You Have Not Bought An Hdtv

thegeby

Active Member
Sorry for shouting, but it needs to be repeated.:lesson:

The "HD ready" label on your TV refers to a minimum vertical display resolution (720p) and that it is capable of receiving display signals through HDMI or DVI/HDCP from a source. It is for all practical purposes an HD monitor.

There is at this time (Jan 2008) no HDTV for sale in Europe, if you use the classical definition of a box that you plug an antenna into one side and watch the other.:D

Mod: Could we make this a sticky?
 
and a TV is a not a monitor?

If your TV signal is received via a box which then outputs this signal via HDMI or DVI, do you not consider this to be "TV"??

If the TV contains its own digital receiver, which decoded the HD Digital signal - would this make it an HD TV in your opinion?

I am against the definition "FULL HD" (as this suggests that nothing exists above 1080 progressive lines, which is quite ludicrous) but to suggest that HD ready labelled sets aren't actually HD is itself a sill claim to make
 

nwhitfield

Novice Member
In terms of labels stuck on kit:

HD Ready is a standard defined by EICTA (www.eitca.org) that specifies minimum requirements for a set to show HD pictures, viz 720 lines or more, wide screen, HDMI or DVI with HDCP and a few minor things. That's all it is - a standard for displays, not receivers.

The HDTV mark is also a standard owned by EICTA and is designed for equipment that can 'receive and/or process' HD signals, including HD disc players, PVRs, set top boxes and integrated TVs. Some kit, like the Humax HDCI2000, has the HDTV mark on the front already. Essentially the ideas is that you pair an HDTV source with an HD Ready display, and you end up with a complete HD system.

Where an integrated TV has the HDTV logo on it, then the EICTA licensing rules stipulate that the display portion should also fulfil the requirements for the HD Ready logo.

So, technically speaking, at least in terms of the licensable logo, an HD Ready set is not an HD TV, because it cannot "receive and process" HD material. All it can do is display it.

Of course, things are complicated somewhat by people referring colloquially to HD Ready sets as HDTVs; but those who sell them for a living would do well to make sure they know the difference, before they get into trouble.
 

scott26985

Standard Member
But if your TV (like mine) is around the 32' mark 720p is HD as 1080p really makes no difference to picture on these sets.
 

Kordau

Standard Member
There is at this time (Jan 2008) no HDTV for sale in Europe, if you use the classical definition of a box that you plug an antenna into one side and watch the other.:D

A lot of current units have built-in digital tuners, which accept DVB-T broadcasts. ie: "Digital terrestrial services via UHF aerial input". In Europe, video is encoded using H.264, so it could be 1080p, or even much higher... apparently, the DVB-T trial by BBC HD was typically 1440x1080 ( 1080p at 4:3 aspect ratio ).

As far as I can tell, that means exactly what you've said... you plug an antenna in one side and watch a HD picture on the other side. :)
 

nwhitfield

Novice Member
It's only a few places that use H.264 so far, though more are likely to in future.

And H.264 does not necessarily mean that a set is HD-capable, as H.264 can also be used - and indeed, where it is being already, is almost exclusively used - for standard definition.

Just as with MPEG2 (it's a different codec, that's all), if a set is designed to receive SD broadcasts only, then the presence of H.264 does not magically make it capable of receiving HD. To do that it needs not only the codec, but also to have been designed with a frame buffer suitable for HD resolutions.

DVB-T can do SD - that's what Freeview is, after all - as well as HD. The panel on an integrated set might be HD Ready, but if you watch Freeview, you're not watching HD, just like if you watch, say, the French H.264 broadcasts on a set that can receive them, you're not watching HD. And in exactly the same way that a DVB-T set with MPEG2 SD decoder won't receive MPEG2 HD (which is what they use in Australia), so a set with H.264 SD decoder won't magically be able to receive H.264 HD broadcasts.

I think the original poster is correct in that there aren't yet any sets that include both H.264 and an HD-size frame buffer. There are some for the French market that have H.264 for SD, I gather. But if they can receive terrestrial HD they'll have the "HDTV" logo on them, and I'm pretty sure they don't.
 

Kordau

Standard Member
a set with H.264 SD decoder won't magically be able to receive H.264 HD broadcasts.

