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HD in the high street, what I found

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Nic Rhodes, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Well the kids are away with the wife, it was sunny and I had nothing in particualr to do so I went upto town to play HD.

    Currys.
    Loads of logos everywhere. One Panny (?) HD plasma showing what appeared to be some sort of HD static images. I asked a few question. Got no correct answers. Was given a brochure which told me nothing. Buyer beware.

    Comet
    These guys has several screens actually showing HD :clap: But it looked crap :mad: Asked a few questions and got one correct answer. The source (they didn'y know what it was) appeared to be a PC as it was stuttering everywhere but it was the deinterlacing that really made me cringe :( It was REALLY bad, combing everywhere on everything. Got another useless brochure.

    High Street specialist (unnamed)
    These guys had a Jap box showing into a Panny plasma. The guy came over an immediately explained it was Jap HD and asked was I interested in HD. I explained I use it currently. Questions were answered well and he was really helpful. Gave me a catalogue as I was after some sizes of panels. Pointed me to other HD in the shops in the city. If I was punter buying a HD panel (which I am actually, the wife wants one) I know where I would go for help / sale.

    Chalk and cheese.
     
  2. Trevor spencer

    Trevor spencer
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    i asked a guy in comet once about RGB on TVs and he said no CRTs come with RGB inputs IE scart,, i just walked out
     
  3. Lionheart

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    I agree Nic, 90% of people who work with retail electricals are especially stumped when it comes to A/V. Specialist shops such as Sevenoaks do have the more knowledgeable staff but of course you often pay for it whilst the big stores have the big buying power (although its not always the case). I would imagine there is lots and lots of people who either dont have the kit they were looking for or dont have it set to work at its best and this could easily be avoided by staff knowing what they are talking about and passing this info onto the customer

    As ever the best thing is to arm yourself with knowledge.When I bought my 42pv500 I went straight to Currys, didnt even bother to look at the ones on display cos I knew the pictures would be all a mess, haggled with em, paid and went home, cos Id done all my research before hand and of course looked here. I think some stores must loose sales cos they really dont have knowledgeable staff and they dont have a clue about setting things up
     
  4. Nick_UK

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    Since 95% of the customers don't have a clue either, I'm sure it's not a great problem for them. In any case, most of the profit comes from the sale of overpriced cables and extra warranties after they've sold the TV.
     
  5. stevos

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    I am glad someone started this thread, because it gives me a chance to rant.

    I was wasting time yesterday afternoon, and poped into a Panasonic shop in the highstreet. They were showing a HD feed off a blueray drive. Whilst the picture looked good it wasn't great.

    Anyway, the salesman was explaining to a customer that this is what freeview would look like on the tele. I had to leave, to restrain myself.

    I remember back to the last world cup, where shops were selling widescreen displays for the football, even though it was broadcasted in 4:3.

    There should be laws in place to stop this.
     
  6. av2diefor

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    Aint that the truth :D
     
  7. normarker

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    If you go into Currys and/or Comet I can almost guarantee you will see iether a Samsung or an LG with an 862*452 screen and an HDReady logo.
    How do they get away with it?
     
  8. av2diefor

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    See above post :rotfl:
     
  9. stevos

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    Dixons here had all the screens showing MTV using composite, do they not want to sell their screens.
     
  10. DEANO-B

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    Its all about money. If they want to have staff that have AV knowledge they would have to pay them more. I'm sure they've calculated that they can bulsh!t most people and have a higher profit margin, by skipping training and paying their staff less.
     
  11. mike7

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    In the course of my business, not tv, I visit people at home. Even with Sky or Freeview boxes I frequently see stretched pictures on the tv even though I know it is a widescreen transmission. I would hazard a guess that 30% of tv viewers in this Country (UK) are watching distorted pictures either because they they have not reset the digital box or the tv. The frequently heard arguement against widescreen tv is that 'it makes people look fat'. Joe Public wants hundreds of channels, most of which he never watches, and there is an need to 'fill the screen' no matter what the aspect distortion. The cost is often that a considerable portion of the picture has been zoomed out. Is it any wonder that salesman don't bother. I think the broadcasters might consider they should put out an occasional 'Noddys guide' video to tell people where they are going wrong. I actually heard someone ask a salesman quite recently if the LCD she was buying could switch between 405 and 625 !
     
  12. Stephen Neal

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    I am surprised you estimate it as low as 30%... Part of this is because, understandably, digital TV boxes are delivered to output 4:3, rather than 16:9, and if you are not technically aware you may not realise you need to change the output ratio if you have a 16:9 TV.

    There are also a fair few people who will continue to watch 4:3 analogue terrestrial, even though they have digital sources - surprising but true!

