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Ultra High Definition Video 338

mr.henry writes "Engineers at the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) have developed a prototype ultra high definition video (UHDV) system. How good is it? When it was shown to the public, some viewers experienced nausea because of the ultra realistic visual effect of speed without the usual physical sensation of movement. 18 minutes of UHDV takes up 3.5 terabytes." 4,000 horizontal scanlines. Excellent.
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Ultra High Definition Video

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  • by Trigun ( 685027 ) <evil@evilempi r e . a t h .cx> on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:44PM (#7077988)

    oh, and Star Trek will look nice as well.
  • Does anyone know which framerate(s) this system supports? 30/60hz seems likely since this is in Japan. And do they use interlacing?

  • Damn! (Score:3, Funny)

    by stevesliva ( 648202 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:46PM (#7078004) Journal
    And I was just saying we'd never need 128 bits of memory addressing earlier this week.
  • Frame Rate (Score:5, Interesting)

    by augustz ( 18082 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:46PM (#7078006) Homepage
    The question is what is the frame rate. At 60 fps (i) they may have experienced nausea from that. If it was 60 fps progressive that would be something very nice.

    I'm starting to wish they would shoot movies at 60fps.
    • by Trigun ( 685027 )
      I'm starting to wish they would shoot movies at 60fps.

      With wonderful films such as Gigli and Justin and Kimberly bing made every day, I'd be happy if they just shot the movies, period.
    • A better rate would be 100fps, got a nice round feel to it :) Plus a monitor at 60Hz is very difficult to look at because of the flickering. I would imagine humans can't tell the difference beyond that.

      Into the bargin something filmed at 100fps could be converted to 25fps or 30fps without to many artifacts. (There is nothing worse than 30fps video converted to 25fps, most of the motion is reduced to a flickering blur.)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Thats why a lot of monitors used to have 72 as a refresh rate. Beyond that, there aren't many people who can tell the difference. I read an article about this awhile back where they did tests to see how high a refresh rate they could go with the person still being able to tell.

        TV's are limited to 60 (well 59.94), so that's why for games they try to achieve a rocksolid 60 fps. We on the pc side get to benefit from beyond 60 fps. But if you getting 125 fps in a game with vsync off it's just a waste. Tu
    • Re:Frame Rate (Score:2, Informative)

      by flubus ( 542347 )
      How about 48 fps []?
    • Side note: When Lucas and Disney teamed up to create the "Star Tours" ride for Disneyland, they shot the film at 60 fps so your eye would essentially be unable to detect the frame lines. That and the way the vehicles are programmed to move in sync with the events on the film, makes for the uncannily realistic sensation of movement on the ride.

      I hate roller coasters -- last time someone conned me into going on the Matterhorn with them my arms ached for two days because of how tightly I was gripping the side
    • Re:Frame Rate (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mr Pippin ( 659094 )

      Actually, some movies HAVE been shot at 60fps (or at least sections of them). "Brainstorm" was one such film.

      In fact, Douglas Trumball as at one time a very vocal advocate of trying to get Hollywood to transition to 60fps.

      Too bad it did not happen. There are PLENTY of advantages to doing so.

      • An expense (Score:3, Informative)

        by benwaggoner ( 513209 )
        Well, from a purely technical perspective, 60 fps would be nice, but there are big drawbacks:

        2.5x as high film costs

        1/2.5 as many minutes of shooting between changing film canisters

        2.5x higher light requirements for the same grain, since each exposure would only be 1/120th of a second. High light requirements are quite expensive, because of the additional setup required. The greater light sensitivity of CCD v. film is one of the big reasons behind the misnamed "DV revolution."
    • by Small Hairy Troll ( 9576 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:44PM (#7078441)
      Here is a quote from the October 2003 issue of Digital Video. "24p: Back to the Future?"

      "When Douglas Trumbull developed Showscan (70mm at 60 fps) in 1976, he noted a profound psychological reaction among his test audiences when the frame rate hit 60 fps: The film ceased to be a film and was more like a window into reality: It just wasn't any good for storytelling, Trumbull claimed. Showscan was thus relegated to theme park immersive venues, and a grand experiment in theatrical storytelling frame rates was shunted aside.

    • Re:Frame Rate (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Mairsil ( 106329 )
      I'd say it runs at a pretty high rate. Assuming that that 3.5 TB is uncompressed video material, you get a rate of about 45 full frames per second.

