MADISON, Wis.– Most users of iPad’s Retina Display (or a similar tablet featuring a display with Retina-like higher resolution technology) are aware that the video that looked fine on an old iPad 2 turns out to look noticeably bad on a Retina Display. Adding a display processor to the tablet could rectify the problem, but at a price.
Take for example a standard-definition video clip downloaded from the Web. Video that looked OK on an older iPad2 looks much smaller on the new iPad’s Retina Display, which boasts 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. There is an option to stretch the video to fit the larger screen of the Retina Display. But doing this degrades the quality of the video—unless the mobile device includes a currently non-existent function to upscale video to a resolution of 2048 x 1536.
Flaws in any video not only remain uncorrected but actually get magnified in the newfangled high-res mobile displays. To make the matter worse, mobile video--delivered on tablets or smartphones–is often degraded through compression, or a poor network connection.
Richard Shim, senior analyst for NPD DisplaySearch, describes the problem as a “disconnect” between a tablet’s capabilities and what actually appears on the device’s screen.
Although his research at this point is based solely on personal experience, Shim said that regardless of whether a tablet has a high-resolution display or not, “the [video viewing] experience [on mobile devices] is similarly poor,” especially due to “judder and pixilation.” This is particularly frustrating to a consumer because on a high-resolution panel, the user has dearly paid for a display that is expected to demonstrate high-quality video.
On Retina display, the industry consensus is that “you can’t see pixels anymore.”
As fantastic as it sounds, the problem is that typical issues with motion video--such as judder, motion blur, contrast, sharpness and color artifacts--can become more and more apparent on such higher resolution mobile displays.
The simple fact is that all displays benefit from display processing. TV OEMs have known this for years. They universally include in their unit a sophisticated display processing pipeline. But for some reason, display processing has never made it to mobile devices.
Why high resolution mobile screens needs help in display processing
source: EE Times The threshold for a Retina Display needs to be determined by taking into
account of both screen resolution and the distance
from which the device is viewed
Interesting article and fully in-line with my view.
Relevant to note is that we can already TODAY offer end-users the proper experience on existing (high end) mobile devices and platforms by applying advanced video algorithms in software. In contrast to (traditional) TVs, mobile devices have evolved to very sophisticated platforms capable to run such solutions in software by smartly leveraging the existing hardware acceleration available in these platforms.
For instance on an iPad 3rd or 4rd generation (with retina display), this is for instance offered by the "SuperSharp" feature in CineXPlayer HD ( https://itunes.apple.com/app/cinexplayer-hd-best-way-to/id384098375?mt=8 ).
For more information on these gap-closing video enhancements for mobile devices (Android and iOS), have a look at our website or contact us:
Qualcomm acquired HQV video processing assets from IDT over a year ago. HQV video processing has been incorporated into high end consumer products such as Onkyo home theater receivers. Does Qualcomm have plans to integrate HQV into their mobile SoCs?
The maturity shows in the intellectual property related to video processing. It is essentially impossible to implement video processing without numerous licensing deals. Everything down to the very idea of digital video processing is under patent protection in most countries. Thus the HTML5 video tag debacle. I agree there is no technical issue preventing it, but there are substantial legal and cost issues. So I'm not so sure the gaping hole will be quickly filled.
This is the same hill that digital cameras and printers climbed more than a decade ago. Many current printers can do 1440 dpi w/o popping a sweat. This, coupled with the extreme resolution of high end cameras makes pixelation in a printed image either a blunder on the part of the user or an intentional effect.
But isn't video quality on newer mobile devices more an issue with the source than the display? There's only so much information in an image. You can fix some artifacts and clean up pixelation but eventually you hit a limit - that's when you need a higher resolution source to match your high resolution display - and I'm sure device makers will be happy to accommodate this.
Display processing for video is fairly mature, so it's a wonder that it hasn't already been integrated into the "one big system-on-chip" that is already decoding the video and doing nearly everything else in the tablet.
Yes there are costs in silicon area and power consumption, but as tablets get increasingly used to watch video, consumers will demand the same level of video quality they get from their HDTV sets. This gaping hole in tablet performance will not remain unfilled for very long.
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