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Is the HD Reay logo simply not an issue for some?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by Faust, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Faust

    Faust
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    I can't help but wonder if all the froth and hype surrounding the impending Hi Def service from Sky is simply a rouse to get the unsuspecting consumer with little AV knowledge to part with their hard earned cash. The catalyst for my thoughts was my neighbour who as just purchased the Panny TH37PE50 Plasma. I asked him why he had not purchased a HD Ready product to future proof himself. The response, which I could not argue with was that he could not afford to pay the premium for a HD Ready set. This got me thinking further about my own situation i.e. I simply want to watch telly - I have Sky+ etc. but I am not prepared to pay any further money out in subscriptions above my present package (Sky Movies World) although in reality we rarely watch any Sky Movies. I don't wish to play games, and we watch an occasional DVD, as in one or two a year. Given this, would I be better off getting something like the non HD Ready TH37PE50? Even when terrestrial t.v. goes Hi Def (around 20012 probably) what is likely to be HDCP encrypted on terrestrial...... anything? I think it about time that this whole debate was opened up, as surely the need to buy a HD Ready set depends on what you are likely to use it for.

    P.S. I have heard a rumour and I stress it's nothing more than that, though it is from someone who has been pretty accurate in the past that Skys business model for Hi Def is going to be Sky Hi Def PVR £375 - £400, with each individual Hi Def channel costing an extra £5 per month.
     
  2. crank

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    :) Well Faust i think you've allready decided a non hd set is the one for you and why not if you're not interested in hd content and the likely extra costs that will come with the hd logo why bother :rotfl:
    Having bought a hd set due to my interest i find the rumour you've heard rather disturbing.Having paid a premium for the set i was expecting to pay an excessive amount for sky's hd box....due to the fact the logo comes with a "MILK ME NOW!" tag. :devil: But an extra £5 :eek: for each individual hi def channel per month on top of the box charge is astounding :mad: If this turns out to be true i think sky will turn their loyal excited anticipating customers into bloodthirsty, furious individuals that would be baiting for a witch hunt :devil:
    :lesson: Lets not expect this to halt sky with their masterplan though cos as weve seen in the past they treat their loyal customers as they see fit :mad: as can be seen from previous scams they have very little respect for likes of us mere mortals :devil:
     
  3. richard plumb

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    ignore sky for a minute. You not bothered or even curious about HD movies on disc either?

    Its a simple time Vs value equation. If you plan on keeping your next purchase for 10 years, then I think I'd recommend HD ready, simply to keep your options open. It'll be much more expensive to replace your set if something comes along that you really want.

    However, if you are fine with potentially replacing your set in a few years, or making do without - even without knowing whats coming up - then go ahead and save a few hundred quid.
     
  4. Starburst

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    I would look at it that you are not paying an additional premium for HD Ready status but the non HD panels are being discounted to get rid of old and soon to by outdated technology.
    Worth remembering that a display can fail the HD Ready spec just because it doesn't have HDMI and in that regard the price difference will be a few pounds, the big price difference is only relevant when comparing a SD panel to a HD panel.

    Now if you are willing to gamble than you will not anything other than component/scart or standard DVI for all possible source material then there are bargins to be had in both the standard resolution and high resolution displays. You certainly do not need to buy a HD Ready display if you don't want to (My LCD isn't HD Ready but will work with any of the HD or psuedo HD sources now and in the future) but make sure you know exactly what you want from your display and exactly how you to plan to use it:)

    Non HD Ready displays won't last much longer as HD Ready will become the defacto standard for flat panel displays because the content suppliers, the broadcasters, the manufacturers and the regulatory bodies all support it.
    There will come a time when you can not buy a HD display without it meeting the EICTA standard of course that still leaves the SD displays but they are a totally different market.

    As for the TH37PE50 well I wouldn't touch a 852*480 display simply because of the resolution and even current DVD will benefit from a higher resolution display. BUT if it suits your needs and the price is right then don't let anyone talk you out of it, listen to the arguments for future proofing but if they don't apply then save the money:)



    SKY+ HD.
    Expensive (but not for what it is) and an extra sub for the HD content ontop of your current sub. Exact details unknown but an additional £10 a month would be inline with other SKY extra products.

