Some of the newer LCD HDTVs that are available in today’s marketplace feature a technology that attempts to make motion appear more fluid by creating interpolated frames between the original frames, thereby increasing the amount of positions a moving image is displayed. It’s designed to compensate for an LCD panel’s sample and hold technology which has perceptual motion blur issues. (For more discussion about this, check out the interesting interview of Marvell’s Dr. Nikhil Balram by our Editor in Chief John Johnson.) When watching a movie filmed at 24 fps with this technology active though, the motion often looks a little too realistic at 72 fps, decreasing the film effect and creating a presentation that some describe as looking much like that of a live TV program.
Although it can make film material look strange, one media source that does benefit from motion compensation technolgies is video games. Many video games, especially first person shooters, are designed to max out the displayed frame rate. However, the game console’s hardware parameters usually limit this to about thirty frames per second. Frame interpolation technologies of newer television sets can effectively double that frame rate.
Character model animation looks especially good using this technology because the added frames give the characters movement that appears natural and less herky gerky as the number of positions the character is displayed in the animation sequence is increased. In games such as the mega popular Halo 3 for the Xbox 360, which feature highly detailed graphics, the effect can look stunning, as the imagery is already hyper-realistic, and the smoothness added to the animation makes the game world look that much more intense.