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hdtv vs hdtv ready + plus model suggestions

Discussion in 'TVs' started by oppers, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. oppers

    oppers
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    is there a difference? if so, what does it mean?

    not very technical so would appreciate a non-techie reply!

    want to buy lcd tv and budget is app £600. suggestions are welcome on what to look for and specific models. budget can be increased if it there are extremely good offers so if anyone knows of something let me know........

    thanx in advance
     
  2. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    Please search the forums. This has been covered extensively in other posts. As far as you're LCD query goes, there are a number of posts in the LCD forum that should answer your question.

    Sorry if it sound like I'm not being helpful but these questions seem to get asked by new members every couple of days or so.
     
  3. oppers

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    I have actually looked around and I am still confused about the difference between HDTV and HDTV ready.............. I even went to EICTA website but was left none the wiser.

    I am not very technical minded as I said before so all I am asking for is an idiot proof explaination so I can go hunting for a good value telly without getting riped off. No boyfriend and family around to offer me the usual advice.
     
  4. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    "HD Ready" in EICTA terms means that the display will accept European and US/Japanese variants of HDTV (720/50p and 1080/50i or 720/60p and 1080/60i) and will have both analogue component and HDMI or DVI+HDCP digital component video inputs. It will also have a minimum vertical resolution of 720 lines.

    Sets described as HDTV Ready or HDTV compatible but NOT labelled "HD Ready" with the EICTA logo are likely to not meet one of these bits of the spec.

    They may not be compatible with both 50Hz and 60Hz versions of 720p or 1080i, or they may not have HDCP on their DVI or HDMI inputs. Or they may not be high enough resolution, and though they may accept HD inputs, they may not display them at an HD resolution. There are no formal standards for what HDTV Ready or HDTV Compatible mean - they are just marketing phrases... In contrast "HD READY" is a formal minimum spec.

    Bottom line - "HD Ready" and the EICTA logo is there to make sure that you can buy a set with this labelling with confidence. Be VERY sure that any non-HD Ready set you buy doesn't have a facility that you may need.

    50Hz compatibility is vital if you want to watch European HDTV broadcasts, 60Hz compatibility is needed if you want to watch US/Japanese material (and may also be needed for BluRay/HD DVD pre-recorded stuff released in Europe)

    HDMI is needed for HD DVD or BluRay HD replay, and will also work with PS3, and for some potential broadcasts on the Sky Digital platform.

    Analogue HD will be required for the XBox 360.
     
  5. cerebros

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    HDTV means that the set is capable of receiving and displaying a HDTV signal.

    HD Ready means that the set meets the minimum specifications set by EICTA, in particular it will be have a minimum of 720 display lines as well as either a HDMI connector or a HDCP enabled DVI connection.

    Where this differs from sets just marked HDTV is that those without the HD Ready logo may only have component connections. As it looks 99.99% certain that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players will not output HDTV over component, instead requiring a HDCP compatible connection (i.e. HDMI or DVI-HDCP), a non-HD Ready panel wouldn't have the right connectors. That's not to say that this applies to all non-HD Ready panels - there were some available with HDMI or DVI-HDCP before the EICTA standard was set, but these would be older models anyway so it's probably safest going for something with the HD-Ready logo anyway.
     
  6. oppers

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    thank you. though i am not sure i fully understand it...

    gotta make sure that i buy one with logos by eicta, got that.

    so, "hdtv" or "hdtv ready"?

    hdtv ready will display but not necessarily at the same high quality as the ones labelled hdtv? is that the difference?
     
  7. oppers

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    ah cerebros, i am so glad you posted this. i thought the hdtv would be a better choice than hdtv ready but in fact it is the other way around, right?
     
  8. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    "HD Ready" is the only term that is actually guaranteed to mean ANYTHING.

    HDTV or HDTV Ready or HD Compatible or HDTV Compatible can all mean different things depending on the manufacturer - or even the store displaying them.

    No display currently on sale in the UK will be an HDTV receiver - as there are no HD broadcasts over-the-air in the UK yet. Any HDTV set with a tuner will have either an SD analogue tuner or an SD digital terrestrial tuner (aka Freeview) or both - any HDTV signals will need to be received using an external set-top box - and at the moment this is limited to Sky HD (when it launches) or a box compatible with Euro1080/HD-1 (available now), PCs (which can replay pre-recorded Windows Media HD stuff, or stuff downloaded off the net - though this is probably not legal), or pre-recrded material replayed on imported D-Theater D-VHS VCRs or similar. There are also standard def DVD players with upconverted outputs - but these are not truly delivering HD.

    HDTV Ready/Compatible can mean that the display will accept an HDTV signal from a suitable HD source - but it doesn't guarantee that it will display this at HDTV levels of resolution (an 850x480 plasma can be described as "HD Compatible" if it accepts and downconverts a 1280x720 or 1920x1080 HD source), neither does it guarantee that it will accept all variations of HD - i.e. both 50 and 60Hz and both 720p and 1080i. Some displays on sale don't cope with 50Hz, or only cope with 1080i, inputs.