    If that is too expensive then there is no need to buy in straight away, prices for both hardware and content will fall and FTA content will emerge in time.
     
  5. Faust

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    It's not that I have no interest in HD etc. as I do love technology products, and I have seen quite a few Hi Def demos of late, and yes they do impress. However, and people will think I have lost my marbles when they read this next part - I find it hard to fault the pictures I receive at present via Sky RGB on my trusty Panny 50Hz CRT. Perhaps I am extremely lucky, or perhaps 50Hz CRT is the ideal medium for Sky digital broadcasts, but my picture quality from Sky is more than enough for me - truly. Given that situation I just cannot see any reason for me to pay any extra to go from good PQ to very good PQ, I also have no interest in gaming, and have to date only ever purchased 7 DVDs. Given all that info would many of you pay the extra..?
     
  6. mjn

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    Nope, i also refuse to swap my CRT for ANY plasma or LCD....
     
  7. tscotsman

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    ive just watched a documentary in HD and you cant even compare it to normal Sky or DVD its miles better. With HD it feels so really. I personally im not keen on £10p/month for sky but HD films are coming next year and then theres BBC HD which is probably before 2010. Hell perhaps they might even think about some World Cup football in HD. I for one, want to be future proof.
     
  8. Starburst

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    I agree about the performance of SKY via RGB on a 50hz CRT.
    It is very good although you have to admit it's mostly down to the display technology hiding most of the imperfections in the encoding of the broadcasts not an example of a superior display technology:)

    As I said in my other post you have to decide what functions you want now and what you may want in the next few years and if they can be met by a TV costing half as much (or even cheaper) of a flat panel HD display then there is really no argument for spending the extra cash.
     
  9. Faust

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    But does the reason for the good PQ matter? I mean does one sit there and think "yes this is a dam good picture, but I know that is only because my CRT is masking the source materials imperfections"? Or if you are watching Hi Def do you say to yourself "this is a great picture and the technology is showing it how it is". At the end of the day a good picture to the naked eye is a good picture, is a good picture, whatever the reason.
     
  10. Starburst

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    Perhaps once you understand the limitations of the source material and how it is being masked then you can never truely sit back and accept it, just like those who can see 50hoz flicker or are more intune to a few wayward frames which can cause audio sync errors.
    At the end of the day if you are happy then you are happy, simple as that:)


    For those that aren't entirely happy with current broadcasts and display technologues then I suppose it all depends on how important TV (broadcast, pre-recorded etc) is in the part of your life that is set aside for entertainment.
    For me and many others AV/HC hardware is important both in terms of performance and the enjoyment we get from the experience of watching an image that is so good coupled with great audio.
    First it was colour, then VHS, then stereo, then surround sound, then laserdisc, then DVD, then digital and now native HD sources.
    Some people get off the roundabout at colour/vhs while others embrace DVD/CRT and are happy, it's all down to choice and even now the consumer has a choice to buy into the new flat panels and by extension HD or not after all SD sources are not going anywhere.

    If it's not a factor for you then nothing I can say would make understand my point of view (my parents sum it up simply by saying "it's just a telly") which I think you'll appreciate:)

    Once you have watched a DVD via RGB scart even on a modest CRT the differences between it and Dsat broadcasting are apparent and once you have watched HD (in your home) then SD does not look as good and never will not to mention the added benefit of DD or DTS audio which moves the whole experience up another notch.
    I still watch more SD than HD and perhaps split my viewing 50/50 between the CRT and HD LCD but give me a large flat panel showing an image that is superior to anything I had ever seen before and I will get more from the experience than watching on a CRT. It's not the content since that wouldn't change and your enjoyment from that would be the same be on analogue, digital broadcast, DVD or HD but it's the overall feel of the thing.

    You can drunk on a dozen bottles of cheap cider and you can drunk on some aged malt whisky, the end result in pretty much the same but the journey is so much better with the good stuff:)
     
  11. richard plumb

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    From the posts by Faust in the LCD forum, I can't help thinking he's trying to convince himself :p


    anyway, I really like the image my LCD gives off, and its relatively old. I used to have a 50Hz Sony widescreen, but now whenever I see a CRT in a shop, all I notice is the huge gaps between the scanlines, and the horrible flickering.

