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

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

HD Resolutions: 1440, 1366x768 and 1080i broadcasting

Wide screen and the old CRT square screen...

1) FOX and ABC HD is square with black rectangles to each side. how is this HD?

This is called HD Pillarbox. Basically its is SQUARE HD, as in not widescreen.

-- there is a burgeoning 3rd display resolution of 1440 wide image in a 1920x1080i broadcast.

Almost all hd broadcast is 1080i. for standard 4:3 TV content which is not widescreen 16:9, some channels are 1080 in a 4:3 format. simple math e.g.

1080 * 4/3 = 1440 wide image is a 1080i broadcast (square image)
1080 * 16/9 = 1920 wide image is widescreen HD broadcast.

Sometimes this is generated HD, upscaled from quality STD definition source by a special device used to create the claim that HD is being delivered. The old days of 720p broadcasting claims are dissappearing, replaced by this format. It matters, since to many people a wide screen is what they bought and wide image HD is what they want. I dont not consider this a valid HD outcome, but it allows for simulcast Standard def and HD without having 2 formats to produce, and cost 2 times as much as a result.

The other issue is that analog 4:3 STD definition uses a non-square pixel shape, .9091 : 1 to be exact. Most people dont know this. Analog nonsquare pixels , converted from analog to digital pixel conversions to digital square pixels are issues handled by production people. This should be transparent to average user, but it does in fact make you look 10lbs heavier on screen. ( a bit wider so to speak )

2) WHY is there 1366 x 768 HD display resolution? "I just got a great deal on my flatpanel and now i'm reading that its not really HD, and the picture is fuzzy."

We get this way too much. More than half the search strings in are weblogs read like this. Basically it costs less and thats why you pay less for the 1366 displays. It isnt a bad thing, and if your eyesight is not eagle sharp 20-20 perfect, then you may well be quite happy with that for years to come. Almost all manufacturers now make displays with well crafted scaling engines for placing 1080i (1920 x 1080 ) sources into a 1366 x 768 screens, looks great since the incoming 2 mpix of data is way more data than the 1 megapixel of the display.

The fuzzy picture may well be the source and not the display. A lot of broadcast TV is STD definition and inherently fuzzy to begin with. Spreading that out over a larger area only makes the fuzziness larger also.


The biggest problems are when you attempt to connect a computer to a VGA input of a 1366 x 768 display. I have a whole post on that, it has lots of complex issues, but it usually can be done, and if you read the manuals many have a 1280x768 mode that wont fill the screen but will work. In some cases its worth asking the store before you buy, what VGA modes does this tv support? If you can , upgrade your computer to have DVI output and get a TV with a DVI input.
For me that is the nVidia 7600 GT graphics card and a westinghouse digital 1080p

Read http://hd1080i.blogspot.com/2006/12/1080i-on-1366x768-resolution-problems.html

If you have a 1366 x 768 display then dont bother to buy an HD-DVD or Blu-ray, and get an OPPO upscaling DVDplayer instead. It will look great and you will be happy with that at a much lower cost.

NOTE: We Don't post all comments since those that want responses directly leave email addresses in them that should not be made public and open to spammers.... I got a few comments that indicate some readers are in fact fully aware of these resolution situations and Overscan, safe area in 4:3 STD NTSC and Variations in Color Gamut. Thanks - you guys are great and i will post more on each area.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Analog And Cable Cutoff

So it would seem, the FCC has issued yet another mandate, cable ubiquity being what it is, to sustain analog transmission ( of exactly what... who knows ) untill 2012. This Paves the way for yet more fuzzy definition of when all digital broadcast really fully takes over. The FCC has also not yet fully determined if the 22mhz available band around 700mhz frequency that is freed up by over the air analog switchoff, will in fact get allocated for wireless broadband. Google wants it, Verizon doesnt want them to have it.

In other newness, LG and best buy have struck a deal on some LG brand HD offerings and i say that this is great news, go take a look, there is nothing quite like seeing and believing.

Closer to my livingroom news... NO DAN RATHER because there is NO HDNET on Comcast is now in its 2nd week here at HD1080i and we are just as pissed about that now as ever before. To Unceremoniously pull an HD channel and not even offer it as a paid options is giving us issues. Note that Comcast is part of the ever so happy AOL family. meh. color me underwhelmed with the HD i get here on cable.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

COMCAST - ick. A model CRM in puppetry.

Pay more and get less. Its Comcastic!

I cannot find HDNet in my Comcast Channel Lineup.

HUH? HDnet's Sports, World Report, Katie, Dan Rather and Pinfield and damn it all... i want my HDnet. Where did it go? Apparently I was late to this party, our local cable system was just acquired from Adelphia by Comcast, and it took time for the effect of that to impact my area. HDnet was no longer in my channel lineup... So i Looked around for info and found the biggest slap to sensibility...
is comcast itself.

no kidding - this is really out there and its at http://www.comcastic.com/

By "Out There" i mean whacko - I looked around, found a logged-in panel indicating nobody-home-here ... Zero users. Its actually kind of odd, spooky and off-topic wierd, showcasing flash interaction and totally without video, however you can make the puppet jump around and record a message.

Marketing Paradigms define the expected demographic audience.
I cannot believe that some moron would think that a flash puppet and spooky music is even appropriate for a COMCASTIC sales message. Right, dont just treat your customer like a mindless puppet, may as well prove your comittment to insult by providing a puppet buddy to play with instead of having a nice robust offering for your HD SUBSCRIBERS (read: Me ) THAT PAY A PREMIUM to see 1080 tv in HD. They must think we are all mindless children. This is so bizzarre on such a fundamental level that i have to wonder what drugs the marketing people are on.... Possibly the reason this impossibly stupid paradigm for Customer Relations is still there, is that they are now all in rehab and not working at thier desks.


I checked around. There has been a petition to bring HDnet back to Comcast lineups. http://www.petitiononline.com/comcast1/petition.html

Normally i do not Rant like this, I have to be pushed. I guess COMCAST behavior this year is what it takes. QUALITY of Service is another irksome Comcast issue.

COMCAST macroblock errors.
Above is a flash video i made of my Comcast Connection. Click play and move the slider. Happens too often, is probably C/O load or thier own crappy satellite downlink. I will bet you thought cable meant clean link down a wire? NO. your Central Office that is likely less than 10 miles away probaly got its feed from a satellite, fed it to you down your TV co-ax into a modem. DISH / DIRECT TV network should tell you that, your cable TV probably comes from a satellite, but i guess they dont have the stomach for a good solid infomercial.

The Comcast HD Lineup here is not great. I will not go into a line-by-line bashing but if Discovery and ESPN and MOJOHD are the only clean HD they have, then they do not care about HD. I do not want to pay for all that wannabe-but-not HD programming REAL HD only please. Comcast, losing HDnet was the final Straw.

-- just got an email from Mark Cuban ( thanks )
- -HDNet is talking to Comcast and hopefully will sort things out, since i want HDNet Movies and HDNet's World Report and The Dan Rather stuff back where it was in the channels i paid for and expected to get.

- FIOS TV has HDnet and i have signed up, I am told my rollout is in a few weeks, and i will have to wait.

Partial Listing of HD on FIOS includes:

TNT HD - ESPN HD - ESPN 2 HD - NFL Network HD - HD Net - HD Net Movies
Universal HD - Discovery HD - Wealth TV HD - National Geographic Channel HD
MHD - Food Network HD - HGTV HD - Lifetime Movie Network HD