BrightSide DR37-P HDR display

Written by Geoff Richards

October 4, 2005 | 09:23

Tags: #1080p #backlight #bright #ccfl #contrast-ratio #extreme #hdr #hdtv #high-definition #high-dynamic-range #imled #lcd #led #luminance

Companies: #dolby


Improved graphical fidelity in PC and console games is just one application for BrightSide's technology. In fact, with these first models selling for US$49,000 as well as the noise and heat they output, it comes as no surprise to learn that they are finding homes in Industry before future generations enter the lounge room. The list of people who can benefit from HDR in their working lives is as varied as it is long.


Thanks to the extreme darkness / brightness of the display (thanks to the IMLED back light) BrightSide's HDR display can actually match the performance of x-ray film on a light box. The DICOM - Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine - standard calls for a Luminance Range from 0.05 to 4000 cd/m². BrightSide have this covered and can of course go all the way down to 0 cd/m².

This means patients' x-rays can be stored digitally and called up at any time for accurate diagnosis at any time, reducing storage and retrieval costs while making better use of doctors' valuable time.

BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications
HDR can also be of benefit in the Operating Room: surgeons can not only benefit from the improved dynamic range of the display when performance endoscopic (keyhole) surgery, but can also easily view the display even under the very bright lights of the O.R.

Virtual Design

Everything, from the mouse you're using right now to the car in your driveway, was design on a computer. The automotive industry in particular make heavy use of CAD and 3D render pre-visualisation software to speed the design process as well as reduce the use of expensive scale models.

BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications
RBR05 render Copyright
The more accurate lighting of HDR as well as the greater number of colour shades results in more realistic virtual design. It is particularly well suited to metallic products, such as cars, used in a variety of lighting environments.

Film Post Production

When a film is made using traditional stock, that raw footage has, by nature, a high dynamic range. In the editing suite, various processes are applied to the footage to achieve the director's desired effect. An example of this is the washed out, desaturated scenes in David Twohy's Pitch Black, starring Vin Diesel and Radha Mitchell.

BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications
These two scenes were shot in similar conditions on a cold, winter day in the barren landscape outside Coober Pedy, South Australia. According to the story, the characters are stranded on a planet that has three suns. As there is continuous daylight around the clock, each sun takes turn at dominating the light: red makes way for blue.

This is a post-production special effect, as is the dramatic over exposure to give the appearance of high temperatures. Now that HDR displays are available to production houses, they can preserve the full dynamic range of the original footage during the editing process as well as facilitating cleaner integration of digital effects with original footage. You can read more here

Geophysical Data

In the cut throat industry of oil & gas exploration, companies are spending millions of dollars per year in the quest to locate untapped reserves of the 'black gold'. Sophisticated geophysical scans of sea beds produce vast amounts of data which must be visualised and analysed - a real challenge when you are limited to existing 8-bits-per-channel colour displays.

BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications
Oceanographers and Climatologists also benefit from HDR for the same reasons the oil companies do: any field which requires the visualisation of data through the use of colour gradients will appreciate having 16-bits per colour channel. Each colour can have 65,536 shades compared with the previous 256 shades of 8-bit-per-channel colour.

Satellite Imaging

Believe it or not, but satellites already capture data in 16-bit depth, yet all existing displays are only 8-bit. With the BrightSide HDR display, scientists and astronomers can study the full dynamic range of the original image, as captured by various meteorological satellites and the likes of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Home Theatre

Thanks to BrightSide's sophisticated algorithms, their display can take the LDR data from an existing DVD and extrapolate the brightness values to boost both dark and light areas. The difference is impressive: more natural skin tones, dark shadows and bright explosions all combine to produce a dramatically improved picture.

Once again, seeing is believing, so here is a short video of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.

BrightSide DR37-P HDR display Applications

BrightSide DR37-P HDR display DVD demo video by bit-tech

Duration: 2m21s
Resolution: 640x480
File size: 16.0MB
Codec: WMV9

Download Locations: Server #1

To start this video, the Westinghouse regular HD LCDTV was set to "normal", which set the back light to 50%. This is designed to provide reasonable brightness without making the blacks too grey. During the demonstration, we turned the back light slider all the way down to '0' - this improved the black shades, though as expected, the top-end brightness became quite dull.

At the end of the day, there was no single back light setting we found that came close to BrightSide's picture quality. We hypothesised that the regular LCD display might have a fighting chance if it was able to analyse each frame of the video and dynamically adjust the back light level to best suit the scene on screen at the time. It would still be a uniform back lighting, as opposed to BrightSide's matrix of IMLEDs, but it would darken for dark scenes while also brightening for daytime scenes. However, we were told that the second you dynamically adjust the back light, you infringe on BrightSide's patent.
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May 5 2021 | 09:30