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post #1 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I just came from a friends house who had a 42" (1080P Plasma with satilite HD) and all I can say is what a let down.

My God 16-9 was the only thing I saw that was improved over a standard TV.
Picture was not as sharp as my old Sony 32" Standard Def
Background image was poor
Foreground very clear

Am I missing something, should not HD blow me away.
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post #2 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 05:32 AM
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42" is not large enough to truly see the 1080p difference. An even bigger factor is the source of the HD. Some shows look great, other suck. The best HD source right now is a BluRay or HD-DVD movie that is done right. Ask around for suggestions. King Kong looks good to me.

Satellite HD is also known for its HD-Lite qualities. I don't have satellite for HD, so I can't personally comment on it. I've heard that the newer MPEG-4 D* channels are pretty good.

-Brian
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post #3 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Beefcake View Post

42" is not large enough to truly see the 1080p difference. An even bigger factor is the source of the HD. Some shows look great, other suck. The best HD source right now is a BluRay or HD-DVD movie that is done right. Ask around for suggestions. King Kong looks good to me.

Satellite HD is also known for its HD-Lite qualities. I don't have satellite for HD, so I can't personally comment on it. I've heard that the newer MPEG-4 D* channels are pretty good.

-Brian

I know BluRay or HD-DVD (looks good but up converted DVD looks just as good) is the best source for now, but the majority of what I wil be watching will come via satilite. This HD stuff just seems like major hipe to me. 16+9 = cool.
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 07:26 AM
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A couple of points to consider:

- Was the set calibrated at all? A friend recently bought a 50" plasma and out of the box it looked like absolute crap. 30 minutes with the Avia disk and voila, it was a night and day difference.

- How was the satellite box set up to feed the TV? I know for my parent's satellite service, setting up the box to pass the original resolution (i.e. no upconversion by the satellite box) also made a big difference.



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post #5 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 07:30 AM
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Were you actually watching HD content or standard definition programming on an HDTV? Check out a live sporting event in HD or something on DiscoveryHD and you won't be asking what's so great about it. A 42" display is plenty big enough to provide the "WOW" factor you're looking for, although HDTV definitely shines on a bigger screen. The fact that you're asking the question tells me you aren't looking at good source material.
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 07:39 AM
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Yeah make sure you have the following:

Connected your cable box to the TV with component or HDMI
Set your cable box to output 720p or 1080i (1080i for a 1080p set)
Are actually watching an HD channel that is showing true HD content
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post #7 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch G View Post

A couple of points to consider:

- Was the set calibrated at all? A friend recently bought a 50" plasma and out of the box it looked like absolute crap. 30 minutes with the Avia disk and voila, it was a night and day difference.

- How was the satellite box set up to feed the TV? I know for my parent's satellite service, setting up the box to pass the original resolution (i.e. no upconversion by the satellite box) also made a big difference.
Mitch

No the set was not calibrated (should not mater, $2000 for a TV should look good out of the box)

"How was the satellite box set up to feed the TV?"
with HDMI
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 08:09 AM
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It really depends on the content. I use an HTPC with dual ATSC and dual-NTSC tuners for standard cable. HD ATSC typically looks excellent. Even SD programs broadcast on ATSC typically look better because of the better color rendition. I also think the PC does a better job of processing/scaling than most TVs. YMMV
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post #9 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 08:22 AM
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There is a difference. But it is not night an day. I have a 92" display. SD over the air is junk on mine, but HD over the air is acceptable. There is not as much of a diff at 42". But there is a noticeable difference. It also depends which channel. Just because he is getting HD, it does not mean every channel is HD. Also each channel using a different HD (some use 1080i and some use 720p) It is also a lower bandwidth than BR or HD DVD.

That being said. My HTPC upconverts SD DVD very well. My A3 with an HD DVD is much better, but it is not like SD is all that bad either when PROPERLY upconverted.

The biggest difference for me is the probably the aspect ratio as you said. I don't mind the "bars" as much as most, but it is nice to use the full 16:9 screen. Especially for sports.

I think live sports is where you see the biggest difference in OTA/CABLE/SAT. They don't have a chance to really smooth out the SD and must send the raw video.

It is funny. I thought the same thing when DVD first came out. But then I found it hard to watch my old VHS movies a year later. I am starting to find that on some titles that I have seen. But not all. Everyone raves how great the Hulk looks on HD versus SD. I have both. I don't see as much of a difference.

The one that I see the most difference on is the Last Starfighter. The original DVD transfer was so almost like a black and white in comparison. Even the HD is not as good as other films, but the color vibrance is night and day.

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post #10 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc1984 View Post

No the set was not calibrated (should not mater, $2000 for a TV should look good out of the box)


Maybe it "should" many times it doesn't. My Sony's vivid default setting is horrendous.
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post #11 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTC View Post

Maybe it "should" many times it doesn't. My Sony's vivid default setting is horrendous.

I'd say an HDTV that DOESN'T need a calibration out of the box is an exception, not the rule - regardless of the cost.
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post #12 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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"I'd say an HDTV that DOESN'T need a calibration out of the box is an exception, not the rule - regardless of the cost."

