Image Processing Reference
on a laptop connected to a fixed broadband service, the downloaded material could be
taken on the road and viewed remotely. This enables video to be as mobile as music car-
ried around on Walkman and iPod devices.
Future experiments in the area of broadband-delivered TV will explore some inter-
esting peer-to-peer file techniques, which are designed to alleviate the bandwidth bur-
den on service providers. For this to work, we must have reliable and robust DRM
solutions, or the super-distribution model will fail to get acceptance from the content
Home Theatre Systems
Hollywood movies are designed to be viewed on a large screen in a darkened room with
a surround-sound system. There is now a growing market for equipment to be deployed
at home to give you the same experience. The media is still mostly available in standard
definition but some high-definition content is being broadcast already. More high-defini-
tion services will be launched during the next few years. Plasma, LCD, or LED flat screens
are available in sizes up to 60 inches diagonal. If you want to go larger than that, you will
need to consider a projection system.
At large screen sizes, it helps to increase the resolution of the image that is being
projected, and that may require some special hardware to scale it up and interpolate the
additional pixels. At these increased screen sizes, any artifacts that result from the com-
pression will be very obvious. Higher bit rates will be necessary to allow a lower com-
pression ratio. Some DVD products are shipped in special editions that give up all the
special features in order to increase the bit rate. The gradual advancement of codec tech-
nology works in your favor. New designs yield better performance for the same bit rate
as technology improves.
The bottom line is that compressing video to use on a standard-definition TV set may
not be good enough for home-cinema purists.
Interestingly, the high-definition TV standards that are emerging seem to be appropriate
for use in digital-cinema (D-cinema) situations. The same content will play in the domes-
tic environment just as easily. As high-definition TV becomes more popular and more peo-
ple install home theatre systems , commercial cinema complexes will need to develop their
business in new ways. They will have to do this in order to differentiate their product and
give people a reason to visit the cinema instead of watching the movie at home.
With the increasing trends toward technological convergence, devices that were incon-
ceivable as potential targets for video content are now becoming viable. Science fiction
writers have been extolling the virtues of portable handheld video devices for years, and