Choosing the Correct Video Sampling Format

We’re a little late in posting this, but I wrote a blog entry for EDN last week that discusses how to choose the correct video sampling format. An excerpt:

To process signals digitally, they must first be sampled and quantized. Sampling refers to measuring the light intensity at discrete space-time points, while quantization is the rounding of measured intensities so they can be represented with a reasonable number of bits.

Spatial sampling controls the resolution of an image, while temporal sampling controls how smoothly motion is perceived. The more closely spaced the spatial samples, the finer the details can be resolved. The more frames per second in your video, the smoother the apparent motion will be. Terms such as “1080P60” communicate how the 3D intensity signal has been sampled. In this case, 1080P60 is shorthand for 1920 pixels horizontally, 1080 pixels vertically and 60 progressive frames per second.

Sampling has been intensely studied for nearly a century and is well understood theoretically.