Circles of Confusion
Circles of Confusion is an essential HDTV technology handbook written by television expert Alan Roberts. Its 450 pages explain how television works, how it came to work this way, and how to get the best out of it, particularly for HDTV production.
Television is all about colour science, which is a part of psychophysics, the mathematical analysis of how we see things. While you don’t need to understand colour science to make good television, you might make better television if you do.
The science is not really difficult, especially if you ignore the maths. The early chapters are deliberately kept simple, with plenty of explanatory diagrams, reserving the more complicated material for the later chapters. The text points out where theory and practice appear to diverge, explaining why. It also explains the basis for all of the ‘standard settings’ usd by the BBC for HDTV camera use.
Buy it now
Circles of Confusion can be purchased online directly from the EBU. It is now available at a special reduced price of 80 CHF, including postal costs. (The original price was 150 CHF.)
About the author
Alan Roberts, pictured right, joined the BBC's R&D Department in 1968 as a Research Engineer, and worked on a wide variety of projects, including standards conversion, teletext, digital video processing and surface-wave device fabrication, before specialising in colour science and production technology. He was part of the team that worked on the Eureka95 HDTV project and represented the BBC on EBU and European Union Eureka committees as a colour scientist. From this HDTV work in the 1980s and 90s he developed the film-look favoured by drama and wildlife programme-makers, devising ways to use the new technology to lower production costs without compromising quality.
Alan continues as a much sought-after consultant on colour science and HDTV matters, advising manufacturers and programme-makers worldwide on HDTV developments and assisting DOPs in programme production.