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HDTV makes TV look "less" then standard


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#1 Joseph Arch

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 05:02 PM

First time I saw a movie on HDTV I was shocked as to how bad the quality is. It looked more like video or shot on HD camera then on a film camera. Standard TV's show the original quality of the film and looks a lot better then on a HDTV. Have I wasted money getting a HDTV?

I compared Lord Of The Rings on a standard TV and a HD TV. The standard showed the picture quality and image exactly as the film. However, the HDTV showed it more like a shot on video. It was unmatchable.

Is it because 120hz TV's eliminate telecine pattern judder by multiplying the film's original 24 fps frame rate by five times produce a weird video-like effect? Movies look more like high def video than film.


Is there anyway around this to make it look more like the original or hack the TV so to speak.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 27 September 2008 - 05:03 PM.

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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 05:37 PM

Frankly I like picture tube quality better.

the new wave of monitors has basically said f-you to having any kind of a standardized look. Brighter and bluer is the motto, and many consumers are falling for it and assuming that brighter and bluer is better.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 05:42 PM

First time I saw a movie on HDTV I was shocked as to how bad the quality is. It looked more like video or shot on HD camera then on a film camera. Standard TV's show the original quality of the film and looks a lot better then on a HDTV. Have I wasted money getting a HDTV?

I compared Lord Of The Rings on a standard TV and a HD TV. The standard showed the picture quality and image exactly as the film. However, the HDTV showed it more like a shot on video. It was unmatchable.

Is it because 120hz TV's eliminate telecine pattern judder by multiplying the film's original 24 fps frame rate by five times produce a weird video-like effect? Movies look more like high def video than film.


Is there anyway around this to make it look more like the original or hack the TV so to speak.


Well, besides Alessandro's good point that CRTs are more consistent/better image quality (although lower resolution), due to "LCD memory" and other factors relating to LCD smear, there is some other truth to this observation.

Unless you're getting HDTV from an antenna, it is often very heavily compressed. If anything though, I thought HDTV did a *better* job than SD with 24 fps material because some HDTV models can actually play back at a true 24 fps.
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:07 PM

First time I saw a movie on HDTV I was shocked as to how bad the quality is. It looked more like video or shot on HD camera then on a film camera. Standard TV's show the original quality of the film and looks a lot better then on a HDTV. Have I wasted money getting a HDTV?

I compared Lord Of The Rings on a standard TV and a HD TV. The standard showed the picture quality and image exactly as the film. However, the HDTV showed it more like a shot on video. It was unmatchable.

Is it because 120hz TV's eliminate telecine pattern judder by multiplying the film's original 24 fps frame rate by five times produce a weird video-like effect? Movies look more like high def video than film.


Is there anyway around this to make it look more like the original or hack the TV so to speak.



As I understand it, it is very simple:

Standard def looks better on standard TV, than a standard def signal on a HDTV. An HD TV has software and/or hardware that tries to "upgrade" the standard def signal to the HD TV on the fly. And most don't do a very good job.

The good news is that they get better everyday. This advice and opinion was given to me by a guy I work with who specializes in video playback for film and TV production.

Best

Tim
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:22 PM

As I understand it, it is very simple:

Standard def looks better on standard TV, than a standard def signal on a HDTV. An HD TV has software and/or hardware that tries to "upgrade" the standard def signal to the HD TV on the fly. And most don't do a very good job.

The good news is that they get better everyday. This advice and opinion was given to me by a guy I work with who specializes in video playback for film and TV production.

Best

Tim


For the most part I agree with this Tim, although, in my personal opinion, SD shows on SD channels on HDTV look better on regular analog sets, but the actual up-converted shows of SD broadcasts on HD channels do look noticeably better to me, although I guess if I compared these broadcasts side-by-side with analog the analog signal might look better.

This probably has to do more with service provider compression than the native television compression (is there any?) I also notice that, no matter where you get TV from these days, save maybe the few people who are still hooked up to TV antennas with their SD sets, the signal is a digital one that is compressed coming from most cable providers, all dish providers, and most stations themselves.

Oh, one more thing: This is all fast becoming a moot point. There are few if any companies making CRT computer monitors left, and TVs are going down the same route. Even if you want (better) CRT, you can't get it. LCD crystals are more economical to make, hence the market has mandated, through the guise of them being better, that they completely replace CRT. I would love to have a CRT HDTV, regardless of size, without compression. That'd be something.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 27 September 2008 - 06:24 PM.

