Movie fans who were intrigued by director Peter Jackson’s use of high frame rates in “The Hobbit” are now getting a chance to see the superclear format online.

High frame rates debut online with special player



AUG 2, 2013

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – Movie fans who were intrigued by director Peter Jackson’s use of high frame rates in “The Hobbit” are now getting a chance to see the superclear format online. The second season of the YouTube Web series “Video Game High School” is being released online at 48 frames per second (fps), double the 24 fps that has been standard in movie theaters for the past century. The season’s second episode debuted Thursday after the premiere episode attracted nearly 2 million viewers. Online video programming is growing fast as major networks and small upstarts go after young audiences who increasingly watch shows on laptops, tablet computers and mobile phones. Laying claim to the high-frame-rate niche could help “Video Game High School” stand out in a crowded field. By capturing moving objects on camera at higher frame rates, filmmakers are able to cut down on blurriness because the camera’s shutter opens and closes much faster. That reduces the amount of time that an object moves across an open lens and gives each image, or frame, more clarity. The experiment is partly a way to explore how to use high frame rates creatively while also pioneering a new business model online.Seeing the format online requires a special video player that exists only, which is owned by the show’s creators. Pulling viewers onto their own site improves their cut of advertising revenue compared to views on YouTube. For now, YouTube has no plans to introduce a high-frame-rate player of its own.

“There’ll be a reason to come to our site,” said Freddie Wong, 27, one of the owners of Rocket Jump and the co-creator of “VGHS.” “What 48 (frames per second) brings is a gritty realism to it. It feels hyper-real.”

So far, the plan seems to be working. Within three days of the first episode’s debut, 300,000 viewers had seen it on, compared with 1 million who saw it on YouTube. That is about the same split as for the first season’s premiere, but last season’s episodes were released a week early. The fact that the split remains suggests that the special format is attracting a unique crowd.

“The idea is that both versions exist to serve a certain kind of audience,” Wong said.

“VGHS” uses 48 fps for scenes that are depicted in the video game world, since many video games are displayed at high frame rates anyway. For “real-life” scenes, “VGHS” uses 24 fps footage by showing two identical frames in a row.

The format has some quirks.

Some movie critics who saw “The Hobbit” said the format revealed too many details, exposing the fakery of costumes, makeup and props. Actors can also appear to move at high speed.

To address these issues, the creators of “VGHS” added back some blurriness that high frame rate recording had eliminated in some scenes. “VGHS” actors also wore less makeup than actors in “The Hobbit,” so there is less chance that the format’s extra detail will be distracting, Arnold says.

Still, viewers who choose to watch the series at high frame rates will need excellent Internet connection speeds and computers with powerful graphics capabilities to play the video without delays. The format is not available on mobile devices.

Reza Izad, chief executive of project partner Collective Digital Studio, said using high frame rates was more of a creative decision than a financial one. Sponsors such as Dodge, whose cars are integral to racing scenes in the show’s second season, will benefit from the exposure no matter where the video is played. And still, YouTube is expected to generate the lion’s share of views.

“There needs to be a lot more adoption of it as a format before it takes hold,” Izad said. “This is just a really unique way to display this content.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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