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Tutorial: What is High Frame Rate (HFR)?

GadgetObsessed

Well-known Member
Great article Steve. Are we likely to see new HFR TVs at CES in January? (And released in the UK the following March/April.)

Are any broadcasters talking about this yet?
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The manufacturers didn't specify any dates and the broadcast standards are still being agreed but I would expect to see some sets capable of accepting 100/120p at CES.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
The manufacturers didn't specify any dates and the broadcast standards are still being agreed but I would expect to see some sets capable of accepting 100/120p at CES.
Probably over IP though.
Current HDMI ports cannot do UHD at those framerates.
We would be talking major port/hardware changes on all devices for this.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
True, although another HDMI upgrade is inevitable at some point for both higher frame rates and dynamic metadata.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
True, although another HDMI upgrade is inevitable at some point for both higher frame rates and dynamic metadata.
The higher frame rate formats is a big one though, we are talking double the bandwidth, and single link HDMI is pushing its limits right now.
So for UHD and HFR I cant see that being anything other than a move to dual link type b 29 pin sockets or indeed a switch to another port type. (Displayport maybe)
A major change both in physical size and in software.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The article appears to use 'p' in a few places instead of 'fps'.
Yes fps (frames per second) for film and p (progressive) for broadcast but you can think of them as different ways of saying the same thing.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The higher frame rate formats is a big one though, we are talking double the bandwidth, and single link HDMI is pushing its limits right now.
So for UHD and HFR I cant see that being anything other than a move to dual link type b 29 pin sockets or indeed a switch to another port type. (Displayport maybe)
A major change both in physical size and in software.
As you said IP seems the easiest and most obvious place to start.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
As you said IP seems the easiest and most obvious place to start.
If, and its a big if, all the content providers would agree, the rendering hardware could be built internally into all sets and all any TV would need would be a gigabit connection. ( RJ45 ports )

This would be connection utopia for everyone.
You could make your own cables easily.
But content providers are too hung up on content protection to go that route.
 

Kyle009

Member
Really hopes this takes off for Sport, I'm looking forward to being able to see the differences you talk about in the article.
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
The higher frame rate formats is a big one though, we are talking double the bandwidth, and single link HDMI is pushing its limits right now.
So for UHD and HFR I cant see that being anything other than a move to dual link type b 29 pin sockets or indeed a switch to another port type. (Displayport maybe)
A major change both in physical size and in software.
why not simply have bit streaming for video as part of the standard, this makes the HDMI lead no different to IP in many ways.

Why decode the video to raw and send that if all tvs have on board decoding tech for IP streams already?

probably naive on my part but it seems like a fairly simple fix if all parties agree on a standard which they will have to do anyway.
 

mike7

Well-known Member
Great article especially bringing up the historic connection with regard to the 24fps legacy in early sound pictures. The problem that is behind the difficulty people have with juddery pictures on modern TVs is actually due to a technology that is only one stage on from the time when cinema sound was produced by running shellac disks in synchronisation with film projectors!

It would seem sensible for film makers to make a gradual move away from this as films are now distributed using digital formats. Surely there must be a compromise somewhere and another way of giving a 'filmic' look if that is what directors want. There are some well known directors who still insist on doing the initial shoot using a conventional 35mm film camera running at 24fps. We are talking 'Star Wars' and 'Bond' here.

When CGI material is added during the production process together with a combination of 24fps film and sequences of IMAX digital material many movies are a mish-mash of standards on the shop floor. Added to this the result is commonly reduced to a 2k format for projection. Goodness knows how much this adds to production costs. Now these 2k masters are being upscaled, with sound enhancements, to 4k for UHD disks!

Incidentally when films started to be shown on TV it was felt that 24fps prints could be run through telecine machines at a more convenient 25fps without people noticing. The result was that a film shown on TV had slightly less overall running time than in the cinema. People with 'perfect pitch' claimed they could notice that the music was out of tune. This practice continued until quite recently.
 
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andy1249

Distinguished Member
why not simply have bit streaming for video as part of the standard, this makes the HDMI lead no different to IP in many ways.
You could bitstream all video, but pointless to do it over HDMI, you wouldnt need HDMI , just a Gigabit port.

