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Simon Hardwick | Why Did the Eurovision Song Contest Look Odd This Year?

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the controversy surrounding the use of 25pSF (25 progressive frames per second) in the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest, and the psychological impact of applying a "filmic" effect to live events.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Controversy Around 25pSF

1. What is the issue with the Eurovision Song Contest being broadcast in 25pSF?

  • Non-technical viewers felt that "something didn't feel quite right" with the broadcast, while technical viewers didn't understand why it was an issue since 25pSF is a common broadcast format.
  • The article explains that 25pSF effectively reduces the effective motion frame rate to half the normal value, creating a "filmic" look that can detract from the live feel of the event.

2. Why does the "filmic" look created by 25pSF have a psychological impact on viewers?

  • The "filmic" look suspends the viewer's disbelief, as it is associated with staged performances in film. However, when applied to a live event, it creates a conflict in the viewer's mind, as they know the performance is happening in real-time.
  • This psychological effect is why sports are never broadcast in "filmic" mode, as it removes the feeling of immersion in the event.

3. How does the "filmic" look affect the perception of the Eurovision performances?

  • The "filmic" look made it "difficult to tell when the recorded clips stop and the music performance starts", detracting from the live feel of the performances and the fantastic staging and effects.
  • Many of the music performances "simply didn't feel live or real because of the artificial drama filter" created by the "filmic" look.

[02] The Psychology of Frame Rates and Persistence of Vision

1. How does the persistence of vision create the illusion of movement in film and TV?

  • Persistence of vision is the effect where the eyes and brain hold onto what they've seen for a moment before letting go, allowing a sequence of still images to be perceived as continuous movement.
  • Historically, 24 frames per second was found to be a good compromise between tricking the eyes and brain, and the physical cost and film required.

2. How does the frame rate difference between film and TV affect the perception of movement?

  • Film can show a difference in movement 24 times per second, while TV can show a difference 50 times per second due to the interlacing technique.
  • This difference in frame rate affects the suspension of disbelief, with filmmakers finding that higher frame rates made viewers less able to accept the staged performance as reality.

3. Why has the 24 frames per second standard persisted despite digital advancements?

  • The 24 frames per second standard provides a suspension of disbelief at a deeper level within the brain, which is why filmmakers have stuck with it despite the flexibility of the digital world.
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