AfterDawn: Tech news

Fraunhofer goes movies

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 19 Mar 2002 2:50

Fraunhofer Institute, the legendary research institute in Germany which invented MP3 format back in early mid-90s, has set up a research team to develop a new methods to revolutionize movie industry. And no, we're not speaking of any consumer-end low-bitrate encoding like MPEG-2 or DivX/MPEG-4, but they're actually researching how to replace movie cameras and films with digital equipment.
"Our aim is to implement a complete digital processing chain for cinema, from the camera via production, post production, distribution and screening," the Fraunhofer Society's Dr Siegfried Foessel told BBC News Online at the CeBIT fair in Hanover.

One could think that "ok, digital cameras already exist, why not use hi-end models of them?". Wrong. Even the digital cameras designed for HDTV broadcasts can't capture the dyncamics of lighting and can't provide the same resolution that analog cinema film can capture (tip: much more than 640x480 ;-).

Institute is also researching methods to compress the data somehow, whether using JPEG2000 image compression format's lossless version or some other means. The problem is severe, even in current situation where storage media becomes cheaper almost daily; researchers estimate that excellent quality digital cinema would take appx. 5 gigabytes of data per second -- only for video.

Read the full story from BBC:

BBC SciTech

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