    Bottom line - anything other than HD Ready isn't guaranteed to have ANY meaning whatsoever. You need to look at the specs to be sure what you are getting.
     
  9. oppers

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    Thank you Stephen and thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply to me! (I think I got it now:)
     
  10. cerebros

    cerebros
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    That's right - you want to buy a HD-Ready set (look for the logo).

    HD-Ready means that at the least it meets the minimum specs laid out by the EICTA and should be compatible with all HD services and formats likely to be launched in the near future.

    As you can see from Stephen's more detailed response, a set that is not labelled HD-Ready may not meet the minimum specs and so may not be compatible with any or all future HD services.
     
  11. Welwynnick

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    HDTV does have a very concise and specific definition, but it is only applicable to the US. In many ways the standards are very similar - compatibility with 720p and 1080i etc, but the US spec requires component inputs, whereas the (European) EICTA spec adds HDMI/DVI and HDCP, and 50Hz compatibility. These are essential.

    Unfortunately, some dealers and distributors think that just because a TV meets one of the requirements, or is an HDTV, that it can be called HD ready. This is not true at all. I think there are going to be a lot of disgruntled people when they try in vain to hook up their Sky HD boxes next year.

    Anything that says HDTV should be completely ignored. HD ready is the only thing that counts, and even then you should verify it as dealers often get it wrong.

    Nick
     
  12. tdodd

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    Picking a set that is HD Ready is all well and good but yoiu also need to think about exactly you are going to want to feed into it and what the connection options are. e.g. I have a Media Center PC and the best connection choice from that is DVI. I'm also getting an Xbox 360 and that will need to support component inputs. Right now I have Sky digital so I also want RGB Scart, but I might get Sky HD so I also want an HDMI input or a second set of component inputs. Now if I wanted to add an HD DVD source I'd need a second HDMI input. From the research I've done so far it seems the choice of display needs to be made very carefully indeed as plenty of sets will not meet my needs - and I don't think my needs are very extraordinary.

    Oooh - and don't forget somewhere to plug in your camcorder - either s-video or maybe yet another HD socket of some sort.
     
  13. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    tdodd

    I doubt any 'HD Ready' TV's will not also include a Composite, S-Video, YUV and RGB SCART Input socket or two; its too early for these connection to disappear just yet.

    Once you have multiple Digital Video sources (be they SD or HD) its relatively straightforward to add additional Digital Inputs to any Display using an external switcher - Gefen and Zektor are just two switcher manufactures and between them you already can choose a pretty bewildering array of Digital Video switching and Distribution products.

    For those out shopping if it says anything other than 'HD Ready' then best avoid it if you want to be ready for High Definition sources in Europe.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  14. tdodd

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    OK, here's an example of a brand new "premium" HD ready set available today - the Sony KDL-W40a12U. Here are its connection options from the Sony tech webpage here - http://makeashorterlink.com/?B2D32270C ....

    4 Pin (Y/C) In
    Composite Input
    MiniJack (Head/Earphone) (mm) 3.5
    RCA Audio Out
    RCA AV Input
    Scart 1 RGB
    Scart 2 RGB
    Scart 3 RGB
    Component
    HDMI

    So there's no VGA input and no DVI input. Where do I connect my MCE PC? If I convert from DVI to HDMI then where do I connect my Sky HD box, or my HD DVD? If the DVD goes to the component inputs where does my Xbox 360 go? etc. etc..

    I hope the video signal processing is fast too, because I note there are no digital audio connections so I sure hope there is no visible lag between sound and picture when fed from external sourcecs.

    This is the latest and greatest Sony LCD on the market. The lower grade sets have even fewer connection oprions. It's not good enough. I don't want to pay another £200-£300 for a digital switch box and have more clutter in my AV corner. The new sets on the market really need to pay more attention to probable signal sources.

    I've looked at the back of many LCD panels in Comet/Currys and the options just aren't there. These sets are still aimed at people with a "TV" approach, with maybe a DVD, Sky Digibox and PVR/VCR connected, and with a cursory nod towards the HD future. I expect more!

    And look at the 50" Samsung SP50L7H DLP thingy - very stylish but what's the point in those bloody great speakers stuck on the sides? Surely you would have a home theatre system to support a set like that..... and that pedestal stand - where is the centre speaker supposed to go?

    Sorry to rant but I just don't think the marketeers and product planners are really thinking this thing through properly. You can't just lay down £2,000 or £3,000 and be satisfied with connections only for today's products. They really need to make provision for all the new stuff coming within 12 months too!!!! (if not rather more than that).
     