      3 500 000 000 000 / 18*60 sec / 6000*4000 pixels / 3 bytes per pixel = 45
    • Re:Frame Rate (Score:2, Informative)

      by athorshak ( 652273 )
      There's little doubt that it was a progressive frame rate. There is no CRT in the world that would be capable of resolving that. I highly doubt they used a number of side-by-side CRTs. It seems very likely that they showed it on some sort of digital display technology (DLP, LCD, D-ILA, etc.). All of these technologies are inherently progressive. Any interlaced signal must be de-interlaced for them to display it.

      I agree that it would be fantastic to see >24fps in movies. There is just to much mon
    • by pixas ( 711468 )
      Theater movies are shot in 25 fps, but the cinema projector displays every frame three times, resulting in 75 fps. but since the movie is shot at 25 fps, motion can still flicker.

      lots of info (about deinterlacing, fps and other interesting stuff) is avalibe here [].
    • Frame Rate is 60p (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrHuevos ( 672357 )
      The specs are 7680x4320 (16:9 aspect ratio, just like HD), 60 progressive frames/sec.

      Check the original paper at: 2003/Ultra/Ultra38.htm []
  • doom! (Score:2, Funny)

    by potpie ( 706881 )
    Can I hook my computer up to it? QUAKE!!! CUBE!!! DOOM!!! that would be so awesome!
  • by xTBDx ( 704995 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:47PM (#7078018)
    Just one step closer to the Matrix. On a side note, it's also a novel way of giving people nausea and filling state-of-the-art hard drives in minutes flat - without installing Windows!
  • Soo... getting sick is a feature?
    • Yes, it certianly is. Its a feature I feel more people should take advantage of. how realistic can an action seen be if it doesn't make you puke?

      CEO, vomit bags Inc.
  • by Chairboy ( 88841 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:50PM (#7078036) Homepage
    If it had been an ultra high resolution movie of a train coming at the camera, the audience might have died of fright.
    • Here's the explanation, [] for those who missed out on this one.
    • by zapp ( 201236 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:14PM (#7078235)
      Ohhh... fright..

      I thought you said they might die of freight ...
      yuk yuk.
    • At what point do they have to be careful? Is there a specific frame-rate or resolution when the human eye thinks something is 'real'?

      And speaking of which, is there a resolution to the human eye?
      • by bdeclerc ( 129522 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @02:48PM (#7078922) Homepage
        In answer to your questions:

        There is no exact "frame-rate" of the human eye, because different parts of the eye respond differently to change, some parts have higher refresh than others. This is why screen-flicker is easier to detect by looking at a screen sideways (the edge of vision has higher refresh rates, probably an evolutionary left-over, being able to detect movement quickly near the edge of vision is the closest we can come to having eyes on the back of our head).

        As for resolution, this is highest near the center of your eye's field of view, and is mainly dependant on how close together the light-sensitive cells are in the middle of the eye. In practical terms, max resolution of most people's eyes is a couple of arc-minutes (1 arc-minute = 1/60 of a degree). To put this in real terms, 1 arc-minute is the angular size of an object when viewed from a distance 3437x its size, so a 1.8m (6ft) human being seen at 6.2km (3.9 miles) is about an arc minute high.

        For a Computer monitor, that means that people with good vision (say 2 arc minute resolution) sitting 1 foot (30cm) away from a monitor, should be able to distinguish a pixel 0.09mm (0.0034") across, but only just. Typical LCD-screens have pixels 0.25-0.30 mm across.
    • Interseting note: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )
      They vary first movie shown to 'the public' was shone onto a white sheet, and it was of waves crashing on the beach.
      Half the audience jumped up to avoid getting wet.
  • Practical? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by headkase ( 533448 )
    It sure uses a lot of bandwidth, even assuming it was compressed. How many channels could you carry in this format over existing cable infrastructure systems? 3, 4?
    • I didn't RTFA, but I suspect something of this quality isn't intended for the season premeir of Friends.

      I would suspect this has a lot more potential for now in the scientific fields. Being able to capture video at such high quality could be useful for everything from video telescopes to microscopes.

      If it does reach the consumer/entertainment end of things... I can only see it replacing IMAX, not TV.
    • How many channels could you carry in this format over existing cable infrastructure systems? 3, 4?
      Does this mean they would only show the 3 or 4 shows that were good? No. They would probably have 2 or 3 channels of home shopping network, and one of football...
  • Some people get nauseous looking at practically any video source. I don't suffer from this, but I know a lot of people who can't watch or play 3D games.

    I don't think it's really a measure of how sharp a display is. Ever been in an Omnimax? That's a lot more immersive than a flat display, and higher resolution too. Seems like these same nauseous viewers would get the same reaction watching a regular film movie.
  • Yeah, right (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    some viewers experienced nausea because of the ultra realistic visual effect of speed without the usual physical sensation of movement.

