Is there any point of having HD?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by neo265, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. neo265

    neo265
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    Ive been going over this constantly for a couple of weeks now and am still undecided. Ive treated my self to a 37" Panasonic PX70 and amazed by the PQ of SD material as it does such a good job of upscaling. Ive tried several HD clips from my PC and found them to be ok, but not great - possibly because the TV doesnt process any material from VGA.

    The one thing that ultimately crops up each time Im temped to jump on the HD bandwagon the question "Would I be able to tell the difference?" I sit nearly 10 feet away from the screen which, on a 37 inch set would mean from a resolution standpoint, 576, 720 & 1080 would all look identical due to the limitations of the human eye. DVDs look great and fail to see how much of an improvement HD would make.

    Does anyone here have a similar setup with HD and are able to see any PQ improvements?

    Ive read countless reviews of how great HD is from both format camps but I bet that is from viewing it close up and not from their normal seating position.

    I probably will join in at some point, despite my scepticism of HD, but I suppose it would be nice to hear some realistic opinions of how HD looks, not by sitting 3 feet from the screen.
     
  2. Avi

    Avi
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    Based on my experience of small screens at your viewing distance the percieved difference will not be great. Add to this the fact that your display res will be using less than 50% of the real image data on the disc. You should notice notice a "cleaner" image.

    With HD display size does matter and to get the real benefit from 10' a larger pref native res display would be required IMO. :)

    Some background that may be of interest - http://www.audioholics.com/educatio...derstanding-1080p-resolution-in-displays.html

    AVI
     
  3. Mickle

    Mickle
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    I have a 32" and sit about sixto eight feet away from the screen and the difference is very noticeable. Tbh if I sat further away, i'd still be able to see a lot of difference in detail and clarity iof image.

    Also when it comes to what you should be able to see and not from certain distance, i'd go with real world situations as vouched for by people on here rather than any sort of calculations. As an example, I read via a post on here once that is was impossible to see the difference between SD and HD on a 20" screen, according to some sort of distance/resolution calculations. But walking through John Lewis that very day, I saw a TV that was smaller than that running the football via SkyHD and the difference was obvious.

    I think the best thing to do for you is to get some sort of HD source and try it for yourself. Do you know anyone with a 360/PS3?
     
  4. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Yep, very valid points neo265.

    Even some of the mags are saying really you need at least a 42" set to really reap the benefits.

    On my 32" LCD I have Sky HD hooked up via scart & HDMI. My TV defaults to the scart input when first turning on, and I sometimes forget and think I'm watching HD when I'm not :suicide: :rotfl: . I then switch and it looks a tad more detailed etc., but unless I check the inputs I really wouldn't be able to tell in a blind test. On my projector the difference is night and day though.

    I think you will see some differences on a 37", but don't expect it to be earth shattering.

    I think in view of the above how relevant will HD be for the average viewer. However, I'm sure many will buy into it merely because they've got an HD television.

    T.
     
  5. Mickle

    Mickle
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    Actually this is a question i've been meaning to post for a while so I might as well just plop it in here:devil: When comparing the differences between a smaller screen (say 32" LCD) and a large one (projector) what are the main differences? Is it that the image just suits a larger screen more or is it that there is more detail present on a much larger screen?
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Neo

    you have raised some very good and pertinent questions here through good research. I think AVI has summed up the resolution think here quite well but I feel I should add to his post. Resolution is not the only thing we are dealing with here. I have little doubt that resolution wise that you benefits are modest. Those who think that small screens, at high resolution and a long viewing distance will show increases in resolution are frankly deluding them selves. However I am sure they will see many other benefits and will thus report better picture. This is not a resolution thing but things like different decoding and different decoders. As screen get larger and larger I find 'artifacts' or errors in the decoding much more intrusive to the enjoyment of films. So for me the move from MPEG2 (although very able especially at DVD) to AVC and VC1 in particular to be very beneficial result regardless of the 'resolution'. The fact the cheap HD DVD players are only £50 - £100 above similar DVD players is a big thumbs up for HD DVD and the fact these players are great performers is also great news for the consumer. The current BD players are at best 'modest' DVD player, much more money but do offer the same HD benefits. There are all the other obvious benefits of audio and interaction as well. So although the resolution arguement you mention is very apt, you should also look at the visual and other benefits HD can give you.
     
  7. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Yes, you get much more detail.

    SD from Sky can look not bad at all, right through to really quite blurry. Good HD looks pin sharp, detailed and much more 3 dimensional, and it can be hard to go back to viewing SD, even using a really top notch DVD player, when viewing on a projector. Yes, once you've seen good HD on a pj SD does become difficult to watch, you prefer the TV for that.

    Also, I am viewing on a 720p projector, so like Avi says, I am getting half the resolution from a 1080 source. However, some of the really good HD stuff just blows you away, especially the nature stuff, very real looking. I also find SD stuff looks quite poor on wide angle shots on the pj compared to HD. It's very lovely on HD with a projector if you get a wide shot of countryside and you get that detail.

    T.
     
  8. Mickle

    Mickle
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    But would yu say the differences are really that stark between HD on a 32" LCD and HD on a projector? I may be looking to get a projector at some point over the next year or so and am just hoping that it will be a significant upgrade in terms of visual quality and not just screen size.
     
