Do you really like the way HDTV looks?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by HiC, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. HiC

    HiC Guest

    Went into a local Circuit City and took a good long look at their HDTV
    selections. They had several including 2 1080p sets that I was told were set
    up correctly and what I was seeing was as good as it gets. Everything HD
    from the cams to the screen. Both the 1080p's were running some sort of hard
    drive unit, not off a broadcast.

    I've been hearing how amazing HDTV is. Well....while there's a certain "pow"
    when you first see them, I get the sense it's due to some artifically
    induced phenomena. The colors seem vivid, but it seems to me in an
    enhanced - i.e. forced way. There seems to be an excessive "whiteness" to
    the image that adds a certain kind of sparkle/sharpness, but again it seems
    artificial. The real world as viewed by eyeballs doesn't seem that "sharp"
    or vivid. The demos that were showing were clearly intended to take
    advantage of this, all these closeups of brightly colored flowers,
    snowboarders on glaring snow etc. I don't believe a sky exists anywhere the
    shade of blue they were depicting in that demo.

    I see all kinds of artifacts in the images. Yeah, okay, they're not meant to
    be viewed from 6 inches away. But when I back off to 8 - 10 feet, I still
    see this odd graininess, especially when the image pans. Plus all these
    other odd things that happen to the image. Overall I find it harder on my
    eyes than a sharp picture on a good analog tv.

    As I understand it, in a few years we're getting all digital whether we like
    it or not. Is the whole HDTV thing just a bill of goods we got sold/crammed
    down our throats?
     
    HiC, Sep 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. HiC

    gs Guest

    I noticed much the same thing, glad I'm not the only one! Especially
    during moderate to fast pans I can notice the artifacts. After a few
    minutes of watching it the wow effect had worn off and I didn't think it
    was all that great, in fact I find my old 32" JVC easier on the eyes..
     
    gs, Sep 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. HiC

    saxmaniac Guest

    I agree and have postponed an HDTV purchase as a consequence. Nonetheless,
    be aware that the sets in a store have the contrast pumped all the way up,
    yielding an artificailly harsh picture display.
     
    saxmaniac, Sep 12, 2006
    #3
  4. HiC

    BDK Guest

    I seriously doubt that CC has any TVs, SD or HD set up "correctly". They
    usually have the brightness cranked up to "grab you". Same goes for the
    color most of the time. The blue sky is a tip off. My TV looks about as
    close to the real color blue as I could hope for. But I have the color
    turned down nearly all the way, unlike the way it's set in the store. On
    a correctly set up TV sky blue looks sky blue, grass looks green, not
    plastic plant green, faces look flesh toned, not like they have sunburn,
    or are made out of putty.

    I have NEVER seen a TV set up right at CC, BB or anyplace except one
    local dealer who does custom installs. His prices are so insanely high,
    that even with a "discount", I could buy the TV I bought someplace else,
    another cheap 37" LCD TV, and an upconverting DVD player, and still had
    some cash left.


    If the demo is the same one shown at CCs around here, the demo itself
    has the "odd graininess", it's NOT coming from the TV itself. There's
    one demo shown at one of the places around here, I can't remember where,
    of a football game, and there is all kinds of artifacting when the
    camera pans. It's not from the TV, it's the source. It's visible on
    every TV it is shown on, even in on an ED Plasma. They probably have the
    sharpness turned up big time too.

    The last question is just kind of bizarre. An HD TV bought today will
    obviously pick up digital signals, since HD is digital. The only real
    complaint I have about my TV is/was the price. But if it lasts 10 years,
    that's a lot less than a buck a day, so I can live with it happily.


    BDK
     
    BDK, Sep 12, 2006
    #4
  5. HiC

    Mark Crispin Guest

    That, more than anything else, is what you are seeing. The sets in the
    store are invariably set in "vivid" mode, which has a very high white
    level. Supposedly, the pretty (garish) colors sell more sets.

    Anyone with any sense goes through a proper set adjustment once they get
    the set at home. There are various DVDs available to help you do it (at
    least do the basic stuff with color bars!). It's much more important with
    a large screen HDTV than with a small standard definition TV. In modern
    TVs, the factory settings in "standard" (NOT "vivid"!) mode are usually
    pretty good, but are rarely exactly right.

