[opendtv] Re: 405 line pictures

  • From: flyback1 <flyback1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 18:09:43 -0500

Mark Schubin wrote:

Television Digest reported decades ago (in the black-&-white days) about an American television delegation that went to the UK in its 405-line, 3-MHz-video-bandwidth days and found the pictures superior to those in the U.S. There was much discussion about why.


I agree there may have been more care taken in BBC TV production, but I also believe the 405 line pictures looked better to the U.S. delegation because they had more visible information and detail in the darker parts of the image.

In Europe, the camera setup standard was different. The grayscale setup chart used was different from the one used with NTSC, eleven steps instead of nine, and the range of reflectance was also different as was the gamma. This still may be the case today.

The result is [as I am remembering, because I can't find my camera notebook] the 50% crossover point on a European waveform monitor is about 45 IRE whereas
with NTSC cameras it is around 55 IRE.

This brings the lower levels up by 10 IRE on a European camera, and adds subtle shading and nuance in the dark parts of the picture creating a more natural looking image.

Sort of like how very old movies shot with low contrast B&W silver nitrate film look.

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