The only reason I mentioned H.264 is because we know TVs decode H.264 from DVB-T broadcasts. And any H.264 decoder which could decode a [email protected] stream, could just as easily decode a [email protected] stream and a [email protected] stream. Resolution is only one factor of the real limitation of a decoder, which is data rate ( H.264 "levels" ). Lots of current TVs are DVB-T EN 300 744 compliant which seems to require accepting video streams up to 30MB/s... and a hi-quality 1080p stream only uses about 25MB/s with H.264 compression.

Thegeby was just saying you can't buy a TV in Europe which could accept a terrestrial HD broadcast and display it ( in HD ). I don't know how anyone could say that's correct, because that's pretty hard to test, right now. Any new TV which can accept a DVB-T broadcast might process a HD stream without any problems... I can't find anything excluding that possibility.

But yep, you're right. I was presuming a H.264 decoder would output directly to the same frame buffer as all other HD sources. If the DVB-T tuner had its own smaller buffer, it'd select a lower level stream. The DVB-T tuner might "accept" a 30MB/s stream, but who knows if it'd "process" it.:(

Anyway, after all that... thanks for bringing this up thegeby. I'm currently looking for a new screen, so it's good timing for me :)

But if they can receive terrestrial HD they'll have the "HDTV" logo on them, and I'm pretty sure they don't.

I get the feeling nobody cares about the HDTV logo. As of 2-Jan-08, the only big TV manufacturers who've signed up are LG, Philips and Sony.
 

hefonthefjords

Standard Member
the statement is irrelevant because there are no broadcasters offering free to air HD broadcasts.
when they eventually do it will matter more but still not really be a problem for those of us that know or care about the difference between sd and hd as most people still treat their hdtv as they have done all their tvs before, as a display for devices, and will simply buy the relevant receiver when they need to.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
The only reason I mentioned H.264 is because we know TVs decode H.264 from DVB-T broadcasts.
Except that very few DVB-T TVs CAN decode H264 internally. AFAIK all DVB-T IDTVs sold in the UK and Western Europe are MPEG2 SD only. They decode the MPEG2 SD in hardware (often using the same chipsets as STBs) - and this hardware doesn't support HD MPEG2 or H264 in either HD or SD. It is engineered down to a price - and SD MPEG2 is cheaper to implement - if you take these sets to Australia they don't decode their HD MPEG2 DVB-T broadcasts, just the SD (if they are compatible at all - as there are a few differences in implementation)

Some countries ARE going H264 via DVB-T for Pay TV services (France), HD-only (Sweden is H264 via DVB-T for SVT HD, but MPEG2 for everything else) and all broadcasts (Latvia or Estonia?) - but AFAIK these require external set top boxes.

The BBC DVB-T HD trial was only received using set top boxes, no IDTVs received it.

Any OTA HD in the UK is likely to be DVB-T2 not DVB-T anyway - and this standard has yet to be officially ratified and finalised AIUI. (BBC Mux B is likely to switch from DVB-T to DVB-T2 at around 30Mbs after analogue switch-off, with BBC Mux 1 switching from 2k 16QAM 18Mbs to 8k 64QAM 24Mbs allowing - Ofcom hopes - BBC Parliament, BBC Four/CBeebies, and 301/302/303 video streams to all fit into the space freed up...)

And any H.264 decoder which could decode a [email protected] stream, could just as easily decode a [email protected] stream and a [email protected] stream. Resolution is only one factor of the real limitation of a decoder, which is data rate ( H.264 "levels" ).
Yep - but MPEG2 decoding is usually implemented in hardware and limited to SD resolutions in European models. There are no DVB-T IDTVs that I am aware of with H264 decoding hardware.

Lots of current TVs are DVB-T EN 300 744 compliant which seems to require accepting video streams up to 30MB/s... and a hi-quality 1080p stream only uses about 25MB/s with H.264 compression.
Yep - DVB-T requires a potential max of 30Mbs - though in the UK we max out at a 24Mbs transport stream. HOWEVER DVB-T doesn't mandate H264 - only SD MPEG2.

IDTVs sold in Europe are MPEG2 SD only...

