SAN JOSE, Calif. – Technicolor launched two certification programs that address most of the estimated 500 million displays that ship each year. One certifies, on any size display, use of its color gamut widely adopted in Hollywood, the other certifies the quality of displays from an emerging class of video processors that scale today's high-definition content to next-generation 4K ultra high definition (UHD).
Technicolor won't say what it charges in a per-unit licensing fee for the certifications, except to say it is a very low amount based on expectations of high volumes. The programs were formally announced in late June, but so far have only attracted one chip startup.
Earlier this year, a studio technologist said Hollywood is at odds over TV and PC makers about 4K UHD as the next big format. TV makers rolled out UHD products at CES in January, but Hollywood wants a format with something beyond just more pixels, said the studio exec. In private meetings, studio heads have been proposing the next-generation format include features such as a wider color gamut, better contrast, and more immersive audio, opening up opportunities for Technicolor and others.
Technicolor's color certification specifies a clearly defined color-gamut triangle that displays must support to win the logo. Its partner, Portrait Displays, provides OEM and end user tools to optimize and adjust color gamut. So far, the companies have not certified any displays, a process they said takes no more than two days.
The logo is a sign, Technicolor claims, that certified displays will show movies, e-commerce products, and digital camera pictures with accurate colors. The company hopes OEMs can use the logo as a way to differentiate higher-end models.
"We see a huge variability in the color accuracy of products -- some are really bad, and some are OK but not quite accurate," said Edward Thompson, a tech licensing and business development manager for Technicolor. "Color is not like resolution -- there's no real way to figure out if color is displayed accurately using a single consumer-friendly number," he said.
To wear the Technicolor logo displays need to fill the color triangle.