  15. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    If the manufacturers suddenly said "hey I know lets fully future proof all of our models for the next couple of years so we don't need to do any more product enhancement", how long do you thik they would stay in business. They're giving what they think the punters want Today knowing full well they can bring out new and upgraded versions in 6/12 months time. I know it's not always ideal but that's the way it is and that's how they make their money.
     
  16. tdodd

    tdodd
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    What I was really trying to say, in post #12 is that simply buying a set marked HD Ready may not be sufficient for your needs and you might feel really gutted when in six weeks you tried to connect your Xbox 360 to your brand new HD Ready TV and found that you couldn't. So more research is required by each individual beyond simply looking for sticker (and picture quality).

    The manufacturers are quite entitled to design and market their products as it suits them but if their products don't suit me I won't be buying them. I know the Sagen DLP sets have enough connection options to suit me so it can be done. The LCD manufacturers need to catch up. That's all.
     
  17. Joe Fernand

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    tdodd

    I doubt you can satisfy everyone no matter what you manufacture - there would always be someone who required more or different connections.

    If you look in the Plasma Forum you will see time and again the folk who work with Plasma products on a daily basis and have to integrate them into folks Homes and provide as much future proofing as possible will tell you to avoid the PlasmaTV models at all cost - they are simply not flexible enough if you want lots of source devices and long term compatibility.

    Look instead at a bare bones Plasma 'Display' model - which means forgoing the 'Designer' looks of the glossy TV models.

    Any half decent AV Receiver these days has multiple Composite, S-Video and YUV switching on board - usually with Composite and S-Video to YUV conversion built in; that's you sorted for maybe nine or twelve analogue video sources into a single Analogue Input on the Display.

    SCART is tricky as its a European only thing so the best options is to use an external convert to convert your SCART RGB to YUV and switch it via the AV Receiver.

    Multiple Digital sources will require an external switcher - or seek out one of the new AV Receivers with Digital switching on board.

    Another option is to use a Display with all your Video sources (Digital and Analogue) pre processed in an external Video Processor and make one Digital connection into your Display - again these are available with all manner of Inputs; a sub 3K combination of a decent 42" HD Ready Display and a ten Input Video Processor will outperform any PlasmaTV.

    Best regards

    Joe

    PS The same can apply to the LCD market too.
     
  18. Stephen Neal

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    I'd recommmend using a direct RGB SCART connection between a Sky box and a display if you are a surfer. Transcoding to YPrPb (Technically YUV are just weighted internal signals in a PAL coder...) will almost certainly lose the convenience of automatic 16:9/4:3 switching, unless you invest in a serial interface or Line 23 WSS adder that adds this functionality.

    Personally I couldn't stand :
    1. watching pictures the wrong shape
    2. having to manually keep changing the aspect ratio of the display as I surfed!
     
  19. Joe Fernand

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    Hello Stephen Neal

    I guess you have to go for the lesser of two evils - lots of folk want as few cables going to a Display as possible.

    If your really not keen on manual Aspect Ratio Control (ARC) then you can retain Automatic ARC on most Displays using the 'PARC' which converts the ARC trigger signal to an RS232 command.

    See http://www.multi-region.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=679

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  20. psikey

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    Well I'm happy with the Samsung LE32R41BDX

    2 SCART (1 RBG) - Sky+
    1 VGA - PC
    1 Conponent - Currently PS2 but eventually PS3
    1 S-Video - Camcorder
    1 HDMI - Currently from Media Centre
    1 Composite - Not Used

    That pretty comprehensive!!!

    A second HDMI would have made it amazing!!
     
  21. ricki1980

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    I had the same concern so I went for the Hitachi 32LD7200 HD Ready screen with:

    1 X HDMI
    1 X DVI (HDCP)
    1 X VGA
    1 X S-VIDEO
    2 X SCART (RGB) SCART
    1 X SCART COMPOSITE
    1 X RF

    Me thinks that Im fully covered!!! :D
     
  22. tdodd

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    Psikey, Ricki, glad to see you've got it covered with your sets. It shows it can be done. I just hope those manufacturers turning out under-specced sets take note.
     
  23. RockySpieler

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    Just to be contary, here's another opinion.................

    You could get cheap analogue HDTV (at least 720 lines / plus HD analogue input) for initial HD requirements NOW.

    1) PC or XBox360 via VGA
    2) SkyHD via HD component

    Then buy a decent digitial 1080p when the market / features settle down.

    The HDTV prices will soon collaspe as uncertainty over HDReady label, will leave them branded as cheap knock-offs when in fact the PQ of a decent analogue panel can be better than the PQ of a cheap digital one.

    Why pay more to future proof an un-certain future??

    You can always move the cheaper panel to the bedroom, when you upgrade to true 1080p. Switcher boxes / Digitial to VGA adapters / upscaling AV amps will all circumvent any HDCP issues eventually.
     

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