[SR Talks] ⑤ Interview with a Display Technology Expert at Samsung Research America

Q: Please briefly introduce yourself, Samsung Research America, and the kind of work that goes on there. What projects are you working on?

I am Bill Mandel, head of Visual Solution Lab (VSL) in Samsung Research America’s Digital Media Solutions Team. The Visual Solution Lab works on a variety of technical, software and ecosystem topics related to displays. Having all these varied talents in this lab creates a very good environment for innovation where I can have R&D scientists working on detailed color, dynamic range and motion technology interact with standards and promotion people working new formats in cinema and high dynamic range video.

Some of the projects we are working on this year involve better understanding of how color is perceived in high dynamic range systems with the goal of representing colors very accurately at different brightness levels. Another area is researching applying AI to perform heuristic picture quality improvements that have broader scope than just fixed algorithms alone as has been used in the past.

Q: Please tell me about the importance of your research field or technology.

Display technology has advanced tremendously in the last 20 years and video formats have not really kept up. While it is possible to creatively master very high quality video, there is a tremendous need to clean up, repair and enhance nearly all content that our customers want to watch. VSL enables new technologies that provide the best and highest quality differentiated viewing experience on Samsung TVs.

With many older programs and lower quality user generated videos there is quite a bit of content that our customers want to view which when seen on a large state of the art display may not look as good as our customer wants. Our research recently has been on understanding how to detect this lower quality images and improve the viewability in all ways, temporally, spatially and color/contrast.

Q: Can you tell us about the main achievement and rewarding moment in your research, or the episode?

I'm very happy with the success VSL has had working with many partners in Samsung and with over 150 externally to develop support for the HDR10+ video format and the underlying display technology to allow it to have the best appearance on our displays. At the same time, content has remained in legacy formats and resolution, and we have developed quite a bit of technology to use AI to scale legacy video in both resolution and dynamic range producing extremely compelling results that translate to benefit for our customers. Working with external partners, fixed release schedules and trade shows, you inevitably end up in time crunches at times resulting in having to find creative ways to get last minute approvals from our executives and we really appreciate the support they have provided even in time critical trying circumstances when there are many pressures.

Q: What is your vision for the future, and what goal would you want to achieve?

More automation in display operation. Generally, customers know intuitively when they see a high quality image, but the best image viewing depends on a lot of environmental and preference factors. Therefore, I would like to work on solving the problem of providing the best picture mode continuously to customers no matter the viewing environment or their history of viewing preference or issues/defects in content. In these areas, we are researching our customer preferences and learning how to identify and tune operation to each particular situation.