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Posts Tagged ‘hdr’

VESA Introduces DisplayHDR Specifications for PC Monitors and Laptop Displays

December 13th, 2017 No comments

HDR (High Dynamic Range) used to be a feature specific to cameras, but recently HDR got into phones and televisions with solutions like HLG, HDR10 or Dolby Vision. The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has now announced DisplayHDR open standard specifying high dynamic range (HDR) quality for PC monitors and laptop displays that use liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

DisplayHDR version 1.0 specifies three levels of HDR system performance (DisplayHDR 400, 600 and 1,000) with different white luminance, black level, and bit-depth “performance”.  An automated testing tool will be available for the users to perform their own testing if required.

HDR display in PC will mostly be useful while watching movies, gaming, and creating photo and/or video content. The requirements for DisplayHDR 400, DisplayHDR 600, and DisplayHDR 1000 are listed in details in the table below from DisplayHDR.org website.

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Eventually DisplayHDR will also support the less common OLED display, and a list of certified products will be posted on the website. The DisplayHDR test tool will be available in Q1 2018, but you can already download the DisplayHDR CTS (Compliance Test Specification) v1.0 for the full details.

Categories: Hardware Tags: hdr

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa Core Kryo 385 SoC to Power Premium Smartphones, XR Headsets, Windows Laptops

December 7th, 2017 9 comments

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor was expected since May 2017 with four custom Cortex A75 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, Adreno 630 GPU, and X20 LTE modem. with the launch planned for Q1 2018. At least, that what the leaks said.

Qualcomm has now formally launched Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform and rumors were mostly right, as the the octa-core processor comes with four Kryo 385 Gold cores (custom Cortex A75), four Kryo 385 Silver cores (custom Cortex A55) leveraging DynamIQ technology, an Adreno 630 “Visual Processing System”, and Snapdragon X20 modem supporting LTE Cat18/13.

The processor is said to use more advanced artificial intelligence (AI) allowing what the company calls “extended reality (XR)” applications, and will soon be found in flagship smartphones, XR headsets, mobile PCs, and more.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (SDM845) specifications:

  • Processor
    • 4x Kryo 385 Gold performance cores @ up to 2.80 GHz (custom ARM Cortex A75 cores)
    • 4x Kryo 385 Silver efficiency cores @ up to 1.80 GHz (custom ARM Cortex A55 cores)
    • DynamIQ technology
  • GPU (Visual Processing Subsystem) – Adreno 630 supporting OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0,Vulkan 1.x, DxNext
  • DSP
    • Hexagon 685 with 3rd Gen Vector Extensions, Qualcomm All-Ways Aware Sensor Hub.
    • Supports Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK, Caffe, Caffe2, and Tensorflow
  • Memory I/F – LPDDR4x, 4×16 bit up to 1866MHz, 8GB RAM
  • Storage I/F – TBD (Likely UFS 2.1, but maybe UFS 3.0?)
  • Display
    • Up to 4K Ultra HD, 60 FPS, or dual 2400×2400 @ 120 FPS (VR); 10-bit color depth
    • DisplayPort and USB Type-C support
  • Audio
    • Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec and speaker amplifier
    • Qualcomm aptX audio playback with support for aptX Classic and HD
    • Native DSD support, PCM up to 384kHz/32bit
  • Camera
    • Spectra 280 ISP with dual 14-bit ISPs
    • Up to 16 MP dual camera, up to 32 MP single camera
    • Support for 16MP image sensor operating up to 60 frames per second
    • Hybrid Autofocus, Zero Shutter Lag, Multi-frame Noise Reduction (MFNR)
    • Video Capture – Up to 4K @ 60fps HDR (H.265), up to 720p @ 480fps (slow motion)
  • Connectivity
    • Cellular Modem – Snapdragon X20 with peak download speed: 1.2 Gbps (LTE Cat 18), peak upload speed: 150 Mbps (LTE Cat 13)
    • Qualcomm Wi-Fi 802.11ad Multi-gigabit, integrated 802.11ac 2×2 with MU-MIMO, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 60 GHz
    • Qualcomm TrueWireless Bluetooth 5
  • Location – Support for 6 satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, SBAS; low power geofencing and tracking, sensor-assisted navigation
  • Security – Qualcomm Secure Processing Unit (SPU), Qualcomm Processor Security, Qualcomm Mobile Security, Qualcomm Content Protection
  • Charging – Qualcomm Quick Charge 4/4+ technology
  • Process – 10nm LPP

