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john
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Post by john » Mon 10 Jan 2011 17:25

Allan wrote:Certain programs may not benefit that much from HD but try watching a football match, with HD you can recognise the players and see considerable detail, switch back to SD and you get a vague blur.
From what people tell me Allan,HD only really has a perceived benefit when there is long distance/panoramic camera work,such as,as you say,sports and nature programmes.

I'm sure that it's similar to the situation whereby if you've driven a car with automatic transmisson and AC,you never really want to drive a manual non AC car again !

Perhaps Russell does not agree with this,but I take a middle ground here. HD's not something I'd have paid the outrageous price premium for up till recently,but now it's only slightly more,then it',on balance,worth having,wouldn't you say?

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Post by Allan » Mon 10 Jan 2011 17:40

john wrote:
Allan wrote:Certain programs may not benefit that much from HD but try watching a football match, with HD you can recognise the players and see considerable detail, switch back to SD and you get a vague blur.
From what people tell me Allan,HD only really has a perceived benefit when there is long distance/panoramic camera work,such as,as you say,sports and nature programmes.

I'm sure that it's similar to the situation whereby if you've driven a car with automatic transmisson and AC,you never really want to drive a manual non AC car again !

Perhaps Russell does not agree with this,but I take a middle ground here. HD's not something I'd have paid the outrageous price premium for up till recently,but now it's only slightly more,then it',on balance,worth having,wouldn't you say?
Certainly it is certain types of program that benefit from HD, Coronation Street for example looks pretty much the same whatever the definition. But like most technologies, as it becomes more commonplace, more program makers will take advantage of it.

If buying a TV nowadays, I doubt you could buy one that isn't HD capable.
By the way when buying a new TV, look for one with multiple HDMI inputs, that way you can connect a DVD player or other device and not have to mess around swapping cables.

The FoxSat boxes do not work well with HDMI switch boxes.

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Post by russell » Tue 11 Jan 2011 10:38

Allan wrote:Certain programs may not benefit that much from HD but try watching a football match, with HD you can recognise the players and see considerable detail, switch back to SD and you get a vague blur.

Part of the reason for this is that with digital television some standard definition channels are highly compressed when broadcast and so the quality you receive is even less than a non-HD TV can display

Anyone with SKY HD or FreeSat who cannot perceive the difference should invest in some decent spectacles
I agree with you to a certain extent. Some digital signals, especially those on the "red button" are compressed too much and give poor results. However, as I said, this is a marketing decision by the broadcasters. They are giving you considerably poorer pictures than the standard definition system is capable of. It's a good marketing technique; degrade a perfectly good system so that you can sell people a new one!

It doesn't change the fact that your eye can not resolve the 1920 x 1080 pixels unless you sit closer to the screen than most people consider acceptable.

In your final paragraph are you suggesting that you have eyes that can resolve less than one minute of arc? If so perhaps you should consider donating them to science in your will :lol:

Incidentally, when I was doing satellite TV research at Philips we always reckoned that the optimum viewing distance was five times the picture height. This would give the viewer the same size image on his retina as if he were standing where the camera was (using the standard lens).

Russell.

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Post by Allan » Tue 11 Jan 2011 12:56

russell wrote:
Allan wrote:Certain programs may not benefit that much from HD but try watching a football match, with HD you can recognise the players and see considerable detail, switch back to SD and you get a vague blur.

Part of the reason for this is that with digital television some standard definition channels are highly compressed when broadcast and so the quality you receive is even less than a non-HD TV can display

Anyone with SKY HD or FreeSat who cannot perceive the difference should invest in some decent spectacles
I agree with you to a certain extent. Some digital signals, especially those on the "red button" are compressed too much and give poor results. However, as I said, this is a marketing decision by the broadcasters. They are giving you considerably poorer pictures than the standard definition system is capable of. It's a good marketing technique; degrade a perfectly good system so that you can sell people a new one!

It doesn't change the fact that your eye can not resolve the 1920 x 1080 pixels unless you sit closer to the screen than most people consider acceptable.

