabling technology which helps bring about the widespread adoption of HDR video for the home entertainment market.
goHDR is a business start-up focusing on video compression technology. It has benefitted from the support of WMG’s Digital Lab, an ERDF-funded project providing business and technical expertise to SMEs in the West Midlands.
In November 2009 goHDR was Highly Commended in the Technology Strategy Board’s Special Award for High Growth Potential 2009 category. The judges were particularly impressed by the company’s HDR video compression technology.
Our Visualisation team led by Prof. Alan Chalmers has, under contract with our partner SpheronVR, acquired the world’s first HDR video camera. The camera is capable of 20 f-stops, full HD (1920 × 1080) resolution at 30 frames per second.
A key challenge to the widespread adoption of this HDR camera is making manageable the huge data stream that it generates. This is very much higher than a normal video camera with the HDR camera capturing data at 24 MBytes per frame or 42 Gigabytes per minute of footage, compared to just 9 Gigabytes for a minute of normal video footage. Clearly there is a need for a highly effective method of data-compression, which is not a general system, but is specially designed to achieve optimal data-compression without the loss of visual quality in an HDR picture, if HDR imagery is to become widely accessible.
goHDR has developed a powerful encoding algorithm. The algorithm provides:
- Substantial compression of more than 100:1
- Preservation of high quality details, allowing high quality compressed digital negatives (important for the cinema industry)
- Very fast decompression method using the power of modern Graphics Processing Units (GPUs)
A number of high profile visitors, colleagues and technical experts have agreed the visuals are incredible and mark the same step change as colour television was from black and white.
The HDR video camera should appeal to a wide audience, especially those in the medical field, creative industries and related sectors wishing to visualise high quality imagery of dynamic real world lighting situations. Furthermore HDR video allows “the ultimate television”, which no longer suffers the impenetrable shadows and “washed out” light spots that prevent effective television coverage of many natural (as opposed to studio posed and lit) scenes.
We believe that it will be particularly attractive for outside broadcasting of sports and news events, as well as allowing savings in studio setup and lighting for inside broadcasting.
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If you are interested in finding out more about goHDR, the HDR video camera or WMG contact Professor Alan Chalmers at firstname.lastname@example.org