  9. thornton

    thornton
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    I have 37in Panny PV500 and Toshiba E1 and Sky HD. I sit about 12 feet away from the TV and have played around with viewing distance a lot, as well as stuffing in various SD and HD discs to the Tosh and switching between SD and HD simultaneous transmissions on either BBC (er, dare I admit it, did it with "Joseph" last night) and SKY 1. Nic and Avi have said most of what needs to be said, but...

    1. In making such comparisons it needs to be like-with-like. A good benchmark is to take BBC studio recordings or Planet Earth. It seems to me that if you get a really good SD input like that, where you REALLY are getting all your 576 lines or thereabouts, at 12 feet the PQ is difference from a 37in set is very small. Truly full rez SD from the Beeb looks better than a lot of the material on Sky HD anyway.
    2. Having fiddled around with positions, I reckon if I sat any further away I would not be able to see any difference.
    3. I reckon there is no point getting a 1920 by 1080 set for this room unless I go to at least 50in.
    There are some technical documents on the BBC somewhere with all sorts of sums on this.
     
  10. Avi

    Avi
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    The difference between HD viewed from 10' on a 32" display compared to 80" from 1080pj are massive IMO. :)

    AVI
     
  11. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    The thing is is that once you blow SD up to a bigger image, you start to see the imperfections. HD not only addresses this, but will give you a lot more detail than you see at 32".
     
  12. BarneyC

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    I find the increase in SQ to be one of the main benefits of HD DVD / Blu Ray. As for the picture quality i sit fairly close (7 feet) to a 32" LCD and the biggest improvement pq wise was when i purchased some glasses :)
    Combine glasses with hd and the picture is pretty impressive for me anyway. I have compared side by side the same dvd and i can notice a worthwhile improvement in sound and picture.

    Cheers

    Barney
     
  13. booyaka

    booyaka
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    think i might wade in here with a question also:devil:

    Purchased a 42PX70 last night (arrives tuesday) and need to get a dvd player.

    All my current dvd's are R2 SD disc. I am going through a tough choice time with regards getting a good upscaling dvd player (OPPO 971) and living with that or going Toshy E1 for about £100 more and having a HD-DVD player.

    Would i see a huge difference for the money??

    Top thread by the way - really struck a chord with me!:)
     
  14. Batdog

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    My feeling is that on a normal tv from abou 10 feet (I watch a 36" CRT) regular DVD's look 'correct' ie if I watch King Kong etc I feel I am watching a sharp image with plenty of detail and not missing out on too much. Admittedly, HD material looks startlingly sharp and considerably better (close up), but in isolation DVD looks just fine and does not distract from the enjoyment of the movie in any way.

    On a projector (I have a PT-AX100) set up however the comparative lack of detail in the DVD becomes much more apparent - such that even when not doing a direct comparison to HD material, the DVD picture often just looks plain soft. In shots with lots of close ups a similar effect can occur as when doing the comparison with smaller screens, in that there can be surprising levels of detail in the regular DVD image, although again the HD material is considerably better. The way I think of it is that even in these types of scenes the benefit of HD is that the increased detail adds texture to the image which allows for a greater sensation of 3-D. A greater advantage is gained in wide shots where the limited resolution of DVD is immediately obvious. A good example is the opening scenes of King Kong where we are treated to a variety of panaramic shots of New York. The difference between HD & SD at these moments is very very readily apparent, and HD truly adds a sense of 'wow' to the movie.
     
  15. HeweyBoy101

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    I agree on SQ - definately massive improvement compared to PQ (on smaller screens) , if you have the right kit.

    I have a 37" Panasonic PV500 Plasma and the picture is noticeably better than SD, especially on BBC HD and on Blu-ray / HD DVD. Much cleaner and more detailed image. I sit about 3 metres away. One of the best improvements is on studio broadcasts such as Later with Jools or some of the BBC One Session Concerts on BBC HD. The detail is massively improved compared to watching the same in SD. With SD the background image detail tends to blur and SD can't seem to cope with the lighting in these concert envirenments - you get pixelisation etc. On HD it is a reveation by comparison.

    So yes, it is worth getting into HD on a 37" screen size, at your stated viewing distance, especially if you are particular about picture quality, and even more so if you audio is important to you.
     
  16. neo265

    neo265
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    Thanks for all the useful replys, it has certainly helped cast some more light on my doubts.

    Ive tried a few more DVD's, some old and some new and I thought Aliens in particular looks pretty poor, the colours were bland and there seemed to be a haze over the whole picture. Im sure once that is out on HD it will look so much better.

    I should also mention that my DVD player is an old Pioneer with only a composite scart and not RGB, which doesnt help dvd's look very good. However, seeing CSI Miami from Channel Five on Sky shows me how good SD can look. Im always blown away when thats on. Obviously that is via RGB scart and noticably better than my current DVD player.

    Looks like a HD-E1 will be on order soon, my previous choice of a Denon 1930 is pointless considering there is only £50 difference.

    Like some of you have said, the advantages of HD not only lies in the increased resolution, things like less noise from better codecs, better colours gamuts and native progressive transfer all improve PQ.

    Thanks everyone.
     

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