HDTV blur: Wikis


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HDTV blur is a common term used to describe a number of different artifacts on modern consumer high-definition television sets.

The following factors are generally the primary or secondary causes of HDTV blur; in some cases more than one of these factors may be in play at the studio or receiver end of the transmission chain.

  • Pixel response time on LCD displays (blur in the color response of the active pixel)
  • Slower camera shutter speeds common in Hollywood production films (blur in the content of the film)
  • Blur from eye tracking fast moving objects on sample-and-hold LCD, plasma, or microdisplay.[1]
  • Resolution resampling (blur due to resizing image to fit the native resolution of the HDTV)
  • Blur due to 3:2 pulldown and/or motion-speed irregularities in framerate conversions from film to video



It is common for observers to confuse or misunderstand the source of blurring on HDTV sets. There are many different possible causes, many of them being possible simultaneously.

Pixel response times need to be below 16.67 milliseconds in order to fully represent the bandwidth of color changes necessary for 60 Hz video. But achieving faster than 16.67 does not eliminate motion blur because of the least understood of all of these blur effects is that due to eye tracking.

LCDs often have a greater motion blur effect because the pixel in an LCD remains lit unlike the CRT phosphors that merely strobe for a very brief period of time. Reducing the time an LCD is lit has been shown to reduce motion blur due to eye tracking by decreasing the time period the backlit pixels are on.[2] However, an instant strobe is required to completely eliminate the retinal blurring. [3][4][5]


Strobing backlight

  • Philips created Aptura also known as ClearLCD to strobe the backlight in order to reduce the sample time and thus the retinal blurring due to sample-and-hold.[6][7]
  • Samsung developed "LED Motion Plus" strobed backlighting and is available on the "Samsung 81 Series" LCD screens as of August 2007.[8]
  • BenQ developed SPD (Simulated Pulse Drive) also more commonly known as "black frame insertion" and they claim that their images are as stable and clear as CRT's.[9][10] This is conceptually similar to a strobing backlight.

100 Hz +

Some displays that run at 100Hz or more add additional technology to address blurring issues. Motion interpolation can cut the amount of blur while adding to the latency by inserting extra synthesized in-between frames. Some LCD TVs supplement the standard 50/60 Hz signal by interpolating an extra frame between every pair of frames in the signal so the display runs at 100 Hz or 120 Hz depending on which country you live in. The effect of this technology is most noticeable when watching material that was originally shot on 35mm film, in which case the typical film judder can be reduced, at the cost of introducing small visual artifacts. Film that is viewed with this kind of processing can have a smoother look, appearing more like it was shot on video, in contrast to the typical look of film. [11]

Motion interpolation technology generally may be added to TVs in PAL/SECAM countries if the TV refreshes at 100 Hz and in NTSC countries if the TV refreshes at 120 Hz.[12] It's notable that this solution is adequate for movies (which must have blur to begin with to solve double imaging problems with higher shutter speeds on film) but due to gamers' sensitivity to lag even in the 200ms range, it is often better to turn off all video enhancement effects for video games.[13]

One possible advantage of a 100 Hz + display is superior conversion of the standard 24 frame/s film speed. Usually movies and other film sources in NTSC are converted for home viewing using what is called 3:2 pulldown which uses 4 frames from the original to create 5 (interlaced) frames in the output. As a result 3:2 pulldown shows odd frames for 50 milliseconds and even frames for 33 milliseconds. At 120 Hz 5:5 pulldown from 24 frame/s video is possible[14] meaning all frames are on screen for the same 42 milliseconds. This eliminates the jerky effect associated with 3:2 pulldown called telecine judder. However, to use 5:5 pulldown instead of the normal 3:2 pulldown requires either support for 24 frame/s output like 1080p/24 from the DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc player or the use of reverse telecine to remove the standard 3:2 pulldown. Some TVs (particularly plasma models) do 3:3 pulldown at 72 Hz or 4:4 at 96 Hz.[15] (for specific models, see list of displays that support pulldown at multiples of the original frame rate.) PAL countries speed the 24 frame/s film speed by 4% to obtain 25 frame/s, therefore movies in the PAL format are completely free of Telecine judder effects. As a result, 100 Hz televisions do not suffer from telecine judder as 120 Hz models do.

Manufacturer Terminology:

  • JVC calls their 100 Hz + technology "Clear Motion Drive" and "Clear Motion Drive II 100/120HZ".[16]
  • LG calls their 100 Hz + technology "TruMotion".In the U.S., 120 Hz is called "Real Cinema 24."
  • Samsung calls their 100 Hz + technology AMP "Auto Motion Plus".[18]
  • Sony calls their 100 Hz + technology "Motionflow".[19]
  • Toshiba calls their 100 Hz + technology "Clear Frame".[20]
  • Insignia (Best Buy/Future Shop) house brand calls their 120 Hz + technology DCM Plus, for Digital Clear Motion.

Laser TV

Laser TV is reported to eliminate double imaging and motion artifacts by strobing the image similar to the way that a CRT works.[21] Laser TV is generally not yet available from many manufacturers, and the results are not confirmed to solve the problem, but claims have been made on television broadcasts such as KRON 4 News' Coverage of Laser TV from October 2006.[22]

See also

External links


  1. ^ Charles Poynton is an authority on artifacts related to HDTV, and discusses motion artifacts succinctly and specifically
  2. ^ Publishing from February 2006 from Sharp discussing LED flashing to reduce temporal retinal blur effects with decreasing on-time duty cycle for the backlight.
  3. ^ How human eyes sense the motion blur on moving object of LCD panel?
  4. ^ Three methods of classic MPRT measurement equipments.
  5. ^ Another PDF describing MPRT
  6. ^ Philips brochure advertising Aptura backlighting that reduces retinal blurring significantly
  7. ^ Review of a philips Aptura set that discusses Aptura briefly
  8. ^ User manual for Samsung 81 Series TVs with LED Motion Plus technology
  9. ^ BenQ described "black frame insertion" on FP241VW monitor release in 2006
  10. ^ BenQ describes "Simulated Pulse Drive" which seems to be the same technology but renamed for their newer monitor line announced December 2007
  11. ^ Six things you need to know about 120Hz LCD TVs
  12. ^ JVC Makes first 120 Hz set to cut retinal blur in half
  13. ^ Resolving latency issues in HDTV video games
  14. ^ Patent for 5:5 pulldown
  15. ^ Sets that support 3:3 pulldown at 72 Hz or 4:4 at 96 Hz
  16. ^ JVC | LCD Televisions
  17. ^ Description of Smooth120HZ
  18. ^ SAMSUNG Launches Premium 100Hz F8 LCD Television SAMSUNG
  19. ^ Article 4016
  20. ^ Toshiba REGZA 46LX177 Cinema Series 46-inch LCD HDTV with 120 Hz Processing: Review by Chris Boylan on BigPictureBigSound
  21. ^ Evans and Southerland use column scanning laser to eliminate motion blur on their high-end laser projection system
  22. ^ KRON 4 News in Bay Area covers coherent and novalux joint venture laser television project

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