What is FPS?

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What is FPS?
When you talk about frame rate, you also talk about fps or frames per second. The term is used in media or moving pictures to be exact. Moving pictures are created by a series of images that exhibits progressive action. Frame rate is also known by the name of frame frequency. Frame rate may pertain to either the rate of successive frames created by a device for capturing image or the rate of consecutive frames displayed by a device. Video games use the term ‘image refresh speed’ as an alternate for frame rate.

Frame rate is frequently measured in frames per second of fps. Different visual media may have different frame rates measured in fps. The process of recording, projecting or any other devices that display moving images vary in fps settings. Such process may be manipulated or controlled to run at a desired fps.

Atlas - How to Display FPS Counter
Atlas - How to Display FPS Counter

Since frame rates can vary, standards were set to establish compatibility. Frame rate standards vary from various regions. The purpose of a specific moving picture is also a factor in establishing these standards. Currently, there are three major frame frequency standards used in both the television and motion picture -making industries. The three standards are 24p, 25p and 30p. On the other hand, just like any other technology, frame rate is also evolving thus many standards emerged today.

The following are some of the existing frame rates used in television and film and some brief explanations for each standard.

  • 50i is the customary rate utilized by Phase Alternating Line (PAL) and Sequential Color with Memory (SECAM) television. It is rated at 25fps.
  • 60i is rated at 29.97 fps, which is equivalent to 60 interlaced fields. This standard rate is used by NTSC televisions.
  • 30p was used in the Todd-AO, a type of widescreen film process used in 1954 to 1956. This non-interlaced format is a standard that runs at 30 fps.
  • 24p is similar to the 30p, which is also a non-interlaced format. This standard matches the natural film. This standard was used for films produced in the middle of the year 1920.
  • 25p functions at a 25 progressive fps. This standard has direct compatibility with television frame rates. Both television and film companies utilize this standard in regions using 50Hz. However, for countries using 60Hz, conversion must slow the media down to 24 fps. 25p is better suited on LCD screens, projectors and desktop monitors.
  • 50p and 60p is a type of standard using the progressive format. Latest technology HDTV systems make use of this standard. This standard is gaining popularity especially with video recordings.
  • 72p is a progressive scan format and is presently at experimental stage. So far, this 72fps is currently the highest frame rate that that suits viewers. Windows Media Video, a video file format also uses this standard fps.

On video games, higher fps is picked over a slower fps. This is for the reason that higher frame rate provides smoother transition in the movements of a moving image. However, higher frame rate may also mean larger file that may eat up your computer’s storage device. Moreover, online games played at a higher frame rate over a low bandwidth will create a dropping of several frames.

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