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1080p is the shorthand name for a category of HDTV video modes. The number "1080" represents 1,080 lines of vertical resolution (1080 vertical scan lines),[1] while the letter p stands for progressive scan (meaning the image is not interlaced). 1080p can be referred to as full HD or full high definition to differentiate it from other HDTV video modes.[2] The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a horizontal resolution of 1920 pixels. This creates a frame resolution of 1920×1080, or 2,073,600 pixels in total. The frame rate in hertz can be either implied by the context or specified after the letter p (or i), such as 1080p30, meaning 30 Hz.

1080p is sometimes referred to in marketing materials as "Complete High-Definition". However, 2K/4K digital cinema technology is commercially available, and ultra-high definition video is in the research phase.

In addition to the meaning of 1080p as a display resolution, 1080p is also used to describe video equipment capabilities. Use of 1080p and the closely related 1080i labels in consumer products may refer to a range of capabilities. For example, video equipment that upscales to 1080p takes lower resolution material and reformats it for a higher resolution display. The image that results is different from the display of original 1080p source material on a native 1080p capable-display. Similarly, equipment capable of displaying both 720p and 1080i may in fact not have the capability to display 1080p or 1080i material at full resolution. It is common for this material to be downscaled to the native capability of the equipment. The term "native 1080p-capable" is sometimes used to refer to equipment capable of rendering 1080p fully.


[edit] Broadcasting standards

ATSC and DVB support 1080p video, but only at the frame rates of 24, 25, and 30 frames per second (1080p24, 1080p25, 1080p30) and their 1000/1001-rate slow versions (e.g., 29.97 frames per second instead of 30). Higher frame rates, such as 1080p50 and 1080p60, are foreseen as the future broadcasting standard [3], but they could only be sent with more bandwidth or if a more advanced codec (such as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and AVS) were used.

In the United States, the ATSC is considering amending its standard to allow the incorporation of the newer codecs for optional usage as the DVB Project consortium already has done with DVB-S2.[4] However, doing so is not expected to result in widespread consumer availability of broadcast 1080p60 programming, since most of the existing digital television sets or external digital receivers in use in the United States would still only be capable of decoding the older, less-efficient MPEG-2 codec, while the bandwidth limitations do not allow for broadcasting two simultaneous streams on the same broadcast channel (e.g. both a 1080i MPEG-2 stream alongside a 1080p MPEG-4 stream).

[edit] Production standards

The movie industry has embraced 1080p24 as a mastering format in both native 24p form and in 24PsF form. This may be the first universal video standard which transcends continental boundaries. This is an area previously reserved for film.[5]

A new high-definition progressive scan format is not available for picture creation, but is currently being developed to operate at 1080p at 50 or 60 frames per second.[3][6] This format will require a whole new range of studio equipment including cameras, storage, edit and contribution links (such as Dual-link HD-SDI and 3G-SDI) as it has doubled the data rate of current 50 or 60 fields interlaced 1920 × 1080 from 1.485 Gbit/s to nominally 3 Gbit/s. It is unable to be broadcast in a compressed transmission to legacy MPEG-2 based HD receivers. This format will improve final pictures because of the benefits of "oversampling" and removal of interlacing artifacts.

[edit] Availability

[edit] Broadcasts

In the United States, the ATSC standard allows 1080p24 and 1080p30 video. In practice, 1080p is extremely rare in broadcasting, as all major networks use a 60 Hz format in the MPEG-2 header – either 720p60 or 1080i60, and the consumer televisions do not support codecs needed to support 1080p50 or 1080p60 as of yet.

For material that originated from a 24 frame/s source (such as film), MPEG-2 allows the video to be coded as 1080p24, irrespective of the final output format. The progressively-coded frames are then tagged with metadata (literally, fields of the PICTURE header) instructing a decoder how to perform a 3:2 pulldown to interlace them. While the formal output of the MPEG-2 decoding process from such stations is 1080i60, the actual content is coded as 1080p24 and can be viewed as such. That is to say, twenty-four progressively-coded frames per second are present in the bitstream; it is the decoder that turns them into 60 interlaced fields per second. NBC is known to use this method with some stations.[citation needed]

Even for content that has not been encoded in this fashion, it is still usually possible to extract the original 24 source frames from a 1080i60 broadcast of 24 frame/s material, since no information is lost even when the broadcaster (as opposed to the receiver) performs the 3:2 pulldown.[citation needed]

[edit] Blu-ray Movies

All Blu-ray Discs are availiable to hold 1080p HD content such as movies. All movies released on Blu-ray can produce a Full 1080p High Definition picture when the Blu-ray Disc Player is connected to a 1080p HDTV with a HDMI cable.

[edit] Internet content

There has been some content released in the 1080p format on the Internet. Some notable examples include the Apple QuickTime Trailers in the QuickTime HD 720p/1080p format, and the Microsoft WMV HD Content Showcase which offers clips in both 720p and 1080p formats. Another example of 1080p content is the MacBreak 1080p podcast created by Leo Laporte and Alex Lindsay. This podcast is distributed via the BitTorrent method of distribution because of the large file sizes resulting from the high bit-rates. BitTorrent and Newsgroups also contain many 1080p movies which have been copied from Blu-ray Disc or broadcast sources. Often the Internet is the only source for many high definition movies. These are frequently in MKV/WMV format and are difficult for older computers to render smoothly.

