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Publication Detail
How low can you go? The effect of low resolutions on shot types in mobile TV
Abstract
The advent of mobile TV which is often viewed on small screens with low resolution has made TV content producers think about refraining from using shots that depict subjects from a great distance. Shot types where the object of interest fills the screen are deemed to be more appropriate for mobile devices. This paper reports a study on how shot types used in regular broadcast television are affected when shown on mobile devices at reduced levels of resolution. 72 native speakers judged the acceptability of four different content types at four resolutions (240x180, 208x156, 168x126, 120x90) across seven encoding bitrates. The results show that acceptability of shot types depends on the content and the resolution. Extreme long shots of football content were only less acceptable than other shot types at resolutions smaller than 240x180. The medium shot which portrays the upper half of a subject’s body was the most acceptable for news content but for football content was judged worse than shot types that showed less detail. Our results suggest that for a young audience extreme long shots may be used with no detrimental effect for resolutions of 240x180 and higher. At lower resolutions and for content with a high degree of dynamism both the medium shot and the extreme long shot might render poorly for the audience. Service providers are well advised to include the results at hand to customise content in terms of shot type use for their audience that will watch the content at very low resolutions. Further research should assess older audiences and the effectiveness of cropping schemes that zoom in.
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