Rec.2020 was never intended as an actual display color space

Pointers Gamut

In 1980, Michael R. Pointer published a gamut for real surface colors, establishing a highly regarded target for color reproduction. Visually, Pointers Gamut represents the colors of the natural world.

HDTV and Rec. 709

Rec. 709 is the ITU Recommendation for HDTV. Much smaller than Pointers Gamut, it was considered ill-suited for digital cinema.


DCI-P3, enclosing a gamut representative of film prints, is the minimum color gamut required of digital cinema projectors and displays. It is not the container color space for digital cinema. It has become the standard, not only for motion pictures, but for virtually all HDR content as well.

UHDTV and Rec 2020

“Rec. 2020 is the ITU Recommendation for UHDTV. Included in the Recommendation is the UHDTV container color space, commonly known as “Rec. 2020,” designed to incorporate Pointers Gamut. However, emphasis must be placed on the word “container,” as practical displays cannot implement Rec. 2020. Unlike digital cinema, the ITU does not define a minimum UHDTV display gamut to guide manufacturers and artists.” – Michael Karagosian

“The BT.2020 developers appreciated that color processing would be necessary in all consumer devices; their goal was to standardize interchange or container primaries, not native device primaries. Nonetheless, some factions today assert that BT.2020 defines a colorspace suitable for program material—in other words, they argue that program material should be allowed to be mastered to the entire BT.2020 gamut. We disagree… Finally, no commercial program material is mastered in BT.2020 gamut; in the absence of standardized gamut mapping, to do so would compromise color presentation on the majority of displays.” – Charles Poynton, David LeHoty

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