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in Film and Video Glossary, Video Elements on 2023-02-11

“Interlacing” in film and video production is a technique for displaying images on a screen. It involves alternating the display of two fields of a video frame, each consisting of half the number of lines of the full frame. This results in a flicker-free image, but can also lead to jagged edges and lower resolution.

Interlacing divides a video frame into two fields, each consisting of every other line of the full frame. These fields are displayed alternately, which allows the image to be displayed on the screen more quickly and smoothly. The flicker-free image this creates is beneficial for standard-definition TV broadcasts and older video playback devices.

However, interlacing can cause problems for modern displays, such as computer monitors and high-definition televisions. These displays are designed for progressive scanning, which displays each frame of the video as a single, complete image. Interlacing can cause jagged edges, called interlacing artifacts, and lower resolution on these types of displays.

To resolve these issues, deinterlacing techniques are used to convert interlaced video into progressive video. This can be done in real-time by the video player or in post-production through video editing software.

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