The company will provide support for Android and Windows operating systems. eXtended Reality (XR) is enabled with features such as room-scale 6DoF with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), advanced visual inertial odometry (VIO), and Adreno Foveation. Maybe I don’t follow the phone market closely enough, but I can’t remember seeing odometry implemented in any other phones, and Adreon Foveation is not quite self-explaining, so the company explains it combines graphics rendering with eye tracking, and directs the highest graphics resources to where you’re physically looking, while using less resources for rendering other areas. This improves the experience, performance, and lower power consumption.

 

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Compared to Snapdragon 835, the new processor is said to be around 25 to 30% faster, the Spectra camera and Adreno graphics architectures are claimed to boost power efficiency by up to 30 percent, and the LTE modem is a bit faster (1.2 Gbps/150Mbps vs 1.0 Gbps/150Mbps). Quick Charge 4+ technology should deliver up  to 50 percent charge in 15 minutes. Earlier this year when SD835 was officially launched, there was virtually no mention of artificial intelligence support in mobile APs, but now NNA (Neural Network Accelerator) or NPE (Neural Processing Engine) are part of most high-end mobile processors, which in SD845 appears to be done though the Hexagon 685 DSP. High Dynamic Range (HDR) for video playback and capture is also a novelty in the new Snapdragon processor.

One of the first device powered by Snapdragon 845 will be Xiaomi Mi 7 smartphone, and according to leaks it will come with a 6.1″ display, up to 8GB RAM, dual camera, 3D facial recognition, and more. Further details about the phone are expected for Mobile World Congress 2018. Considering the first Windows 10 laptop based on Snapdragon 835 processor are expected in H1 2018, we may have to wait until the second part of the year for the launch of Snapdragon 845 mobile PCs.

More details may be found on Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform product page.

Libre Computer Renegade SBC Features Rockchip RK3328 Processor with up to 4GB DDR4 RAM (Crowdfunding)

December 5th, 2017 39 comments

After Amlogic S905X based Le Potato board, and the on-going Kickstarter campaign for  Tritium Allwinner H2+/H3 boards, Libre Computer has now launched an Indiegogo campaign for their Renegade SBC (Single Board Computer) powered by Rockchip RK3328 SoC.

The board follows Raspberry Pi 3 form factor like the two previous models, and three versions of the board are offered with 1, 2 or 4GB RAM, making Renegade SBC a direct competitor to Pine64 ROCK64 board.

Renegade SBC specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with ARM Mali-450MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1, 2, or 4 GB DDR4
  • Storage – eMMC 5.x flash module socket (8 to 128 GB) + micro SD card slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support, 3.5mm AV port (composite video + stereo audio)
  • Video Codec – 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264, 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansion Headers
    • 40-pin (mostly) Raspberry Pi compatible GPIO header with PWM, I2C, SPI, GPIOs
    • 3-pin ADC Header with 2x analog inputs, GND
  • Debugging – UART header pins
  • Misc – IR receiver; button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions –  85 x 56 mm

The specifications are very close to the ones of ROCK64, but one important difference is that the Libre Computer board uses DDR4 memory instead of LPDDR3, so some 4K HDR videos may play better on the latter (TBC). However, based on the information provided in the product page, Renegade appears to be missing the 128Mbit SPI flash (mostly useful for network boot), comes with less I/O pins, and uses a micro USB port for power instead of a power barrel jack, so you’d have to make sure you use a low resistance USB cable to avoid any power issues.

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The board will run Linux distributions and Android 7.1 Nougat, but images for this board are not available for download yet. Support is provided via LoveRpi forums, and the Linux source code for all Libre Computer boards will be found on Github (now only for Amlogic AFAIK).

