How to display 720p content natively on a 1080p display? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-23-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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When enjoying Blu-ray Discs, I sit about 5' from my 50'' PDP TV. This feels ideal to me, however, watching HDTV (no matter, whether 1080i oder 720p material) from that distance sucks badly, the image being vexingly blurry, fuzzy, soft. To avoid having to constantly move around my seating, I thought to myself, "Why not just move the screen size?", having set one size for BD viewing, and a smaller one for TV consumption. Hence my objective:

I'd like to display a 720p source, a satellite receiver, natively (and therefore windowboxed) on a 1080p PDP set. The TV, however, doesn't have a mode to do that - and quality-degrading, non-"pixel perfect" alternatives like zooming or switching to 4:3 format do not work, either, as the former option only allows for augmenting the picture and the latter distorts it.

So, is there any other way to do it, like, some external [HDMI-capable] box that I could put in between the satellite receiver and the TV?


(I wasn't sure where to post this. Should I instead have gone to Display Devices or Video Processors or someplace else?)
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-23-2012, 04:15 PM
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It's technically possible to just display the pixels as is on a larger panel but no panel I am aware of offers that option. Note that many of these raw LCD and Plasma panels are OEM from just a few manufactures. So the feature set is basically already programmed into the panel driver. Meaning that even if the nameplate manufacture wanted such an option, it would have to be a custom programmed panel and possibly a hardware revision.

Note too that plasmas burn in. So such a feature would never be allowed on a Plasma display.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-23-2012, 06:03 PM
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What make/moodel of 1080p TV do you have. There is no reason any recent generation will not display 720p content in full screen without distortion.
Fixed pixel digital TVs such as LCD/LED or Plasma are just like electric signs on a freeway, they have a fixed number of rows of bulbs and a fixed number of bulbs in each row. A 1080p TV has 1080 rows of pixels and each row has 1920 pixels.
A 720p image is upscaled on a 1080p TV by inserting additional rows and columns of pixels on a not to cause distortion basis. One new row after each existing row and one new column after each existing column of the 1280x720 frames received
Ysou want the satellite recdiver to pass through each program in the resolution it is received (either 1080i or 720P) the size mode for your TV probably needs to be set "wide".
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-23-2012, 06:29 PM
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My TV (a 32" Olevia) has a mode that is 1:1 - no scaling at all. This means that a 720p show doesn't quite fill the screen, but the set "shrinks" a 1080i program down to fit, and an SD program is really postage stamped in the middle of the screen . I usually watch in "Aspect" mode - 19:9 programs / sources display full screen, and SD shows as letterboxed (side pillars). I like this feature.

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-24-2012, 04:47 AM
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You're going to have to back up when you're not watching Blue Ray. 5 feet?
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-24-2012, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your replies so far.

Glimmie,

is burn-in really still a problem with PDPs? I mean, BD versions of Gone with the Wind or Casablanca are displayed "pillarboxedly" (black bars on the sides), as well
- and everything above 1.78:1 is letterboxed.

walford,

I currently use a Panasonic TH-50PZ800E (I don't know, it's probably four years old), but I'm not sure you understand my problem:

Distortion isn't what this is about*, as the TV does upscale 720p and deinterlace 1080i content, so that's not the issue. It just that I'm not happy with the resultant quality (which, I'm rather sure, is most of the time source-related, i.e.: what's broadcast, whether in 720p or 1080i, simply isn't up to par with even semi-decently encoded Blu-ray Discs) when I watch TV programming from the same distance as I watch BDs - I actually think I explained it more clearly in my first post, so you'd probably better just re-read that.

Scooper,

sounds like you've got what I'm looking for - although I don't get why 1080i material should appear smaller on your screen.

joed32,

you wrote:

Quote:
You're going to have to back up when you're not watching Blue Ray. (joed32, 2012-04-24)

Well, that's what I'm trying to avoid.

Quote:
5 feet? (joed32, 2012-04-24)

Yeah, try it.

Again, anybody know of a way to achieve what I seek by means of external hardware?


*:
that only happens if I try to make the picture smaller by using the 4:3 format mode (at first, I'd thought maybe shrinking it like that would get me a 16:9-framed image squeezed proportionally into a 4:3 frame, thereby also producing a windowboxed result), hence that's not a solution to my problem - apart from the fact that that way the image quality would be considerably degraded, anyway: first, 720p is upscaled to 1080p, then scaled down to something like 1440×1080 or [distortion-free] 1440×810; and even if it was possible to get back to 720p, the pic would still have been re-scaled, meaning the 720p image that's output isn't the same as the 720p image that's input
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-24-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

My TV (a 32" Olevia) has a mode that is 1:1 - no scaling at all. This means that a 720p show doesn't quite fill the screen, but the set "shrinks" a 1080i program down to fit, and an SD program is really postage stamped in the middle of the screen . I usually watch in "Aspect" mode - 19:9 programs / sources display full screen, and SD shows as letterboxed (side pillars). I like this feature.