    There is certainly scope for a broadcaster trail explaining widescreen - perhaps it could have lots of 4:3 UNsafe action, and be pitched along "To see the whole picture - change your box settings", and point to a website or helpline with details for all the major boxes and platforms...
     
  13. AML

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    How is HD supposed to work and be sold if the general public and worse the shops that are supposed to sell it, dont know all the necesary details about it?

    The difference between HD and SD are the small details. Like the propper resolution and conections.

    Whenever I try to tell people about this, they cringe and say "thats too complicated"!
    They all ask for a simplified version. Like "Just tell me which TV to get! And make sure its not too expensive!"

    With this kind of ignorance how is HDTV supposed to be a success?
     
  14. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Quite - though on the other hand we don't actually have any real HD broadcasts or HD pre-recorded material aimed at normal consumers available in Europe yet. Hopefully things will improve once a dealer can run an HD Sky receiver or an HD-DVD/BluRay player with relevant programmes, not Japanese demo loops.

    I guess the widespread push for HDMI interconnection for HD in Europe is aimed at assisting with this (though copy protection is obviously the main aim!) - aiming for it to be the HD equivalent of SCART - should make things easier. I think the "HD Ready" certification has been a smart move.

    SCART may have had its problems (it is mechanically dreadful) - but the ease of having a single connection rather than 6 RCA phonos (for Video and Stereo audio in both directions) or 5 RCA Phonos (for RGB and stereo audio), has made it MUCH easier for Joe Public to connect VCRs, DVD players, Sky receivers etc. and get decent quality results.

    Hopefully HDMI will deliver this - analogue component + stereo audio via 5 RCAs is a horrendous standard to inflict on the non-technical (the scope for connecting things incorrectly is huge) - a single HDMI connector should be easier to explain!
     
  15. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    Ah Comet are totaly useless. I was in there a few days ago and saw the same stuttering PC footage. Of course, they'd turned Sharpness up to full on the plasma, so it looked like absolute crap.
     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

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    I have been to installations...by specialists....where the DVD player has been set to 4:3 output. This year at Bristol Show a famous japanese manufacturer had one of their systems set up playing a DTS demo disc on a loop. The DVD player was set to 4:3 so everyone was really really short and fat........more work needs done on simple basics.

    Gordon
     
  17. Pecker

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    The manufacturers & broadcasters don't help.

    I have a Phillips 32" widescreen. If I set the aspect ration to Auto Format, it stretches anything in 4:3 using 'Super Zoom' (the setting that stretches the sides but not the centre, and crops a little). I don't want that. I want to see 4:3 pictures in 4:3.

    There is no setting on the TV to automatically switch to the correct ration, so if I'm swapping between channels showing programmes in different ratios, I have to switch the aspect manually...and 4:3 & Widescreen are at the opposite ends of the menu, so this takes about 10-15 seconds a go. What a pain in the backside!

    Every now and then NTL help by squashing 4:3 pictures, so they're the correct ratio when stretched. If they did this all the time I could leave the TV set to 'Widescreen', and it'd always look right, but of course they keep changing.

    Steve W
     
  18. Stephen Neal

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    Yes - and there is also the confusion as to what "AUTO" means. On some TVs it is designed to look at a 4:3 input that may or may not contain letterboxed widescreen material, and when it detects the black bars it crops them and zooms in, but when it sees 4:3 it converts it to 16:9 via various means.

    On others it means the TV is controlled by SCART or Line 23 WSS means, and will switch between ratios based on the signalled ratio of the input source.

    Personally I like the Sony system my WEGA uses.

    When watching a 4:3 source you chose the method you wish to view 4:3 sources - in my case 4:3 pillarbox (no cropping, black bars on the left and right - so I see the whole picture but don't fill the screen by stretching)

    When a 16:9 source is fed to the display, and signalled as such via Line 23 or Pin 8 on the SCART, it drops into WIDE mode, and correctly fills the screen with a 16:9 image.

    When the source returns to 4:3 material, the TV reverts to the 4:3 display option I had previously chosen.

    Spot on!

    (Equally, when it detects a 16:9 letterbox or 14:9 letterbox being input in 4:3 WITH Line 23 signalling - say on Channel Four analogue, or a suitable set-top box configured for 4:3 letterbox output, it correctly drops into 14:9 or 16:9 zoom modes, but then reverts to the previously chosen 4:3 display mode when the Line 23 signal is removed)
     
  19. pjskel

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    Sharp's GD1 does that as well - 4:3 option of as is or Panoramic. Then there's 16:9 Cinema, 14:9 Cinema, 14:9, and Full.
    So, six different aspect settings to choose from. It also has the WSS function selectable as on or off. Off goes with the setting chosen for that input, but on does the auto select based on what it picks up.
     
