[opendtv] Re: Frames Per Second of 720P

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:48:21 -0400

At 9:03 PM -0400 7/27/08, Tom Barry wrote:
I have never spent time behind the camera but I think I have to go with John on the framing issue. It seems quite obvious to me that how you best frame the picture will indeed depend upon the expected amount of detail being presented to the viewer.

I have a Sprint HTC phone with a subscription that allows me to watch CNN in (IIRC) a 320x240 resolution on about a 3" diagonal screen, though I suspect the delivery resolution may be less. Anyway, that makes it about 1.75" high in 4:3 landscape mode. I seem to hold that about 15" away from my eyes so I guess that's about a viewing distance of 8.5 screen heights.

Meanwhile CNN is muchly talking heads. And much of the info watching people talk is actually non-verbal, maybe assessing their credibility, intent, or emotional state from various clues visible in face to face communication. But at 8.5 screen heights the ability to see that information far trumps the gain from widening the field of view to provide more context.

Meanwhile, in HD sitting close to a big screen the reverse is true. There is marginal extra value in being able to count pores or nose hairs on the talking heads so instead the experience is enhanced by spreading it out a bit and providing info on a wider area.

I personally think the extreme example of this is in something like soccer, where suddenly the ability to provide the context of the player(s) makes that game much more desirable in HD, being able to zoom out a bit and provide better context without losing the needed detail on the most central players.

The net result is I really do want things framed differently between my phone and front projector.

The one area where screen size differences can be a significant factor is sports. Those wide HD shots that show everyone on both sides of the line of scrimmage in a U.S. football game are mostly useless on a mobile device, or if the game is viewed in letterbox mode on a legacy NTSC TV set. But fear not, after the play is over you will be treated to multiple close-up views of the play.


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