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

Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Bytes


Regarding what to buy on the HD screen in front of you, there is one thing that is now a must-have common requirement that never existed before...

Connection to a computer of some sort. I had expected The XBOX 360 and PS3 to be a powerful conduit, but that is a dream state and not yet a reality of consequence.


It started as the early adopters fiddled around to get the most out of thier new investment in a big LCD and as nVidia invented itself into what is now a superb graphics solution for HD. But now its become more of an access-point and network relationship of the screen and the devices. Graohics cards with DVI outputs, and basically newer machines created to value add this ability starting about mid summer of 2006.

Although Microsoft saw this coming, the media center has yet to really capture our attention, where the Apple provisioning paradigms are in our faces more and more, and the iTunes Store gains yet more presence in enablement with its simple micropayment on click. Although i have doubts that a lot of Apple TV boxes will be out there, i am sure that the gathering of partners around the iTunes store will become stronger than the FCC or the Cable/ Dish providers ever had considered possible, and Apple will eat their lunch on this one.

The biggest issue here is the silo of each network having its crossection and pricepoint sensitivity... where Comcast and Dish basically still have rather limited HD 720 or 1080i content. you have to be in thier network and trapped into thier packaging to get whatever you can, it is regional, and it is limited.

Apple by persuing the web for distribution breaks all those limits. It bcomes a global touchpoint for whatever it can provision. I think it is hilarious that cable Internet access is being used to download iTunes Video files to play on the HD Screen. In point, Paramount ( those poeple are brilliant BTW ) is likely to offer up some content, at least in 720p, for the iTunes Store, as a "rental" tactic much like a specialzed file life-cycle download that will run for a few days and time out. Why is that a good idea? Because it is what happens. Look at your DVD collection and tell me how many times you saw those movies. By and large the response will be 1 or 2 times.

My preference however is to see the 1hour episodic TV shows that are no longer running.

Babylon 5

If you could get that 1 hr tv show for 2 bucks and it plays well in HD upscale, you will migrate to that solution, and become an On-Demand thinker in the process. If you want to BUY that DVD movie its probably 15 bucks on iTunes and the better deal is at the brick & mortar location of your choice.

I just selected downloaded and played an iTunes video on my hd screen.. here is what i found.

1) The Graphics is in a quicktime window and wants your HD screen to be Screen 1 of your setup. In my multi monitor setup, i had to pull plugs and reconfigure to see the HD 1920 x 1080 monitor as screen 1

2) The quality was as good ( scaling in my 1080p is excellent - firmware matters ) and in many ways better than the so-called HD of my cable provider. Oh My God. that shouldnt be true. But thats what happened.

3) My surround system did not understand the iTunes audio channels, it was stereo, no explanation, but the subwoofer had plenty to work with and i did not feel like i missed much in what i got.

4) All the play and rewind stop and start pause and whatall i that wanted was there. My wireless mouse was all i used. I typed only one thing, and that was the search words, the rest was all click at 15 feet from the stuff while in my comfy chair.

I have a PC, dual core and nVidia 7600 GT card on winXP. Vanilla computer except that the DVI goes to an HD Screen. . . , no MAC anywhere in this room.

To do the same process with comcast and dish, i would have to use the remote and run through a pile of screens to get a list of 20 files. MY Media Center frustrated the heck out of me and i gave up trying to get anything. AOL .. nah. Joost? has stuff but its not yet robust enough in its offerings, i dont see lots of movies i want or TV that i have any interest in. ( however this may change as Universal/GE rolls out content, Viacom adds its runs, and others get on board )

iTunes has more than i could believe, in the thousands, its global and its very easy on me. I am not locked into a provider, i just click, and to be honest about it, i do not care who it is offering the stuff, i just want it there, and if iTunes has it then that is where i will go.

REDUX... Sept 1 '07
It appears that HD is just not in the cards for iTunes just yet, its really not able to produce a strong content showing ... NBC and Universal Media Group ( big ) have decided not to renew contracts for episodic releases and by December 07 it seems the Apple TV and iTunes provisioning will be rather crippled for good stuff as a result. I believe in the Apple effort, but its just not in the cards right now, maybe later.

There is now a push out there for these content owners to have thier own catalogs in their own download and on-demand systems and websites, so expect to see everyone in on it for PC to TV in 2008. Paramount has a decent hookup for that and its working well.


Anonymous Craig said...

I have a question (as you might expect). After reading a few of your posts it looks like scalers are the big thing so... If I'm buying a relatively small screen (~23"), for my bedroom which I'll use with my 360, am I looking for a 768 tv with a decent scaler? Since I can't seem to find a 1080 screen that small I'm assuming somebody has decided that 1080 isnt worth it on a smaller screen? Will I not be able to tell the difference at that size?

Looks like that was actually 3 questions but never mind.


5:10 PM  

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