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#6 Walter Graff

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:35 PM

It's all about perception. Also about the TV you bought. And most importantly the signal on the set. A digital set (what you call HDTV) is not HD because it says it on the box. It needs a proper signal to take advantage of the sets ability at producing a higher definition signal. LCD TVs suck as far as I am concerned. Plasmas make a much more vivid picture but manufacturers stopped making them cause it was cheaper to make LCDs. What is most important with a digital TV (no Tv is HDTV, just digital) is the signal going in. Over the air signals are the single best picture you can get. Any other way is re-compressed MPEG2. Not that over the air isn't but it's run through one transmitter, and not retransmitted by your cable or sat provider. As for quality, your eye has a limit to how well it can see. Take a 42 inch digital TV with a 1080i picture and place it 10 feet form you. Now take a 30 inch tube TV playing 480 line picture, place it eight feet from you playing the equivalent scene and you will not be able to tell the difference in quality. No way around that. Just as if you are shooting above f7 on a 1/3 inch chip camera you are not shooting HD. Higher definition TVs were originally invented so you could have a larger TV placed at the same distance while still perceiving the same quality picture. Thank you to smaller living spaces in Japan. But what most folks complain about with digital TVs has to do with MPEG2 methods of playback. Up close it sure looks problematic. But at a distance you can't see the difference. Sit back from your TV more, and make sure what signal going into it is higher quality. An antenna receiving your local signals is the best way to receive a higher quality signal . As long as they are really being broadcast in higher definition. Just because it says 1080 or 720 on the program does not mean your local broadcaster is broadcasting in that resolution. Every digital set has a button that tells you what signal it is being fed. Most local stations in most markets don't actually broadcast in higher definition signals.
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#7 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:44 PM

First time I saw a movie on HDTV I was shocked as to how bad the quality is. It looked more like video or shot on HD camera then on a film camera. Standard TV's show the original quality of the film and looks a lot better then on a HDTV. Have I wasted money getting a HDTV?

I compared Lord Of The Rings on a standard TV and a HD TV. The standard showed the picture quality and image exactly as the film. However, the HDTV showed it more like a shot on video. It was unmatchable.

Is it because 120hz TV's eliminate telecine pattern judder by multiplying the film's original 24 fps frame rate by five times produce a weird video-like effect? Movies look more like high def video than film.


Is there anyway around this to make it look more like the original or hack the TV so to speak.


Your tv may be doing some bullshit processing to "improve" the image. As I understand it, some of these tvs have a feature that makes motion smoother by interpolating frames, which makes it look like video, and introduces artifacts on some frames.

You are better off turning off all you tv's advanced "features" one by one and getting the cleanest possible signal.

R.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:45 PM

Well, besides Alessandro's good point that CRTs are more consistent/better image quality (although lower resolution), due to "LCD memory" and other factors relating to LCD smear, there is some other truth to this observation.

Unless you're getting HDTV from an antenna, it is often very heavily compressed. If anything though, I thought HDTV did a *better* job than SD with 24 fps material because some HDTV models can actually play back at a true 24 fps.


I have seen HD "Antenna TV" and it does look pretty good, on an HD picture tube however. Probably looks good on flat tv as well, assuming there are no buffers or compression cards involved.
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#9 Joseph Arch

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 07:05 PM

Your tv may be doing some bullshit processing to "improve" the image. As I understand it, some of these tvs have a feature that makes motion smoother by interpolating frames, which makes it look like video, and introduces artifacts on some frames.

You are better off turning off all you tv's advanced "features" one by one and getting the cleanest possible signal.

R.


I done exactly that while playing around with it. I have this TV

http://uk.lge.com/pr..._42lg6000.jhtml

I turned off True motion and turned on cinema effect, adjusted the brightness, contrast, colour and gamma. It looks a bit more like film, however, to the trained eye it still has that HD look. Not as original as the CRT look. I guess it maybe because it has to upscale the industry standard image to fit the HD tv. If there is a way to change it from 120mhz to 60mhz then it would look almost like the original. I use the word "almost" because it still has to upscale the image.


TV companies and movie studios should work together to make viewing a pleasant experience.
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#10 Kyle Waszkelewicz

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 07:35 PM

I think the root of the problem is that the tv is an LCD, not that it is HD. LCD SDTVs looked hideous as well, and as has been mentioned a CRT HDTV, one that can actually handle (not simulate) interlacing, displays a fine SD picture. The fact that an LCD tv can't do (not just doesn't do natively) interlacing and has different gamma than a crt are the big factors in the diminished quality with an SD signal. Also, I don't know how well LGs do with resizing but from what I can tell most brands do less than ideal jobs, which can only be partly blamed on the HD part.

