HDTV on an SDTV...my impressions

Discussion in 'Displays' started by nick_rh, Apr 7, 2003.

  1. nick_rh

    nick_rh Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a topic I'd been very curious about for a while, so I thought I'd fill in others on my experience with it now that I've had a weekend to play with a Zenith HD receiver connected to a SD Sony Wega.

    First off, HD programming. So far I've seen the NCAA game on CBS, part of Smallville and Everwood on the WB, Dragnet on ABC, Disney's Atlantis on ABC (the listings didn't say it was HD, but it was widescreen with 5.1 audio), and some travel programs and HD demos on PBS.

    All of it looked very, very good. I would have liked to have a copy of the Atlantis DVD on hand to compare it to the broadcast, but my impression was that the picture on it was very close--if not equal to--DVD quality. The WB and ABC shows looked great. Again, no means of comparison since DVDs for those shows don't exist. However, on Tuesday I'm looking forward to comparing the 24 digital broadcast (non-HD, but supposed to be DVD resolution) to my first season 24 DVDs.

    Digital non-HD programming also looks nice, definitely better than any other type of TV broadcast I've seen (cable, satellite, or otherwise).

    All in all, I'd say an HD tuner is a great way to "upgrade" an existing TV without getting into the huge costs of actually buying a new monitor. (That said, now that I've seen what downconverted HDTV looks like, I really want an HD set!) $400 (what I paid for the Zenith) is kind of a lot to pay just to make my TV shows look and sound better (even a lot better), but I figure it'll be a useful thing to have around if I decide to spring for an HD set somewhere down the road, or when the networks stop broadcasting in SD and every SDTV needs one of these boxes to function.
     
  2. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    An HDTV box connected to an ordinary TV will give just as good a quality as you would get from a DVD player.

    If the circuitry and picture tube(s) are good enough, you can get 1920 x 480 luminance resolution or test pattern resolution (blacks/whites) using composite video and 960 x 480 quality in full color via 480i component video. However I don't know of any examples of equipment.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  3. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    The SD set is not capable of showing more than 700 horizontal lines of resolution out of that 1920 number anyways.

    Still looks nice though.

    Regards
     
  4. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Interesting, I've thought about this before. I've decided to hold off a couple more years to buy an HD monitor but thought that if comcast offers HD in my area that I might upgrade my service to get the higher video quality and more importantly, DD 5.1 audio for some movies on HBO.

    Is anyone else doing this and would like to comment?
     
  5. nick_rh

    nick_rh Stunt Coordinator

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  6. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Do some receivers down convert? More specifically, might my Onkyo RS600?
     
  7. Dan Stone

    Dan Stone Stunt Coordinator

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  8. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Thanks Dan, there are ways of dealing with the technicians [​IMG] Seriously though, I'd hope that getting DD audio and seeing my good audio HT system would make a semi-compelling case.
     

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