Originally Posted by Ken H
If Joel Brinkley was right in his book 'Defining Vision', it was the computer industry that pushed for, and got, progressive scan in the ATSC standards, and the TV industry that wanted 1080i.
That sounds about right - though I think some broadcast research centres had been looking at progressive scanning.
All the broadcaster HD test services and trials in the late 80s and early 90s were based on interlaced scanning - 1050/60i in the US, 1250/50i in Europe and 1125/60i in Japan. Both Japan and Europe were doing quite large scale productions in their respective formats - though Europe shelved 1250/50i when it became clear that their proposed digitally assisted, component analogue format (HD-MAC) was going to be out of date before it launched as MPEG digital compression research demonstrated a different solution could be achieved with higher quality results.
In the early 90s - no broadcaster was that seriously considering progressive HD production ISTR - and apart from the KCH-1000 (a BTS tubed camera with customizable scanning standards) there was no progressive production gear available?
All displays at that point were CRT based (either direct view or 3 tube projection) and interlaced pretty much. Progressive displays were the province of computer VDUs.
I'm sure that once digital compression came along the PC world lobbying for progressive, and square pixel, (which suited PC VDUs and removed the de-interlacing requirement which is still computationally intensive) was a major reason it was adopted.
ISTR that the 640x480 interlaced format was only added to the ATSC suggested resolution tables because Microsoft et al wanted a square pixel resolution for SD stuff.
Of course, nearly all new HD displays are now progressive, so it may not have been THAT stupid a move.
Sadly it just wasn't feasible to include 1080/50p and 1080/60p in the HD standards of 10+ years ago - though it is a real pity. Neither 720p nor 1080i are compromise free, and 1080/50p or 1080/60p would have delivered a real "best of both worlds" format. However if it is going to be adopted for broadcast now, it will require a new range of gear throughout the broadcast chain, from cameras, to routers, to switchers, to servers, to VTRs, to encoders, to distribution links, to domestic consumer set top boxes.
About the only things currently in the chain that are 1080/50p and 1080/60p compatible are TVs - which have it primarily for 1080p connection to games consoles and Blu-ray players...