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Why high framerates matter in simulation
Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2022
Why high framerates matter in simulation

Nov. 10, 2022 - Some of the best-known use cases for training and simulation are fast jet training, civil flight and driving simulation. The common challenge between these? Speed! Fractions of seconds can make a lot of difference. But did you know high framerate displays offer more advantages, in all fields of simulation and training? In this article, we explore why speed matters.

For many years, scientific tests showed that the human eye operates on an average framerate of about 60 frames per second (fps). So, this means that it doesn't make any sense to create visualization solutions that go beyond this limit, right? Well, no… If you have ever compared a 60 Hz with a 120 Hz, or even a 240 Hz projector, you will have noticed a world of difference. Scientists are not 100% sure why this is but do acknowledge the difference: we probably process faster than was commonly thought. Additional research is needed, but this didn't stop technology to progress towards higher framerates. Let's list some advantages of high framerate projectors.

More information, smoother image

There is a significant difference in smoothness between 60 Hz and 240 Hz. Especially when displaying very fast-moving content, the images will appear a lot smoother in the 240 Hz system, as 60 Hz simply lacks the needed information to clearly visualize the objects. Having more frames per second inherently improves the smoothness of motion and gives a higher degree of resolution and clarity where you can see more detail, enhancing the immersive feeling. The example underneath shows a slow representation of a racecar driving at 314 km/h. You can imagine the difference when the car only has 7 frames of information vs 28 frames.

Lower system latency

Displaying content in a simulator is different from playing a movie. In a movie, every frame is present on the source (a Blu-ray disk for example) and sent directly to the display or projector. In a simulator, on the other hand, the content is real-time, and every frame needs to be created and rendered. To cope with high speed, kinetic action, and responsive real-time rendering, processing high frame rates has become increasingly important.

Each piece of technology in a simulator system will bring its own latency and add to the overall total system latency, whether it is the peripheral solution (input), the image generator, or the display solution. In the case below, the CPU (Central Processing Unit) interprets the input, updates the state of the scenario, and prepares the frames for the render engine. The GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) takes care of the rendering of these prepared frames. The video below clearly shows the difference between a frame in a 240 Hz and in a 60 Hz system. By the time the 60 Hz system shows the first image, the 240 Hz system is already 3 frames ahead.

As a visualization solution provider of projectors, the key focus of Barco is to minimize the latency the visualization solution adds to the overall system latency.

The secret sauce is Barco Pulse, the powerful image processing solution inherent within the projectors.

Reduction of smearing and ghosting

Smearing and ghosting effects are important elements in visualization environments. These are 'bleeding' effects that appear on the spot where an object was situated one frame ago. This results in unsharp images (smear) or even in the perception of objects that aren't really there (ghosting).

This not only causes distraction but can also lead to dizziness and motion sickness. The very smooth result of the high framerate projectors and displays helps to minimize eye fatigue and allows trainees to practice for longer periods of time.

Do you want to learn more? Then join our live demonstration and presentation at the Barco booth #2548 at I/ITSEC 2022 in Orlando Nov 28th – Dec 2nd.

  • Monday Nov 28th: 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday Nov 29th: 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday Nov 30th: 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM
  • Thursday Nov 31st: 11:00 AM