In your final paragraph are you suggesting that you have eyes that can resolve less than one minute of arc? If so perhaps you should consider donating them to science in your will :lol:

Incidentally, when I was doing satellite TV research at Philips we always reckoned that the optimum viewing distance was five times the picture height. This would give the viewer the same size image on his retina as if he were standing where the camera was (using the standard lens).

Russell.
I claim no capabilities for my eyes although I do have a good optician and as for donating them to science, French law would probably require half a eye each to my wife and children.

I'm not sure the high compression rates are purely a marketing decision, with a thousand UK channels now available the available bandwidth must impose some restrictions. Whatever the reason however, it doesn't change the fact that a lot of SD broadcasts are of poor quality.

Despite the limitations of the human eye, if you tested me (like most other reasonably sighted people) on discerning which channel showing a football match is Sky Sports and which is Sky Sports HD then I would correctly pick Sky Sports HD every time, the difference is significant.

At the end of the day, resolutions and compression ratios shouldn't be part of a purchasing decision, what matters is the quality of the picture and for some programs (not all), the difference in quality is dramatic.

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Post by john » Tue 11 Jan 2011 16:27

Allan wrote: what matters is the quality of the picture and for some programs (not all), the difference in quality is dramatic.
I think that may be over-egging the pudding a bit Allan !

I've spent most of today looking at the choice of new tellies at various emporia in Le Boulou and Perps. I've seen no end of pictures both H and S D,and to describe HD improvement as "dramatic" is a bit OTT in my opinion . Better,but not stunningly so.

What DID strike me was the difference between not only LED and LCD screens,but within the manufacturers' too.
Companies like LG,Samsung,Panasonic were notably poorer than Sharp,Sony and Philips. Price seemed to have only a small bearing on this,and the sytem on Philips /Sharp that stops the "judder" when camera panning is quick was very impressive...much more so than the difference between HD and SD.

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Post by Allan » Tue 11 Jan 2011 16:41

john wrote:
Allan wrote: what matters is the quality of the picture and for some programs (not all), the difference in quality is dramatic.
I think that may be over-egging the pudding a bit Allan !

I've spent most of today looking at the choice of new tellies at various emporia in Le Boulou and Perps. I've seen no end of pictures both H and S D,and to describe HD improvement as "dramatic" is a bit OTT in my opinion . Better,but not stunningly so.

What DID strike me was the difference between not only LED and LCD screens,but within the manufacturers' too.
Companies like LG,Samsung,Panasonic were notably poorer than Sharp,Sony and Philips. Price seemed to have only a small bearing on this,and the sytem on Philips /Sharp that stops the "judder" when camera panning is quick was very impressive...much more so than the difference betwem HD and SD.
John

The simple point I was making is that for SOME programs, there is a truly noticeable difference between HD and SD, Russell was saying that it is practically impossible for the eye to perceive the difference I totally refute this from practical experience. This difference may well be accounted for by the high compression rates of SD broadcasts rather than the increased resolution of HD but nevertheless the difference exists.

I remember watching the terrific champions league match a while back between Chelsea and Liverpool, part way through I realised I was watching in SD, I switched to HD and Wow! what a difference.

You have probably discovered by now that it is almost impossible to buy an SD TV anyway so my advice is buy the one in your price range with the best picture across a mix of formats.

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Post by john » Tue 11 Jan 2011 16:52

Allan wrote:[
You have probably discovered by now that it is almost impossible to buy an SD TV anyway so my advice is buy the one in your price range with the best picture across a mix of formats.
Oh no,I certainly would not be buying an SD one,even if they existed !

My main consideration however is not HD or no,but light,colour, sound quality etc of different ranges,and the point I was making was that this makes far more impact to me than whether it's in HD or SD.

Have you a favoured manufacturer/range?

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Post by Allan » Tue 11 Jan 2011 17:42

john wrote: Have you a favoured manufacturer/range?
Not really, it all depends on LCD/Plasma - screen size - price range etc

The current Samsung range seem pretty good quality as do some of the LG models. Another consideration is the sound quality which is easy to ignore.

