Scan conversion

The process of representing continuous graphics objects as a collection of discrete pixels.

The process of representing continuous graphics objects as a collection of discrete pixels is called scan conversion.

Scan conversion or scan converting rate is a video processing technique for changing the vertical/horizontal scan frequency of video signal for different purposes and applications. The device which performs this conversion is called a scan converter.

The application of scan conversion is wide and covers video projectors, cinema equipment, TV and video capture cards, standard and HDTV televisions, LCD monitors, radar displays and many different aspects of picture processing.

Scan conversion involves changing the picture information data rate and wrapping the new picture in appropriate synchronization signals. There are two distinct methods for changing a picture's data rate:

Analog Methods (Nonretentive, memory-less or real-time method)

This conversion is done using large numbers of delay cells and is appropriate for analog video. It may also be performed using a specialized scan converter vacuum tube. In this case polar coordinates (angle and distance) data from a source such as a radar receiver, so that it can be displayed on a raster scan (TV type) display.

Digital methods (Retentive or buffered method)

In this method, a picture is stored in a line or frame buffer with n1 speed (data rate) and is read with n2 speed, several picture processing techniques are applicable when the picture is stored in buffer memory including kinds of interpolation from simple to smart high order comparisons, motion detection and … to improve the picture quality and prevent the conversion artifacts.

Key Terms

collection discrete pixels
continuous graphics objects
data rate
scan conversion

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Last modified on September 27 2019
Content adapted from Wikipedia is service provided by Codecide, a company located in Chicago, IL USA.
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