A new patent application discovered by AppleInsider suggests Apple’s much rumored television may use displays with dynamic backlight adaptation for superior picture quality, meaning letterboxed content, like DVDs and BluRay, would be much improved.
Technology used in current TVs have a difficult time displaying “true” blacks on screen. When letterboxed content is watched quality becomes decreased because backlight is improperly adjusted. This issue is compounded even further by users who watch content with subtitles. Apple‘s new patent, filed in September of last year, would address this issue.
“Many video images are encoded with black bars, e.g., non-picture portions of the video images,” the filing reads. “These non-picture portions complicate the analysis of the brightness of the video images, and therefore can create problems when determining the trade-off between the brightness of the video signals and the intensity setting of the light source. Moreover, these non-picture portions can also produce visual artifacts, which can degrade the overall user experience.”
While current TV technology is built with 16:9 aspect ratio in mind, most Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as content on iTunes, often displays videos in a wider 2.35:1 ratio, thus the black bars at the top and bottom.
Apple’s solution would implement an “extraction circuit,” “intensity circuit” and “distortion metric” to improve overall video quality.