If you aren’t familiar with Democracy Now!, it’s a great progressive news program that is syndicated daily across hundreds of outlets: NPR radio, public access TV channels, PBS, DISH (Free Speech TV), satellite (LinkTV), and more.
Democracy Now! distributes their show over Miro, but until today, the video image was a bit muddled. Last Friday, I went down to the Democracy Now! headquarters in Chinatown and helped troubleshoot. We got things fixed up and Miro is now indisputably the simplest, crispest, highest-resolution way to get Democracy Now! on the internet:
I recommend everyone check out and subscribe to the improved Democracy Now! channel.
The video was suffering from a condition known as interlace, which causes motion in the image to reveal a bunch of tiny sawtooth lines. Interlacing was a way that television manufacturers in the 1940′s could fake a high frame rate and avoid a visible flickering of the image. On high resolution displays (like computer monitors), the interlaced scan lines become visible and must be processed out (deinterlaced). The image below (courtesy of Wikipedia) shows how scan lines and interlacing work.
Deinterlacing the video was the matter of a few extra parameters in the automatic scripts that prepare the Democracy Now! for internet distribution. I plan to write a more in-depth article on interlacing and deinterlacing, because scan lines in an otherwise pristine high-resolution video are a super distressing site to me.
Update: More in-depth article on how to deinterlace is up.