HD1080i De-mystify HDTV 1080i ::: know why before you buy

Sunday, April 23, 2006

HD TV's Pride of ownership

Another notable result of contact and research in this HD world that is evolving as we go...
a commentary post.

Some folks who get an HDTV setup, and start getting HD content, will become enamored and entrenched in thier views about it. This fascinates me.

Once someone buys thier new widescreen TV they basically love it, warts and all. This is so good for the industry at large, since such happy people with HD will buy more stuff to see on it, and it becomes a center of attention in the consumer-space, with the continuous need to feed on it.
I fully expect to witness some explosive outcomes when the Sony PS3 comes out.

There are times i see a "new" home theater HD setup, the owner beaming, grinning and usually the speakers are cranked up a bit louder than normal use would be, kind of like a new motorcycle or car, looky here and rev the engine. One DLP owner basically said " sit here and dont move your head" - it was ok... this was a sweet spot and "wobbuation" whatever was minimal enough - but i'm sorry , i have seen INHD ( unnamed re-run program) about 20 times already and literally have memorized its better scenes off my 1080p. I kept my mouth shut and he doesnt know i have this blog, but really the picture was not that good, and you know what? it didnt matter. He is happy, and convinced that his new toy is the best. Its all he sees.

IGNORANCE IS BLISS and that truth transcends technology issues far more than you would think. 5 months from now when he has seen all the re-run IMAX stuff, he will be yet another hungry High Def DVD movie consumer.

Personally, I worry about HD people shots since i shoot video with it, and you just cant closeup shoot like regular D1 video. There are times when i just cant take looking at some late night TV hosts in HD and a new camera guy shoots up close. Its a bit of a jolt.

Why? because you will see hairy faces, evidence of blemishes and eyebag details that can almost be scary. Gawd i had no idea that wart was really so big!.. Yikes older hands look like 3rd world stuff .. there is dirt on your sleeve, heck may as well just magnify the good with the bad, since from what i can tell, i will need a full-time makeup artist and 2 more softboxes for lighting before i do much more video with close headshots. In fact, i resist the old zoom tactics totally now.

However, products like cellphones and jewelry video and wide scene wedding stuff in ornate churches is awesome. If you have a product to sell, HD is going to make it seem right there and real. Bigger better brighter. From a product exposure perspective, HD in advisuals is very very stunning. I see good things for all this when HD prevalence reaches critical mass for consumer marketing, since i do it now for widescreen displays in tradeshow suites and events, and nice HD is a real eye grabber. The fact that i have a couple master's degress and do HD video doesnt matter. I look at this stuff a lot, and regular DVD looks bad to me, most TV ads are poorly crafted work, VHS is crap. HD is the way -- and when people see what they like, they remember it and value it more than any other experience. Couple the buy-process convergence with HD exposure and you will sell more. I'm sure.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Responding to HD 1080i Questions..

.. a couple comments first. My pages are not quite ready yet and HD1080i.com and this Blog are already #1 for a lot of search results, far more than i expected and industry people should take note, there is a HUGE interest in this, and i'm just not as prolific as Mark Cuban, so i will do a couple at a time.

Q1) What is "HD 1080" ?

A) 1920 x 1080 is the current standard for HD high resolution.

  • the Westinghouse LVM-42w2 - It is a 42" Widescreen LCD Flatpanel.
    Note: it is a monitor only, but chances are that is all you need since you will rely on Cable or Satellite to get most of your HD content, and that is supply-side Set-top DVR box type stuff that comes with the services.

  • http://www.westinghousedigital.com/ use its specs as a reference for 1080p displays.

    Q2) Search words "HD-Ready 1080i" and what is a 1080i input?

    A) I get this and variations on it/lots of it. Usually this question stems from people who are searching for what it all means when they want a flatpanel wide-screen, and then encounter all this new info on what that is. Not suprisingly - when they read HD-Ready, which sounds more like anticipation and promise than it does fact, they get worried and check for more. Rightly so. There are basically 4 types .
    1) DVI (HDCP) this is a digital connection more than capable of handling 1080 resolution.
    2) Component - this is also "YpBrBp" and is a 3 cable RCA connection, analog 1080i
    3) HDMI - a newer and perhaps better connector for HD, this standard will likely prevail.
    4)VGA - a 15pin plug typical of computer monitor cables, will also do 1080 easily, but for this type of use you are in the PC / MediaCenter world and looking at downloaded HD files or WMV-HD.

