Major Motion Picture Studios Statement on HDR Brightness Levels

There has never been a push for or a requirement by any of the major Hollywood studios or leading streaming content providers that HDR shows hit a peak luminance of 1,000 nits. In the case of digital projection or direct view displays, there’s never been a requirement that movies hit system peak brightness either.

“It is also worth highlighting that a critical feature of the HDR system developed by DCI is one of creative expression. An HDR DCP need not exercise the entire range of brightness offered by the HDR specification. Despite the peak luminance that an HDR system is capable of, the brightness or darkness of each shot of a movie is always up to the filmmaker. It is not up to the HDR projector or display, which simply provides the full range of capabilities. DCI seeks to ensure that the headroom required to reproduce a filmmaker’s creative vision exists, whether that be the darkness of a cave, a candle, a car’s headlights, a meteor, or sunlight spilling through a window.” – DCI

The DCI is a consortium of major motion picture studios comprising Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros.

Nor does Netflix have any such requirement. At the same time, our tools should not prevent us from choosing whichever luminance levels help us to better tell the story.

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