Tuesday Video Tips: How Color Depth (Bitrates) Affects Image Quality

Have you ever wondered why an old television or computer monitor has trouble displaying high definition footage, even if that monitor has enough pixels to correctly display it? Well in a world of megapixels and resolution, very few people talk about or even know about color depth and bitrates.

Color depth, or colour depth, is very important because it refers to the amount of data that can be used to display color in any individual pixel on a display. 1 bit would be black and white, 2 bit would be a greyscale, and 8 bit would be a 256 color scale. The more bits you have, the more possible color data you can have.

As the experts over at Techquickie point out, you’ll likely notice a lack of color depth in scenes with dark shadows, like the one below:

Notice the colors that are in shadow are blotchy while the bright colors are very clear.


via Techquickie

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