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Old 27 Dec 2005, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default 10 HDTV Myths

Plasma TV sets start out bright and beautiful, but burn out to an early death. Every single high-definition television program looks equally crisp and gorgeous. The higher resolution of a 1080p high-def set means that your shows and DVDs will always look better than on a more ordinary 720p set.

Are these gospel truths about HDTV? Nope. Just a sampling of the many popular factoids, half-truths, and myths that can make choosing and enjoying a high-def television set complicated and confusing--and in some cases, needlessly expensive.

To help dispel these myths, we consulted an A-team of HDTV experts. The challenge: Identify and debunk troublesome, costly, and all-too-prevalent misconceptions about high-definition TV--from the basics of broadcasting to the arcane secrets of hardware. We lay out the facts you'll need to have at your disposal in order to make the right decisions. Armed with this information, you'll know just what to expect when you take the HDTV plunge.


"An HD set is all you need to get high-def programs."
In our dreams! To experience the vibrant images and the Dolby 5.1 sound of true high-definition TV, you need several things--and an HD-ready set (a display that can accept HD-format input and display it at a minimum of 720 lines of progressive-scan or noninterlaced video) is just one of them.

First, a show needs to be shot in high definition, and that may not be the case, even when a show claims that it is. Bjorn Dybdahl, owner of Bjorn's, a high-end audio-video store in San Antonio, Texas, says that he's seen many high-def sports broadcasts shown partly in standard definition because the producer is using some non-HD cameras in its coverage. And although TNT's digital channel presents Law & Order reruns in high definition, early episodes weren't shot in HD; as a result, in those episodes, you see a 4:3 standard-def show that is stretched and scaled up to high-def size. It doesn't look great.

Second, the program must be transmitted in high def by a station that you can receive either over the air or from your cable or satellite provider. ("Shown in high definition where available" doesn't mean it's available to you.)

Third, you need an HD receiver to process the signal. A set that has a built-in ATSC digital tuner can display over-the-air HD broadcasts with nothing more than a good antenna. ATSC, which stands for Advanced Television Standards Committee, is the group that defined the 18 formats of the coming digital TV system, only 6 of which are considered high definition. (And by the way, there is no such thing as an HD antenna--there are just antennas.) If your HDTV set comes with picture-in-picture, you won't get high-def-picture-in-high-def-picture unless your set comes with two ATSC tuners.

An HD-ready set lacks such a tuner, so you'll need either a set-top box with a tuner, or an HD box from your cable or satellite service. Regardless of the box you get, you need to make sure that you're feeding its digital output into your HD-ready set. "A lot of people will get an HD-ready set [and] an HD cable box, but they will use the analog feed from the HD box," says Jeff Cove, Panasonic's vice president for technology and alliances.

Finally, you must tune your HDTV set to a high-definition channel showing actual HD content. Picking up the analog transmission from your local affiliate on your high-def cable box won't result in delivery of a show in HD.


"The bigger your HDTV set, the better it will look."
Bigger isn't better if you are seated so close to the set that you can see every pixel or line of resolution. Generally, you don't want to sit closer to a 720p HDTV than twice the length of the screen diagonal.

On the other hand, if you sit too far away from a high-resolution TV, its special benefits may disappear. "For an awful lot of viewing, what limits the resolution is the human eye," says Larry Web-er, president-elect of the Society for Information Display, a group of display industry pros. At a distance of 10 feet from the screen, the eye can't detect pixels smaller than 1 millimeter; so if you look at a 37-inch set from that far away, you won't notice significant difference between a high-definition image and a standard-def image. Credit: PC World
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Old 27 Dec 2005, 03:51 PM   #2
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just a few queries

Quote:
and an HD-ready set (a display that can accept HD-format input
dunno what that's supposed to mean. that word "HD-ready" is total marketing BS, funny an article that is supposed to debunk the myths is using the very terminology used to confuse unsuspecting newbies. a 10 year old 51cm CRT can be HD-ready. 4/5ths of the displays you see in the store are labeled HD ready, even if they're only 576p! (and in some cases, a disgraceful 480p!) which is NOT HD, rather SD/DVD

