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April 1991


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 18 Apr 91 17:06:40 CDT
text/plain (49 lines)
----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Malcom Dean writes:
> > If there is
> > a video system down the line that has better resolution than film, will
> > it look better?
> The fundamental difference between film and video is that film
> presents an entire frame of information at a time, while our
> current video systems present portions of frames. They theory is
> that both media are sufficiently fast to fool our senses, but we
> all know this is not so.
This is *one* fundemental difference between film and video.  I don't
completely buy the idea that it is the important one, or even one of
the important ones.  Have any good studies been done that investigate
this alleged difference in perception?  Does it make any difference
that in a theater the audience watching a film spends a considerable
portion of its time in complete darkness, whereas the same is not true
for television?  What about using a monitor with a long persistence
phosphor, so that, unlike film, there is *always* a complete image on
the screen?
Perhaps we should look at the frame rate and motion question, too.  If,
despite our persistence of vision, having only part of the image on
the screen at any one time makes a difference, might not the the lack of
continious movement also make a difference?  Might this not even make
video superior to film in that the update rate is 1/3 faster and
therefore the differences between each frame in a moving scene will be
> Due to the immense bandwidth required to transmit as much
> information as a frame of high-resolution film can store, it is
> unlikely that future systems will immitate film. They may,
> however, be more akin to FM radio, which transmits NOT a signal,
> but the DIFFERENCE in the source from moment to moment.
This is wrong.  FM does transmit a signal directly, rather than
any difference.  Both FM and AM radio modulate a carrier to transmit
their signal, an AM transmitter changes the amplitude of the carrier
in proportion to the input signal, an FM transmitter changes the
frequency of the carrier in proportion to the input signal.
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