And OMG, don't judge HD based on a cable signal. Those are super compressed and just gross. Look at an over-the-air signal, or better yet a Blu-Ray, before drawing conclusions.
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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 08:16 PM

.....And OMG, don't judge HD based on a cable signal. Those are super compressed and just gross. Look at an over-the-air signal, or better yet a Blu-Ray, before drawing conclusions.


Now that is opening up a can of worms. I think nowadays most HD sets in stores are just set up to playback a Blue Ray dvd. Not really a great way to tell how a set will play back non Blue Ray images.
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 12:21 PM

.... I use the word "almost" because it still has to upscale the image.....

So you're looking at an SD signal on an SD set compared with the same SD upconverted internally by the HD set. The built-in upconversion usually isn't particularly good. The consumer manufacturers don't put much into it, because they know that NTSC here is going off the air next February, and thereafter, it'll be used mainly for playing old VHS cassettes.

LCD's, though, should get better. Sony has decided to go LCD for the next generation of broadcast quality monitors, the BVM-L230.



-- J.S.
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#13 Keith Walters

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 09:37 PM

LCD TVs suck as far as I am concerned. Plasmas make a much more vivid picture but manufacturers stopped making them cause it was cheaper to make LCDs.


The quality of the image on an LCD TV is entirely dependent on the panel used and the software used to drive it. It would be easy to assume that "you get what you pay for" but that doesn't seem to really be the case. I've seen sub-$1,000 42" LCD TVs that give easily as good a picture as more expensive "name" brands. There are plenty of Grade 1 LCD studio monitors available; nobody makes a Grade 1 Plasma!

As for plasmas, they are still being made in large quantities, in fact many of the bigger
brands offer both LCD and Plasma models.

Modern Plasma screens are much more reliable, give a much better picture, are much lighter in weight, and are vastly cheaper than their equivalents of just a few years ago. It used to be thought that full HD plasma screens below about 50" diagonal were never going to be practical, now they're readily available at the same price as an equivalent LCD model.

I guess the Plasma panel manufacturers sank so much R&D into developing the technology, never imagining that LCD screens would get so good so quickly, that they feel they have to recover some of the investment.
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#14 James Mehr

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 10:03 PM

Also remember that if you want to get the most out of your TV, whether SD or HD, you should calibrate it. Joe Kane Productions makes a diagnostic tool called Digital Video Essentials, or DVE. I have copies in Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and SD DVD for calibrating my different inputs on my HDTV. I was lucky enough to get a Samsung HDTV and after calibrating it, am quite happy with it. But, CRT HDTVs are heavy - mine weighs 120 lbs....
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#15 Keith Walters

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 04:29 AM

The built-in upconversion usually isn't particularly good. The consumer manufacturers don't put much into it, because they know that NTSC here is going off the air next February, and thereafter, it'll be used mainly for playing old VHS cassettes.


I think NTSC (and PAL) are going to be around for some time yet. I would imagine that what will happen in the US will the same as happened parts of Europe when they shut down analog PAL transmissions: the bulk of people continue to watch composite video, but through cable.

But NOW, we're finally getting affordable HDTV sets with built-in digital tuners, instead of that "digital ready" crap, so this will gradually change.
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 07:56 AM

I guess the Plasma panel manufacturers sank so much R&D into developing the technology, never imagining that LCD screens would get so good so quickly, that they feel they have to recover some of the investment.


They certainly are, Keith, but do you *really* think it is out of consideration to quality; it's far more likely that it is a cost-cutting measure.
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#17 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:36 AM

I managed to get it to look as close to broadcast standard as possible and it has worked.

I turned off true motion. Turned on Cinema mode and calibrated the the brightness, contrast, colour etc...

It has worked so far and looks identical but can be pixelated and show bad pixels on some channels because the TV has to up scale the image and all channels are 720 by 512 pixels in the UK.

How much would you say it will cost the industry to switch HD broadcasting? There are standards all over the world so I assume they all have to switch at once or there could be problems.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 04 October 2008 - 09:39 AM.

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#18 Walter Graff

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 11:58 AM

How much would you say it will cost the industry to switch HD broadcasting? There are standards all over the world so I assume they all have to switch at once or there could be problems.