    This is the japanese after all, even Pokemon gave thousands of them seizures.
  • Now all we need is crystalline storage so we can record multi-audio track movies. 3.32GB/s of video will lead to high quality, but how is this supposed to be made consumer friendly?
  • Does anyone have any pictures of this online?

    (that was supposed to be funny)
  • by fadeaway ( 531137 ) * on Sunday September 28, 2003 @12:54PM (#7078078)
    At 3.5 *terabytes* for 18 minutes of video, I doubt we'll see this in our homes for a good long while.

    Maybe it's time to give those data-over-electric-lines people a kick in the pants.. get things moving along a little.
  • This process is really just a technical achievement. It was built by having existing devices function in parallel to produce more bandwidth on all edges. I highly doubt that anyone thought this was impossible beforehand. While this is an interesting hack, don't make the mistake that this is a significant contribution to human knowledge.
  • Omnimax has great picture quality, and I always get the feeling of movement (which I suppose could turn to nausea in more sensitive people) when I watch an Omni movie... Anybody have a comparison between the two specs (yes, I know one is film-based)?
  • by mst76 ( 629405 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:00PM (#7078121)
    In every article on recent PC advancements, there have been remarks along the lines of "who needs 64-bit on the desktop" and "how are we ever going to fill a 250GB hard disk". This should shut them up for a while. Remember what passed for "rich multimedia experience" only 10 years ago? Grainy 15fps 320x200 video clips that lasted half a minute. Playing something with dvd or divx quality from your hard disk seemed like science fiction. Who knows, maybe in 15 years our current dvd and divx quality will seem just as laughable.
  • Damn it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Transcendent ( 204992 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:00PM (#7078123)
    And I just bought a $10,000 HD Plasma TV!!! Now it's obsolete!!! ::crys:: I can never win with technology!
    • AS a matter of fact, its not even worth hanging on a wall. However your plight breings a tear to my eye, and thus I feel compelled to let you send it to me, And in return I'll pay you 100 bucks. Now, that mey not sound like much, it its a great way to start saving for your ULTRAHD TV.
  • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
    What good is it, when the equipment is so expensive, and people's visual acuity isn't high enough to make it have any perceiveable difference?

    I suspect that, at 6k scanlines, the cause of the nausia wasn't the quality, but the low FPS. 6k scanlines would be a lot to push, period. You'd need a very, very hardcore system (or set of systems) to get that to a screen at something sane. Many of the females I know were made ill by the first few generations of FPS games, due to how they pushed the hardware (low fp
  • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:01PM (#7078132)
    >some viewers experienced nausea
    >because of the ultra realistic visual
    >effect of speed without the usual
    >physical sensation of movement

    Ummm, my 13" VGA monitor proved as powerful in 1991 when I played Wolfenstein 3-D. Half the dorm couldn't watch. Hell, 1995's Midi-Maze produced the same sensation of movement and nausea on my high-tek Atari 520 ST.
  • nausea (Score:2, Funny)

    by trolman ( 648780 ) *
    some viewers experienced nausea because of the ultra realistic visual effect of speed without the usual physical sensation of movement

    I think the nausea was caused when they were shown the suggested retail price.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:03PM (#7078143)
    at 3.5 terrabytes for 18 minutes a 100 minute will take roughly 19.5 terrabytes. At roughly a dollar a gig for large hard drives, or a little less for dvd's, that 20k for the storage media for a movie. I think that will give the MPAA a little breathing room.
  • by dacarr ( 562277 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:03PM (#7078144) Homepage Journal
    Great, just think, the nausea was brought to you by a beowulf cluster of TVs. And I was just about to start imagining one.

    Ah well.

  • This is obviously the MPAA's new copy protection scheme - if 18 minutes is 3 terabytes, then NOBODY's boing to be able to copy this.

    It will work just as well as their previous schemes - i.e. not at all, as people reduce the rez to something meaningful.


