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Proper HD - Not for 5 years ?

Discussion in 'TVs' started by paulfoley, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. paulfoley

    paulfoley
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    Just seen this posted from one of our American Cousins, makes for interesting reading - Sky please sont c*ck this up !

    "There are 18 digital video standards. The top three (720P, 1080i, 1080P) are generally grouped under the heading High Definition.

    I have been watching the development of the HD environment for a couple of years. I have been up to my ears in product development through this period as well, and have been looking at the transition from SD (Standard Definition) to HD, and how it affects the average user.

    First up, HD as we currently know it ain't really HD. The satellite and cable companies only broadcast a 6 megabit signal, using lossy compression, so the 720P image they resuscitate from that ain't the original. If you get your HD signal from broadcast sources using an aerial, you are getting a 20 megabit/sec feed. So you get a much better picture, but then the production values suddenly show up as glaring failings. And if the broadcast you are watching was delivered to your local broadcaster by satellite, then we are back to square one, 6 MB/sec with lossy compression.

    The "next big thing" in HD will be recorded media. While JVC have their DVHS tape format, the battle will be for plastic disks. Everybody has been watching the Toshiba-Sony showdown, and the two have now decided to follow their own independent path.

    I noted somebody was talking about WMV HD, Microsoft's HD offering. This is about to become FVD in China and Taiwan. An FVD player is going to sell for about $170, and the price will include 10, yes 10!, movie titles. So it looks like a lot of content is going to be mastered into the Microsoft WMV HD format in the very near future, because the studios want to reclaim the Chinese market, which is currently rampant piracy. You can get a DVD copy on the street, and the pirates even have the hardware right there to cut you a copy while you wait!

    So the studios are working with Microsoft to get content converted to WMV-HD fast.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Toshiba can smell the flowers. They have cut a deal with Microsoft, so Microsoft will be supporting Toshiba's HD-DVD format on XBox 360 at some stage. But my bet is the XBox 360, due for release by Thanksgiving, will initially support WMV-HD formats, and put a true 720P HD player in the hands of the masses, and if I am right, and there is a lot of media conversion already done for the Chinese market, then Microsoft gets a huge leg up in the marketplace while Toshiba and Sony continue to squabble and delay.

    Meanwhile, the WMV-HD content that is currently available? Artisan has been releasing movies for a while which have both the regular DVD, and a WMV-HD disk, in the same case. Terminator 2, Step into liquid, Standing in the shadows of Motown, etc.

    On my system, I can play a DVD and a WMV-HD disk simultaneously. I can cue them up (match the soundtracks, also both played back simultaneously, so there is no echo), and then toggle from one to the other on my projector,watching a 120 inch screen.

    And guess what? The DVD (with Faroudja de-interlacing and scaling) actually has more detail than the WMV-HD disk! It looks like the noise reduction on the WMV-HD disk has been overdone, to the point where some of the surfers have freckles on the DVD, but they are gone on the WMV-HD version. The DVD comes across as much more real, and much better as an immersive theater experience. if you are ever in Walnut Creek, California, I can illustrate this for you on the spot.

    If you have money to spend on HD, then you could always follow the lead of a couple of my acquaintances. The have a modified Dish HD satellite box. They capture the HD movies onto hard disk, and now they have a server farm, at 50 gig a movie. (I remember the days when a gig was a lot of disk {sigh}). They also have a wonderful Sony CRT projector, and a 160 inch screen in their theater, with KEF reference speakers. The end result is truly HD, with the post-processing they apply to their video library.

    But they are both very advanced electronic engineers, and dedicate a lot of their time to their hobby.

    The rest of us are going to be stuck with whatever the majors decide they can sell us. We won't see true HD for another 5 years, by my reckoning. "
     
  2. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick
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    That makes rather depressing reading. I imagine that what we will get from Sky will vary in the same way that SD fare does at the moment - different bitrates on different channels, all of them poor with lots of motion, but not bad on static scenes.

    HD discs will surely be better, but then we are doing the VHS and Betamax thing all over again. Other commentators have suggested Sony's prospects are better since PS3 will have Blu-ray. I don't know. They should learned their lesson with DVDA & SACD. Maybe blu-ray will be perceived to be more of a clean sweep, and it rolls off the tongue better, too.

    Remember small and irrational things can tip the balance when the stakes are big. Look what happened when Chirac took a pop at English food!

    Nick
     
  3. paulfoley

    paulfoley
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    welwynnick

    Tried to PM you but your message box is full.

    ;)
     
  4. StooMonster

    StooMonster
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    What does that poster mean by "proper HD for another 5 years"?

