What is Hi Def TV supposed to look like?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Doc, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    I was at someone's house yesterday who had about a 3 - 4 foot wide Hi-Def
    TV, w/Tivo. They were watching what was supposed to be a Hi-Def broadcast of
    a football game. As I recall, it was a Panasonic.

    Gotta be honest, after all the hype I've heard about Hi-Def, I was
    underwhelmed. Standing about 6 inches in front of the tv, the edges of the
    images had this very noticeable jagged edge, the whole image seemed to be
    comprised of these diagonal lines which were really distracting.

    Viewed from about 8 ft back, the picture looked okay, but didn't strike me
    as being any better than a decent standard tv. I noticed this vague halo
    effect around the images. I'd heard that the Hi-Def images were supposed to
    be crisp, brilliant, razor sharp. Also, while seeing the game in widescreen
    like that added an interesting dimension, somewhat distracting was this
    noticeable parallax at the outer left and right portions of the image as
    they panned around the field.

    Is it possible they had it set up wrong, or maybe this just wasn't a great
    model, or does the hype exceed the reality?
     
    Doc, Nov 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. When you say you saw "noticeable parallax at the outer left and right
    portions of the image as they panned around the field", I wonder if you were
    watching a broadcast that was actually a 4:3 standard defintion broadcast
    that was being stretched (by a setting in the TV) to fill the 16:9 screen?
    There is a stretch mode for some TV's that tries to keep the center area of
    the screen in fairly normal proportions while it stretches just the left and
    right (less important) areas of the image.

    If the broadcast were a true 16:9 high definition broadcast, you would
    definitely have noticed its superior quality.

    Neil
    Salem, MA USA
     
    Neil - Salem, MA USA, Nov 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. Doc

    RobMac Guest


    I have a 65" HDTV and believe me, the hype is NOT overplayed.

    If it was indeed a HiDef broadcast and you could not see a difference
    compared to regular analog broadcast, then it's quite possible that it was
    not hooked up right.

    You can't get HD programming through a coaxial cable connection to the TV,
    it has to be connected through composite cables (red, blue, & green RCA-type
    cables - NOT the red, yellow & white ones!)

    That means that there are now 2 connections to his TV from the cable box
    (coaxial - for regular cable broadcasts and composite cables - for HiDef
    broadcasts) and that means you have to select the right input on the TV to
    see the HiDef images, if this was left on the normal input then what you saw
    was not HiDef.

    I would also say that at 6", if he had a scratch-guard screen on top of the
    actual TV screen that would cause a double image that close up, but at 8'
    you should have almost seen the individual blades of grass (or
    Astroturf)....

    The "parallax" effect you noticed also leads me to believe that he was not
    showing in HD (if it was a new TV he may be unaware of how the TV actually
    works), because more widescreen TVs offer other "images" or "widescreen
    effects" besides Thin (a 4:3 standard analog broadcast screen) and the
    Standard (16:9 HD aspect)....there are some others that will either stretch
    the whole 4:3 image to make it look 16"9 which makes people look fatter than
    normal, and some that leave the center portion of the screen normal but then
    stretches as you go further out from there so the whole image fills a 16:9
    screen, but leaves the primary image (the middle) "normal" and
    unstretched.....this is what you were seeing in my estimation from your
    description).

    He should also be able to display on the TV screen what the TV is decoding,
    "1080i" is true HiDefinition, anything in the "480-720" range ("i" or "p",
    interlaced or progressive), while better than old analog TV resolution, is
    still far below the HiDef standard.....a "480p" or "480i" means there are
    480 lines of resolution (top to bottom), a "720p" or "720i" means there are
    480 lines of resolution (top to bottom) while 1080i (you guessed it), gives
    you 1080 lines of resolution, almost double that of regular broadcast
    television!

    He should either be sure to read his manual front to back and double check
    all his connections or hire a pro to come in and do it for him to be
    absolutely sure he gets everything he wants from his new HDTV
    experience.....!!!
     