[edit] Consumer televisions and projectors

There is a growing selection of consumer televisions with support for both 1080p inputs and outputs such as HDMI. Several televisions in 2005 offered 1080p, including sets from JVC (using a technology called D-ILA which is a variation of LCoS), Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi, Sony, Panasonic, etc. The 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) introduced 1080p displays from most manufacturers, available in various display technologies. The manufacturers of 1080p TFT LCD screens include Sharp and a few others in Asia. Also, 3:2 pulldown reversal (reverse telecine) for film-based 1080i60 signals is beginning to appear in some newer 1080p displays, which can produce a true 1080p quality image from film-based 1080i60 programs.

The AV equipment manufacturing industry has adopted the term Full HD as the consumer friendly marketing term to mean the set is a safe purchase, and can display all available HD resolutions up to 1080p. The term is misleading, however, since it does not guarantee the set is capable of all available variants of the frame rates for the supported resolutions. Most notably, a Full HD set is not guaranteed to support the 1080p24 format, leading to consumer confusion.

The Canon XEED WUX10 Multimedia Projector is one of the very first Full HD projectors in the market

[edit] Computer monitors

Some modern widescreen liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors can natively display 1080p content. Widescreen WUXGA monitors for example support 1920×1200 resolution, which can display a pixel for pixel reproduction of the 1080p (1920×1080) format. The resolution is rare amongst laptops, but some laptops have a 15" or a 17" display that run 1920×1200. Sony, in particular, has some laptops that feature true 1080p resolution (called "FullHD" by Sony), e.g., the VAIO AW, FW, NS, etc. Additionally, many 23, 24 and 27-inch (690 mm) widescreen LCD monitors use 1920×1200 as their native resolution, 30 inch displays can display beyond 1080p at up to 2560x1600 or 1600p. Other 1080p-compatible LCDs, on the other hand, have lower than 1920×1080 native resolution and cannot display 1080p pixel for pixel. The output is resized; and although it may not be noticeable to the viewer, what is seen is a slightly degraded version of the original image.

Cathode ray tube (CRT) computer monitors have long been capable of displaying (and exceeding) 1080p. Most CRT monitors will accept an input signal of 1920×1080 at 60 Hz, even if the specifications state that the maximum resolution is only 1024×768 at 85 Hz.[7] This is because CRT circuitry only places a hard limit on the combination of vertical resolution and refresh rate, thus a lower refresh rate will allow a higher vertical resolution.[citation needed]

[edit] Video game consoles

Latest generation video game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 are able to display 1080p through HDMI ports (HDMI 1.2 and HDMI 1.3a respectively). On the Xbox 360, the games that aren't rendered natively at 1080p are upscaled using a built in upscaler, while on the PS3 the developers must ensure upscaling support. On both systems, 1080p games are automatically downscaled to 480i/576i to work on SDTVs, or downscaled to 480p/576p to remain compatible with EDTV screens.

[edit] Ability of the eye to see 1080p

A person's ability to distinguish small details is described by visual acuity. When individual pixels are barely resolvable, increased resolution brings little benefit for the viewer unless the viewing distance can be shortened or the display enlarged. Thus for 1080p television viewing, there is a minimum size to distance ratio to see a significant benefit. The ability of the eye to resolve 1080p content also depends on the amount of contrast in the picture. For optimum viewing, it is recommended to sit at a distance of approximately three times the diagonal measurement of the screen.[8][9][10]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Brian L. Clark (March 13, 2006). "What’s this 1080p Stuff?". Gizmodo.com. http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/tuning-fork-160103.php. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. 
  2. ^ "Full-HD televisions - Cutting-edge TV, or just a sharp gimmick?". The Times. April 29, 2007. http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/personal_tech/test_bench/article1713767.ece. Retrieved on 2008-07-11. 
  3. ^ a b EBU (May 2005). "FUTURE HIGH DEFINITION TELEVISION SYSTEMS" (PDF). http://www.ebu.ch/CMSimages/en/tec_text_r115-2005_tcm6-37869.pdf.  Technical recommendation
  4. ^ ATSC. "Candidate Standards - Advanced Video Codec Documents". http://www.atsc.org/standards/candidate_standards.html. Retrieved on 2008-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Steve Wiedemann, 24/P HDTV: The Fall of Film Production". http://www.filmmaking-careers.com/film-production.html. 
  6. ^ EBU (December 2004). "High Definition(HD) Image Formats for Television Production" (PDF). http://www.ebu.ch/CMSimages/en/tec_doc_t3299_tcm6-23327.pdf.  Technical publication
  7. ^ 1080p on a sony fw900 24in crt monitor [Archive] - Xbox 360 & Xbox Forums
  8. ^ "The Schubin Report with Mark Schubin" (MP3). July 6, 2007. http://www.theschubinreport.com/archive/07AM06-theschubinreport.mp3. Retrieved on 2007-07-06. 
  9. ^ Dale Cripps (July 11, 2006). "In The Eye of The Beholder". HDTVMagazine.com. http://www.hdtvmagazine.com/articles/2006/07/in_the_eye_of_t.php. Retrieved on 2007-07-06. 
  10. ^ Carlton Bale (November 15, 2006). "1080p Does Matter - Here's When". http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/. Retrieved on 2007-07-06. 

[edit] External links

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