High-resolution Displays

The display industry is undergoing an amazing transformation.  Wave 1 saw the dawn of TVs with the Cathode Ray Tube.  Wave 2 gave us flat digital high-definition displays.  Now wave 3 is transforming displays into to ultra-realistic high-resolution displays that provide the next level of immersion.  Just the sheer number of additional pixels provides challenges for video processing but there’s more.  As the display quality improves it places greater demands on the video processing as any artifact is now much more visible.

Smaller Pixels, More Detail

Digital displays use pixels to make up an image.  Each pixel represents a point in the final image being displayed.  Recent improvements in display technology are now allowing display manufacturers to reduce the physical size of each pixel and pack them closer together.  This allows the display to contain more pixels for the same area.  Pixels per Inch or PPI is used to specific how many pixels are contained in one inch.  The higher the number the more pixels there are available to represent image data.  The more pixels a display has, the greater detail it is able to show.

Unperceivable Pixels, Increased Realism

As the pixel density increases and the size of the pixels reduces, there comes a point where the viewer can no longer distinguish individual pixels.  As this happens the traditional granulated, grid like structure that is typically seen in digital displays disappears.  With no apparent grid structure visible, lines and the borders of objects now appear to be smooth and continuous and don’t have any stair stepping referred to as jaggies.  This gives the image more a realistic look and feel that fools the viewer into believing they are seeing a real-life scene rather than a displayed image.  This realism effect can even add a sense of dimension to the image, even though it’s still only a 2D display.

Advanced Video Display Processing Becomes Necessary

With the displayed image looking so realistic, any artifact instantly becomes visible as the viewer notices something odd or not quite right about the picture.  In fact, artifacts on a high-resolution display can be more noticeable than they would on a lower resolution display because of their unnatural look and feel.  This destroys the realism effect and jolts the viewer out of believe they are seeing a real-life image, reminding them they are viewing a displayed image.  It is therefore critical to minimize artifacts in order to preserve the quality high-resolution displays offer.  This, combined with the increased number of pixels place a heavy burden on the video display processing pipeline.

Pixelworks Video Display Processing™ is designed to maximize the picture quality of high-resolution displays by minimizing realism destroying artifacts such as judder, halos and jaggies.  It also provides image tuning features that allow designers to optimize the display characteristics to deliver stunning life-like ultra-immersive images.