What Does Telecine Mean?

Telecine is the conversion process of motion picture film into video. Telecine helps in the viewing of motion pictures with standard video devices such as televisions or computers. Telecine initially only dealt with film-to-video conversion, but with the advent of digital televisions, telecine algorithms were incorporated into devices such as televisions and DVDs to include frame rate conversion, upconversion and deinterlacing. Telecine has the ability to reframe the shots, thus the film can undergo dramatic changes. However with the advent of scanners, telecine is less popular than it was previously.


Telecine is also known as cinema pulldown 3:2 or 3:2 pulldown.

Techopedia Explains Telecine

Telecine is performed in a color suite. The most challenging part in telecine is in the synchronization of the film motion with the electronic video signal. It is easy to perform when the film is at the same frame rate, but if that is not the case, a complex process is required for changing the frame rate to establish the synchronization. The basic idea behind telecine is to capture each and every frame and store them. For this, the movie is to be recorded at a frame rate of 16/18 fps. However the normal video speed is 25-30 fps and is thus adjusted with the help of a procedure called the pulldown technique. Telecine can also be reversed using a process called inverse-telecine.

Telecine helps film producers, film distributors and others in releasing their product on video and allows video production devices to complete the filmmaking projects. Images can be optically enlarged up to 50 percent without distortion with the help of telecine.

Compared to scanners, telecine images are less stable and lower in quality. Telecine images are also splice intolerant and susceptible to binding. Telecine also does not have the capability to detect and eliminate dust.


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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.