In the US, no one is switching to HD, we are switching to digital. THey are not the same thing. Some of that digital will be 1080, some 720 and still some 480. In other countries, some have set standards, some are just going digital with multiple frame sizes as they are in the US.

As for your "pixelation" I'd say it's more the signal you get than the TV.
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#19 Keith Walters

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:22 AM

They certainly are, Keith, but do you *really* think it is out of consideration to quality; it's far more likely that it is a cost-cutting measure.

I'm not saying that at all.
8 years ago, if you wanted a reasonable sized flat panel with a watchable picture, you had a choice of Plasma, or Plasma.
LCDs were awful and only available in small screen sizes.
At the time, nobody thought LCD could ever get scaled up to rival Plasma, so they obviously felt safe in sinking enormous amounts of money into developing plasma panel factories.
LCDs have suddenly come out of nowhere as a much more practical and affordable technology, and so it's doubtful all the plasma R&D will ever be amortized, at least if plasmas have to be price competitive with LCD. I think the plasma panel manufacturers are simply in damage control mode, trying to recover whatever they can.
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#20 Walter Graff

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 09:49 AM

There is a lot of talk in this thread, unfortunately most of it from the consumer side.

First off, this is not manufactures of LCDs vs those of plasma, with the plasma group running to make up for mistakes. The same three top manufacturers of LCDS ARE the manufacturers of plasmas. Shifts in production in the last few years has been signaled by margins. TV set makers want to make as much money per unit as possible. LCD's currently carry larger margins. Period.

So while plasmas are often more pleasing to most who view the two, LCDs have been pushed into the mainstream more due to profit. It was never about quality. R&D is always ongoing. That R&D purpose is more how to make more for less rather than how to get even more color out of a set. Each manufacture has some 2000-4000 people in R&D. Those huge numbers justify the result. It's how to squeeze as much juice out of an orange. And to do so you have to have lots of people working on the problem. But that does not mean it is always the best tasting juice since that is not necessarily the purpose.

Last year some 80 million LCDS were sold, vs 12 million plasmas. That was not because folks choose LCDs over plasmas, it was because manufactures saw the money making opportunity that was taking shape with LCDs and shifted tactics taking plasmas off the market in favor of the better margin LCDs.

And for the many companies that simply buy LCD panels or plasma panels and incorporate them into their brand of TV, the LCD world-wide panel market prices have sunk tremendously in the last two years. So which would you push, the one that has a smaller margin or the one that makes you more money? No one ran with their tales between their legs with plasmas, they still made a very good profit, it was just easier and cheaper to produce LCDs.

In fact much of the push for LCDs today was due to problems in 2003 and 2004 when consumers were choosing plasmas over LCD due to quality, sales of LCD TVs at the end of 2003 and the beginning of 2004 were disappointing, leaving manufactures with large inventories. The second generation of LCDs was introduced the following year, and the push to market them paid off as did profits, causing the industry to change direction.

Companies like Visio who with only 90 employees created a buzz with their well designed sets, and there smart association with large distributors like Costco, meaning lots of sales with little ad spending, which got noticed, plus Sony seeing a major profit (due to the LCD margin) a few years back, caused a shift to LCD production.

Manufactures have two viable types of flat screen TVs, and the shift into which they push is determined by a spread sheet of cost vs profit. Those 2-4 thousand R&D people at each manufactures factory are still working on both and when they find a way to make the margin on plasmas as profitable as LCDs they will shift back to selling them, only to find a better way to make LCDs, etc, etc. The TV set industry is like a sail boat and it is driven often by the prevailing winds. And not everyone survives.

Today Samsung leads in sales, followed by Sony then Phillips, sharp and LG. Value brands like Visio have slipped since their ride on top and one value brand, Syntax Brillian who sold LCDs filed chapter eleven this year. Amtran and Kolin, the companies behind Visio and Syntax have been nearly shut down.

The name brands are now dominating the market because they matched the value brands models in price. And as they further drop the prices of LCDs, you will see them hit the 100 million in sales mark this year while the better quality plasmas don?t come near that number, not cause you don't buy them, but because they don't offer them.

Add the U.S. mandate to phase out analog televisions in favor of digital technologies by the year 2009, and you'll have lots of folks buying TVs they don't need but think they do because all they know is TV is changing, and 'my TV will become obsolete'. It will not, but that is to how it sounds.
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