Letterboxed is not with Sidebars it is shrunk and has bars at the top and bottom and is used to display 16:9 content on a 4:3 aspect ratio screen.
The source of your programing seems to think your display has a 4:3 aspect ratio since in 1:1 mode(No oversdcan) both 1080i and 720p content should display in full screen mode with no distortion of content lossa.
My comments assume that your TV is a full HD 1080p model.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-24-2012, 09:42 AM
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Out of curiosity who is your TV provider and what equipment do you have? Maybe you could switch to a different provider with better picture quality. Fios and DirecTV are generally regarded as having the best picture quality, nearing that of Blu-Ray (nobody is as good as a properly transferred blu-ray at this time though).

But as per your original question I don't think most TVs have any setting that can do this. I believe some computer monitors do, but I'm guessing you don't want to replace the TV. Maybe some external scalers can do this? Like those that the CIH setup guys use?
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-27-2012, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker View Post

Out of curiosity who is your TV provider and what equipment do you have? Maybe you could switch to a different provider with better picture quality. Fios and DirecTV are generally regarded as having the best picture quality, nearing that of Blu-Ray (nobody is as good as a properly transferred blu-ray at this time though).

I mostly watch HD channels available in Europe via satellite. Even if they didn't broadcast a lot of internally upscaled stuff (which they do), sitting in "BD distance" still wouldn't be pleasant. For my TV, see above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker View Post

Maybe some external scalers can do this?

Thought about that. Two problems with the general-purpose stuff, though: One, since the focus of such gear likely often is on upscaling and zooming in, will it be possible to shrink the picture substantially? And two, even if possible, all the scaling involved (up to 1080p, then down to whatever) would probably heavily degrade image quality. Still, can you recommend something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker View Post

Like those that the CIH setup guys use?

What's "CIH", and who are "the CIH setup guys"?
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-27-2012, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Count Alucard View Post

I mostly watch HD channels available in Europe via satellite. Even if they didn't broadcast a lot of internally upscaled stuff (which they do), sitting in "BD distance" still wouldn't be pleasant. For my TV, see above.

Thought about that. Two problems with the general-purpose stuff, though: One, since the focus of such gear likely often is on upscaling and zooming in, will it be possible to shrink the picture substantially? And two, even if possible, all the scaling involved (up to 1080p, then down to whatever) would probably heavily degrade image quality. Still, can you recommend something?

What's "CIH", and who are "the CIH setup guys"?

I can't help you much because this isn't anything I would have ever thought to do. I'm still not sure it's a great idea because of image retention. I know my plasma will start to look a little funny after I watch pillarboxed material for a long time and then go back to watching full screen 16:9 images. You can usually still see a difference in brightness/contrast for a while in the areas that were displaying black bars before. It eventually goes away but it is definitely noticable for a while. I imagine if you were to watch content windowboxed like that all the time it could get pretty bad.

As far as CIH goes it stands for Constant Image Height. Some people have 2.35:1 screen/projector setups and use scalers to properly display all of their material taking up the full height of their screen and just using different sized pillar bars. So when they watch 2.35:1 movies they have to zoom the picture in using a scaler, but then it takes up their full screen. When they watch 16:9 TV or 1.78:1, or 4:3 TV then they have to scale it to fit the proper height and add pillar bars to the sides. Here is the forum where they hang out. You might be able to get some help with this in there.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=117
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-27-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, Beerstalker, thanks for the info. While I might be alone in bemoaning automatic, non-preventable 720p upscaling, at least there's one gripe others share with me (don't get me wrong, I'd prefer a non-griping existence), as I never understood why the dickens it was decided upon by the genii responsible to encode BDs sporting aspect ratios over 1.78:1 like that (and mess up subs placement and sacrifice vertical resolution in the process).

I'll wait around here for some more replies, then maybe go bother some people there (or, if you know of any CIHers potentially versed in such matters, you could point them to this thread).
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-27-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh, yeah, and please forgive me this off-topic-ish newbie question, but are the threads here permanently archived? I know, people can delete their posts, but if they don't, will the information still be accessible down the road, or will it just suddenly disappear? (as happens over at IMDb according to some obscure pattern supposedly based on activity: sometimes a thread can be up for years, sometimes it's gone after a week)
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-27-2012, 10:20 AM
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If a thread isn't posted to for a while (not sure how long - 6-12 months maybe?), it gets moved to the archive, which is basically a separate site of older threads that are read only. They can stay there a long time, not sure how long - some are back from 2004 and before.


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post #14 of 14 Old 04-28-2012, 04:00 AM
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Some very early Philips LCDs used to offer a pixel-match I think - which displayed a small 1:1 pixel-matched 720p image surrounded by black in a 1080p raster. Some broadcast monitors also offer this facility.

Can't see it being wildly popular with the wider public...
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