Thegeby was just saying you can't buy a TV in Europe which could accept a terrestrial HD broadcast and display it ( in HD ). I don't know how anyone could say that's correct, because that's pretty hard to test, right now.

Not difficult at all if you were in London during the tests, or in Sweden right now. Both use(d) H264 via DVB-T - and although IDTVs often found the service, they couldn't decode it.

Any new TV which can accept a DVB-T broadcast might process a HD stream without any problems... I can't find anything excluding that possibility.
Lack of H264 decoding, or even HD MPEG2 decoding (outside Aus) would be the reason.
But yep, you're right. I was presuming a H.264 decoder would output directly to the same frame buffer as all other HD sources. If the DVB-T tuner had its own smaller buffer, it'd select a lower level stream. The DVB-T tuner might "accept" a 30MB/s stream, but who knows if it'd "process" it.:(
It wouldn't if - as is standard - only an MPEG2 SD decoder was implemented.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
I get the feeling nobody cares about the HDTV logo. As of 2-Jan-08, the only big TV manufacturers who've signed up are LG, Philips and Sony.

Presumably that is because there are few markets in Europe for HDTV labelled devices.

It will be interesting to see if Freesat HD boxes are labelled "HDTV" (in the EICTA sense)

AIUI Sweden is one of the few countries with scheduled regular H264 HD OTA broadcasts via DVB-T - with 720/50p SVT HD broadcast in Finnish speaking areas of Sweden, where SVT have space in a second mux to carry it? (Hardly a huge market...)

There is no point in an OTA "HDTV" device being sold in the UK - as we aren't going to have OTA HD for a few years it seems (as the BBC look likely to decide against a 4 hour interim overnight DVB-T service) - and our OTA HD is likely to be DVB-T2 not DVB-T (which may make the current "HDTV" licensing irrelevant)

I suppose some DVB-S2 HDTV receivers could potentially be "HDTV" labelled - hence the Freesat HD comment.
 

nwhitfield

Novice Member
I suppose some DVB-S2 HDTV receivers could potentially be "HDTV" labelled - hence the Freesat HD comment.

Indeed; the Humax HD satellite box is already labelled with the HDTV logo. So, according to photos is the Pace box, and the Evesham iPlayer HD also carried the logo on the front, though as you point out, it's unlikely to work with the eventual UK HD services, since DVB-T2 looks almost certain.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Indeed; the Humax HD satellite box is already labelled with the HDTV logo. So, according to photos is the Pace box, and the Evesham iPlayer HD also carried the logo on the front, though as you point out, it's unlikely to work with the eventual UK HD services, since DVB-T2 looks almost certain.

Didn't the Evesham iPlayer HD also get a software update that stopped it receiving the BBC DVB-T HD test (which was only licensed as a closed rather than open broadcast trial)?
 

nwhitfield

Novice Member
I don't know; they claimed that retail units would be crippled that way, but the one I had to review for RegHardware picked it up just fine, and plenty of people who bought one found that it would work too.

Maybe there was an update that crippled the box, but if so I've not heard of anyone who actually received it. Perhaps they realised not many people bought it anyway, since it was overpriced and underspecified, and there were only a few months of the trial left. Telling people it would be crippled was probably just as effective as actually doing the work.
 

jasonf01

Active Member
But if your TV (like mine) is around the 32' mark 720p is HD as 1080p really makes no difference to picture on these sets.

Doesnt this depend on viewing distance as well as resolution?

I mean, you could sit closer to a 1080p 32" without being disturbed by the image structure, compared to a 720p 32".

With a similar analogy, why are 19" PC monitors 1280x1024 or more, when 1280x720 is enough at 32" - they should be around the 640x480 mark instead. 640x480 would be fine if viewed from the same distance as a TV, but people tend to sit much closer to a PC monitor - so theres a need for the higher resolution.

I am against the definition "FULL HD" (as this suggests that nothing exists above 1080 progressive lines, which is quite ludicrous)

Absolutely agree. FULL HD is a term thats as misleading as "Unlimited" internet. I reckon that before the decade is out a high-end TV manufacturer is going to produce a TV with a native resolution of 3840x2160, but not for the obvious reason of a "FULLER HD" standard.