So the vast majority of people with new HDTV's are stuck with a **** looking image?
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post #13 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc1984 View Post

No the set was not calibrated (should not mater, $2000 for a TV should look good out of the box)

That is probably one of the biggest misconceptions regarding consumer TV monitors. Most TVs are set up at the factory to look good in the showroom and not your home. The contrast setting is usually set to max and the brightness and color are also adjusted to make the picture jump out at you and stand out over and above other sets on display. A consumer TV monitor is usually misadjusted and de-calibrated right out of the box for this very reason. My $4200 Hitachi 60" HDTV looked horrible "right out of the box" and was in dire need of calibration.

So yes, it does matter if it's been calibrated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pc1984 View Post

"I'd say an HDTV that DOESN'T need a calibration out of the box is an exception, not the rule - regardless of the cost."

So the vast majority of people with new HDTV's are stuck with a **** looking image?

Not necessarily. They just won't get the most out of their HDTV until it is properly calibrated. Most of today's digital TV's usually require tweaking the contrast and brightness to set the proper black level. Setting the color temperature also makes a big difference and not all sets have the proper setting (6700K) to provide the best picture. Color and tint may also require some adjustment but then again, it all depends on the default settings.

There are several good calibration DVDs available that will allow you to optimize your set without having to pay an expert for a professional calibration. In fact, if you belong to Blockbuster Online or NetFlix, I believe they have the Digital Video Essentials DVD for rent and possibly the Avia Home Theater disc as well.
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post #14 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

I'd say an HDTV that DOESN'T need a calibration out of the box is an exception, not the rule - regardless of the cost.

Yes I agree that's why I said my Sony was horrendous. When shopping for a new display consumers really need to be educated and pick up the remote and do some basic tweaking.
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post #15 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 10:40 AM
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When one, who's only seen SD, is exposed to proper HD on 40"+ HD screen and doesn't go "WOW !!!", there's something seriously wrong .

Now, great deal of people with HD-capable displays (LCD, RPTV, Plazma) don't have them attached to a source of proper HD or it is done not in a proper way or the actual content is not true HD. Methink that was the case and this is why you were left unimpressed.

Something as trivial as out-of-whack brightness/contrast/color settings would real ez to spot.
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post #16 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc1984 View Post

"I'd say an HDTV that DOESN'T need a calibration out of the box is an exception, not the rule - regardless of the cost."

So the vast majority of people with new HDTV's are stuck with a **** looking image?

Compared to it being properly calibrated? Absolutely.
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post #17 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rashid11 View Post

When one, who's only seen SD, is exposed to proper HD on 40"+ HD screen and doesn't go "WOW !!!", there's something seriously wrong .

Now, great deal of people with HD-capable displays (LCD, RPTV, Plazma) don't have them attached to a source of proper HD or it is done not in a proper way or the actual content is not true HD. Methink that was the case and this is why you were left unimpressed.

Something as trivial as out-of-whack brightness/contrast/color settings would real ez to spot.

I disagree. I have a 92" screen and sit 8' away. If they go from 480p progressive or interlaced straight to HD, then the answer is wow. but if the person has an HD TV and spent money on a good upconverter or had a display with an upconverting worth making mention of (rare) then the difference will not be as great.

I had my HD TV hooked up to my progressive scan Phillips DVP642/37 and could not stand it because it looked so fuzzy. I then eventually added my current HTPC and the upscaling features make my SD night and day between non upscaled product.

So when I got an HD player, I didn't notice as much of a difference. The difference that I noticed more was color vibrance and not so much resolution.

And mine was calibrated using the essentials disk

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post #18 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 12:24 PM
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92" @ 8' away is tad too close(grainy), even on 1080p screen with 1080p source.
In my experience no SD source I ever saw, even when upconverted, can be mistaken for
something like Planet Earth HD DVD, over HDMI, to my 1080p 50" Samsung about 7' away.
Scenes of 1,000,000 bird flock or 500000 caribou herd shot from far above... breathtaking
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post #19 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 12:46 PM
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I have a 65" 1080i Rear Projection and when I bought it I immediately booked Gregg Leowen and would suggest him to anyone. ISF calibrators can do a lot more to the TV than just make sure your front controls are up to speed. They also will adjust the greyscale in the service menu and make sure your blacks are true blacks; which makes a HELL of a difference when it comes to getting that 3d look off certain HD media.

Don't expect your TV to come from the factory set to the optimum settings. Most factory settings have contrast out the wazoo and it will spoil the picture. DVE or Avia or whatever you pick will make the picture more rich and enjoyable.

Go to the Screen Calibration forum on this site and see what they say.

As far as 42" and 1080p.. I don't think you're gonna see much difference until you get to at least a 48-65" set
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post #20 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 01:34 PM
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What exactly were you watching?
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post #21 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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"As far as 42" and 1080p.. I don't think you're gonna see much difference until you get to at least a 48-65" set"

So whats the point of HDTV under 42"?
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post #22 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:00 PM
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All I can say is watching anything non-HD anymore makes me feel like I'm watching the TV through a window somebody threw-up on.

