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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 12:12 AM

A year or so ago I bought this affordable 37" Sharp Aquos HD monitor (720P I think) but have not had a way to watch any HD on it -- until this week.

The monitor did not come with an HD tuner (newer models apparently do) so I went out and bought an HD tuner at Best Buy this week along with a cheap UHF antenna.

Though my reception sometimes cuts in and out, I can now get over-the-air DTV and watch HDTV broadcasts of most of the networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, CW, Fox, PBS). Looks great (when I'm getting the signal), especially compared to the highly compressed SD picture I get over my satelite dish.

Does bring up some issues regarding shooting for HDTV broadcast.

Sort of like shooting for theatrical projection, you have to be more subtle with diffusion filters and you have to watch mismatching in film stocks, exposure, lenses, etc. You can see those differences more clearly. And focus mistakes are likewise more visible.

The 35mm photography though of the shows I've seen so far ("Heroes", "Bionic Woman", "CSI: Miami", "Journeyman") look stunning in HD. And so it the post work on these shows.

I wonder though if the reduction in diffusion on shows like CSI is a result of wanting the HD broadcasts to look super sharp. I recall discussions on "Big Love" about how sharp the show needed to look.

Like I said, overuse of diffusion is more distracting on a big HDTV monitor, but of course, you can now see every pore in the actor's skin on these HD monitors so some diffusion also seems even more necessary than before, not less. It's an interesting conundrum. "Journeyman", shot by Alan Caso ("Six Feet Under") seems to be using a pleasant amount of some ProMist-like diffusion.

There also seems to be less established standards for color intensity, etc. -- these HD channels vary quite a bit it seems to me.

There are some noise level variations, and for some reason, the 720P channels like Fox seem softer than the 1080i channels like CBS, though there is no particular reason why since I have a 720P monitor.

Anyway, I'm very impressed with the photographic quality level of these high-end TV shows.
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#2 Joe Taylor

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 12:50 PM

I'd figure if anyone on this forum had a HD DVD or Blueray player, it would be you , David.

I just bought everything Kubrick has on HD DVD, and seeing 2001 in HD has been an entire new experience for me. I've never had the privilege to experience it on the sliver screen, much less in 70mm.

I watched it at two in the morning (this morning) and I was in awe. My set is a Sony 35" HD tube set. I trully believe the best HDTV has to offer is a good old fashioned tube screen. Weighs almost 400lbs and the quality is amazing.

The Shining in HD is awesom too. 1:85 for the first time for me (NO CHOPPER BLADES). Hope the release Barry Lyndon in HD, sure the will though.
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:37 PM

I have a 41" Sharp Aquos 1080P LCD and a Blu-ray player as well. My cable box comes standard with HD, so if you have an HDTV you're set. You can also watch these channels on SD and get a letterboxed signal if you want to watch shows that air in 16x9 as they were shot. I watch everything I can in HD. The picture quality is great. It sure takes up a lot more room on my DVR though.
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#4 Marc Alucard

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 04:24 PM

A year or so ago I bought this affordable 37" Sharp Aquos HD monitor (720P I think) but have not had a way to watch any HD on it -- until this week.

The monitor did not come with an HD tuner (newer models apparently do) so I went out and bought an HD tuner at Best Buy this week along with a cheap UHF antenna.

Though my reception sometimes cuts in and out, I can now get over-the-air DTV and watch HDTV broadcasts of most of the networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, CW, Fox, PBS). Looks great (when I'm getting the signal), especially compared to the highly compressed SD picture I get over my satelite dish.

Does bring up some issues regarding shooting for HDTV broadcast.

Sort of like shooting for theatrical projection, you have to be more subtle with diffusion filters and you have to watch mismatching in film stocks, exposure, lenses, etc. You can see those differences more clearly. And focus mistakes are likewise more visible.

The 35mm photography though of the shows I've seen so far ("Heroes", "Bionic Woman", "CSI: Miami", "Journeyman") look stunning in HD. And so it the post work on these shows.

I wonder though if the reduction in diffusion on shows like CSI is a result of wanting the HD broadcasts to look super sharp. I recall discussions on "Big Love" about how sharp the show needed to look.

Like I said, overuse of diffusion is more distracting on a big HDTV monitor, but of course, you can now see every pore in the actor's skin on these HD monitors so some diffusion also seems even more necessary than before, not less. It's an interesting conundrum. "Journeyman", shot by Alan Caso ("Six Feet Under") seems to be using a pleasant amount of some ProMist-like diffusion.

There also seems to be less established standards for color intensity, etc. -- these HD channels vary quite a bit it seems to me.

There are some noise level variations, and for some reason, the 720P channels like Fox seem softer than the 1080i channels like CBS, though there is no particular reason why since I have a 720P monitor.

Anyway, I'm very impressed with the photographic quality level of these high-end TV shows.




Hello David,
Go through the trouble of getting a good antenna. OTA HDTV blows away any cable, Directv, or Dish compressed, so called HDTV.
I have a Sony VPL-V100 SXRD 1080 HT @1080P projecting on a ten foot wide screen. Everything you mentioned is right on the money. Too much diffusion is my most common complaint. Color intensity is number two.
Try this link for antenna info.

AntennaWeb.org

Cheers,
Marc
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 07:20 PM

6 months ago I bought my CRT HDTV, immediately cancelled my Comcast cable and bought a Terk slim profile antenna for less than $100, and I've enjoyed a nearly flawless DTV signal ever since. Gaining over 50 stations total, 30 of those being DTV or HD channels. It has completely changed my viewing habits when it comes to primetime dramas. I used to never watch them, but now when I'm flipping through the channels and "House", "Bones", Heroes" or any other show is on, I have to stop and enjoy some of the great cinematography that's going on with these programs.

