Monday, April 7, 2008

High Def Media...

No longer the realm of computer nerds and high budget film studios, high definition video has come to the masses. Advances in technology and mass production have lowered the price of HD capturing and viewing devices so much that the common consumer can be involved in this visual medium.

In fact, this past weekend I was involved in such an experience. The 48 Hour Film Festival came to Boston and I was on a team set to produce a short film in only 48 hours. We had the option to film in standard definition (480) for free, but opted for the HD camera (1080p) instead, investing some money for the upgrade. This was quite an experience, and the video looked crisp and clear, even while filming at night in the rain. Hopefully I will be able to show a clip of the film (in a compressed form however) during my presentation on this subject.

The image above is an example comparing HD to SD (Standard Definition) video. Its a frame from the movie, Terminator 2 : Judgement Day. The frame on the top is clearly the HD one, its crisp, undistorted image had much more detail than the SD frame below it. The color is more vibrant in the SD image, but not as realistic. The SD frame is stretched to fit into an aspect ratio foreign to the standard NTSC format. (I'm not sure what resolution the HD frame is in as the caption for the image was unclear)

The future of High Definition Television is looking bright, but who knows where it will take us. Maybe 3D is the next big leap?

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