Early plasma sets had no speakers in at all, relying on external home cinema units but modern sets also include speakers, some are pretty tinny others quite good.

TV's are however a bit like HiFis, the jump from a £400 unit to a £4,000 is less noticeable that the jump from a £40 unit to a £400 one.

Remember also that there are multiple standards for HD TVs so even if you are not bothered about HD you should at least know what you are buying.

Some of the newer TVs include a web browser, to my mind this is a useful feature as you can use it for i-Player, Sky-Player, itv-player etc

Good luck with your purchase.

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Post by Sue » Tue 11 Jan 2011 19:10

When we bought our new set about 6 months ago we were told to go for the highest pixel content we could afford. We bought a slightly smaller set than intended (and are glad now we did) to keep the price down and opted for a top of the range Phillips. The picture is excellent. I must say the last telly we bought in England about 8 years ago (the big backed type) was a Phillps and is now still working in our bedroom. The picture on that too is excellent.
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Post by john » Tue 11 Jan 2011 19:39

Many thanks for that info,Sue. It's always good to get experience from real people ,not Which reports and the like.

In a way,I'm glad you speak highly of the Philips. I was edging towards that one tbh. It's not the cheapest,anot the dearest,and the point Allan makes is a good one re price v quality. Speaking bluntly; one thousand quid is MORE than enough to pay for a telly these days !

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Post by Sue » Tue 11 Jan 2011 20:09

I think ours was about 500€ and is modest in size by todays standards. We bought it in Carrefour, Argeles when they had special deals on tvs on which to watch France in the finals of the world cup. It had the highest pixel count available at that time.
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Post by redneckrover » Tue 11 Jan 2011 20:37

I am very interested in the discussion comaring Normal Definition and HD.
I recently purchased a Samsung LED full HD tv.
In general the picture is of very high quality. I dont agree that there is a marked difference between normal and HD.
I have regularly switched between normal and HD during football transmissions to compare the difference.
In a lot of camera shots,particularly long distance shots, the difference is not obvious. I would agree that in close up the HD is better but not remarkably so.
Also the Sky HD has much better definition than,for example, ITV HD.
With regard to the differences in tv brands, I understand that Samsung is the worlds largest producer of LED/LCD screens and that many tv's with other brand names actually have screens which produced by Samsung.
With regard to sound quality,this has deteriorated somewhat, particularly with the very slim LED tv's. The size of the speakers is very small and the manufacturers are marketing sound bars and home cinema systems at inflated prices to enhance the "poor" sound.

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Post by john » Wed 12 Jan 2011 09:54

redneckrover wrote:, I understand that Samsung is the worlds largest producer of LED/LCD screens and that many tv's with other brand names actually have screens which produced by Samsung.
.
Reading up on this,Rover,apparently the sames is true with Philips,Sony,and Sharp screens,all of which are made by Sharp.

It all reminds me of the French artisans who proudly drive around in their "French" Renault vans ,blissfully unaware that they are,in fact made in the old Vauxhall factory in Luton!

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Post by russell » Wed 12 Jan 2011 11:43

I have to confess to being biased, having worked in the Philips research labs I tend to favour Philips. You do have to be careful when comparing sets in big stores. They rarely have anyone who knows how to set the things up correctly and most of the difference you see results from different settings of brightness, contrast , and saturation (colour).

I agree with the comments on sound quality. In general it is c**p! Current fashion dictates the use of very small loudspeakers. These require a large cone movement to produce a reasonable volume and this results in both nonlinearity and intermodulation distortion (a bit like the doppler effect where the note of a passing car with a siren changes as it goes past). The small speaker cannot reproduce low frequencies so the resulting sound is "tinny". Manufacturers will cut the high frequencies to restore the balance and remove the tinny sound. Unfortunately this then results in a muffled sound.

