Digital Video and HD

Digital Video and HD

Algorithms and Interfaces

2nd Edition - January 24, 2012

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  • Author: Charles Poynton
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123919267
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123919328

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Digital Video and HD: Algorithms and Interfaces provides a one-stop shop for the theory and engineering of digital video systems. Equally accessible to video engineers and those working in computer graphics, Charles Poynton’s revision to his classic text covers emergent compression systems, including H.264 and VP8/WebM, and augments detailed information on JPEG, DVC, and MPEG-2 systems. This edition also introduces the technical aspects of file-based workflows and outlines the emerging domain of metadata, placing it in the context of digital video processing.

Key Features

  • Basic concepts of digitization, sampling, quantization, gamma, and filtering
  • Principles of color science as applied to image capture and display
  • Scanning and coding of SDTV and HDTV
  • Video color coding: luma, chroma (4:2:2 component video, 4fSC composite video)
  • Analog NTSC and PAL
  • Studio systems and interfaces
  • Compression technology, including M-JPEG and MPEG-2
  • Broadcast standards and consumer video equipment


Engineers, programmers, and computer graphics professionals who work in fields (such as film and software and game design) that encompasses video for entertainment as well as non-broadcast, non-entertainment applications in business, science, and education, including teleconferencing, Web-based training, sales and marketing presentations, and exploration

Table of Contents

  • Dedication





    About the Book

    PART 1

    1. Raster images

    Aspect ratio


    Image capture


    Perceptual uniformity


    Luma and colour difference components

    Digital image representation

    SD and HD

    Square sampling

    Comparison of aspect ratios

    Aspect ratio

    Frame rates

    2. Image acquisition and presentation

    Image state

    EOCF standards

    Entertainment programming


    Consumer origination

    Consumer electronics (CE) display

    3. Linear-light and perceptual uniformity


    Contrast ratio

    Perceptual uniformity

    The “code 100” problem and nonlinear image coding

    Linear and nonlinear

    4. Quantization



    Noise, signal, sensitivity

    Quantization error


    Studio-swing (footroom and headroom)

    Interface offset

    Processing coding

    Two’s complement wrap-around

    5. Contrast, brightness, , and

    Perceptual attributes

    History of display signal processing

    Digital driving levels

    Relationship between signal and lightness


    Black level setting

    Effect of contrast and brightness on contrast and brightness

    An alternate interpretation

    Brightness and contrast controls in LCDs

    Brightness and contrast controls in PDPs

    Brightness and contrast controls in desktop graphics

    6. Raster images in computing

    Symbolic image description

    Raster images

    Conversion among types

    Image files

    “Resolution” in computer graphics

    7. Image structure

    Image reconstruction

    Sampling aperture

    Spot profile

    Box distribution

    Gaussian distribution

    8. Raster scanning

    Flicker, refresh rate, and frame rate

    Introduction to scanning

    Scanning parameters

    Interlaced format


    Interlace in analog systems

    Interlace and progressive

    Scanning notation

    Motion portrayal

    Segmented-frame (24PsF)

    Video system taxonomy

    Conversion among systems

    9. Resolution

    Magnitude frequency response and bandwidth

    Visual acuity

    Viewing distance and angle

    Kell effect


    Resolution in video

    Viewing distance

    Interlace revisited

    10. Constant luminance

    The principle of constant luminance

    Compensating for the CRT

    Departure from constant luminance


    “Leakage” of luminance into chroma

    11. Picture rendering

    Surround effect

    Tone scale alteration

    Incorporation of rendering

    Rendering in desktop computing

    12. Introduction to luma and chroma


    Sloppy use of the term luminance

    Colour difference coding (chroma)