  20. Dune

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    I have seen a Sagem 45 inch DLP in Comet showing a hi-def demo and it looked very good.

    My latest hi-def viewing in-store was on Saturday in Dixons.

    They had two sets both showing the same hi-def demo (different sources) which was an LG authored demo (had the LG logo and mentioned LG picture processing technology at various points in the loop). The fact it was an LG demo was funny since one of the sets was a Panny 42 inch 500 series.

    The other set was a 60 inch LG Plasma for sale at £7999 (gulp).

    The piture on both was amazing. The 60 inch had people popping in from the street as it was right as you walked in the store and quite a crowd had gathered later on when I went back in.

    Previously the same store had an LG 37 inch LCD rinnung the same demo and that looked equally impressive.

    So at least they know how to connect the sets up to give a good picture.

    That said next to these two sets was a Samsung 32 inch hi-def LCD and it was being fed the usual piped "SD" signal and looked awful.

    There were several other HD sets in store. The LG 37 inch LCD I mentioned earlier (picture looked OK but wasn't a hi-def feed) and a Pioneer 435 again fed a none-hi-def signal and the picture was nothing special.

    Dave
     
  21. richard plumb

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    with everything going digital, are there any plans for devices talking to each other?

    You need to set your devices to the correct combination to get a good picture. Why not let the sets decide? Surely the TV could say to the DVD player "Hi, I'm a 16:9 TV set, can you please send me appropriately formatted video?". Then the DVD player could set its options accordingly.
     
  22. Nic Rhodes

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    Dave

    but what was the deinterlacing like? The resolution and colours are all very flattering but if they can't get even the other bits looking half decent you wonder why the bother. [It has little to do with the correct cables, formats etc etc]

    Richard

    The HDMI spec does allow this, in fact it is one of the better uses for this standard but no one has seen it being implemented. We have had 1.0 ratified, now 1.1. The control codes are due soon, SACD is talked about (seriously now) and there are those who would like to see an audio clock signal. It is all getting a bit messy and 1.0 will not necessarily talk to 1.2 toi get those switching codes it needs.
     
  23. rogeralpine

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    I don't understand the logic of the likes of Comet et al concerning the training of staff. Surely some basic booklet could easily be produced so that they could refer to it if perplexed, rather than try and bullsh*t their way out of it.

    Also, why on earth can't they get these new HD demo's set up correctly? Surely it makes commercial sense to ensure that the displays are set up to provide the best possible HD image. If they're stocking these new sets and want to push the new format, it would seem common sense to ensure they were set up correctly, else why bother try selling them? I mean, surely it's worth the time and effort to set these systems up correctly?
     
  24. Matt Higgins

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    Comet couldn't even order me a £300 washing machine properly, so I wouldn't trust them to train their staff in "hi-tech" a/v systems.
     
  25. miracleboy

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    Went into Dixons at the weekend, and they had a 50" LG facing you as you go in the door, showing an LG HD demo. It was jaw dropping quality - great advert for HD by Dixons - people were stood all around it staring (and blocking the door!). :thumbsup:
     
  26. intraclast

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    Hello people, first time poster here... :hiya:

    Having read this thread I decided to take a trip to comet and currys after work, see what they had. Currys had a few displays with a standard input to them which looked aweful. They were also dotted around the TV section in no particular order, the whole display didnt make a lot of sense.

    Comet was loads better, they had 10 screens most of which were showing a sky HD preview. This was being fed from what looked like a PC (it had an xp pro licence code on it) connected up via HDMI. As I expected the salesperson knew nothing. But it gave a chance to look at and compare the screens.

    The picture quality was great, except that at times (not often admittedly) you could really see the interlacing, sometime it was even present on static images. Does anyone know if this is the source material, or the way they have it setup? because if I spent £1200 on a telly and the image broke apart like that I'd be taking it straight back.
     
  27. scarty16

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    I doubt you would be spending £1200 on an HD ready tv, more likely nearer the 2k mark
     
  28. pjskel

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    Which brand was this intraclast?
    £1200 is the going rate (near enough) for a good-very good 32" LCD panel.
     
  29. matt_p

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    I paid about £1200 for my HD-ready Hitachi lcd. You can get a hd-ready Samsung 32" LCD for ~£800.

    You don't need to go anywhere near £2000 for a hd ready set.
     
  30. intraclast

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    I was looking at a Samsung LE-32R51B (I think) and an LG (cant remember the model) both were 32" and £1200. To my eyes the samsung had the edge on the LG. The both looked fantastic most of the time and the level of detail was great, apart from the occasional artifacting. I really hope that was the source material, but you would think that sky would have made sure their promo video didnt have any glitches.
     

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