Just when you think you know a thing or two about video formats, you find there’s always one more thing you didn’t know about. 1080psf24 stands for Progressive Segmented Frames. When the 1080p standard appeared, there were many cameras and video storage systems based on 1080i and couldn’t handle 1920 x 1080 progressive frames. So studios created a hybrid format called PSF. Standard 1080i video is composed of two fields – the first field carries half the lines, then the second field, captured separately, carries the other lines, then both are interlaced into one frame. As the fields are shot in sequence, any motion changes between the fields will cause artifacts.
PSF is based on the same interlaced format, but the two fields are created at the same time, creating a frame with the same image and motion quality as 1080p, but one compatible with 1080i video systems. Primarily used for film-to-video transfer, the standard was based on 24/23.97 frames per second, so the standard is (almost) always 1080psf24. If you still have your Terminator 2: Judgment Day DVD or Blu-Ray (and who doesn’t!) – that movie was converted to a HD-D5 digital master via 1080psf24, which was used for the DVD and Blu-Ray. Star Wars, Episode II was one of the first movies shot fully in digital, using PSF-format video.
A motion-picture company called us recently when they found their QMOD-SDI2 had issues with 1080psf24 video. The good new is, since we have seen a thing or two, QMODs have hardware scalers that can fix just about anything. In just a couple days, a new firmware version fixed the problem.