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

Monday, December 08, 2008

SCALING - up , down and HD1080i

Thanks for all the commentary, i only post a few, but it seems the current enconomy has caused some decent enough price reductions ... we are pretty much over the critical mass of 16:9 equipped people needed to really properly push HD1080i. Thanks for that.

However its still all about scaling so i have to repeat myself a bit for those that are newer to HD... years ago i railed on about HDREADY crap marketing that fooled people into thinking the TV/HD Flatscreen they were buying, was real High in Definition. My guess on trends is that Millions more flat screens will be sold at the 599 thru 999 pricepoint, they are good also, and you need to really know something about it. So here you go...

1) THE #1 Broadcast Standard for HD is 1080i. = 1920 x 1080
Lots of sources (ABC?) that profess 720p content, really are being converted at the broadcaster C/O into HD1080i. and thats what you get. Thats not a bad thing, but it is the truth for most all Cable Digital and dish users. Some sources are 4:3 Std TV square and HD for that is 1440 x 1080 ( which is quite nice but not widescreen ) ... dont ask me why, i dont know, it just is.

2) THERE IS NO BROADCAST STANDARD OF 1366 x 768, and that resolution is NOT 720p. It's very capable of playing 720p, but so what? a 1080p can play 720p also, which is still essentially meaningless when blu-ray and broadcasting is all 1080 anyhow. At least most all advertizing these days points out what the native pixel resolution is, so as 1366 x 768 so you do not get a nasty surprise when you plug it in, you have been informed correctly.

3) Its all progressive display on a FlatPanel display. It doesnt matter how your LCD/PLASMA flatpanel screen gets its source, what you see will always be a P for progressive. 1080p60 or 1366p60 is really the way to describe it. The "i" for interlace is just how it arrives, when it is processed into what you actually see... it is a full frame for every refresh. This is where 120hz or the new 120 frames per second processing has value, but more on that later.

Ok thats the basics, and i want to emphasize that 1366 oddball numbers do not mean the monitor is not at all good, or that at your typical viewing distance, a 1366 is substandard and to be avoided.

Why? Because when anything coming in to the TV/Monitor that is not 1080 ,will be all about the SCALERS anyhow. So your Standard Definition content, DVD players and such are feeding the screen something less than 1366 or 1080 for a lot of what you will use it for.

That is a processing job done inside the TV/Monitor that takes the incoming video and makes it fit your screen pixel resolution. There are brilliant unheralded genious type video gurugeeks that specialize in making these processing chips and they ( these days ) are doing a fantastic job, cleaning things up and making a superb visual outcome. The Screen you buy is really all about the contrast ratio available in the tech of the panel, and the realtime postprocessing that feeds it.

( it fascinates me that the manufacturers know this, and the marketers seem to ignore it, meaning: you dont get that scaler processing info without digging for it. They should be bragging about how thier stuff uses gigahertz processing to give you a fully analyzed and corrected frame at 60 , or 120 times per second. Lots of times that is a garbage in - beauty out scenario. )

-- more in a bit


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