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Colorimetry & Video Reproduction - An Introductory Guide to Video Color

As technology integrators, we are a part of the process of delivering a filmmaker’s vision to the enthusiast at home. The setup of an audio-visual system in a CEDIA member client’s home should be of sufficient performance to immerse the audience in the narrative, and color is a key part of this.

Good video is a balance between human perception and technology. The way a camera sees and records images is quite different from the way our vision works, so we need technology to adjust for this. But technology has historically always presented limitations, namely in processing power, file size handling, and delivery bandwidth, be it via broadcast or a wired connection.

Limiting the color gamut and depth, using chroma subsampling, and compressing the dynamic range are all techniques that have been employed to make the most of the video image within technological confines. As technology improves, these limitations are reduced and video improves with features like wide color gamut, greater bit depth, and high dynamic range. Understanding what and why is key.


The objective of this document is to explore and define color perception and color video reproduction. This includes an overview of the relationship between the color space, gamut and depth, as well as brightness, contrast and gamma.

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