A Study of Subjective and Objective Quality Assessment of HDR Videos

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A Study of Subjective and Objective Quality Assessment of HDR Videos

Zaixi Shang; Joshua P. Ebenezer; Abhinau K. Venkataramanan; Yongjun Wu; Hai Wei; Sriram Sethuraman; Alan C. Bovik

As compared to standard dynamic range (SDR) videos, high dynamic range (HDR) content is able to represent and display much wider and more accurate ranges of brightness and color, leading to more engaging and enjoyable visual experiences. HDR also implies increases in data volume, further challenging existing limits on bandwidth consumption and on the quality of delivered content. Perceptual quality models are used to monitor and control the compression of streamed SDR content. A similar strategy should be useful for HDR content, yet there has been limited work on building HDR video quality assessment (VQA) algorithms. One reason for this is a scarcity of high-quality HDR VQA databases representative of contemporary HDR standards. Towards filling this gap, we created the first publicly available HDR VQA database dedicated to HDR10 videos, called the Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) HDR Database. It comprises 310 videos from 31 distinct source sequences processed by ten different compression and resolution combinations, simulating bitrate ladders used by the streaming industry. We used this data to conduct a subjective quality study, gathering more than 20,000 human quality judgments under two different illumination conditions. To demonstrate the usefulness of this new psychometric data resource, we also designed a new framework for creating HDR quality sensitive features, using a nonlinear transform to emphasize distortions occurring in spatial portions of videos that are enhanced by HDR, e.g., having darker blacks and brighter whites. We apply this new method, which we call HDRMAX, to modify the widely-deployed Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion (VMAF) model. We show that VMAF+HDRMAX provides significantly elevated performance on both HDR and SDR videos, exceeding prior state-of-the-art model performance. The database is now accessible at: https://live.ece.utexas.edu/research/LIVEHDR/LIVEHDR_index.html . The model will be made available at a later...

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