If you’re not following The Slow-Mo Guys over on YouTube, then this video might change all that. They have created yet another video which both destroys our perception of reality and makes us thirsty for more knowledge.
We take a lot of things for granted these days. As creatives who work with technology day in and day out, we depend on these incredibly advanced machines to not only entertains us and keep us safe but to also make a living. But what do we really know about the basic functionality of these ubiquitous electronic wonders? Take that big black rectangle in the corner of the room that tells you what’s going on in the world right now, that entertains your kids while you get 30 minutes rest or lets you watch dragons kill giants in fantastic lands. How is your TV showing you all that incredible detail?
Gavin Free of the Slow-Mo Guys starts off by explaining how our perception of TV screens is very different from reality. Due to our limited ability to only see the world in 24 frames per second, our TVs are fooling us into thinking that we are watching completely fluid movements when we are actually seeing separate images, played after one another, at various rates, depending on where you live. He demonstrates this using an old CRT TV. But the TV is not instantly changing from one image to the next; it’s actually building the image line-by-line, from top to bottom, and from left to right, while our brains construct a complete image by what Free refers to as our “persistence of vision.” They then show us what this looks like at 380,000 fps while giving us a bonus fact that is bound to impress at the next party.
LCD 4K TVs work on a whole a different level, of course. Because all of the active pixels retain brightness, and therefore the whole image resolves at once, we don’t get the flickering effect we see when we observe a CRT TV through video. The next part of the video explains how colors are resolved using simple RGB pixels. I won’t get into how it works here because the Slow-Mo Guys do a great job at explaining it, so you should just watch the video and be amazed.