Why decode the video to raw and send that if all tvs have on board decoding tech for IP streams already?

probably naive on my part but it seems like a fairly simple fix if all parties agree on a standard which they will have to do anyway.
This could be done , but involves content providers , Sky , Virgin , BT , etc. giving up proprietary hardware and software platforms , and the resulting revenue streams , there would in effect be no differentiation between suppliers.
We would be talking about eliminating multiple sources of revenue , from players and set top boxes all the way through to the after market cable business.
Not going to happen anytime soon.
Money is why it wont happen , instead , there will be a move to new sockets , new cables , etc. forcing upgrade sales and piling up the revenue streams.

As an engineer , the whole thing could so obviously be done much better and much cheaper via this route , but revenue protection is the goal for content suppliers , not ease of use.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
People with 'perfect pitch' claimed they could notice that the music was out of tune. This practice continued until quite recently.
You dont need perfect pitch, you just need to be a musician, I have relatives that play violin, cello etc. On those instruments you spend a lot of time learning to recognise correct concert pitch, so any speed disparity which causes a pitch shift is immediately recognisable to the trained ear.

There is no such thing as perfect pitch really, if you spend too long listening to material with a pitch shift, your get used to it and your sense of pitch will shift, for a musician, that means the next time they go to play with the orchestra they are either sharp or flat and get pulled up on it.
Its why they can be so vocal about formats with incorrect or inaccurate playback speeds.

Its the main reason why your classical fan prefers CD to vinyl.
 

Navvie

Active Member
Watched the Hobbit in HFR at my local Odeon, gave me a headache. Not excited to try it again tbh.

I can see HFR might benefit broadcasts that are interlaced (mostly sports from what I'm told), allowing progressive frames in place of interlaced ones or increasing the number of interlaced frames.
 

Roohster

Distinguished Member
I welcome higher frame rates, even for film.
I'd much prefer smoother motion to "authentic judder".

Yes film used to be 24 fps and everyone's got used to the way it behaves, but it's time to move on.
People might argue that 24 looks more natural, but it isn't - real life doesn't judder (not often anyway) :p
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
You could bitstream all video, but pointless to do it over HDMI, you wouldnt need HDMI , just a Gigabit port.



This could be done , but involves content providers , Sky , Virgin , BT , etc. giving up proprietary hardware and software platforms , and the resulting revenue streams , there would in effect be no differentiation between suppliers.
We would be talking about eliminating multiple sources of revenue , from players and set top boxes all the way through to the after market cable business.
Not going to happen anytime soon.
Money is why it wont happen , instead , there will be a move to new sockets , new cables , etc. forcing upgrade sales and piling up the revenue streams.

As an engineer , the whole thing could so obviously be done much better and much cheaper via this route , but revenue protection is the goal for content suppliers , not ease of use.
Well HDMI is 10X faster than gigabit so I think could offer something tangible.

I don't think the providers would need to give up anything, they already use HVEC encoding or other standard and then layer their offering over the top, the encryption and value add of their platform is still there and they control that end to end, rather than having the encoded video decoded and sent over HDMI with hdcp its either sent as it is, or encoded to a supported standard with hdcp along with audio and anything else that is going such as HDR metadata, it just seems weird to decode a standard format the then send over HDMI when the TV could be the decode source eliminating the bandwidth bottleneck.
 

babator

Active Member
24fps without any motion interpolation hurts my eyes, especially with newer films (because of the jumpy cameras, CGI effects, video game-like storytelling? Dunno). The older films are usually watchable, it's like my eyes go to a different mode.

Might be because of all the 60+ fps video games I have played over the past 20 years.

Anyway, because of this I can't turn off motion compensation like recommended if I want to actually enjoy a movie.
 

steviedr

Distinguished Member
I both enjoyed and hated HFR on The Hobbit. Life like, I was in the room with them, was like watching a theatre production but then, I was in the room with them, the room was fake, its a studio, not middle earth and the illusion was broken. I think it will be great for sport and the likes of Planet Earth 2!
 

bertplucker

Novice Member
all this higher frame rates and resolution works ok for sport but in the case of a lot of the football broadcast in the uk they film from too far away so all the action is still stick insects on crystal clear grass and stadiums , even on a 42" TV.
You only get the dynamism of all the action in a replay which is closer and from another angle.
Games were shot closer back in 21" crt days and were just as satisfying to watch.
Probably less skill needed by cameraman to follow the action is all I can think for a reason.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Well HDMI is 10X faster than gigabit so I think could offer something tangible.
The majority of a HDMI chipset is about transfering 3 TMDS channels of video data with embedded audio.
This can transfer up to 18gbps of data, but is not compatible with TCP/IP and cannot be used as such.
The only part of the chipset compatible with IP (and which has never been used because it was obsolete from day one ) is the "with ethernet" option, and its limited to 100 mbps , 10 times less than gigabit.