    Does that mean his broadcasters will use more than 6Mb/s then?

    Begs the question, what kind of bandwidth with SkyHD use per channel?

    StooMonster
     
  5. Quickbeam

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    I wouldn't read too much into that article and its implications for bit rates on Sky HD.

    The satellite and cable companies only broadcast a 6 megabit signal, using lossy compression, so the 720P image they resuscitate from that ain't the original. If you get your HD signal from broadcast sources using an aerial, you are getting a 20 megabit/sec feed.

    Well, according this DirecTV HDTV bit rate monitor, the bit rate on FOX 720p broadcasts is much higher on satellite than it is on DTT (or OTA as they call it), as high as 18 Mbps compared with 9 Mbps on OTA. Even if the 720p bit rate on terrestrial is only 9 Mbps, that's still a lot more than the 6 Mbps claimed by the writer. Also, the claim that OTA HD broadcasts have a bit rate of 20 Mbps is slightly suspect given that the maximum bit rate for an OTA mux is 19.4 Mbps, and few HD broadcasts reach the maximum bit rate due to multicasting (which is probably why the FOX OTA bit rate is so low).
     
  6. chriszzzzzz

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    Well all this confirms it then....HD for Techies only coz, no one else can understand any of it.
    For Joe Bloggs all that matters is that they have a decent picture as an end product. Yes I have seen HD in all its Glory. However, If you have a great DVD and Digital TV picture that you are happy with then HD can wait until it becomes the norm (for the majority of viewers).
    It won't even start to become the norm until 2010 with the BBC starting.
    I for one won't be rushing down the HD path as the expense will not be worth the content for quite a while. :)
    If the only HD we are going to get for years costs hard earned cash by the bucket load then the take off will be fairly slow.
    don't even start me on the SHD I read about recently.......... :boring:
     
  7. MARKFIRE

    MARKFIRE
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    :smashin: Saved me having to type it out :clap:
     
  8. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Don't know what makes you think 2010 is the date for the BBC to start HD - that is the END point for them achieving 100% HD production. The BBC are already producing significant levels of output in HD, and this is due to rise quickly.

    It is widely expected that the BBC will announce an HD service to launch sometime in 2006 - 2007 at the latest (and I think such a late launch is increasingly less likely) - on the Sky HD platform.
     
  9. probedb

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    I'm sure I read somewhere (maybe HCC) that the Japanese were already looking at UHD or 4x HD res!!!!
     
  10. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Yes, but producing and broadcasting are two entirely different things :)
     
  11. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Yep - I fully realise this... However most informed speculation indicates that the BBC will launch an HD service via Sky sometime next year.

    Yes it is speculation - but it is also informed...
     
  12. chriszzzzzz

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    Sorry everyone but HD is becoming one big turn off. Too much tech and not enough plug and play. Too many if's and but's. Too many varying opinions and much too much guess work. :confused: :confused:
    I started off being realy enthusiastic and eager for it, but now it's all jaded I'm afraid. :boring:
    I think I'll wait until' about 2008 (when my TV will be Three) before I bother with any of it.
    If prices and availability have not improved by then it will just be a case of waiting... :)
     
  13. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Well the amount of speculation, educated guess work and good old fashioned rumours is all our fault since SKY have only officially announced a few specific details and no other broadcaster has said anything concrete:)

    You certainly won't lose anything significant by waiting for the format to mature but were's the fun in that:)
     
  14. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Well until it is launched all of the posts here are speculation. However an HDMI display and an HDMI source should be pretty plug and play (assuming they iron out the early handshaking issues!)
     
  15. Razor

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    I want HD now. :D

    The wait is killing me :boring:
     
  16. AML

    AML
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    I live in Japan and we have HD on several different channels. Even then some channels look better than others. They are all supposed to be the same quality (1125i) but there is a definate difference betwen channels and programs.

    Im looking forward to optical formats more than anything that is ever broadcast on HD.
    Its always some boring program about "how to make sake"!

    TV may be HD but theres still nothing to watch!
     
  17. supermackem

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    As for his wmvhd claim, i have done a simlair test. Fifth element running in 720p up converted superbit dvd and wmvhd 720p version. I had them running side by side and the wmvhd made the superbit dvd look like vhs. So its all about which movie etc as with many formats.
     
  18. Razor

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    Supermakem :hiya:

    I agree. I find Superbit a rip off. The WMV HD discs that I have are far better than any SD dvd superbit or otherwise.

    Has anyone seen Resident evil apocalypse in HD :eek: :thumbsup: fantastic picture quality. :D
     

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