Even without an ability to input signals at this resolution, 3840x2160 is a target resolution to attain because its the "Lowest Common Denominator" - the lowest resolution that will be able to display both 720p and 1080i/p without introducing any scaling effects on either resolution.

Thanks to an incredible lack of foresight by the designers of the HD spec, even "Full HD" TVs cant display all HD signals properly, it would have been so much easier if "Full HD" was exactly twice the resolution of "HD", say 720p and 1440p, or more likely because of cost, 640p and 1280p.

Jas.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Doesnt this depend on viewing distance as well as resolution?

Yes!

I mean, you could sit closer to a 1080p 32" without being disturbed by the image structure, compared to a 720p 32".

Yes - and similarly as people replace their 28" and 32" CRTs with 37-50" LCDs or Plasmas they often put them in the same position and continue to view at the same distance. Thus a 28" 576 line interlaced image can be acceptable at a given distance, but increase the diagonal to 40" and stay at 576 lines and the same viewing distance and you suddenly realise resolution is important.

A lot of the research for resolution vs screen size assumes viewing distances increasing for larger screens, whereas in reality this doesn't always happen.

With a similar analogy, why are 19" PC monitors 1280x1024 or more, when 1280x720 is enough at 32" - they should be around the 640x480 mark instead.
640x480 would be fine if viewed from the same distance as a TV, but people tend to sit much closer to a PC monitor - so theres a need for the higher resolution.

Exactly. Also PCs display pixels making up fine text, whereas TVs usually display "real world" pictures which are made up of samples. They are two different applications requiring different resolution issues.

Absolutely agree. FULL HD is a term thats as misleading as "Unlimited" internet. I reckon that before the decade is out a high-end TV manufacturer is going to produce a TV with a native resolution of 3840x2160, but not for the obvious reason of a "FULLER HD" standard.

Displays of this resolution are already on sale - though not domestically yet. They are used for applications where greater resolution is required.

NHK have their UltraHD spec in development which is 7680 x 4320. They've demoed cameras and displays - but have only demoed fibre distributio.

However 1920x1080 is the current highest resolution "HD" format, and thus "Full HD" is a pretty fair description of a 1920x1080 panel. I suspect any new HD format will be called something other than just HD so it may not be an issue.
Even without an ability to input signals at this resolution, 3840x2160 is a target resolution to attain because its the "Lowest Common Denominator" - the lowest resolution that will be able to display both 720p and 1080i/p without introducing any scaling effects on either resolution.

Thanks to an incredible lack of foresight by the designers of the HD spec, even "Full HD" TVs cant display all HD signals properly, it would have been so much easier if "Full HD" was exactly twice the resolution of "HD", say 720p and 1440p, or more likely because of cost, 640p and 1280p.

Jas.[/QUOTE]
 
didn't UltraHD demand a bit of a rethink when many triallers in Japan got severe motion sickness watching a simple demo video?


standard (and loose) dimensions to distance rules of thumb are that at SD you should be sitting 7 times the height of the display away; with (1080)HD you can sit 3 times the height away, and acheive the same perceived quality
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Absolutely agree. FULL HD is a term thats as misleading as "Unlimited" internet. I reckon that before the decade is out a high-end TV manufacturer is going to produce a TV with a native resolution of 3840x2160, but not for the obvious reason of a "FULLER HD" standard.
Optimal viewing conditions for a screen of that resolution would be a 130-inch screen viewed from a distance of eight and half feet. Would people really want to sit eight and a half feet away from a screen nearly 11 feet across?

Thanks to an incredible lack of foresight by the designers of the HD spec, even "Full HD" TVs cant display all HD signals properly, it would have been so much easier if "Full HD" was exactly twice the resolution of "HD", say 720p and 1440p, or more likely because of cost, 640p and 1280p.
Scaling an image to a non-integer multiple of its original size really isn't that difficult.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
didn't UltraHD demand a bit of a rethink when many triallers in Japan got severe motion sickness watching a simple demo video?

Think that may have been a result of large screen projection (like iMax) rather than medium sized projection?

Also NHK (and Japan in general) are far less hung up on the 24p "film effect" than other countries. NHK shoot high-end drama in 60i rather than 24p for instance.

However the motion rendition of 60p - which Ultra HD uses - is much more fluid, and over a larger screen area I can imagine that causing motion sickness issues.

