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Interlaced

A common way to compress video is to interlace it. Each frame of an interlaced video signal shows every other horizontal line of the image. As the frames are projected on the screen, the video signal alternates between showing even and odd lines. When this is done fast enough, i.e. around 60 frames per second, the video image looks smooth to the human eye.

Interlacing has been used for decades in analog television broadcasts that are based on the NTSC (U.S.) and PAL (Europe) formats. Because only half the image is sent with each frame, interlaced video uses roughly half the bandwidth than it would sending the entire picture.

The downside of interlaced video is that fast motion may appear slightly blurred. For this reason, the DVD and HDTV standards also support progressive scan signals, which draw each line of the image consecutively.

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