I noticed "Bones" especially uses quite a bit of diffusion. There's a real soft and gradual separation between light and shadow that's somewhat unique and different from other programs.

I find the contrast and camera work on shows like "CSI: Miami" a bit extreme and over-stylized, so it's hard for me to watch that show past the classic opening scene with Caruso's brilliant putting on of the sunglasses as he delivers his line just before Roger Daltry's scream :)

But the rare treat of CBS or ABC airing a feature film in HD is always something I look foward too as well.
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#6 Bugs Haller

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:14 PM

Has anyone seen Planet Earth in Blueray on an HDTV?

Talk about being speechless. I've never seen anything like it.

Edited by Bugs Haller, 24 October 2007 - 09:15 PM.

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#7 Michel Hafner

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 07:31 AM

I watch my HD on a 3.5m wide screen with no holes, in 1080p, HD quality is all over the place from mediocre to excellent. Edge enhancement and noise processing are ongoing problems for people that want a natural film-like appearance. Aliasing can be a problem too. Sometimes these artifacts are already present in 2K cinema screenings. Broadcast material with low bit rates is riddled with blocking and not an option for high end film watching, Compression on HD discs on the other hand is much less affected by this and usually you don't see compression issues.
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#8 John Holland

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 11:42 AM

Jonathan, what make CRT HDTV did you buy ? i only want a CRT HDTV very hard to find over here .
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 04:27 PM

I'm waiting until I a 1080p portable HDTV comes out in the UK.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 05:15 PM

I'm waiting until I a 1080p portable HDTV comes out in the UK.


"Portable" seems a bit contradictory -- the main advantage of 1080P would be for a large home monitor.
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#11 Mitch Gross

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 09:49 PM

One of the nice perks about working at Abel Cine Tech is our Plams Room, filled with comfy leather furniture and a bunch of big, beautiful screens. It's always nice to view client material on the CineTal, but when you want to blow someone out of the water the 60" Panasonic is sweet. We keep various Blue-Ray and HD-DVD material rolling and Planet Earth is a particular favorite, especially since we do so much work with Varicams, Aaton, high speed imaging and doc shooters around the world. Like having the original David Attenborogb narration as well.
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 03:24 AM

Sony Wega 34" (KD34XBR970)

It's been discontinued, and I got it on clearance at half the price!

HD CRT TV's are hard to come by in general nowadays. I just got lucky with that one.

It's heavy as hell though, 200 lbs.! Had to hire a couple of illegals to help me lift it up to the apartment.
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#13 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 03:33 AM

Here you go Matthew: http://www.lcdracks....vr70phdsdi.html

I was lucky enough to use one on a recent AC gig, it's kinda worthless for focus pulling, but it's good to at least know what the camera's seeing when you're working alongside it.
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#14 Phil Savoie

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 12:09 PM

Like having the original David Attenborogb narration as well.


A bit off topic but I spent considerable time (months) researching HD during Planet Earth pre-production - at the time I was BBC staff . One on the things I learned during the process was HD monitors require a different viewing distance to check critical focus. With SD monitors one sees the best picture at 6-10 times the picture height. With HD monitors one sees a critical picture at 3 times the picture height. This closer distance is a challenge to viewers eyesight, one needs good close vision to critically assess a HD picture. With a 17 inch monitor which has a picture height of 7 inches high one must view the image from 21 inches away to check fine detail. A 24 inch monitor requires the viewers to be 3 feet away - a 32 inch monitor yields a critical image from 4 feet away. Rarely do I ever sit this close to watch TV but when I spring for a new HD tele I'll try and get the biggest I can afford because of the much closer viewing distance.

Planet Earth was originated on 16mm, 35mm (the majority 3 Perf) and HD. How much film origination is difficult to say as there were contractual obligations, but its safe to say there was a significant percentage of film (the sequence work I did was all 3 perf 35). The production purchased two 3 perf Aaton 35 cameras that were working for three years. Well crafted Super 16 looks great transfered to HD, IMHO the 3 perf 35 is mind blowing. I mention this because I'm still a fan of film and it isn't normally noted that PE used quite a bit.

Mitch I'm with you, I never get tired of Sir David.
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 01:59 PM

I still love these programs on Discovery and PBS that are advertised as being captured in HD...and yet when we see any behind the scenes stuff of the production, we got all these 16 & 35 cameras running about.

It's a comfort for me to see it :)
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#16 Thomas James

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 03:37 PM

The problem with HD CRT monitors is that they are interlaced which means a darker picture.
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#17 Michael Nash

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 04:41 PM

The problem with HD CRT monitors is that they are interlaced which means a darker picture.


<_< No... CRT's can produce quite brilliant images. Whatever luminance drop you get from interlaced display becomes irrelevant. LCD's (especially cheaper models) are often plagued by foggy black levels, poor shadow detail and weak contrast compared to CRT's.

Cheap products all have their limitations; to get optimum performance from any display technology you have to spend more $$.
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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 06:25 PM

The only way I can get HD material is to download it from Bittorrent.

Which naturally, I would never do.

"Doom" looks great!

Phil
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#19 Thomas James

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 08:32 PM

Don't they have Blu-Ray or HD-DVD disc players in the UK ?
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 08:57 PM

Well sure, you can go and buy a Playstation 3 - if you're willing to pay the equivalent for $50 to $75 a disc.

Phil
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