    I think its the same when I went from tape to CD. I never really got what was so good about them, until I tried listening to some tapes again later on.
     
  12. GrahamC

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    I have just bought a 32" LCD and one of the main reasons was not for HD content (I'm in the Sky get enough out o me camp) but because I can lift the bloomin thing.... :rotfl:
     
  13. Starburst

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    Yeah it comes as a bit of a culture shock when you realise a TV does not have to weigh as much as the missus :rolleyes:
     
  14. psikey

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    My old 29" non flat screen CRT died so I had to get another TV. Wouldn't have considered a flat panel had it not been for the PS3 coming out soon as I have always been happy with normal Sky stuff but like my games playing to be crisp & sharp.

    Fortunately, I have a recent PC with DVI out & NVidia 6110XL graphics card. The PC also has media centre software with wireless remote. I connected it up to my Sammy and watched some WMVHD films and the quality is awesome. Wouldn't have believed the difference. I watched a normal DVD via RGB connection from my DVD recorder which looked fine until I played a DVD back from my PC via HDMI connection. The Upscaling done by the PC software (PowerDVD 6, coupled with the NVidia graphics card) is amazing really improved to the RGB scart connection. The PC is now permanently connected to the Sammy now. The PC even has a built in freeview digital TV tuner and images from this to the TV are also better than the Sky broadcast over RGB.
     
  15. Faust

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    I do wish that people would not misconstrue what I say - Richard Plumb take note. I want and will get a flat panel and soon, why? - because I want a more cinematic experience when watching my programmes. However, my question was this, for people like myself who are not gamers and never will be, watch very few DVDs, don't want to connect our PC to the telly, and in our own opinion think that terrestrial tv via Sky RGB is great PQ and are more than happy with the PQ, is having a flat panel that is HD Ready important, does it matter? Despite the fact I love technology products and have the latest computers and 5.1 surround for the t.v. etc. as Starbursts parents say "it's just telly" which sums it up in a nutshell for me.
     
  16. Starburst

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    Current flat panel technology (Even SD resolution plasma) struggles with less than optimal bitrates on digital TV and I am afraid that the majority of UK broadcasters are offering sub standard fare. A basic CRT hides this fact and believe me you will notice a drop in overall quality when "upgrading" from a CRT to a large flat panel and viewing broadcast TV.
    DVD's not a problem thanks to their higher bitrates and all round better encoding plus progressive scan via component and HD well that goes without saying:)

    I would love to say buy a 37"+ SD plasma and you won't regret it but the technology has it's limitations and one of those is still the need to feed it good quality source material.
     
  17. Tony B

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    Anyone who does not recognise the leap that HD represents over SD clearly (if you'll pardon the pun) has not seen HD.

    Even now, my Philips LCD, with PP2, can do a stunning job whilst taking a Freeview source (e.g. CSI), to the extent that I am itching to get native HD sources into the set.

    To buy an 852*480 display now, unless it is stunningly cheap, is about as sensible as buying a black and white TV a year before colour broadcasts started.
     
  18. Faust

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    Yes yes I hear what you say, but you are clearly not reading what my position is - I have seen Hi Def and yes it is very good indeed. However, there is no way on this Gods Earth that I am willing to pay anymore to Sky by way of subscriptions than I do now. If or when Hi Def becomes part of the normal Sky subscription package then fine, or when it becomes FTA even better. In the meantime I am blissfully happy with the picture Sky beams into my home at present, and if it never altered from its present state then that would suit me just fine. Why do some people find that so hard to accept? Please moderate the Hi Def evangelical fervour, this is "just telly" we are talking about, not the conversion of Paul on the Road to Damascus. Given my position am I likely to get a better picture from the PE50 or the PV500, and if the answer is the 500 is it £1000 better than the PE50. Please confine your responses to the topic
     
  19. Starburst

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    Again if you are intending to watch broadcast digital then you will notice a drop in quality on the majority of channels on the plasma compared to your CRT.