    If you have an installer do it for you, watch what they do. If they don't
    put up some test patterns and hold up a blue filter to their eye, they're
    not doing a proper set adjustment.

    -- Mark --

    http://panda.com/mrc
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.
     
    Mark Crispin, Sep 12, 2006
    #5
  6. HiC

    EDM Guest

    I love going into a TV store and turning down the contrast/color/etc
    settings to proper levels, and just stand back and watch people start
    to gather around it. But there's never been any accounting for taste,
    and it's astonishing the number of people who think a TV image
    which burns out their eyeballs with contrast and color saturation
    qualifies as a "good picture".
     
    EDM, Sep 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Most likely a compression artifact in the signal source, i.e. a too
    low bit rate was used.

    If the original source was from a (feature) film, which may have been
    upconverted from 24p to 1080i x 60 with 3:2 pulldown and then
    converted to 1080p x 60 in the display, you may observe some jerkiness
    when panned.

    Paul
     
    Paul Keinanen, Sep 12, 2006
    #7
  8. HiC

    Mike Alpha Guest

    Mike Alpha, Sep 12, 2006
    #8
  9. HiC

    Jim Mack Guest

    As many have said, it isn't just the set that's off. If it's coming from a hard drive then it's likely that it's re-compressed at a bit rate around 12-15Mb/s, maybe even from an original off-air signal that was broadcast at 18Mb/s. When you consider that the prime source used maybe 400Mb/s, you can see why it might suffer.

    If you'd seen original film transfers or studio-quality video on a decent monitor you'd know why HD is praised. But then, if you'd seen high-end SD in the same environment you would probably have thought you were seeing HD, so poor is the current delivery of TV to the home.

    Unfortunately, what you saw _is_ as good as it gets for most people. Squeezing high-bitrate video down a soda straw delivery 'pipe' robs HD of what makes it shine. "Digital" in home TV terms means low-bitrate MPEG. Yeah, it's noise-free. It's also quality-free.
     
    Jim Mack, Sep 12, 2006
    #9
  10. Not much. The vendors will still not calibrate the sets properly in
    production, there will still be compression and distribution artifacts, and
    there will still be a tendency on the part of the mass market to make buying
    decisions based on first impressions that confuse intensity with quality.

    No one should make judgements on the quality of a display without at least
    attempting to properly adjust it and viewing a variety of sources. Same for
    HDTV or any other technology, in general.

    Leonard
     
    Leonard Caillouet, Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. HiC

    Phil Pease Guest

    I had a similar reaction when CDs arrived; they just didn't sound as
    natural as vinyl records.

    When I got my HDTV home I set it up to be more natural; but my wife said
    it looked too dull and much preferred the Vivid setting. Of course we
    went with what she preferred and I am now used to it.
     
    Phil Pease, Sep 12, 2006
    #11
  12. HiC

    Bob Miller Guest

    Heresy!! Very dangerous to talk like that in this venue. MPEG2 and 19.34
    Mbps 8-VSB as used with over the air broadcasting are beyond criticism
    here.

    It has been suggested that capturing at 720P, down converting to 480P,
    transmitting at 480P and then upconverting at the set might be an option
    that would offer a better experience for most at screen sizes 42" or
    under. No one wants to hear anything but 1080i/p here.

    The combination of MPEG2, 1080i and 8-VSB is going to kill free OTA TV
    for channels 2-51 IMO.

    Bob Miller
     
    Bob Miller, Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. When I bought an HDTV-ready TV, I bought a CRT model. CRT and rear
    projection CRT are proven technologies that can reproduce signals at
    these resolutions. They've been in use for some time in the computer
    industry, doing just that.

    The difference is not HUGE, but my SD signals are actually received,
    often, at EDTV resolution from a satellite, so what I'm actually
    comparing is the line-doubled 480p signal from the satellite to the 1080i
    signal from the same source. My estimate is that the picture clarity is
    3db better on the HDTV signals, especially the good ones.

    That's about twice as good as the SDTV signals.
     
    Dave Oldridge, Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. HiC

    Larry Bud Guest

    I've been hearing how amazing HDTV is. Well....while there's a certain "pow"
    Much of what you're complaining about is because the set is adjusted
    improperly.