The easy solution is to feed the sound signal from the back of the set into your music centre. A cheap and chearful one will do but you should throw the speakers away and replace them with a pair from someone like KEF or Mission. You will be amazed at the difference. Again home cinema surround sound systems are a bit of a gimmick but I'd better not go into that :)

Russell.

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Re: sky plus

Post by Roger O » Wed 12 Jan 2011 12:04

Sue wrote:When we bought our new set about 6 months ago we were told to go for the highest pixel content we could afford. We bought a slightly smaller set than intended (and are glad now we did) to keep the price down and opted for a top of the range Phillips. The picture is excellent. I must say the last telly we bought in England about 8 years ago (the big backed type) was a Phillps and is now still working in our bedroom. The picture on that too is excellent.
We have always bough Philips both TV and video/DVD recorders (for quality, compatibility - and perhaps - a naïve belief in supporting European products!)

We also confess to loving the P/P button on all Philips remotes!!

Our TV is a full HD/TNT model 94 cms which is plenty enough for us and does not dominate the salon - bought in Darty with 5yr gtee extra!

We're not convinced about the "Ambilight" incorporated in the latest versions of big screen Philips... Don't know whether it can be turned off?
I deal in Logic!
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Re: sky plus

Post by john » Wed 12 Jan 2011 12:30

Roger O wrote:
Sue wrote:We're not convinced about the "Ambilight" incorporated in the latest versions of big screen Philips... Don't know whether it can be turned off?
Agree totally with you about the Ambilight thingy.,Rog.

It's a complete gimmick. But aren't most things on gadgets gimmicks,that the salesman persuades you that you need,until you buy it and discover you can well do without it ?!

But,yes,apparently it can be switched off....

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Post by Roger O » Wed 12 Jan 2011 12:55

Don't suppose anyone was watching ARTE this morning (FR/GE)??
There was a really interesting programme which showed how so many of today's electronics etc. were originally inspired by SKYTREK, from cellphones through hospital scanners to the central control room of NASA.

Incredible... there are hundreds and still being projected... e.g. teleportation
which has already been achieved for infinitesimal particles..
Gene Roddenbury really started something back in the 60s!!
I deal in Logic!
"Magic" is applied science far in advance of our current technology.

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Post by john » Wed 12 Jan 2011 13:24

Roger O wrote:Don't suppose anyone was watching ARTE this morning (FR/GE)??
There was a really interesting programme which showed how so many of today's electronics etc. were originally inspired by SKYTREK, from cellphones through hospital scanners to the central control room of NASA.

Incredible... there are hundreds and still being projected... e.g. teleportation
which has already been achieved for infinitesimal particles..
Gene Roddenbury really started something back in the 60s!!
By "Skytrek",I assume you mean StarTrek,Rog ?

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Re: sky plus

Post by polremy » Wed 12 Jan 2011 14:38

john wrote:
Roger O wrote:
Sue wrote:We're not convinced about the "Ambilight" incorporated in the latest versions of big screen Philips... Don't know whether it can be turned off?
Agree totally with you about the Ambilight thingy.,Rog.

It's a complete gimmick. But aren't most things on gadgets gimmicks,that the salesman persuades you that you need,until you buy it and discover you can well do without it ?!

But,yes,apparently it can be switched off....
We have a Philips tv with ambilight here in Chavland.
We love it.
We use it as the only light source in the evenings.
And, yes, it can be switched off - even by a woman!

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Post by Roger O » Wed 12 Jan 2011 15:53

john wrote:
Roger O wrote:Don't suppose anyone was watching ARTE this morning (FR/GE)??
There was a really interesting programme which showed how so many of today's electronics etc. were originally inspired by SKYTREK, from cellphones through hospital scanners to the central control room of NASA.

Incredible... there are hundreds and still being projected... e.g. teleportation
which has already been achieved for infinitesimal particles..
Gene Roddenbury really started something back in the 60s!!
By "Skytrek",I assume you mean StarTrek,Rog ?
Of course, just that SKY seems to be an all important issue with many... so I was infected by the word!! Better beam me up!!
I deal in Logic!
"Magic" is applied science far in advance of our current technology.

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