A pledge of $35 should get you Renegade 1GB board, $50 Renegade 2GB, and $70 Renegade 4GB. The company also offers rewards with various accessories including heatsink, active cooling case, 5V/2.5A power supply, and a micro SD card (8 or 32GB). Shipping adds $7 to $10 to the US depending on the perk, and $9 to $14 to the rest of the world. Delivery is planned for January 2018. For reference, ROCK64 board sells for $24.95, $34.95 or $44.95 with respectively 1, 2 or 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM, to which you add around $12 shipping.

HDMI 2.1 Features Overview

November 29th, 2017 No comments

HDMI 2.1 was announced last January with support for up to 10K @ 120 Hz while using Display Stream Compression (DSC) and new 48Gbps cables, as well as other improvements. The HDMI Forum has now released version 2.1 of the HDMI specifications.

The detailed specifications are only available to HDMI adopters, but an overview of the specifications can be downloaded by simple mortals.

Features for HDMI 1.0 to 2.1 – Click to Enlarge

From the table above, we can see HDMI 2.1 adds 7 new features compared to HDMI 2.0b:

  1. Dynamic HDR (HDR dynamic metadata) – HDR data (depth, detail, brightness, contrast, and color gamuts) can now be optimized on a scene-by-scene or even a frame-by-frame basis
  2. Enhanced audio return channel (eARC) – eARC supports high-bitrate home theater audio formats, object-based audio, uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1, and 32-channel uncompressed audio thanks to up to 37 Mbps audio bandwidth.

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  3. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) – Syncs up source and display with continually changing refresh rate, up to a frame-by-frame basis. The frames are transmitted as soon as they are rendered in order to reduce or eliminate interaction lag, stutter, and tearing.
  4. Quick Media Switching (QMS) – A source device can instantly switch the resolution or frame rate of its content without any display blackout, for example when switching from 60 Hz to 24 Hz to watch a movie. A QMS-capable display will be able to seamlessly vary refresh rate, switch resolution, and select the correct viewing mode.
  5. Quick Frame Transport (QFT) – Each video frame travels faster from the source even though the source does not increase its frame rate and results in deceasing latency. This reduces lag for gaming, real-time interactive virtual reality, and enables more responsive karaoke.
  6. Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) – Allows the ideal latency setting to automatically be established for various entertainment applications. For example, movies and videos can be viewed with some latency and it will not affect the user experience, but ALLM will switch to low latency mode for gaming, real-time VR, etc…
  7. Display Stream Compression (DSC) – 48 Gbps bandwidth is still not sufficient for some of the resolution and frame rate supported by HDMI 2.1, so DSC compressions must be used in for resolution/color depth/frame rate combination where Ultra is shown in red in the table below (10/12-bit 5K @ 100/120 Hz, 8K @ 100/120Hz, and most 10K options)

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HDMI 2.1 also introduces the “Ultra High Speed HDMI cable” necessary to handle up to 48 Gbps data for higher resolution and frame rate. The previous “High Speed HDMI cable” limited to 18 Gbps was suitable for all HDMI versions up to 2.0, and the new UHS cable is backward compatible for older versions. That means you’ll be to purchase a Ultra High Speed HDMI cable for all resolutions above where Premium/High Speed, or Standard cables are not suitable.

Categories: Audio, Hardware, Video Tags: 10k, 8k, hdmi, hdr

BenQ W1700 4K HDR Video Projector to Sell for Less than $2,000

November 17th, 2017 8 comments

4K UltraHD TVs have now become affordable, with prices not that far from HD television sets for a given size. But what about 4K projectors? We first find out about development in this space with a demo for Texas Instruments 4K DLP chip in January 2016 at CES. Close to the end of that year, I had another look while writing about a $70,000 Canon 4K projector based on laser technology, and found out the cheapest true 4K projector would sell for around $10,000.

I did not pay to much attention to 4K projectors this year, but I’ve been informed that Benq has come up with an affordable 4K HDR projector: W1700 / HT2550 (US) that will start selling for 1,599 Euros including VAT (around $1,885 US) next January. This could well mean $1,600 once it is launched in countries without VAT.

