So what does HD mean for projector owners?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by pearlyred, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. pearlyred

    pearlyred Extra

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    Hi all,

    As the new owner of a Panasonic PT-AE900 projector I'm spending increasing amounts of time watching movies. We just moved into a new house about 5 weeks ago, and I bought the projector a week after that. I'm now at the point where I've pursuaded the Mrs that we don't need a TV in the living room (where the pj is) and that we should do all the tv watching in the lounge/dining room. Woohoo [​IMG]

    Anyway, I absolutely love the clear/sharp picture I am getting on standard dvds (i've never owned anything better than a standard tv before) and it brings a whole new level of entertainment to watching movies. I'm wondering what the new HD format will bring to projector users?

    I think my projector runs natively on 720p, so it's hardly 'top of the line', which I cant afford, but a rough comparison in the shop when i bought it put it right up with the best plasmas/lcd's they were selling at half the size, but how much difference can I expect between a standard dvd and a HD-DVD/BD?

    High-Def hasn't yet been introduced in New Zealand, so I am all excited but have no reference points as of yet because the shops arent stocking/demo'ing them and I have no way to compare.

    Will I notice the difference when HD finally arrives, on my projector and standard 100" 16x9 screen?

    Cheers
    PR
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Depends how well the unit is set up and how far back you are sitting. At 1.5 screen widths back, you see roughly 1-1.2 million pixels of information.

    DVD has 348,000 pixels of information ... 720p HD has 921,000 pixels ...

    Regards
     
  3. Alon Goldberg

    Alon Goldberg Screenwriter

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    DVD = 720 x 480p = 345,600 pixels
    HDTV = 1280 x 720p = 921,600 pixels
    HD DVD = 1920 x 1080p = 2,073,600 pixels

    HD DVD and Blu-Ray have the ability to display 6x the resolution of DVD, and twice the resolution of HDTV broadcasts. However, 1080p projectors still cost well over $10,000 so I think you will be very happy watching HD content on 720p for the next two years. [​IMG]
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Yes you will notice a difference with HD content if you are sitting close enough. For a 720p display, anything 2.0 or closer will show a big difference IMO. You'd have to go pretty darn far back, maybe like 3.0 or something not to see any difference.
     
  5. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    While most discussion of HD vs. DVD centers on pixel resolution, the color resolution of HD is also vastly superior. This is clearly noticeable over my 480p InFocus 4805 from any distance.
     
  6. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    ??? The color is not different, it's still 8-bit 4:2:0. Yes, HD does use 709 matrix to encode component rather than 601, but the end-to-end result is still the same in RGB.
     
  7. Th8ter

    Th8ter Extra

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    I have the Panni 700U and I can say you will see a difference. I have a Denon upconverting DVD player (set at 720P) and there is a pretty good difference in the HD picture vs. upconverted DVD. Huge difference in non-upconverted picture vs HD. The picture is very detailed. Fox, ESPN, and ABC sports look fantastic (they are broadcasting in 720P).
     
  8. pearlyred

    pearlyred Extra

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    Thanks for all the reply's. Due to the setup of our lounge the seating is 2 - 2.5 screens back, with the projector mounted about 1' behind the back seats.

    Not sure i'd really wanna be sitting any closer anyway...

    I can't wait till i can get my hands on a HD player and be able to compare this for myself. Getting excited [​IMG]
     
  9. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Alot of the reviews I've read are seeing glorious images from these 2nd generation 720p projectors. Panasonic, Optoma are getting rave reviews so while you could have spent more, you've got a great pj right now! [​IMG]

    Get the popcorn going. [​IMG]
     
  10. Josh Matthews

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    HD on a 720p projector is fantastic. I have a Z4 and I get Comcast HD cable stations. I watch a lot of bad programming (hear that, INHD?) just because it looks so good on the pj in HD.
     
  11. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i watch my content on a very decent XGA pj. From what I understand, 1080 content gets bobbed down to 540p and upscaled...just as it does for most 720p projectors (unless you have a very high end one or one with an outboard scaler).
    so it basically amounts to the difference between 480p and 540p.

    that isn't quite all there is to it, but you should get the general idea. In my experience, the benefits of HD really come into play with wider aspect ratio material, and in the delination of objects and textures found in the middle and backgrounds. Close ups can look stunning in standard definition, but tiny background detail in a 2.35 scope film is compromised by significantly reduced resolution available (think of something that takes up a fraction of a 2.35 area, which initself only takes up a fraction of the 480 lines, because of the presence of the lbx bars. Detail such as this is more often than not rendered in an impressionistic manner in standard def, as compared to high def's ability to resolve it to such a degree that it can achieve a 'like looking thru a window' effect.
    obviously though, everything is ultimately dependant upon filming style, lighting, grain structure of the original elements, quality of the original elements, etc.

    one other thing about viewing HD (on HD DVD) that I have noticed and greatly appreciate- image stability apparently due to the VC1 codec.
    Hard to describe but going back and forth between the two, I've come to notice a significant stability to the VC1 images, while there is an ever so slight flicker, or instability to standared def. This last point to me really sells the feeling of watching something much closer to film. Very subtle, but something that has struck me as being very significant so far.
     
  12. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    RE: the color resolution of HD is also vastly superior
    What was meant was "lines of resolution" in the context of fineness of color changes across the screen. For 1280x720 for example the 4:2:0 implies a chrominance pixel matrix of 640x360 spots that can each be a different color while for 720x480 the same 4:2:0 implies 360x240 color pixels. In 4:2:0 every 2x2 block of luminance pixels share the same hue which hue may or may not be evenly weighted from what should be the colors of each of the respective luminance pixels, depending on production method.
     
  13. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Sure, but that doesn't make color at all better between HD and SD, as this is tied to increase in resolution. The video is still 4:2:0, and while yes it's higher resolution, at that higher resolution the color capability is equivalent (ignoring chromaticity differences which at this point are merely theoretical). It would be nice if HD formats were delivering superior color capability or superior bit-depth, but unfortunately they aren't.
     

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