Driven by the need to improve today’s LCD TV performance and to allow rapid market introductions, Micronas of Freiburg, Germany, has introduced Kentaurus 3, a double-frame-rate LCD-TV solution with motion compensation.
The system architecture is based on the company’s VCT-Pro all-in-one LCD-TV processor and truDHD high-definition frame rate converter (FRC-H). “Next to the typical audio, video, deinterlacer/scaler, and picture-quality-related functions, the VCT-Pro contains the application controller (microprocessor) and all required memories (FLASH and SDRAM) inside one QFP package,” says Torsten Frings, managing director of Ikonvergenz, the research and development division of Micronas.
The solution utilizes the company’s frame rate converter technology, which calculates and interpolates additional frames that are necessary for the removal of the motion blur (e.g., going from 50 to 100 fps) and the film dejudder (e.g., going from 24 to 50/60/100/120 fps). “The new frames are generated by the motion compensation technology, which is comparing the existing information and movement inside the frames and then interpolates and inserts new frames between the existing one,” Frings explains. “Such a solution is necessary for 32-in. or larger LCD TVs, as judder and motion blur are very often visible on the bigger TVs.”
Frings compares the technology to cinema movies, which are shot, edited, and mastered at 24 frames per second (fps), but are broadcast and viewed on LCD TV screens at 50 or 60 fps. “Simple frame-rate conversion from 24 to 60 fps is done using ‘inverse 3-2 pull-down,’ a process of repeating certain frames,” he explains. “This results in an irritating start-stop motion called film judder.”
The FRC-H, however, uses a high-definition film dejudder technology, which increases the frame rate by generating additional new frames rather than simply repeating frames. “The same technology is used to increase the refresh rate of an LCD-TV from 50/60 to 100/120 fps in order to remove motion blur,” Frings says.
The solution is designed to allow TV manufacturers to immediately introduce film dejudder and motion blur removal features into their product portfolios for digital TV markets (ATSC and DVB-T) as well as HD-ready markets. According to Frings, engineers are given the necessary market and field test reports, professional test lab reports, specifications, gerber, and DXF and CAD files to evaluate and explore areas for modification to their own TV designs. “They are also given the option to customize certain layers in the software stack such that different TV manufacturers will retain their unique identity,” he says. In addition, engineers reportedly get the complete bill of materials so they can work with procurement for the final cost of the solution.
As a display technology, Kentaurus 3 can be used in other consumer electronics devices such as DVD players or set-top boxes. However, Frings says the maximum performance is demonstrated when the solution is coupled next to a video decoder/deinterlacer inside a flat-panel television.