Quote:
If your HDTV set comes with picture-in-picture, you won't get high-def-picture-in-high-def-picture unless your set comes with two ATSC tuners
not neccessarily true. even with a single tuner, you can view any more than one channel, whether HD or SD, as long as they're on the same transponder. you will still be decoding a HD stream, just not displaying at full res. (very useful with stations using multichanneling (the bbc in the UK does this, IIRC, and ABC-ABC2 here in aus) . even if you had 20 tuners, how could you display full res hi-def pip on a single display anyway?

Quote:
you see a 4:3 standard-def show that is stretched and scaled up to high-def size. It doesn't look great.
upscaling, if done correctly, looks better than SD on a HD set. don't think 'stretched' is the correct word to use here


Quote:
A lot of people will get an HD-ready set [and] an HD cable box, but they will use the analog feed from the HD box
where is this coming from? eqiupment comes with DVI cables, instructions & explanations are in the manual. most people use DVI or component (which, on most displays, won't show too much difference from dvi, unless you're a purist). you'll find HD equipment don't regularly have composite or come with the cables
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Last edited by anonymez; 27 Dec 2005 at 04:28 PM
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Old 27 Dec 2005, 09:17 PM   #3
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Yes, I was a bit confused too. I think jmet is simply reporting an article he found.

I have full 1920 x 1080i (and it ain't just "HD ready" - it really works). But the premise that it has to be shot in HD and transmitted in HD is of course a truism. And of course, you need proper digital amplification (assuming audio is 5.1, which it hardly ever is).

And of course to get the best you require component input.

As for 37" or whatever, it is probably hard to notice the diff btwn HD and SD on such a small pic. But when you project it out to 3 or 4m wide, then you notice things.

Another limiting factor is NTSC/PAL conversions. Even HD shows shot in NTSC, suffer from the conversion effects. Native PAL HD shows brilliantly in PAL but NTSC HD not as well.

I still remember the channel 9 90 minute loop - which was just astonishing. Shows the true power of HD.

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Old 27 Dec 2005, 09:26 PM   #4
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i knew jmet didn't write it . he's now dubbed the CNN of the forum

you'd think pc world would have more knowledgeable 'experts'

Quote:
Originally Posted by blu
And of course to get the best you require component input.
you mean DVI?

i agree, the 9 HD loop was excellent. stupid retailers show the 7 loop now, what trash. its 576p @50fps. a DVD looks better!!

i see people at the store looking at one of the LCD's running the 7 loop saying things like "THIS is the best technology we have on offer?". i say switch to channel 10 while something like GMA is on. most store clerks are clueless. i saw one the other day that was using COMPOSITE for gods sake! the ice age dvd looked like it was playing from a dusty vhs tape!
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Old 27 Dec 2005, 09:32 PM   #5
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Need a good chuckle. Looking like a cooked lobster after 2 hot days at the G. 3 to go!

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Old 29 Dec 2005, 10:05 AM   #6
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Default Dvd's just don't cut it on Plasma..

we just bought a Panasonic 42" hd plasma.
we have the newest Comcast hd/dvr box and use HDMI from the box to the tv with optical out from box to receiver for true 5.1.

Needless to say, the viewing is awsome on many [so called hd channels. actually, all the movie HD channels, sho-hd, hbo-hd etc look like progressive scan dvd's.. it's beautiful.

there in lies the problem McDuff as our dvd's don't quite cut it anymore. they look good but not sharp/crisp like the above channels..
Is there any settings we can change to improve our dvd output?
we are using the composite or componet cables , [not sure what they are called but it's the 3 cable job] connection to the tv and have the dvd player set for progressive but that's all we know to do..
any help please......

