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

Monday, January 07, 2008

Q&A on HD1080i

Before i get back to industry reporting and How-to stuff usually found here, i will respond to a few questions that come our way...this is an aggregate of typical incoming stuff from out there.

1) Does Plasma HD have a Burn-in or image retention problem to worry about?

-- These days the answer in general would be no, plasma burn in ... typically a lower left station logo for example ... is no longer an issue. Manufacturers have resolved this , and most systems have a mode to refresh the displlay should you suspect it has become uneven in places. ( sometimes not available to the remote but in a maintenance mode menu for techicians ). It is important to know however that each Red Green Blue plasma pixel cell is really in a low power on-state whenever the Plasma Monitor is turned on, and this very low output required "ready-state" is complex to manage. I suggest seeing an in-store demo of the new Pioneer KURO line of Plasma 1080p displays. You will be convinced that the state of the art in plasma is here now and affordable with outstanding brightness, contrast and blacklevel. Always ASK questions.

2) How can i hook up my Computer to my HDTV?

-- I really get this alot. Short answer is that you need a great video card, and it must have enough video ram in it to support an HD resolution. nVidia PureVideo in everything from the GT7600 on up has this and cards made recently also have TV mode menus in the driver packages. The general case:

A) Your HDTV has a DVI / hdmi input and it is an LCD display. ( most all do that )
B) Your computer has a graphics card in it that has a DVI output.
Reference - http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_family.html
C) A nice long DVI cable and a wireless Keyboard and mouse.

DVI is that large connector with a lot of pins:

This card is the 7600 and it runs 2 displays, so when its time for the TV room -- plug the TV in as display #2 and its all good from there. The right click on your desktop, select properties
( shown below is for my dual card 3 monitor array )

The nVidia "nView" drivers detected the Westinghouse 1080p display right away- very easy, listed as the LVM 37w3 ( same ID as the MFG item# and manual ) i didnt have to do anything.

It is important to note that DVI cables are thick and clunky and past 50 feet in length can be a problem. My advice is to save some money to buy longer cables by going to Bluejean Cables:
They also offer DVI to HDMI cable adapters and DVI to VGA. Basically a one stop shop to hookup your PC to a HDTV.

If you have windows XP or Vista and an nVidia GeForce 7600 or better, then you basically are already HDTV ready.

There are lots of caveats. the worst one is the older 1366 x 768 displays. You may find that the only decent looking outcome is 1280 x 768 which doesnt fill the screen, but looks ok. However newer 1366 displays and nVidia equipped computers ( including laptops ) can handle this just fine. I am informed by ( User 1366-4-life) that "the R series Samsungs has a special DVI option when using HDMI socket 2. What this means is that my laptop is able to scale any output to exactly 1366x768. So I get 1to1 pixel mapping. " Sweet. thanks for that. You may need a DVI to HDMI adapter mentioned above, and its all good. I have seen Apple laptops just plug in and play right away to a 1366 display also.

-- why do i not mention VGA inputs? Basically they so often come out crappy looking and you will be dissapointed, i no longer reccommend that.
read my archive on that http://hd1080i.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

All that said... you will really love what you can do and share when you have a HD screen hooked up to your computer. Photo Galleries and slideshows of your digital camera are STUNNING. HDTV 1080 display of your pictures will become the option of choice, great at parties, since you can shoot and share literally in moments.

Direct X10 games will blow you away, nVidia 8800 has all the goodies in it to do impossibly fast rendering of huge game scenes. Online game worlds are usually capable of large screen display, but your internet connection may well be maxed out with data flow in a large depth high res mode. ( some call this "lag" )

Your DVD collection played through your computer may well look alot better also, possibly better than the DVD player you have now, since progressive conversion of de-interlacing is inherent in the code and nVidia Purevideo engine.

3) Are Rear Projection displays a maintenance hassle due to projection bulb life?

-- This answer would be YES ... However the solution is buy with a preventive maintenance program that often costs an added amount, RP systems like Sony's XBR and DLP from various sources are a good bang for the buck. They Look Great.

You get a bigger display area for less money and often the Rear Projection design is very compact such that the display is not a lot deeper than a true flatpanel LCD or Plasma. When making a purchase decision here, be sure to allways buy the maintenance program that has a technician come to your house and replace the bulb and re-validate color, as part of the price. Renewable 3 or 5-year plans make sense, dont buy an RP without one.

( Note - we get alot of comments and we dont post them often since it seems a lot of people put personal contact info in them, which is nice and we have a lot of new friends from that, but we restrain from publishing contact info here )


Anonymous 1366-4-life! or until 1080p costs less said...

I have an Nvidia GPU with HiDef hardware acceleration. Nvidia is king at the moment, but find the right driver can be problematical

As for 1366x768 I have read you "rants :)" on this and for the most part I agree with you. However the R series Samsungs has a special DVI option when using HDMI socket 2. What this means is that my laptop is able to scale any output to exactly 1366x768. So I get 1to1 pixel mapping.

I dont know about 1080p, but I have seen at least one HD rip (Apocalypto) which shows the much mentioned 3D effect and this was a compressed rip.

Transformers, Serenity (compressed),Blood Diamond, Fantastic 4 etc etc look Bloody Awesome on my screen

4:47 AM  
Anonymous 1366-4-life! (or until 1080p costs less) said...

I know this has been said before but have a look at the link anyway.


I still want a 1080p TV but when I look at my Samsung R8 LCD and the quality I get with my HP/Nvidia laptop. Sometimes Im not sure I need to. I may indeed at some point upgrade to a Pioneer Kuro which is still not 1080p. Go figure!

10:24 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Congrats! - in my humble opinion expressed elsewhere, 1366 x 768 looks great in screen sizes 32" and smaller. And Samsung does a fantastic scaling making their new products superior at getting the most out of a hd1080 / blu-ray source. I think Samsung should be bragging about such super scaling engines.

I have a 1920 x 1200 laptop with a 17" screen and honestly its great when i have my nose up to it.

At 5-6 feet such quality on 17" doesnt matter, i know because another 1680 x 1050 laptop 17" looks just as good side by side same source.

7:57 PM  

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