    Chroma subsampling

    Chroma subsampling notation

    Chroma subsampling filters

    Chroma in composite NTSC and PAL

    13. Introduction tocomponent SD

    Scanning standards

    Widescreen (16:9) SD

    Square and nonsquare sampling


    14. Introduction to composite NTSC and PAL

    NTSC and PAL encoding

    NTSC and PAL decoding

    S-video interface

    Frequency interleaving

    Composite analog SD

    15. Introduction to HD

    HD scanning

    Colour coding for BT.709 HD

    16. Introduction to video compression

    Data compression

    Image compression

    Lossy compression



    JPEG 2000

    Mezzanine compression


    Picture coding types (I, P, B)




    Other MPEGs




    WM9, WM10, VC-1 codecs

    Compression for CE acquisition



    Compression for IP transport to consumers

    VP8 (“WebM”) codec

    Dirac (basic)

    17. Streams and files

    Historical overview

    Physical layer

    Stream interfaces

    IEEE 1394 (FireWire, i.LINK)

    HTTP live streaming (HLS)

    18. Metadata

    Metadata Example 1: CD-DA

    Metadata Example 2: .yuv files

    Metadata Example 3: RFF

    Metadata Example 4: JPEG/JFIF

    Metadata Example 5: Sequence display extension


    19. Stereoscopic (“3-D”) video


    S3D display


    Temporal multiplexing


    Wavelength multiplexing (Infitec/Dolby)

    Autostereoscopic displays

    Parallax barrier display

    Lenticular display

    Recording and compression

    Consumer interface and display


    Vergence and accommodation

    PART 2

    20. Filtering and sampling

    Sampling theorem

    Sampling at exactly 0.5fS

    Magnitude frequency response

    Magnitude frequency response of a boxcar

    The sinc weighting function

    Frequency response of point sampling

    Fourier transform pairs

    Analog filters

    Digital filters

    Impulse response

    Finite impulse response (FIR) filters

    Physical realizability of a filter

    Phase response (group delay)

    Infinite impulse response (IIR) filters

    Lowpass filter

    Digital filter design


    Reconstruction close to 0.5fS

    “(sin x)/x” correction

    Further reading

    21. Resampling, interpolation, and decimation

    2:1 downsampling



    Lagrange interpolation

    Lagrange interpolation as filtering

    Polyphase interpolators

    Polyphase taps and phases

    Implementing polyphase interpolators


    Lowpass filtering in decimation

    22. Image digitization and reconstruction

    Spatial frequency domain

    Comb filtering

    Spatial filtering

    Image presampling filters

    Image reconstruction filters

    Spatial (2-D) oversampling

    23. Perception and visual acuity



    Contrast sensitivity

    Contrast sensitivity function (CSF)

    24. Luminance and lightness

    Radiance, intensity


    Relative luminance

    Luminance from red, green, and blue

    Lightness (CIE L*)

    25. The CIE system of colorimetry

    Fundamentals of vision


    Spectral power distribution (SPD) and tristimulus

    Spectral constraints

    CIE XYZ tristimulus

    CIE [x, y] chromaticity

    Blackbody radiation

    Colour temperature


    Chromatic adaptation

    Perceptually uniform colour spaces

    CIE L*u*v*

    CIE L*a*b* (CIELAB)

    CIE L*u*v* and CIE L*a*b* summary

    Colour specification and colour image coding

    Further reading

    26. Colour science for video

    Additive reproduction (RGB)

    Characterization of RGB primaries

    BT.709 primaries

    Leggacy SD primaries

    sRGB system

    SMPTE Free Scale (FS) primaries

    AMPAS ACES primaries

    SMPTE/DCI P3 primaries

    CMFs and SPDs

    Normalization and scaling

    Luminance coefficients

    Transformations between RGB and CIE XYZ

    Noise due to matrixing

    Transforms among RGB systems

    Camera white reference

    Display white reference


    Wide-gamut reproduction

    Free Scale Gamut, Free Scale Log (FS-Gamut, FS-Log)

    Further reading

    27. Gamma

    Gamma in CRT physics

    The amazing coincidence!

