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April 1991


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82 Malcolm Dean 213-5-5676 <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 12 Apr 91 15:53:00 PDT
text/plain (44 lines)
> I think that Watson has hit upon an interesting idea.  By the
> way, grain is not caused by resolution, it is what defines resolution
> in film.
I said "grain is the result of resolution." If you have a lens or
device of a lower quality than the receiving medium, e.g.
photographic film or television, information is lost. Conversely,
if the receiving medium is of a lower quality, information is
also lost. In photography, the grains which result are physical.
In television, they are analog results of electrical signals. In
digital media, they are the result of computer calculations
called quantization. This is why grain results from the
resolution of the recording and transmitting media.
> 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.
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. Some kind
of LCD technology will likely be used, but the question is, will
the frame be refreshed all at once, as in film? Probably not. If
only those pixels which CHANGE from moment to moment are
transmitted, we have a kind of "visual FM." The visual effect
will be quite different from current media. The "scan" or "swarm"
as Watson may have put it, would now be distributed across the
screen at the points of most change, not in bands of scan lines.
Clearly, such a system will place far greater emphasis on the
"grains" resulting from the "resolution" of the medium. If you
are interested in seeing such screen technology, visit a high-end
PC dealer and ask to see the top-of-the-line Toshiba portable PC.
It costs about $9,000, and the screen is wonderful. A bit tiny
for Ben Hur or Space Odyssey, however.