Last edited by rago88; 29 Dec 2005 at 10:08 AM
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 10:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rago88
we just bought a Panasonic 42" hd plasma.
my t.v is a 1980 daewoo ipano with no remote. (i'm not kidding)
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
"Is there any settings we can change to improve our dvd output?"
Use component video cables (not the red, white, yellow cable) for your Video and a optical output for your Audio.

Here is a example of component video cable inputs:



Here is a example of Optical Audio cable:


Last edited by jmet; 29 Dec 2005 at 10:20 AM
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rago88
Is there any settings we can change to improve our dvd output?
as jmet said, use component, if you're not using that already ("3-cable job" could be interpreted as composite-1 for video, 2 for audio, or component- 3 for video. but if you're using composite, you should go to jail for saying "Needless to say, the viewing is awsome" ). but, if your tv/dvd has dvi, use that instead, it'll give highest quality possible, though you probably won't notice anything if you're switching over from component.

other than that, there are 2 ways to improve picture quality, and both are expensive.

1. get an upscaling standalone dvd player

2. get a HTPC (home theatre PC). i use one, dvd's look leaps and bounds better than anything you'll see on a standalone (better add IMO here, just to be safe ). if you already have one/are getting one, we have much to talk about
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 11:25 AM   #10
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Default Cables or not

An HD TV makes a world of difference. DVD's on HD are like comparing VHS to a DVD on an old 1980's tv {Colombo }.

I can't wait for my HDMI cables to get here.

HD DVD or Bluray will be another huge leap forward.

Let's not even start talking about Xbox 360 vs. old Xbox.
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 11:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonay
HD DVD or Bluray will be another huge leap forward.
lol dunno about Blu-ray, the format supports H264, among others, but i believe they've decided on the ancient MPEG-2 (they probably just want to find a use for the 54GB. *sigh*). if i had to pick a nex-gen format, i'd be all for HD DVD
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 11:40 AM   #12
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Blu-ray : Sony, Apple, Walt Disney and Warner Brothers

HD DVD: Toshiba, NEC, Microsoft, Intel, Universal and New Line

Lets see who wins. Funny how Microsoft doesn't have HD DVD readers in the Xbox 360's yet. Hedging bets I would guess.
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymez
as jmet said, use component, if you're not using that already ("3-cable job" could be interpreted as composite-1 for video, 2 for audio, or component- 3 for video. but if you're using composite, you should go to jail for saying "Needless to say, the viewing is awsome" ). but, if your tv/dvd has dvi, use that instead, it'll give highest quality possible, though you probably won't notice anything if you're switching over from component.

other than that, there are 2 ways to improve picture quality, and both are expensive.

1. get an upscaling standalone dvd player

2. get a HTPC (home theatre PC). i use one, dvd's look leaps and bounds better than anything you'll see on a standalone (better add IMO here, just to be safe ). if you already have one/are getting one, we have much to talk about

We have the component cable from the dvd player to the plasma.
HDMI from cable box to tv.....
Our dvd player has a dvi out but the tv only has HDMI, 2 component, and 2 standard composite inputs...

Last edited by rago88; 29 Dec 2005 at 11:59 AM
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 12:17 PM   #14
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HDMI is exactly the same as DVI (HDMI is even backwards compatible with DVI), only it allows both video & audio through the single interface.

you've got it set up just fine. the cable box should be HDMI, while DVD component.

regarding increasing the dvd quality, all you can do is get that upscaling dvd player or HTPC.
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Old 29 Dec 2005, 12:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymez
HDMI is exactly the same as DVI (HDMI is even backwards compatible with DVI), only it allows both video & audio through the single interface.

you've got it set up just fine. the cable box should be HDMI, while DVD component.

regarding increasing the dvd quality, all you can do is get that upscaling dvd player or HTPC.
An upscale dvd player would need a hdmi or dvi connection on the tv I assume, which I don't have as stated above,[hdmi is taken] or would component do the same upscaling for better video resolution? I don't need an audio upgrade since all my sound goes thru a Harmon-Kardon 5.1....

Last edited by rago88; 29 Dec 2005 at 12:32 PM
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