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Roundabout Entertainment Boosts HDR Mastering & Quality Control

June 7, 2016 | By

Roundabout Entertainment has extended its high dynamic range (HDR) mastering services by upgrading its DaVinci Resolve systems with the latest software release from Black Magic Design, version 12.5. The new software includes improved HDR grading controls that add to the facility’s ability to finish, grade and deliver theatrical, television and home entertainment projects in HDR. It also adds new tools for editing, visual effects and noise reduction.

“We have developed a complete workflow to support our clients’ needs to make HDR deliveries that conform to distributor specifications,” said Roundabout founder and CEO Craig Clark. “We share our clients’ enthusiasm for HDR and are providing them with the quality they need, and the efficiency and reliability that they have come to expect from Roundabout.”

Roundabout initiated HDR services more than a year ago. It launched one of the industry’s first HDR quality control operations and currently provides that service for several Amazon original series. “We’re ahead of the game in HDR,” said senior colorist Michael Smollin. “We’ve got the expertise and the gear to produce HDR masters, and we’re one of few facilities actively providing HDR QC on a daily basis.”

Smollin noted that Roundabout has developed proprietary quality control software capable of analyzing HDR media up to 10,000 nits. Along with its HDR-capable DaVinci Resolves, the facility has a number of Sony BVM-X300 monitors, with HDR support, that can be used for HDR grading and mastering.

As more studios, streaming service providers and home entertainment producers adopt HDR, demand for the appropriate post services will undoubtedly grow quickly. “HDR is not simply a new format, it is a separate and distinct creative entity,” explained Smollin. “With the extended range, you can push the whites further, or rein them in. Details that reach the top of the range in a P3 master tend to dim. In the HDR master, you can get the detail back. It’s a different aesthetic.”

Smollin added that HDR is not the only emerging delivery format that has Roundabout’s attention. “We are committed to supporting all formats: 2K, 4K, HDR, ACES and anything else,” he says. “We have the technology, we understand the workflows and we have the talent to deliver the high quality our customers demand.”

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