    Gamma in video

    Opto-electronic conversion functions (OECFs)

    BT.709 OECF


    sRGB transfer function

    Transfer functions in SD

    Bit depth requirements

    Gamma in modern display devices

    Estimating gamma

    Gamma in video, CGI, and Macintosh

    Gamma in computer graphics

    Gamma in pseudocolour

    Limitations of 8-bit linear coding

    Linear and nonlinear coding in CGI

    28. Luma and colour differences

    Colour acuity

    RGB and R′G′B′ colour cubes

    Conventional luma/colour difference coding

    Luminance and luma notation

    Nonlinear red, green, blue (R′G′B′)

    BT.601 luma

    BT.709 luma

    Chroma subsampling, revisited

    Luma/colour difference summary

    SD and HD luma chaos

    Luma/colour difference component sets

    PART 3

    29. Component video colour coding for SD

    B’-Y’, R’-Y’ components for SD

    PBPR components for SD

    CBCR components for SD

    Y’CBCR from studio RGB

    Y’CBCR from computer RGB

    “Full-swing” Y’CBCR

    Y’UV, Y’IQ confusion

    30. Component video colour coding for HD

    B’–Y’, R’–Y’ components for BT.709 HD

    PBPR components for BT.709 HD

    CBCR components for BT.709 HD

    CBCR components for xvYCC

    Y’CBCR from studio RGB

    Y’CBCR from computer RGB

    Conversions between HD and SD

    Colour coding standards

    31. Video signal processing

    Edge treatment

    Transition samples

    Picture lines

    Choice of SAL and SPW parameters

    Video levels

    Setup (pedestal)

    BT.601 to computing


    Median filtering


    Chroma transition improvement (CTI)

    Mixing and keying

    32. Frame, field, line, and sample rates

    Field rate

    Line rate

    Sound subcarrier

    Addition of composite colour

    NTSC colour subcarrier

    576i PAL colour subcarrier

    4fSC sampling

    Common sampling rate

    Numerology of HD scanning

    Audio rates

    33. Timecode


    Dropframe timecode


    Linear timecode (LTC)

    Vertical interval timecode (VITC)

    Timecode structure

    Further reading

    34. 2-3 pulldown

    2-3-3-2 pulldown

    Conversion of film to different frame rates

    Native 24 Hz coding

    Conversion to other rates

    35. Deinterlacing

    Spatial domain

    Vertical-temporal domain

    Motion adaptivity

    Further reading

    36. Colourbars

    SD colourbars

    SD colourbar notation

    PLUGE element

    Composite decoder adjustment using colourbars

    -I, +Q, and PLUGE elements in SD colourbars

    HD colourbars

    PART 4

    37. Reference display and viewing conditions


    Signal interface

    Reference primaries, black, and white

    Reference EOCF

    Reference viewing conditions

    38. SDI and HD-SDI interfaces

    Component digital SD interface (BT.601)

    Serial digital interface (SDI)

    Component digital HD-SDI

    SDI and HD-SDI sync, TRS, and ancillary data

    TRS in 4:2:2 SD-SDI

    TRS in HD-SDI

    Analog sync and digital/analog timing relationships

    Ancillary data

    SDI coding

    HD-SDI coding

    Interfaces for compressed video


    Switching and mixing

    Timing in digital facilities


    Summary of digital interfaces

    39. 480 component video

    Frame rate


    Line sync

    Field/frame sync

    R′G′B′ EOCF and primaries

    Luma (Y′)

    Picture center, aspect ratio, and blanking

    Halfline blanking

    Component digital 4:2:2 interface

    Component analog R′G′B′ interface

    Component analog Y′PBPR interface, EBU N10

    Component analog Y′PBPR interface, industry standard

    40. 576 component video

    Frame rate


    Line sync

    Analog field/frame sync

    R′G′B′ EOCF and primaries

    Luma (Y′)

    Picture center, aspect ratio, and blanking

    Component digital 4:2:2 interface

    Component analog 576i interface

    41. 280 ×720 HD


    Analog sync

    Picture center, aspect ratio, and blanking

    R’G’B’ EOCF and primaries

    Luma (Y’)