    The PE50 is a SD panel (actually lower resolution than the PAL spec and designed for the US 480 line market) and like all Pana plasmas is held in high regard. The PV500 is a HD panel and is better suited to HD source material, that is it's primary design focus and showing SD on the panel will highlight to an extent the inherent flaws in broadcast digital which your CRT is hiding. Basically SD material is upconverted to native resolution of the panel by the internal scaling hardware and deinterlaced for display, few flat panel displays really excel in this area especially compared to the results from expensive standalone scalers that are on the market.

    So if you are in the market for a Plasma and considering the source material you have stated as your main interest I would go for the PE50 purely on price and the lower demands made on the panel by you source material.
     
  20. neilmcl

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    You could also do a lot worse than to look at the new Sharp LC37P50E which has a resolution designed to be a better match for PAL broadcasts. I've had one now for a couple of weeks and can honestly say that it surpasses the picture quailty from my old Hitachi CRT and beats any other LCD I've looked at for standard TV and DVD. I'm the postion of most TV viewers that fully expect to be still watching SD for at least the next 5 years with maybe the occasional HD viewing, which the Sharp can also handle, apparently quite well.
     
  21. Faust

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    This had been at the top of my LCD wish list for quite some time, however, the purse strings (wife) did not like the look of it at all, she thought the speaker area spoilt the look of the entire panel - sad really. Have you had a chance to put any HD material through this panel as I have always had this niggle in the back of my mind as to how it would look on this type of panel. I have seen the PE50 with a HD demo and it looked pretty good.
     
  22. Tarbat

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    I keep seeing this statement, stating that CRT hides inherent flaws in digital broadcasts. I don't question this, but I'd like to understand this more. What are the inherent flaws in digital broadcasts, and how exactly does a CRT hide these flaws?
     
  23. richard plumb

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    Faust,

    I understand your comments, but you *are* in the High Definition TV section.... Perhaps your search for the ideal TV would be better in the 'Low Definition TV' section? :p

    Or at least the plasma TVs. You really can't blame people for being up on HD here, can you?


    I still think HD is the way to go. How long do you expect to keep this next set? 5 years? 7 years? It is likely that HD programming (broadcast satellite, cable, bluray, HDDVD, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) will pick up significantly IMO over the next two-3 years.

    It *is* a tricky balancing act. Have 2-3 great years of SD then 2-3 years of watching downsampled HD, or have 2-3 years of OK SD then 2-3 great years of HD.

    As usual, it comes down to money. If you think you'd be happy with watching HD on an SD set for a few years, then save the money and buy a good SD set (eg the PE50 mentioned). If you think the idea of HD coming into your house but being shown on a 'low res' screen would annoy you into prematurely buying a HD set in a few years, then an extra few hundred now could pay off in the long term.
     
  24. neilmcl

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    Not seen any myself but someone on the LCD forum claimed to have seen 1080i material on it and said they couldn't see any difference between this and a 32" HD panel. Make of that what you will but I would hazard a guess and say HD would look acceptable for the time being.
     
  25. Stephen Neal

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    Digital TV works by compressing the source video - which starts at around 180Mbs if you only encode the active picture detail - to around 2-10 Mbs by using a number of compression techniques. First the colour resolution is halved vertically (this is 4:2:0, the original is 4:2:2) to match the horizontal colour resolution.

    The image is then compressed using two distinct methods working together. Spatial information is compressed using techniques similar to JPEG - effectively the image is divided into blocks (of around 16x16 samples) and these are converted into the frequency domain using maths. If you need to compress more and more, you simply chuck away or reduce the quality, of the higher frequency vertical and horizontal detail.

    However, if you do this too much, you end up with the block just containing low resolution data, and you increasingly see the edges of the blocks. If the horizontal and vertical resolution IS retained then the block edges are far less visible. Similarly, if the horizontal and vertical resolution information is reduced, and the image contain sharp edges (like text) you get a high frequency noise effect (sometimes called mosquito noise) around these areas of detail.