    Seriously, this is something I've wondered about for IMAX/Omnimax style theaters - if they could go to a 60 Hz or better refresh rate it would really help on the long pans and flyover sequences, but since the screen is so large (or more precisely sinc
    • Of course you'd need one HELL of a DMD projector to make this work

      Why? If you remember back to when HDTV was cutting edge and CRT's didn't get that high-res, the FCC demo'd the technology with a light-valve projector called the Eidophor 52HD [] (Greek for "light bearer") from Gretag which was capable [] of displaying the HD signal. Now, I know light-valve projectors are all but dead due to LCD and DMD/DLP units, but I wonder if they could resurrect the technology for these very-high-res units. In theory, a li

  • by BluePenguin ( 521713 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:05PM (#7078164) Homepage
    Wow, 3TB for 18 minutes? Impressive, but nothing I'd want to have to record in its native format. And here I though the TB array I just put in my Digital Video box would last me a while. ::mumble mubmle:: back to Fry's ::mumble mumble::
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:09PM (#7078196)
    Back in the mid to late 80s on my XT the "3d Role Playing games" from sierra take up to 12 floppy disks to pay. I could see a DVD movie in this format. Every couple of minutes it goes. Please insert Disk i to continue. Then it takes a view minutes to load the DVD into the ram then it will play for a little while then repeat.
  • Reading this article it reminds me just how infintile we are with our technology. I used to think that a 200GB 7200 RPM hard drive was nice and big/fast. Now I can't help but think, "It's not enough!"

    Who knows what the future will hold? If they can reproduce this resolution on a pair of VR goggles some day, computer games will take on a whole new experience =)
  • I've seen the resolution of 35 mm film being compared to the Canon D60 (6 megapixels). The article gives the indication that the tv will be giving off 33 megapixels.

    From IMAX's website: "The 15/70 frame is 10 times larger than the 35mm used in regular theatres and three times larger than standard 70mm film used in classic Hollywood epics."

    So if 35mm is ~= 6 megapixels, IMAX ~= 60 megapixels? IMAX still looks better on a huge screen?

    Mind you, seeing this kind of resolution on a smaller screen should be am
  • Data transfer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DWormed ( 711488 )
    If they manage to develop a transport system for this video, the applications could be tremendous for non-video applications. Think how coaxial enabled the Cable Modem era - who knows what could be done with that kind of bandwidth?
  • by Celt ( 125318 ) * on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:14PM (#7078231) Homepage Journal
    Well now we got good picture quality, all we need now is tv shows to watch on it...
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:15PM (#7078242)
    HDTV on a 13 inch monitor is rather pointless from the distance most people watch it. That's why you only see HDTVs in "big-screen" models in stores, a small screen HDTV would be too hard to make and not worth the effort. So, how big of a screen is it going to take for the difference between this resolution and HDTV to be perceptable to the human eye?
  • by JFMulder ( 59706 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:19PM (#7078266)
    I mean, at 33 million pixels for a picture, let's say 25 (it's the number of PAL FRAMES, not fields, per seconds) times per second at 32 bits of depth and you get 3.3gigs per second.

    Which makes you wonder if they used compression at all? Even if their system was doing 60 non-interlaced frames, you get roughly 8 gigs of uncompressed video per second. Compressed, it would have to be way less that 3.3GB/s.

    And based on the numbers, you can see that they either didn't use audio, or it was included in the 3.3GB/S figure because 3.5TB / 18 minutes / 60 seconds = 3.3GB/S.

    So, is there someone I forgot, or are these guys really using uncompressed video? And if they did, WHY? I know, uncompressed video will always be cleaner, but come on, this might be a little too much in this case.
    • are these guys really using uncompressed video? And if they did, WHY?

      The best compression ratios are typically yielded by the most processor intensive algorithms, and it's possible these algorithms scale poorly with a 16x increase in image area. Interframe compression schemes might take up much more memory also than just loading one frame at a time, displaying it, and copying over that with the next frame.

      Though it seems like the huge bandwidth and storage required to do without compression would be a h
    • Broadcast HDTV material is often shot without compression, because after it's shot it still needs to be edited and otherwise postprocessed. The picture would look like crap by the time it was finished if you had to uncompress and re-compress a bunch of times during postproduction. Compression doesn't happen until the end of the process.
  • 18 minutes of UHDV takes up 3.5 terabytes

    Uncompressed data of any format takes up a huge amount of storage. Standard MPEG2 compression could probably reduce that 18 minutes to perhaps 8 or 9 gigabytes.
  • when the NHK R & D center held its open house. They also had a very small OLED display on hand, but it wasn't nearly as impressive as this display.

    And it is awesome. I didn't experience any nausea, but the scale and clarity of the image did throw me a bit, as it is VERY realistic. Beats the pants off 35mm film. Other than sheer size, IMAX has nothing on it.

    They had the camera set up in the previous room, live on an object. Walking into the next room was like seeing the same object, except larger. The
  • The big limitation right now is the abysmally low 24FPS frame rate in movies. Directors still have to be careful about medium-speed pans. (Slow pans look almost OK. During fast pans, people lose lock and don't notice the strobing. There's a pan speed range in the middle that's really annoying, and thus avoided in filmmaking.)

