Towards an Objective and Affordable Metric of Display System Resolution

Charles J. Lloyd
Visual Performance, LLC

James D. Basinger
Consultanting Engineer

From the Proceedings of the 2013 IMAGE Society Annual Conference, Scottsdale, Arizona.

  the Rapid and Complete Automated Alignment of Multi-Projector Display Systems Towards an Objective and Affordable Metric of Display System Resolution


Camera-based measures of display system resolution were developed decades ago and were used in the military simulation training industry as early as the mid 1960s. Metrics based on the modulation transfer function (MTF), such as the modulation transfer function area (MTFA) and square root integral (SQRI), received much research attention and were shown to correlate well with performance on a range of tasks. However, in the mid 1980s the camera-based metrics fell out of use and were replaced by subjective assessments using grating patterns. This paper summarizes attributes of the early measures that contributed to their demise including: cost, complexity, difficulty of measuring from the eyepoint, and lack of consideration of sampling and artifacts. Subsequently, a description is provided of a practical and affordable camera-based metric for display system resolution that also accounts for sampling artifacts and the effects of antialiasing. The use of the proposed metric to measure display system resolution from the eyepoint is described and illustrated.