[FFmpeg-user] Glossary: Nyquist

Anatoly anatoly at kazanfieldhockey.ru
Fri Oct 2 13:34:22 EEST 2020

On Thu, 1 Oct 2020 20:25:30 -0400
"Mark Filipak (ffmpeg)" <markfilipak at bog.us> wrote:

> On 10/01/2020 07:43 PM, Anatoly wrote:
> > On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 19:21:59 -0400
> > "Mark Filipak (ffmpeg)" <markfilipak at bog.us> wrote:
> >   
> >> Nyquist [adjective]: 1, Reference to the Nyquist-Shannon sampling
> >>     theorem. 2, The principle [1] that, to most faithfully
> >> reproduce an image at a given digital display's resolution, the
> >> samples must be made at or above twice the display's resolution,
> >> both horizontally & vertically [2].  
> > Sorry, but this is wrong.
> > from
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist%E2%80%93Shannon_sampling_theorem
> > "If a function x(t) contains no frequencies higher than B hertz, it
> > is completely determined by giving its ordinates at a series of
> > points spaced 1/(2B) seconds apart.
> > A sufficient sample-rate is therefore anything larger 2B samples per
> > second."
> > Let's say we have 640 horisontal dots (pixels) per line in NTSC
> > system.  
> -snip-
> Yes, yes, of course. You are correct, but this is different.
> The source is not an NTSC analog signal. The source is analog streams
> of photons striking a CCD imager array, frame by frame, and applies
> to the image regardless whether the image is moving or stationary,
> and regardless of exposure time (which affects brightness, not
> resolution). The source is a 2-dimensional, lighted field of view in
> a camera or film scanner transferring light energy to produce charge
> in photo transistors over a spacial area. It's not temporal as is the
> case when sampling a changing analog voltage.
Yet I think replacing Voltage with Light Intencity and Time with X
coordinate on analoguie video signal graph changes nothing, if you are
about moving to spatial domain.
> When sampling an analog voltage, resolution is the ability to resolve
> voltage value within a certain period of time (i.e. within a given
> channel bandwidth). When sampling a visual field of view however,
> resolution is the ability to resolve stationary edges that vary
> spacially, going from light to dark or dark to light. It's the same
> gaussian energy transfer issue (i.e. that transferring energy
> requires time) with the same signal-to-noise issues and the same
> handy half-power shorthand, but it applies to ... wait for it ...
> human eyes! Human eyes resolve edges only so good, even totally black
> abutting totally white. There is nothing you can do about that, and
> staring at the edge doesn't bring it into higher resolution. However,
> if the image source itself has fuzzy edges because it was sampled at
> lower than Nyquist, then the result in our brains is a double
> gaussian, the first from the CCD and the second from our eyes. It's
> that double gaussian that is avoided by spacially sampling at higher
> than 2x the display resolution.
So you want to say that if I watching picture on 640x480 dots
display, my brain "effectively" can percept only 320x240 dots. And for
my brain to percept "effectively" 640x480, I need 1280x960 from CCD to
Then I may say that at image processing domain such a terms as "640x480"
or "4K" is all about real count of pixels (spatial samples), not about
how human brain will percept them. So if you're writing about human
perception, you probably must state it explicitly. I can't duscuss about
human perception because I know little here.

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