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Digital Video and HD: Luma and Chroma Explained

Authored on: Aug 1, 2013 by Charles Poynton

Technical Paper

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Video compression occurs through a number of complicated processes, and this complexity is increased by the abundance of techniques, schemes, and standards available for compressing video. The building blocks of video compression are the concepts of luma and chroma. Luma signals are formed to represent lightness and, with component video, two chroma or color difference signals are formed to represent color. This paper explores how linear signals (R, G, and B) are manipulated to form the components and positioning necessary for a variety of video types, including component digital video.

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