What is the color depth level of the DVD format?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Frank@N, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Frank@N

    Frank@N Screenwriter

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    With HDMI 1.3 on the way, there's been a lot of talk about mind-boggling color depths.

    In the PC world color depths are also a big deal, but software has to be designed to run at high color depths to make any difference.

    My guess is the DVD format operates at a fairly low color depth (8-bit?).

    Or perhaps color depth is defined by the compression format (MPEG 2-4, VC1)?

    Since this board isn't specifically labeled SD Software, maybe a knowledge poster could also report on the color depths of HD DVD & Blu-ray formats.

    All I've read so far is that the PS3 will have HDMI 1.3 and that PS3 games will eventually run at higher color depths.

    That's great, but it hardly necessitates waiting for a HDMI 1.3 HDTV (if that's the only application that will directly benefit).
     
  2. Frank@N

    Frank@N Screenwriter

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    Found this bit of at www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html

    "Picture dimensions are at maximum 720x480 (for 525/60 NTSC display) or 720x576 (for 625/50 PAL/SECAM display). Pictures are subsampled from 4:2:2 ITU-R BT.601 down to 4:2:0 before encoding, allocating an average of 12 bits/pixel in Y'CbCr format. (Color depth is 24 bits, since color samples are shared across 4 pixels.)"

    Now if I only understood what it means...
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Essentially all digital video formats (certainly all for the home) employ standards based on CCIR 601. This means, for standard definition, a master clock frequency of 13.5 MHz for luma, with half rate (6.75 MHz) sampling for chroma, and usually the chroma is line-sequential (4:2:0) also. Occasionally one runs across simultaneous quarter-rate (4:1:1) chroma, with 3.375 MHz sampling. The figures for HD 720 and HD 1080 are different, but the setup is the same.

    In all cases sampling is 8-bit nonlinear. This holds for HD as well as SD material. 10-bit sampling is occasionally encountered in professional environments.
     
  4. Frank@N

    Frank@N Screenwriter

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    So...

    Does the fact that "HDMI version 1.3 increases the color depth from 24 bits to 36 bits for deeper colors" have any bearing on home video formats?
     
  5. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Not so far as I can tell! With three-channel sampling (R,G,B or Y,R-Y,B-Y), and 8 bits per sample, the maximum bit depth per pixel is 24. Unless and until someone decides to use 10 or 12 bits per sample, or an alpha channel (and how many displays will ever accept that?), it's going to remain irrelevant ; and I doubt any home video playback format will take that step.
     
  6. Frank@N

    Frank@N Screenwriter

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    Good to know, thanks a lot.
     

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