    Showscan's R&D efforts demonstrated years ago that humans can see differences in frame rate up to about 80-100FPS. So that's where the technology should be going.

    Motion co

  • UHDV is so clear its sickening!

    What the hell were they watching anyway?

  • And Comcast just got video on demand working too. I guess now they are going to need a _much_ faster cable?
  • nice, but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @01:29PM (#7078350)
    I'd rather see a move towards 1080p (not i, for criminey's sake!), with much higher framerate. Tests by the military showed that figher pilots can perceive framerates up to at least 200fps, and while a successful fighter pilot is almost certainly going to be hardwired to be able to process such information faster, certainly a framerate well over the current 24fps for movies and 30fps for TV (in the U.S.) is desirable. Certainly filmmakers would appreciate being able to pan side to side much quicker than they're able to, without having stop-motion effects all over the place. I think a nice compromise would be 120fps. This is evenly divisible by both 24 and 30 (making for easy downgrades to older formats).

    Widescreen 1080p, 120fps. Now *that's* what I'd like to have. And interlaced formats should be banned from the face of the Earth. Suitable only for spammers to view. *bleh*
    • Widescreen 1080p, 120fps. Now *that's* what I'd like to have.

      Since we have all these terabytes to throw around, why not use 16 bits per color channel rather than 8 for increased dynamic range. And 100 KHz audio, non-lossy compression (which will have bandwidth insignificant compared to the video requirements, lossy or no).

  • The hell with watching TV. I want it for my computer monitor...can you imagine the number of xterms you can have open at the same time?
  • They improve video quality ad nauseum?

  • Anybody have screenshots of this in action? ;-)

  • I just did some simple math, and it would seem that this would require a device that could supply a constant stream of around 3.15 gigabytes/second of bandwidth. Even with a generous 10x compression, thats still 315 megabytes per second SUSTAINED, a speed that can only be achieved with high-end RAID setups.

    I do hope that this does make it to fruition, but I'm not holding my breath about being able to own one within the next decade, at least not until we have some sort of ultra-speed holographic storage dev

  • 18 minutes of UHDV takes up 3.5 terabytes." 4,000 horizontal scanlines. Excellent.

    Cool! Anyone has a bit-torrent link to an example video? :grin:
  • They just can't take anything when it comes to movies or television. Still, not as bad as seizures during children's programming.
  • 18 minutes in 3.5TB, that's 27185 megabit! Hell, you can easily do HD with MPEG4 in single digit, and this is only 16x more pixels than HD... So shouldn't we be seeing something like 80mbit? 100-150mbit max? 3.5TB should be storing ballpark 81 hours of UHDV!!!
  • and your broadband ISP will just fucking lose their mind, and send a hitman after you.
  • Subject line says all...
  • How good is it? When it was shown to the public, some viewers experienced nausea

    Hey, I get that all the time! Especially on Fox News.

  • 3 Tb = 3072 Gb = 3072/4.7Gb = 654 DVD's.

    And that's just 18 minutes. For a full length movie, say 120 minutes, that's 4360 DVD's, or about 37 DVD's per minute.

    That's some freaky bandwidth, never mind that you'd wear out the tray on the DVD player before the opening credits finished.

  • so that's 3.24GHz of bandwidth for broadcasting--- the FCC can make a new broadcast band in the 100+GHz space!
  • I'll be able to see Amy Wongs Tattoo.
  • I can't imagine very many over-the-air broadcast events that would justify the use of this much bandwidth. If a single channel takes up as much of the spectrum as a dozen HD broadcasts or potentially hundreds of compressed lower res channels, or any number of internet users using short range frequency sharing schemes, then that single tv show or sporting event or whatever has to be more profitable or useful to society than any of those.

    Eventually there will be home theater setups and storage media afforda
  • Its developers at the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) said the system could be used to provide an ultra realistic 'immersive' viewing experience when, for example, showing sporting events.

    Great! Now all they need is to replicate the sensation of being vomited upon by the drunken lout behind you in the stands, and it'll be perfect!

    I can hardly wait!
  • > Excellent.

    • Forgot (Writhes hands madly.)
    • Forgot obligatory Mr. Burns joke
    What's happenning to this place?
  • Bah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Sunday September 28, 2003 @04:15PM (#7079472)
    developed a prototype ultra high definition video (UHDV) system.

    Bah! I'm not going to shell out coin for anything less than super-duper-pooper ultra high-definition video.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller