[opendtv] Re: Display oversampling

  • From: "Ciril Kosorok" <kosorok@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "OpenDTV Mail List" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2011 08:11:42 +1000

Interesting. Reminds me of SACD; 20-50K frequency response, 8GB capacity, 2.8MHz sampling, 1bit DSD etc. With all these juicy 'bits', consumers instead embraced MP3 -> AAC.

Perhaps 4K will become a capture & Digital Cinema format, and 720p video will continue to satisfy the vast majority of consumers.

Kind regards... Ciril

-----Original Message----- From: Craig Birkmaier
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 1:29 AM
To: OpenDTV Mail List
Subject: [opendtv] Display oversampling

Every once in awhile something happens to challenge one's perception
of "good enough."

For the past two decades I've staunchly defended the 720P HD format,
mostly because it was the only ATSC/MPEG2 format that uses
progressive scanning at high frame rates. I also have been eager to
point out that for most of the HDTV displays sold today ( i.e. under
50 inch diagonal), 1080P cannot be resolved by the typical viewer at
the viewing distances found in most homes.

Then I got an iPhone 4 with its 326 dpi "Retina Display." While it
this is clearly more resolution then my aging eyes can resolve, I can
see a big difference, even without my reading glasses. Where it
REALLY makes a difference is with text and graphics; it also helps
with still images, and to a lesser extent with video.

What's up here, and how might much higher resolution displays affect
the future of the movie and TV business and "convergence
applications" on the "BIG SCREEN" in the family room?

There are two trends worth noting:

1. Hollywood has been all  ga ga about 4K resolution, both for
acquisition and for Digital Cinema display. 4K capture is still
technically limited because of sensors and frame rate constraints;
this continues to be the Achilles heel of video acquisition, based on
something quite simple - physics and the ability to capture photons
at higher frame rates in real time.

2. Displays have been moving forward at a pace that is more akin to
Moore's Law; the move to LED backlighting has had a major impact
thanks to the ability to handle much higher refresh rates. Meanwhile
pixel densities have been increasing and the processing power
required to handle the computational complexity of compressing and
moving 4K images around has been keeping pace.

If we cannot resolve all these pixels, and video cameras still
struggle to capture them, what are we to do with these new higher
resolution displays?

The iPhone provides some good clues. Better yet, desktop publishing
gave us part of the answer in the '80s.  The Laserwriter taught us
that we need more pixels to render text without aliasing along the
edges; 300 DPI became the standard for a nice letter and digital
pre-press, with several thousand DPI being used for high quality 4
color separations.

The extra resolution of the Retinal display makes a big difference
when working with text and web pages. The main factor here is that
the images are NOT moving - we have time to resolve the detail. With
video there is only so much information that can be resolved when
images are being updated 24 to 72 times a second; more detail is
primarily required for VERY LARGE displays, such as those found in

So it appears we are moving to a new generation of  "Oversampling
Displays," with more resolution than is needed for movies and video.
But these displays will also support a greatly improved viewing
experience for the new APPS that are going to fill our computer and
TV screens.

The following article provides some insight about all of this with
respect to the next generation of chips from Intel; it also provides
some explanation as to why the Thunderbolt interface is going to be
needed to deal with next generation displays.



Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Intel's Ivy Bridge support for 4K resolution could pave way for 'Retina' Macs
By Josh Ong
Published: 01:18 AM EST (10:18 PM PST)

Intel quietly revealed last week that its next-generation Ivy Bridge
processors will support the 4K display resolution, with up to 4096 x
4096 pixels per monitor, potentially paving the way for Apple to
introduce high-resolution "Retina Display" Macs.

The world's largest chipmaker announced the news during a technical
session at its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco last week, as
noted by VR-Zone. Ivy Bridge chips will rival competing discrete GPUs
by including support for the 4K resolution when they arrive next year.

The company also highlighted a Multi Format Codec (MFX) engine that
is capable of playing multiple 4K videos at once. The codec is also
capable of handling video processing for 4K QuadHD video, a standard
that YouTube began supporting last year.

A set of performance enhancements, with special attention to
graphics, should give Ivy Bridge as much as a 60 percent performance
boost over the current generation of Sandy Bridge chips, according to

Intel also revealed last week that Ivy Bridge chips will include
support for Apple's OpenCL standard, which should give a performance
boost to next-generation MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro models
when they arrive in 2012.

If Apple were to introduce a 4K resolution display with the 16:9
ratio currently used in its Thunderbolt Display, iMac and MacBook Air
products, the resulting resolution would be 4096 x 2304. A 27-inch
display with 4K resolution would sport a pixel density of 174 pixels
per inch. Assuming a working distance of 24 inches and 20/20 vision
for the calculations, a 4K 27-inch iMac or Thunderbolt display would
count as a "Retina Display."

Apple first began using the "Retina Display" marketing term with the
iPhone 4 last year. Then CEO Steve Jobs touted the 326ppi display as
being beyond the capabilities of the human retina when used at a
distance of 12 or more inches from the eyes.

In September 2010, the company released a Retina Display iPod touch.
Rumors have also swirled that Apple will follow suit with a
high-resolution version of the third-generation iPad, doubling the
resolution of the tablet to 2048 x 1536.

Of course, Macs that take full advantage of the 4K resolution
capabilities built into future generations of Intel's chips would
take some time to arrive, as Apple will need to resolve price and
production constraints before releasing a Retina Display desktop or
notebook. But, 3200 x 2000 desktop wallpapers were discovered in a
Developer Preview of Mac OS X Lion earlier this year and appear to
telegraph a future resolution bump for Apple's line of Mac computers.

Also of note, Apple added 4K support to its Final Cut Pro video
editing program when it released version X in June. However, Final
Cut Pro X has caused a controversy, as some users have complained
that the application is no longer "pro" software.

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