However if it is used outside of Japan I'm sure it will be deployed in 24p mode for drama... (So it appears "like the cinema")

standard (and loose) dimensions to distance rules of thumb are that at SD you should be sitting 7 times the height of the display away; with (1080)HD you can sit 3 times the height away, and acheive the same perceived quality

Yep - except that the other rule is that of the Lechner distance, which is that people often sit roughly the same distance away from their screen irrespective of the screen size. This is particularly true of people who buy larger TVs for the same viewing room. Your room doesn't suddenly expand to let you sit further away when you move from a 28" set to a 40" set...
 
Think that may have been a result of large screen projection (like iMax) rather than medium sized projection?

yep, i believe it was an iMax (clone) now i think about it
 

jasonf01

Active Member
Optimal viewing conditions for a screen of that resolution would be a 130-inch screen viewed from a distance of eight and half feet. Would people really want to sit eight and a half feet away from a screen nearly 11 feet across?

Id expect that kind of figure on the assumption that you would be using the full resolution, but not if youre planning to use 2x2 pixel clusters for 1080i/p or 3x3 pixel clusters for 720p - wouldnt the normal 720p/1080i/p viewing distances apply in this case?

Scaling an image to a non-integer multiple of its original size really isn't that difficult.

No, it isnt, but it involves a compromise, an estimation. An (admittedly poor) example would be using MP3s to burn a CD. It will work and will give fine results but a true audiophile would prefer a bit-for-bit copy of the original and not something thats been "processed" in this way. Im sure theres videophiles out there with similar issues with video processing and interpolation - you can scale it for an acceptable picture but some people out there will want a perfect bit-for-bit representation.


Going back on topic, now that ive had time to think about the whole "HDTV" discussion, Im starting to think that we might NEVER see a true HDTV set (eg, a HD-ready set with an inbuilt HD tuner of some kind). After all, the government seems to want to sell off the analogue TV spectrum rather than use it for HDTV, without that spectrum were kind of left with Sky TV. While its possible someone could get a tie-in deal and launch a TV with a built-in Sky-HD receiver, It never happened with Sky-SD so I doubt it would happen with Sky-HD. About the closest I can imagine is a TV connected to the internet, "receiving" streamed HD content from somewhere, does this count?

Maybe weve gone the audiophile-style "separates" approach to receiver and display.

Jas.
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
I suspect we are more likely to see HD displays with built in "Media Extenders" which are networked to storage and tuner devices on a network.

DirecTV in the US (who were until recently a sister operation to BSkyB - and who have rolled out a DVR very similar to Sky+ now they've ditched the DirecTivo) have just announced, or have had their announcement leaked, a major new development.

They are introducing an external dual tuner unit for their satellite service - which like Sky has been a closed box set-up until this development. The box has dual tuners, USB slave, USB host and Ethernet connectivity, and for it to be integrated into Windows Media Center in the same way external CableCard tuners are in the US. Sure USB satellite receivers have been around for a while - there are DVB-S and DVB-S2 models with conditional access module support in Europe. However DirecTV and Sky have never offered CAMs (though some have been reverse engineered) and there has been no official route to watching DirecTV and Sky using a PC (other than analogue capture of the output of a set top box) This DirecTV PC receiver could be a major development...

There have been rumours that Sky were looking at this too. If that is the case, a TV with a built in Media Center Extender (Microsoft, Sony etc.) streaming video from a networked cable, satellite or OTA tuner or networked disk storage, may replace the "integrated tuner" paradigm of now.

If you imagine having two dual-tuner devices on your network, along with network storage, and your TVs on the network , you'd have quite a powerful system. Shove in some place shifting streaming a la Slingbox, and some transcoding for personal media playing on your iPod or PSP, and you have a different but quite powerful solution. This can be almost achieved today if you are a real tech-head. The key to it taking off is to keep it simple to set-up and use.

Standards for this stuff and the DRM with it will need to be open enough for interoperability but closed enough for security - but you never know - it might just happen.

TVs with built-in Media Center Extenders for Windows Media Center PCs are now appearing on the market, or are announced to be in the US, and with cable and soon satellite connectivity into Media Center, the days of a TV with a tuner in it could be numbered.
 

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