So , in the hypthetical fairytale world where content providers go for the best fit interface, HDMI would be retired.
As said though, this is simply wishful thinking, its not going to happen, in terms of market penetration HDMI is the most successful interface ever, its not going anywhere, it will be continuously upgraded for a very long time, and a big socket/ port change of some type will happen very soon.
 

Shaun666

Well-known Member
Just another bunch of reasons to postpone buying that new telly for another year or two. While I'm sure everyone on here is striving for the perfect picture and sound such an absurd rate of change with so many new technical developments coming down the pipeline can't be helping sales surely ?
 

GadgetObsessed

Well-known Member
Interesting article on higher frame rates here - though mainly about film not TV:
48 FPS and Beyond: How High Frame Rate Films Affect Perception - Tested.com

On interesting possibility is that of variable frame rates where the frame rate would be 24 fps for normal viewing but speed up to 120 fps for action scenes. (The whole thing would be shot at 120 fs but with frames merged/blurred together to give lower frame rates.)
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
I did not expect the hdmi lead to take tcp but data is data and tcp is a transport protocol, the video data I am sure could be send via the traditional video path with some other encapsulation and parity data to ensure integrity, there is plenty of space for overhead here. I don't know the HDMI spec so cannot say any more on a technical level buy my mind always races ahead.

Probably getting a little wide of the initial idea of sending the video compressed but in a similar fashion cable tv sends TCP data though its network using Docsis on top, Nvidia uses textures I believe to send normal data in and out of the GPU when running CUDA the gpu itself has no idea its not graphical data its ingesting and expelling. My point being a change in transmission protocol would not necessarily limit things but would pose a engineering challenge.

I fully agree HDMI is not going, and neither should it as there is no reason a new solution could not be backwards compatible. This was an idea to keep the existing HDMI cable and just increase the software on each side of the link to achieve more with what they have for all the reasons you mention, rather than new cables or large changes.

Anyhow as you say this is pie in the sky but its so much more interesting than the day job the brain willingly wanders :)
 

mbmapit

Well-known Member
Just another bunch of reasons to postpone buying that new telly for another year or two. While I'm sure everyone on here is striving for the perfect picture and sound such an absurd rate of change with so many new technical developments coming down the pipeline can't be helping sales surely ?
While I and many others probably agree with your statement, the problem with that opinion is that if you wait "another year or two" you'll be faced with exactly the same dilemma then. In 1/2 years there will be technology being announced for the future that you'll end up waiting for again. Therefore you may as well just pick a TV and then upgrade in the future once those technologies have matured. I purchased a 75XD9405 earlier this year and am very happy that I didn't wait. I have 4K HDR from numerous sources and in the future I'll sell this on and upgrade once the technology has jumped another step and matured.

Just my opinion :)
 

GadgetObsessed

Well-known Member
Just another bunch of reasons to postpone buying that new telly for another year or two. While I'm sure everyone on here is striving for the perfect picture and sound such an absurd rate of change with so many new technical developments coming down the pipeline can't be helping sales surely ?
Not sure that I can, or need, to wait much longer. First I waited for 4k, then for HDR. Now I am ready to pull the trigger.

HFR does sound good but its use will mainly be limited to sport and gaming - I don't see it being something that is useful for movies and general TV.

If HFR cannot be transmitted over HDMI due to bandwidth limitations then we will need new physical connections on both TVs and source equipment e.g. Display Port. That will take a while to sort out.

Then we will then have to wait for available content. It would be interesting to see if either Sky or BT Sport are active in HFR. Look at how long 4k was around before it was taken up by these two - and 4k is applicable to all content.

On the gaming side we won't see HFR games consoles until the next generation of consoles are released - which I assume is at least two to three years away. (PCs can support HFR gaming already.)

Given that HFR increases the bandwidth requirement it wont be available to many people over the internet. If it is only useful for live content like sport then it wont have much appeal to Amazon or Netflix.
 

thewhofan

Active Member
HFR will also be good news for PC gamers who prefer to game on TV's or maybe PS4 pro if it ever supports HFR.
 

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