New frame-rate technology boosts 3-D TV display performance

Sunnyvale, CA-based company Zoran has developed a new frame-rate conversion platform that it claims will “noticeably improve” the video quality of both 2-D and 3-D images on a TV display.

Called the SupraFRC 301 frame-rate conversion processor platform, the technology is available only to qualified LCD and DTV manufacturers that want to improve their video display quality, Zoran said.

“Our approach to video processing enables consumers to see noticeably improved image quality on both 2-D and 3-D TVs by eliminating artifacts introduced by current state-of-the-industry motion-compensation technologies,” said Mustafa Ozgen, vice president and general manager of Zoran’s DTV business unit, Home Entertainment.

LCD TVs typically need to operate at screen refresh rates of 100/120Hz or 200/240Hz to avoid the flicker and motion blur caused by the limited persistence and slow response time of the display. Because the source content is generally at 50fps or 60fps for TV broadcasts, or 24 fps for movies, it must be converted to match the display’s screen refresh rate to deliver a good viewing experience.

The traditional frame-rate conversion approach, motion estimation motion compensation (MEMC), is effective for visually simple scenes. However, MEMC has no intrinsic understanding of the structure of the image. Lacking image intelligence, the MEMC approach introduces artifacts for faster and more complex motion.

Zoran said its frame-rate conversion technology resolves these problems by using an object model and assigning interpolated pixels according to the motion of the corresponding object. One difference is because it does not rely on a single motion computation per pixel, its geometric processing more efficiently corrects blurring, halo effects, ghosting and shadowing artifacts.

3-D TV systems also generally require a screen refresh rate of 200/240Hz to avoid cross talk, such as “ghosting,” between the left- and right-eye views. Correct handling of objects in the left- and right-eye interpolated frames is essential, the company said, because any differential spatial errors will result in objects being viewed at an incorrect depth.

The object-model approach of the SupraFRC 301 technology is able to avoid these and other 3-D artifacts. Left- and right-eye object correlation facilitates an enhanced and headache-free viewing experience. The SupraFRC technology supports stereoscopic 3-D using both polarized and active-shutter glasses. A total of 38 different 3-D content formats are supported, including all mandatory HDMI 1.4a 3-D formats.