Innovative Film Processing Technology From Hitachi Overcomes A 50-Year Problem In Television
Say Goodbye to “Judder” and Hello to Pure TV – Hitachi’s Patented Reel60 Film Conversion Technology Presents the Motion of Movies More Accurately
July 2, 2007
Hitachi has unveiled a film processing technology that solves a problem which has challenged television design engineers for 50+ years. Since the advent of television, there has always been a mismatch between the motion of films seen in a movie theater and the way that same motion appeared on television. Through a technology innovation called Reel60™, Hitachi applies a patented technique that correctly matches the motion of movies. As a result, viewers can experience movies at home on a Hitachi television in the pure and precise way the movie creators intended. Consumers can take advantage of the benefits of Reel60 technology in three new HDTV flat panel displays Hitachi is introducing today: Hitachi’s new Full HD 1080 50-inch HDTV (model P50V701) and its Director’s Series Full HD 1080 HDTVs in both 50-inch (model P50X901) and 60-inch (model P60X901) screen sizes. (Editor’s Note: Complete details on Hitachi’s new product line-up can be found in a separate press release entitled: “Hitachi Introduces Fall Line: All 1080, All Flat Panel, All Large Screen HDTVs with Patented Technologies for Unparalleled Performance No Matter What You Are Watching,” dateline: June 28, 2007) Hitachi’s Reel60 Technology Movies provide the illusion of motion by showing a series of still images over time. In fact, all Hollywood movies flash 24 individual images each second. However, Hollywood’s 24 frames-per-second do not match our television systems, which show 60 frames each second. A conversion technique called “3:2 pulldown correction” is used to make the 24 frames of film fit the television’s faster 60 frames. As this conversion is done, the viewer can often observe a jerky, troublesome visual effect that is called “judder.” It appears as if the image is jittery or stuttering and is especially noticeable when the picture pans or makes sweeping, side-to-side movements. In conventional approaches, 3:2 pulldown correction is done simply by repeating original film frames every 1/8 second. These repeated frames are what cause “judder,” the stuttering, jerky movement that can be observed in motion pans. With Hitachi Reel60, a patented new technique is applied that accurately and automatically eliminates the jerky motion. By creating interpolated frames based on the original film images, the Reel60 processing technology smoothes out the movement and correctly matches the original motion. The result is extremely smooth, pure motion, whether it’s a passing vehicle or a camera pan from across the screen or side-to-side. “Along with the rest of the industry, this problem of judder is one we at Hitachi have been working to solve for quite some time,” said vice president of marketing, Daniel Lee. “We are incredibly proud and excited about our Reel60 breakthrough because we want our customers to be able to fully experience movies, not just watch them. To foster that immersive experience, the motion in movies needs to be smooth and uninterrupted. That’s how we all see it in the movie theater and now this innovation, by perfectly replicating the image the content creator intended, allows consumers to have that same amazing movie experience at home.” The Smoothest Viewing Experience: Made Possible By Motion Vector Interpolation Hitachi’s Reel60 technology applies sophisticated algorithms to assess and accurately interpolate missing picture information during rapid motion interlaced video sequences. The patented Hitachi processor references various film frames to predict motion at any given space and time to increase detail and correct for motion artifacts in those sequences. The result is an ultra-fast technique, available in Hitachi’s new HDTVs, that is designed to replicate the original motion of objects and make corrections in real time for the smoothest viewing experience possible.