BenQ W1700 specifications:

    • Projection System – 0.47” single-DMD DLP technology with 8.3 million pixels resolution [Update: AFAICT, TI only makes 0.47″ DMD up to 1080p – see comments]
    • Resolution – VGA (640×480) to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 native)
    • Brightness (ANSI lumens) – 2200 ANSI Lumens‎
    • Contrast Ratio (FOFO) – 10,000:1 ‎
    • Display Color – 30 Bits (1,07 billion color)
    • Light Source – 240W lamp good for 4,000 hours (Normal), 8,000 hours (SmartEco), 10,000 hours (Economic), or 15,000 hours (LampSave)
    • Throw Ratio – 1.47 – 1.76 (100″ @ 3.25 m)
    • Zoom Ratio – 1.2X
    • Lens – F/# = 1.94 – 2.06, f = 15.57 – 18.67 mm
    • Keystone Adjustment – 1D, Vertical ± 40 degrees
    • Projection Offset – 110%
    • Clear Image Size – 60″ ~ 200″ (max: 30″ to 300″)
    • Horizontal Frequency – 15K – 102KHz‎
    • Vertical Scan Rate – 23 – 120Hz‎
    • Audio – 5W mono speaker, 3.5mm audio IN jack, 3.5mm audio OUT jack
    • Video Input – VGA (D-sub), 1x HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2, 1x HDMI 1.4a/HDCP1.4
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x mini USB port
    • Misc – 1x RS232 (DB-9pin) serial port,1x 12V Trigger (3.5mm Jack), 2x IR Receivers (front and top), 1x security bar
    • Special features – HDR, ISF Night/ Day, CinemaMaster Video + and Audio+2
    • Power Supply – 100 to 240V AC 50/60Hz
    • Power Consumption – Standby: 0.5W; typical: 330W
    • Dimensions (W x H x D)(mm) – 353 x 135 x 272
    • Weight – 4.2 kg

The projector also supports 3D content up to 1280×720 120Hz (Frame Sequential), 1080p24 (Frame Sequential), 1080i60 (Side by Side), and 720p60 (top bottom).

The projector will ship with a remote control, a power cord, a user manual CD, a quick start guide, a warranty card, and a lens cover. Optional accessories include a spare lamp kit and 3D Glasses.

No purchase or pre-order link for now. You may find further information on the product page.

Thanks to Harley  for the Tip

Categories: Hardware Tags: 4k, benq, hdr, projector

HiMedia Q10 Pro TV Box Review – Part 1: Unboxing and 3.5″ SATA Bay

November 8th, 2017 1 comment

HiMedia Q10 Pro Android TV box was launched in March of last year, equipped with a HiSilicon Hi3798CV200 quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB flash, and a SATA bay for 3.5″ drives. When I wrote a post about the Best Android TV boxes, on commenter mentioned that while NVIDIA Android Shield was the best box for streaming, he felt HiMedia Q10 Pro offered the best quality for media playback.

With now 18 months since launch, you may wonder why I would do a review now. That’s because Himedia keeps updating the firmware, and they asked me to check out and test their latest feature: 4K Blu-Ray navigation on Android 7.0 OS. As usual, I’ll start by checking out the hardware, and will publish a review focusing on Blu-ray playback in a few weeks.

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The package is more like a suitcase that your usual tiny box, but that’s common for high-end TV boxes. It also shows the main features like 4K HDR support, Dolby and DTS-HD audio and so so.

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The box ships with an IR remote control with IR learning function for 4 keys, a WiFi antenna, a HDMI cable, a 12V/2A power supply, and  quick guide describing the remote control functions, and explaining how to connect the device to a TV and/or amplifier.

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The build quality feels very good, and the box is entirely made of metal.

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The front panel includes a VFD display, IR receiver window, and several touch button for power, menu navigation, etc…

The left side features all USB host ports with one USB 3.0 port, and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as a SD/MMC slot.

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The rear panel has vents for the cooling fan, a WiFI antenna connector, a USB 3.0 device port to connect the box directly to your computer, optical and coaxial S/PDIF output, 3 RCA jacks for composite video and L&R audio, a Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0a output, a recovery pin hole, and the DC jack.

The remaining side comes with a button which you can slide to open the SATA bay.

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Installation is super easy, just insert your 3.5″ SATA drive push the “Open” handle, and close the lid.