    Component digital 4:2:2 interface

    42. 1920 ×1080 HD


    Analog sync

    Picture center, aspect ratio, and blanking

    R’G’B’ EOCF and primaries

    Luma (Y’)

    Component digital 4:2:2 interface

    43. HD videotape

    D-5 HD (HD-D5, D-15)


    HDCAM (D-11)

    DVCPRO HD (D-12)

    HDCAM SR (D-16)

    44. Component analog HD interface

    Pre- and postfiltering characteristics

    PART 5

    45. JPEG and motion-JPEG (M-JPEG) compression

    JPEG blocks and MCUs

    JPEG block diagram

    Level shifting

    Discrete cosine transform (DCT)

    JPEG encoding example

    JPEG decoding

    Compression ratio control


    Motion-JPEG (M-JPEG)

    Further reading

    46. DV compression

    DV chroma subsampling

    DV frame/field modes

    Picture-in-shuttle in DV

    DV overflow scheme

    DV quantization

    DV digital interface (DIF)

    Consumer DV recording

    Professional DV variants

    47. MPEG-2 video compression

    MPEG-2 profiles and levels

    Picture structure

    Frame rate and 2-3 pulldown in MPEG

    Luma and chroma sampling structures


    Picture coding types – I, P, B


    Motion vectors (MVs)

    Coding of a block

    Frame and field DCT types

    Zigzag and VLE


    Motion estimation

    Rate control and buffer management

    Bitstream syntax


    48. H.264 video compression

    Algorithmic features, profiles, and levels

    Baseline and extended profiles

    High profiles


    Multiple reference pictures


    Spatial intra prediction

    Flexible motion compensation

    Quarter-pel motion-compensated interpolation

    Weighting and offsetting of MC prediction

    16-bit integer transform


    Variable-length coding

    Context adaptivity


    Deblocking filter

    Buffer control

    Scalable video coding (SVC)

    Multiview video coding (MVC)


    49. VP8 compression

    Algorithmic features

    PART 6

    50. MPEG-2 storage and transport

    Elementary stream (ES)

    Packetized elementary stream (PES)

    MPEG-2 program stream

    MPEG-2 transport stream

    System clock

    51. Digital television broadcasting


    United States

    ATSC modulation


    A. and considered harmful

    Cement vs. concrete

    True CIE luminance

    The misinterpretation of luminance

    The enshrining of luma

    Colour difference scale factors

    Conclusion: A plea

    B. Introduction to radiometry and photometry

    Further reading



    About the author

Product details

  • No. of pages: 752
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2012
  • Published: January 24, 2012
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123919267
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123919328

About the Author

Charles Poynton

Charles Poynton is an independent contractor specializing in digital color imaging systems, including digital video, HDTV, and digital cinema. A Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Poynton was awarded the Society’s prestigious David Sarnoff Gold Medal for his work to integrate video technology with computing and communications. Poynton is the author of the widely respected book, A Technical Introduction to Digital Video, published in 1996. Engineers (SMPTE), and in 1994 was awarded the Society's David Sarnoff Gold Medal for his work to integrate video technology with computing and communications. He is also the author of A Technical Introduction to Digital Video.

Affiliations and Expertise

is an independent contractor specializing in digital color imaging systems, including digital video, HDTV, and digital cinema. A Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Poynton was awarded the Society’s prestigious David Sarnoff Gold Medal for his work to integrate video technology with computing and communications.

Ratings and Reviews

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  • HaroldDoland Tue Jan 15 2019

    Digital Video and HD

    This is a great book but it is showing its age. How about an updated edition that covers UHD and HDR?

  • BjarneJullum Tue Jan 08 2019

    Many great answers

    This is a wonderful book to clear up many technical aspects of digital video, as well as providing answers I have not been able to find elsewhere. I am not an engineer, just a curious individual but I still found this book very useful and interesting.

  • Mo H. Thu Feb 22 2018

    The Video Bible

    A quite detailed reference for practically anything related to modern color and video standards.