    RobMac, Nov 25, 2005
    #3
  4. Doc

    RobMac Guest

    I wrote : "He should also be able to display on the TV screen what the TV is
    decoding, "1080i" is true HiDefinition, anything in the "480-720" range ("i"
    or "p", interlaced or progressive), while better than old analog TV
    resolution, is still far below the HiDef standard.....a "480p" or "480i"
    means there are 480 lines of resolution (top to bottom), a "720p" or "720i"
    means there are 480 lines of resolution (top to bottom) while 1080i (you
    guessed it), gives you 1080 lines of resolution, almost double that of
    regular broadcast television!"

    Obvioulsy the line "...a "720p" or "720i" means there are 480 lines of
    resolution (top to bottom)..." should have read "...a "720p" or "720i" means
    there are 720 lines of resolution (top to bottom)..."

    Sorry about that!
     
    RobMac, Nov 25, 2005
    #4
  5. Doc

    Z Man Guest

    I have a hidef Tivo. With this unit, you can easily switch between 480i and
    1080i by pressing one button. This makes comparison easy. I can assure you
    that even with a five your old TV, there is a dramatic difference. HDTV
    pictures are much sharper, but to me, the most dramatic differences are in
    the colors. Standard definition colors are frequently dull, lifeless, washed
    out. HDTV colors are lush and vibrant. Trying watching some of the nature
    shows on DiscoveryHD and you will readily observe the difference. It is
    quite evident. We're not dealing with a subtle difference, the improvement
    is quite breathtaking.
     
    Z Man, Nov 25, 2005
    #5
  6. Doc

    afiggatt Guest

    You were watching a stretched SD broadcast. A lot of people buy an HD
    TV, but 1) fail to hook it correctly, 2) don't realize they need to tune
    to the HD channel whether it is OTA, cable, or satellite; or 3) don't
    realize that they need to get a digital HD channel to see HD. There is a
    huge amount of confusion out there about how HD works.

    The only HD Tivo out there is from DirecTV satellite service, all the
    standard TiVos are SD only which is a big clue that your friend is not
    getting HD.

    One possibility is that the game was in SD and was upconverted &
    non-linearly stretched by the TV or station, but even digital SD looks
    better than regular analog SD. If the game was in real HD, the
    difference in picture quality would have been huge.

    Alan F
     
    afiggatt, Nov 25, 2005
    #6
  7. You were likely watching *compressed* HD.
     
    Richard Crowley, Nov 25, 2005
    #7
  8. Doc

    Mudd Bug Guest

    720p is also true HD and is not "far below the HiDef standard". It is part
    of the standard and is every bit HD as 1080i.
     
    Mudd Bug, Nov 25, 2005
    #8
  9. Doc

    Richard M. Guest

    It becomes very apparent when viewed on larger display devices,
    especially when comparing with old analog signals. Even using a
    non-hdtv projector (Infocus X1) at 800x600 native resolution on a
    100" diagonal 4:3 screen, the display is incredible.

    Viewing up close isn't the point. It's viewing from where you would
    normaly view from is what's inportant. I view the above setup from
    15' and the picture is stunning. I couldn't see the benefit of
    watching HDTV on a 36" display device even though they make them.
    That's just me, though. Well, maybe there would be a benefit. It's
    just not one that I would be willing to pay for.



    Richard M.
     
    Richard M., Nov 25, 2005
    #9
  10. 720p _is_ a HD-standard.

    cheers

    -martin-
     
    Martin Heffels, Nov 25, 2005
    #10
  11. Doc

    Ty Ford Guest

    I've been watching HD for about 4 years on a 16:9, 34" glass tube Sony WEGA.
    We got it just before the Utah Olympics. What we saw was mostly AMAZING. One
    exception was the ice hockey. I remember looking at it and thinking -- hey,
    what's wrong? A minute or two later there was a lower third that basically
    said, "Sorry, we don't have the good cameras in the ice hockey venue."

    By comparison, the recent Greek Olympics SUCKED BIG TIME.

    Was it crappy acquisition gear? Was it Satellite up/down link? Was it that TV
    stations are doing more multicasting?