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At this point, I normally do a teardown, but I found it not to be so obvious, and since the device is old enough, somebody else already did one.

HiMedia Q10 Pro is sold for $159.99 shipped on GeekBuying, but you’ll also find it on eBay, Amazon US (for $299?), and likely in a local reseller in your own country. Now, I’ll need to find some 4K Blu-Ray ISO files to test on the device…

Arm Announces Mali-D71 for 4K/120 Hz Displays, Assertive Display 5 with HDR

November 1st, 2017 5 comments

Arm has just announced Mali-D71 display processor optimized for 4K120 displays used for virtual reality, Assertive Display 5 display management core which adds support for high dynamic range (HDR10 / HLG), as well as CoreLink MMU-600 system memory management unit to handle data feed to Mali-D71, with the integration leading to a 55% area saving for the combined solution and a 50% latency improvement.

Mali-D71 Display Processor

The main advantages of D71 display processor include:

  • 30% system power savings by fully offloading GPU workloads before output such as composition, rotation, high-quality scaling, and other imaging processing in fixed function hardware.
  • 2x area efficiency compared to Mali-DP650. When driving a single display, it can re-use the resources of a secondary display, doubling the performance.
  • 4x latency tolerance – Mali-D71 can sustain up to 4x the delay on the system bus for the same throughput, helping maintaining high refresh rates up to 120 fps.
  • 2x pixel throughput

Mali D71 will also improve multi-window display support with up to 8 Android composition layers in single display mode.

Assertive Display 5

As mentioned in the introduction, Assertive Display 5 adds support for HDR content (HDR10 or HLG), and it can do so to any characteristic of display (any dynamic range and gamut), also delivering an HDR experience on an SDR display.

Assertive Display 5 utilizes iridix8 HDR local tone-mapping engine to handle HDR, combines with other blocks as shown in the diagram above. Since not all displays are capable of the 100,000:1 contrast ratio enabled by HDR, tone mapping maps one set of colors to another, approximating the appearance of high dynamic range images on devices with a more limited dynamic range.

HDR also has a wider color gamut with Rec.2020, or WCG (wide color gamut), but again HDR displays are not yet capable of showing the full gamut of Rec.2020, and instead achieve P3 gamut, right between Rec.709 (normally associated with SDR) and Rec.2020. So this also needs to be mapped as best as possible, and AD-5 relies on an hardware implementation of 3D LUT (Three-dimensional look-up tables) to perform gamut and color mapping.

AD-5 and Mali-D71 also support the handling of both HDR and SDR windows within the same composition scene.

Beside the aforelinked blog post, you’ll also find more details on Arm’s Mali-D71 and Assertive Display 5 developer pages.

Categories: Hardware, Processors Tags: 4k, arm, hdr, HDR10, virtual reality

Synaptics Introduces VideoSmart BG5CT 4K HDR Multimedia Video Processor for Set-Top Boxes

October 23rd, 2017 1 comment

Marvell used to design Media SoCs running Android TV such as ARMADA 1500 Ultra (aka BG4CT). That part of Marvell business has very recently been sold to Synaptics, which has just unveiled VideoSmart BG5CT multimedia SoC with 4K “Advanced” HDR video processing for the set-top-box market.

The BG5CT is said to be pin-to-pin compatible with BG4CT Android TV SoC, features a quad core ARM CPU @ 1.6 GHz with 15K DMIPS, an Imagination PowerVR Series8XE GE8310 GPU, and a security engine enabling secure boot, Trusted Rendering Path, full TrustZone, and video watermarking carrier-grade security making it suitable for Pay TV operators and set-top-box manufacturers.

Synaptics’ Qdeo video processing technology adds 4K “Advanced HDR” – including HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and Technicolor HDR, among user video processing technology. The company did not provide that many details, but BG5CT appears to mostly add HDR support compared to BG4CT, and replace Vivante GC7000 GPU by PowerVR GE8310.

Primary SDKs for BG5CT will include Android TV and RDK. We can expect the new SoC to be found in “operator tier” Android TV set-top boxes with a custom launcher, and designed to handle Pay TV services from a specific provider.Visit the product page for (not that many) more details.