But at the same time, I do think my HDTV (which I have used a calibration disc on) looks a hell of a lot better than my friends HDTV that I can guarantee has never had those settings touched before. I also of course think Samsung is a way better TV than her JVC, but still there is a big difference. Even my girlfriend, who is not hard-core into this Video/Audio tech stuff, thought my friends HD stations looked horrible compared to ours.

But like everything when it comes to electronics, everyone's experience is different.
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post #23 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pc1984 View Post

"As far as 42" and 1080p.. I don't think you're gonna see much difference until you get to at least a 48-65" set"

So whats the point of HDTV under 42"?

threads like this make me think that something is wrong somewhere either with the hook up or the source, people forget there is more than just resolution, i have a 23in hdtv for my bedroom and i can tell the difference when something is hd or not its just clearer, better colors and sharper and thats from over 10ft, i would go back and make sure its true HD you are watching not what the box is sending to the tv because cable/ sat boxes will upconvert signals making the tv read the resolution the box is sending out
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rashid11 View Post

92" @ 8' away is tad too close(grainy), even on 1080p screen with 1080p source.
In my experience no SD source I ever saw, even when upconverted, can be mistaken for
something like Planet Earth HD DVD, over HDMI, to my 1080p 50" Samsung about 7' away.
Scenes of 1,000,000 bird flock or 500000 caribou herd shot from far above... breathtaking

You would surprised how good it is that close. I am about 1.5 feet away from screen door effect. I also find that any close, I get the tennis match effect where I have to turn my head to watch motion. I have a home theater and not a TV. There is alot more tweaking that you can do with front projection between the screen and the projector without even touching the source.

There is another possibility that we may have overlooked. Don't take this the wrong way, but it could also be your vision. It happened to my Dad when he got his 62" HDTV. He swore there wasn't much of a difference. Then I asked him why he wasn't wearing his glasses. He saw a difference then.

I wear glasses myself. My vision is very mild as I am 20/25 and 20/30. I do notice an improvement wearing my glasses versus not and my vision is not all that bad.

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post #25 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:14 PM
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My guess is that this person was watching SD content with the aspect ratio stretched to 16:9.

If it was HD content, then I guess your eyes are failing you if you think your Sony 32" SDTV produces a better picture than an HDTV displaying something in HD.

My dad did the same thing, until I actually showed him something in HD.
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post #26 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:28 PM
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Wait a minute. I was reading the original post again. Of course you are not going to notice much of a difference.

First off, he is not getting 1080p signals. He is getting 1080i/720p or 48op if it is not an HD channel (not all channels are HD yet)

That mean that you are watching 1080 lines of resolution that either needs to be deinterlaced or 720 lines that need to be resized to 1080p.

You are comparing that to a 4:3 TV with a little less than half the lines that are not altered in anyway an much less resolution. there is a big difference in size when a viewing a 32" versus a 42". Furthermore, I would think your 32" is most likely a CRT.

Anyone who is in AV science will tell you that CRTs offer the deepest blacks and in many ways are superior to an LCD/Plasma or DLP of the same resolution. It is just not economically feasible or physically logical to make a CRT for 42". I had a 32" CRT. OMG! I almost broke my back once moving that thing around.

And no offense, but you buddy probably got some cheap brand.

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post #27 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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I have a TH-42PZ700U, 42 inch 1080p TV. I sit about 6 feet from it.

Just Beautiful.
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post #28 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkatron101 View Post

My guess is that this person was watching SD content with the aspect ratio stretched to 16:9.

If it was HD content, then I guess your eyes are failing you if you think your Sony 32" SDTV produces a better picture than an HDTV displaying something in HD.

My dad did the same thing, until I actually showed him something in HD.

They do that at work here. Tehy have a 720p 42" vizio in our waiting room for service. They have it hooked up to standard cable and stretch the image to make it fit so everyone looks like an offensive lineman. I told them they should set it to 4:3 but they complained about the "bars". OMG. Why can't people live with the bars. Why is it better to completely distort the image?

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post #29 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

I have a TH-42PZ700U, 42 inch 1080p TV. I sit about 6 feet from it.

Just Beautiful.

Oh. that is way to far back for me. I watch my 92" at 8 feet. I would probably have to no more than 3 feet away.

JK

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post #30 of 35 Old 01-31-2008, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjmarchini View Post

They do that at work here. Tehy have a 720p 42" vizio in our waiting room for service. They have it hooked up to standard cable and stretch the image to make it fit so everyone looks like an offensive lineman. I told them they should set it to 4:3 but they complained about the "bars". OMG. Why can't people live with the bars. Why is it better to completely distort the image?

It's the same concept as if you were to fill a huge bowl and a small bowl with the same amount of M&Ms. Everyone will think there are less in the huge bowl.

Basically if you have a widescreen TV, then you aren't "getting your money's worth" if that whole screen isn't filled. Sounds silly, but that is the average joe for ya.
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