With this article I’d like to tell you something that may seem trivial, but it is not at all!
Did you know that any screen you are using can play high-frequency content?
“Okay, but what do I need it for?”
Showing high-frequency content serves to capture the attention of your viewer: after all, you are investing your money to install displays, shoot, motion graphics and edit with just that goal, right ?
A high frequency content is, as we say in technical jargon, “super smooth”.
A high frequency content is extremely more realistic, vivid, “true” than one with a standard frequency. The difference is especially noticeable in the movements of vertical or horizontal images, the so-called “trolley”, and generally in the fast movement, which will be extremely sharper.
Keep in mind that the more the display size increases the more this effect is amplified exponentially.
Think about it: we are willing to buy, for our living room, televisions with 100, 200 or even 400 Hertz screens, but when we install displays in professional contexts, where our business and our money are at stake, we are content to charge contents at 25 Hz!
Yes, that’s right: almost all video production companies still produce content at 25 FPS, then 25 Hz or Hertz.
“Yes Marcello, but what are we talking about?”
About the number of images that change in every second of our video. A video at 25 FPS (Frames Per Second) updates the image 25 times every second.
«Well, the FPS are clear. And the Hertz? What about that?”
Hertz represent the number of times your display updates the image in a second.
We reiterate the concept: the FPS concern the source or the content (the video) and the Hz concern the LED or the display. Both units of measure, however, define the number of images per second.
Now that you understand that Hz and FPS are almost the same, I’ll tell you this:
Did you know that 99.9% of the installed displays can play 60Hz movies and display content at 25 FPS?
This doesn’t only create the so-called “visual artifacts” (have you ever seen horizontal splits on a video being played? If you pay attention, by observing the monitors in the next fair you will visit, you will notice them in a short time), but it also makes what you want to communicate extremely less effective.
“But why does everyone produce content at 25 FPS?”
25 FPS is the European “standard”, but it’s old-fashioned, consider that we’re bringing it back from the DVD era!
The DVDs reproduced the contents at 25 FPS because they were on the PAL standard, which depending on the version had an output in Hertz 50i (interlaced) or 50p (progressive). All that was to comply with the electrical standard, which in Europe is 50 Hertz. This topic deserves a separate post and Wikipedia is full of information on it, so I would say we can go further.
The moral is that everyone still continues to reproduce the contents at 25 FPS, taking for granted that it is the right thing to do only because it has always been done that way. The reality is that this is fundamentally wrong.
99% of the displays we use today are based on the American standard which, with a history similar to the European one, has a frequency of 60 Hz. The ideal content for this screen should therefore have 60 FPS or, if you want to save on the timing of rendering, 30 FPS.
Unfortunately, there is little to do if your content is already produced at 25 FPS. You can set the display to 50 Hz and avoid some artifacts, but the quality will not improve. There are softwares that do, both in real time and not, an interpolation of the images, going to create the frames that are missing between the real frames, but the results are often poor.
If you are thinking of producing new content for your next event, seriously consider having it done at 60 FPS.
I’m sure you will immediately realize how much difference it makes to show high-frequency content on your display. I have already done it with my clients and the results have been extraordinary !!!
I uploaded a small video on my channel through which you can realize directly on your PC the difference between a high frequency content and a standard frequency one. Consider that when the display surface is enlarged, the difference between the two videos is amplified exponentially.
Some might argue that he sees no difference, or that the difference is very little. The difference is the same as that between a food prepared with love and one prepared hastily. They may look the same, but the taste makes the difference.
Warning: with slow connections or on mobile phones the difference
may not be noticed
Give it a try and comment on this post with your opinions.
I hope the article was useful to you! If so, share it with your colleagues and if you want to make a comment or ask me for a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact me!