    Successive frames are also compared to see how much change there is between frames. If there is little change, then this redundancy is exploited, and signalled (the system can cope with blocks moving in different directions) and more data can be devoted to the horizontal and vertical frequencies mentioned above.

    What does this mean?

    Well if a signal is heavily compressed it becomes blockier.

    If a signal is difficult to compress and contains lots of movement, or fast changing picture detail, or detail that is difficult to predict the the motion of (like rippling water, foggy smoke), fast lighting changes or superimposed pictures, then it also becomes blockier.

    If it is heavily compressed AND difficult to compress, then it gets VERY blocky and noisy around sharp edges.

    Some of these artefacts are less visible on interlaced CRTs, as the interlacing structure, and soft roll-off at high frequencies, often masks them, and the native display benefits MPEG2 compression.

    De-interlacing to progressive, and higher resolution pixel-based displays with no soft detail roll-off, can make these artefacts far more visible.

    This means you see a blockier and noisier picture on poorer quality digital pictures.
     
  26. Scapegoat

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    If you are happy that you will not be bothered to upgrade to HD in the timescales you will own the new TV, then don't bother with the HD ready cost. When you want to go to HD then buy a new TV then (they'll have improved further by then). Its a simple decision, why pay more for something you won't use? I didn't buy an IDTV because it costs more and I have Sky+ so will never use it.

    However I think that if you upgrade from a CRT (32" or less) to a 37" flat panel screen now, you will actually feel like you have taken a backwards step. Expanding a SD image to that size IMO looks poor in comparison to a decent 32" CRT, and therefore you pay a price for the increased size. That might make you consider HD earlier than you thought.

    I was all set to by an LCD for the lounge now, but decided that it was not worth it until HD was available. So the CRT will do until I get HD and then buy a set then (that will either be cheaper than now and/or better spec'ed).
     
  27. richard plumb

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    does the analogue nature of CRTs help? eg when scanning a horizontal line, presumably there is some 'lag' when transitioning between significant colour/brightness differences, creating a ramp between them, helping to mask edges?



    BTW, interesting about the colour resolution. How is it defined for HD? is the horizontal colour resolution still halved?
     
  28. Stephen Neal

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    Yes - I believe it does. Analogue CRT displays don't have a pixel based structure, and they gracefully roll-off at high resolutions, rather than having a "brick wall" style of cut-off.

    Most HD production (apart from very high-end stuff) is 4:2:2 which means that each line has full luma bandwith, with the chroma (which our eyes aren't as sensitive to) sub-sampled to half of this, but there are both red and blue colour difference signals for every line (so the vertical chroma and resolutions are the same).

    For broadcast, and domestic pre-recorded recorders, 4:2:0 is used, where the vertical chroma information is also sub-sampled, and each line contains either red OR blue colour difference signals, but not both.

    (DVCam and miniDV in 625/50 regions use 4:2:0 system this as well - miniDV in 525/60 and DVC Pro use 4:1:1 sampling, where the vertical resolution is not subsampled, but the horizontal resolution is 1/4 that of the luminance rather than 1/2)

    4:4:4 IS used for high-end camera recording, and telecine transfer, where the highest quality colour correction is required, which benefits from full bandwith chroma.
     
  29. Faust

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    If I could be sure of receiving as good a picture on a 37" Panel be it Plasma or LCD, then it would not bother me if I never have HD - truly. I am more than impressed with my present Sky PQ. All these people that go on about blocky pictures on Sky or Freeview, I can honestly say I don't know what they are talking about as I have never seen a broadcast on any Sky channel that hasn't been 101% acceptable to either me or the rest of my family. We are forever commenting on how good the PQ is, so until HD comes as part of the package i.e. no extra cost, then I never intend to buy into it. Given that statement, should I go for LCD as in the Sharp PE50 or the Panasonic TH37PE50?
     
  30. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Profiler on Scifi (7pm screening).
    My god it's awful at times both on my CRT and certainly on the LCD.
    The blocking and pixillation during fast movement and certain effects (strobes, smoke etc) is truely a digital nightmare:)

    No surprise since it oftens only requires 3% of a 40gig hard drive, 1.2 gig for an hour show is SVCD quality!
     

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