I probably should’ve just dropped the mic after the last post, but we’re going to continue on. I’m not one for dropping names, and in this case I don’t have to either. Everyone has gotten this wrong at some point, and I mean everyone. The people working on related standards; the people making the world’s leading non-linear professional editing systems; the people who make a living professionally processing and transcoding video; the people making multimedia playback software; the people making DCCTV systems; the people making operating systems; and yes, even forensic video and digital evidence technicians and analysts. We’re all human, my friends. It is a long, convoluted, complex process with its very foundation based on sampling an analog signal.

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I was hoping I’d be able to wrap this series up with this post, but it’s clear to me now that I won’t be able to. There’s simply too much to cover and I’m certain that at least a few are still scratching your heads (like I was), wondering why we shouldn’t just rely on the pixel matrices to calculate Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) from analog sources. It is critically important to understand that I am approaching this topic from a forensic perspective, with the goal of standardizing the methodology used for forensic processing, interpretation, and presentation.

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Several other things I should be doing on a Saturday morning, but I find myself anxious to continue this discussion. Maybe it’s because although multiple industry Best Practice documents talk about correcting Aspect Ratio, none of them discuss the proper way to do it. It could also be my new coffee maker, which I'm hypothesizing has increased my caffeine intake substantially, although I have not increased my coffee intake. Who knows. Anyway, let’s start by recapping Part 1.

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I stand corrected. First, I did find a reference to Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) and down sampling uncompressed NTSC video in the joint Forensic Imaging and Multi-media Glossary (PDF) published by the IAI and LEVA, the final version of which was released in July, 2006. Second, in an effort to simplify this discussion, I’ve over simplified the Interpolation Methodology I described in Part 2. I will be expanding on that in this post, in far more detail than I had originally intended.

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Let’s talk a little more about aspect ratio. Always a lively topic everywhere I go, and regularly misunderstood by industry leading CCTV equipment manufacturers, engineers, and other video professionals. Should we correct, when do we correct, how do we correct, and of course the why. I’ve done a few short posts on the topic in the past (here's one), but this will be in a little more detail. Still writing on the fly, just going to break it down into a few posts over time.

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