    S-video and Composite inputs will not do 1080 resolution, they are not HD.

    Just because a display will accept a 1080i input, this does not infer that the display itself has the resolution to display it like the producers intended.

    click for full 1920 x 1080 image

    If a Flat panel widescreen display has the native Resolution of 1366 x 768 then this means it can deliver 1366 pixels wide and 768 pixels high image resolution.

    1366 x 768 is 1 megapixel or half the size of 1920 x 1080 which is 2 megapixels.

    Friday, April 21, 2006


    It seems the industry is competing with itself, in terms of its own delivery of widescreen, larger than life screens and content, because we are starting to see words like "up to full 1080i" and "True HD 1080i" and the holy grail of image quality, "HD 1080p" .

    True HD why does this so-called term exist? ....

    I have used this mysef.
    Mostly it is to differentiate the Best from The Rest, and this may or may not be a good thing. For starters there is no real definition for True HD, since standards for HD span several resolution, delivery and formatting categories that are more than 50% different in what they are, making use of the term HD and HD-Ready a fuzzy proposition already.

    Using the term "True HD" by implication makes it sound like all the rest must somehow be "Fake HD", or "HD Wannabe", or "Amost but not quite HD". I know this stems from the perception that a BIG screens in WIDE format must also be "HD" in the eyes of Joe Sixpack and Sally Soccermom, the marketspace that is right now seeking a better life in bigger things, and represents the stage following early adopter consumption ... yes that's the point where serious money is to be made, brands are established and mass acceptance takes hold.

    Question... "WHAT'S in a NAME?"

    " A ... everything. I'm starting to see logo-type designs that are purporting to identify the True HDness of an item, like a stamp of validation, in store stickers and online ads." -- unnamed marketing expert 2006

    It seems there is no shortage of confusion out there as a result of all this, only the people in the business actually know the useful facts from the marginal tech issues, and they are not the market, since they already own HD equipment. SO...

    1) There is no current recognized global authority that validates and has a stamp of assurance that the HD you have is true or anything else, so "True HD" is totaly "More noise".

    2) 1080i/1080p is True HD? -- false. It is the Best HD for large screens, but that has nothing to do with trueness....



    If your HD screen is lets say 32" in size, then a 1366 x 768 resolution and 720p display specs is fine, and you will see great looking stuff. Enjoy... you are seeing about 1/2 the pixel accuracy of 1080, and you probably will not miss it.

    If you have a large screen lets say 37" to 48-52" then resolution and quality matter much more.
    It is still possible to buy a screen that seems to be expensive and therefore must be high quality, and wind up with a very large fuzzy image most of the time.
    For larger screen sizes you do want to seek out a couple things.
    1) 1080 resolution that is Native Resolution
    2) DCDi or Faroudja processing. Under the name Genesis.

    oh oh ... WTF is this DCDi? Never heard of faroudja ...
    well that is likely a chipset in the HD screen firmware that processes whatever comes in and makes the image actually happen, and this is but one of the more important Quality issues that will affect what you see. Most marketing info hides this info, and it shouldnt, since it is the de-interlacing and scaling and edge definition and color quality engine that will define your experience.

    If you must use the term True and HD together then so be it, just dont say "up to full 1080i" about a display that is 1366 x 768 native resolution.

    HOWEVER, the processing done by stuff like DCDi , is where HD as an experience is managed, and the perception of trueness exists there.

    more on that later...

    Saturday, April 15, 2006

    HD-DVD ::: toshiba releases a player ...

    ...and they threw a party?

    nope... just a few alpha geeks showing up at Best Buy. early no less, since the actual date claimed in PR is April 18th for the players, information that apparently did not get passed along to the stock boys.

    It seems that "The Last Samurai" and "Serenity", "Phantom ( of the opera) " are essentially the poster-kids for the next-gen Toshiba HD movie product taking up shelf space right alongside the player.

    ... oh goody, Tom Cruise. and whats-his-name. Can you say cheese?

    Why do i get the feeling that this product release was brought to you by the color "Red" and the letter "T" with 3 units at each "best buy" in the usa.

    Price point is set at 499 $US.