    Here's the deal.

    1. Source material is EVERYTHING. If it wasn't shot well or with enough
    resolution, it won't look good.

    2. The more TV stations engage in multicasting (simultaneous program stream
    on different D channels), the lower the quality of each channel. I've seen
    noticeable drop off in picture quality as stations add more lower res
    channels.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford

    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at www.tyford.com
     
    Ty Ford, Nov 25, 2005
    #11
  12. Doc

    Ty Ford Guest

    All broadcast HD is compressed.

    Ty Ford



    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at www.tyford.com
     
    Ty Ford, Nov 25, 2005
    #12
  13. So even if there is a QAM tuner in the TV one still needs a set top box
    and can't just use the coax with the QAM? Thanks.
     
    needin4mation, Nov 25, 2005
    #13
  14. Doc

    R Sweeney Guest

    something is definitely wrong... and it's not hype

    I read the other day where 35% of HDTV owners have them connected
    incorrectly so all they can display is regular TV.... could be one of those.

    Last night, I watched ABC's "Finding Nemo" on my 60" HD in 720P - it was
    incredible - better than I remember it in the theater, during the end
    credits, the local station flipped from HD to standard in preparation for
    their local news and the effect was shocking, it was like the depth of the
    image just disappeared.
     
    R Sweeney, Nov 25, 2005
    #14
  15. The QAM tuner can receive digital channels that your cable company puts
    out in the clear.

    Your cable company may or may not put any digital channels in the clear.

    For any channels that are not in the clear, a QAM tuner in and of itself
    won't work. You need something to decrypt the encrypted,
    not-in-the-clear digital signals.

    That something could be a CableCard (on TVs equipped to take one), or a
    set top box from the cable company.
     
    Elmo P. Shagnasty, Nov 25, 2005
    #15
  16. Doc

    tim Guest

    Why do people make these stupid comments? Obviously he meant compressed
    more than the standard compression of MPEG2 transport stream files.
     
    tim, Nov 25, 2005
    #16
  17. Doc

    l e o Guest


    Did you happen to watch ESPN channel? It's not true HDTV, just stretched SD.
     
    l e o, Nov 25, 2005
    #17
  18. Doc

    Jeff Rife Guest

    Ty Ford () wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    To expand on that, all HD that end users have access to is compressed: OTA
    HD, HD via cable or satellite, D-Theater tapes, and the upcoming HD-DVD or
    BluRay.

    The only time uncompressed HD is ever used is in editing, and most often
    that still came from an original source that had some kind of compression.

    --
    Jeff Rife | "This? This is ice. This is what happens to
    | water when it gets too cold. This? This is
    | Kent. This is what happens to people when
    | they get too sexually frustrated."
    | -- Chris Knight, "Real Genius"
     
    Jeff Rife, Nov 25, 2005
    #18
  19. Doc

    Jeff Rife Guest

    First, it's not stupid because many people do think that HD isn't
    compressed...they believe that is the reason it looks so much better than
    DVD or SD digital cable/satellite.

    Second, it's not obvious what OP meant.

    Third, what is the "standard compression of MPEG2 transport stream files"?

    Fox sends 15Mbps to the stations, and the stations pass it on unaltered,
    while NBC sends a 30-50Mbps feed which the station decodes and re-encodes
    back to the 17-19Mbps range, but Fox generally looks better on scripted
    shows (as far as lack of MPEG artifacts, anyway).

    D-Theater tapes use the same TS format, yet they can run as high as 38Mbps.

    Despite the fact that DirecTV sends out "HD Lite" at 1280x1080 at 10Mbps
    or so, it still looks far better than what the thread starter described.

    There is no "standard compression", and quality isn't always directly
    related to bitrate, so your broad statement is actually far more "wrong"
    than what you are replying to.
     
    Jeff Rife, Nov 25, 2005
    #19
  20. Doc

    Jeff Rife Guest

    l e o () wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
    That hasn't been correct for over a year now...have you been in a time
    capsule or something?
     
    Jeff Rife, Nov 25, 2005
    #20
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