Recently returned from a week in rainy Indianapolis at CEDIA 2011 and thought I’d share some of my observations. Amidst the din of the latest audio systems and blue-tinged glare of LED driven LCDs I discovered a small but growing group of companies talking about color.

While the mainstream, average show-goer was talking a lot about contrast or dynamic range, discussing the difference between sets with ‘grey levels’ and those capable of true ‘black levels,’ I’m predicting that color will dominate next year’s show. With high color gamut panels just around the corner, we’re just starting to see a technology ecosystem emerge around delivering an improved color experience for consumers. Several companies (like SpectraCal and Entertainment Experience) that I talked to are developing powerful color ‘upscaling’ technologies that will help to bridge the gap between today’s content and the eventual availability of high gamut formats, like P3, at the consumer level.

Another great, potentially high color gamut-enabling demo I saw was THX’s Media Director. These guys are using metadata to automatically set-up and optimize home theater equipment to the content you are watching. By working with and providing tools to the content creators, what the end user sees and hears should be much closer to the original artistic intent. Seems to me there’s great potential for this technology as consumers start watching content across a wider variety of displays (with wildly varied performance characteristics from HDTV to low res, low gamut smartphones to soon to emerge ‘retina’ resolution computer displays) than they have in the past.

At the next CEDIA we ought to hear people talking about true reds and greens compared to the orange-ish and yellow-ish hues of last year’s sets.

Video interview from the CEDIA show floor, describing a Nanosys QDEF enabled, high color gamut TV:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKg_1iIPVdY]

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