    I've had HD for 4 years, and I still get amazed on how realistic stuff
    looks.
     
    Larry Bud, Sep 12, 2006
    #14
  15. HiC

    stauffer Guest

     
    stauffer, Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. HiC

    Richard C. Guest

    X-No-archive: yes

    <<<<<<<<<,blah blah blah>>>>>>>>>>>>

    1) HDTV looks FANTASTIC! Especially OTA.
    2) Basing your decision on how it looks at Circuit City is foolish.
     
    Richard C., Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. HiC

    Mark Crispin Guest

    There is also a very real possibility that the set is being fed an analog
    signal and thus is not HD at all. Not much attention is paid in these
    mass market stores to proper grounding either.

    -- Mark --

    http://panda.com/mrc
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.
     
    Mark Crispin, Sep 12, 2006
    #17
  18. HiC

    Bob Miller Guest

    Might that suggest that if the EDTV signal was actually true 480P and
    had been captured with a good 720P camera that it might be as good as
    the 1080i signal?

    Bob Miller
     
    Bob Miller, Sep 12, 2006
    #18
  19. HiC

    Mark Crispin Guest

    For the benefit of the other newsgroups: this is Psycho Bob Miller, the
    official crackpot of alt.tv.tech.hdtv. Sometimes he posts under his own
    name, other times he uses sock puppets that loudly "agree" with him.

    Psycho Bob wages a lonely FUD crusade in an increasingly futile attempt to
    convince people that North America is far behind the rest of the world
    because we choose the 8-VSB modulation and HDTV instead of COFDM
    modulation with SD.

    Years ago, Psycho Bob bet his company's future on piggy-backed datacasting
    on broadcast TV channels, based upon the assumption that the US would
    choose COFDM. He lost a lot of money, and now has nothing better to do
    than to post nonsense on alt.tv.tech.hdtv.

    His basic message comes down to: don't buy an HDTV, because HDTV will die.

    According to Psycho Bob:
    . there are no impulse noise issues with COFDM modulation
    . Europe, which has no over-the-air HDTV, is more advanced than the US
    whose digital stations are primarily HDTV.
    . everybody in the UK and Australia watches perfect digital TV in their
    homes with rabbit ear indoor antennas
    . 480p is the highest video quality that any consumer actually wants
    . nobody other than a "few fanatics" in the USA actually watches or cares
    about HDTV.
    . Japan's "one-seg", which is a service for low-resolution video to
    mobile phones that is piggy-backed on digital TV signals, constitutes
    broadcast digital television to cell phones.
    . all US broadcasters currently broadcasting in HDTV will abandon HDTV
    or only offer it as a pay-TV service.
    He makes many other absurd claims, but this gives you a taste.

    For a while, Psycho Bob was posting some foreign language press releases
    with pretty pictures that seemed to back up his claims, but that stopped
    when people who could read those languages came back and reported what the
    text actually said.

    No matter how many times he is debunked and made to look foolish, he's
    like one of these stupid whack-a-mole games at a carnival; he keeps on
    coming back for more. It's amusing when you have some free time to kill,
    although eventually you put it aside for a while and let someone else have
    the fun.

    -- Mark --

    http://panda.com/mrc
    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.
     
    Mark Crispin, Sep 12, 2006
    #19
  20. HiC

    Ty Ford Guest

    I bought a 16:9, 34" glass Sony WEGA just before the Utah winter olympics
    4-5 years ago and have been watching the D channels ever since. That
    broadcast was amazing. One night, I'm watching ice hockey and the picture
    looks like crap...well like normal video. Five minutes later NBC put up a
    lower third saying they didn't have the "good cameras" in the hockey venue.

    1. The color space is very different than NTSC. Much more vivid.
    2. The Greek Olympic games sucked in comparison. Don't know if they used
    cheap cameras, had bad satellites or multicasting at the stations was
    reducing bandwidth.

    My fear is that by the time enough HD sets are bought by consumers, the good
    video I saw in the Utah games will be a distant memory.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford




    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at www.tyford.com
     
    Ty Ford, Sep 12, 2006
    #20
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