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At what screen size will HD make a big difference?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 Jefferson Morris

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Posted August 03 2006 - 08:38 AM

Greetings, all. I've been posting on HTF forever, but never in this forum, so forgive me if this newbie-ish question has been addressed ad nauseum already.

I've got a 50-inch Hitachi LCD rear projection HDTV, fed mostly with standard DVDs upscaled to 720p by my trustly Momitsu player and connected via DVI.

How much of a difference in detail and clarity do you expect I'll see with HD-DVD/Blu-Ray on my setup? I ask because I read an article recently that suggested that the difference might not really be apparent until you get to 65 inches screen size and up (in other words, when you upgrade to a front projector, which I don't plan to do for some years to come).

I'll at least be in possession of a Blu-Ray player later this year (my PS3, of course), and I just don't want to set myself up for disappointment.

--Jefferson Morris
"If fakes, they were masterpieces."

--The New York Times commenting on Willis O'Brien's dinosaurs in The Lost World (1925).

"From the two trailers I've seen, the movie looks like AIDS."--Recent thread post on AICN

#2 of 15 Paul_Scott

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Posted August 03 2006 - 09:16 AM

my personal opinion is that the displays resolution is as much as, if not more a factor than just raw screen size. If I had to qualify that, I would say starting at about 36" and a 1.5 screen width viewing distance you will definitely see the difference on a 1080p display. When you get into front projection screen sizes, then even with a 720p (or even an XGA like I have) you will still notice the benefits of the HD source, even though you won't actually be resolving all of the detail.

also- HD is more than just more fine detail in the picture. There is the increased resolution in colorspace, as well as a general sense of stability and solidity to the image that is lacking with dvd. Some of these things aren't really noticeable until you live with the HD on disc material for a while and then go back.

#3 of 15 Jefferson Morris

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Posted August 03 2006 - 09:21 AM

Thanks, Paul. My screen has a somewhat oddball native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, for what it's worth. So I guess that means it can't display true 1080p.

--Jefferson Morris
"If fakes, they were masterpieces."

--The New York Times commenting on Willis O'Brien's dinosaurs in The Lost World (1925).

"From the two trailers I've seen, the movie looks like AIDS."--Recent thread post on AICN

#4 of 15 Paul_Scott

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Posted August 03 2006 - 09:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefferson Morris
Thanks, Paul. My screen has a somewhat oddball native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, for what it's worth. So I guess that means it can't display true 1080p.

--Jefferson Morris

you will be getting the same 'bobbed' 540p image that most people with 720ps, and people like me with their XGAs(1024 x768) are getting. A lot of it is going to come down to how well the scaler in your TV performs. If you buy an outboard scaler (about another grand or two) you will almost certainly squeeze out a better image.

#5 of 15 Tim Glover

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Posted August 03 2006 - 11:56 AM

The demos I've seen look rather stellar, even on smallish 37 inch. Not sure if those were 720p or 1080i but it looked incredible.

#6 of 15 Sean Bryan

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Posted August 03 2006 - 01:49 PM

Keep in mind that screen size doesn't exist in a vacuum. The distance you sit from the screen is just as important a variable.

Ultimately, it's the the perceived viewing angle that is the most important.

Just picking a random screen size and saying that "this is the size where you'll notice a difference" is kinda meaningless since some people will sit closer and others will sit further away.
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#7 of 15 JeremyErwin

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Posted August 03 2006 - 04:08 PM

trigonometry comes in handy here.

Your eye has a limited resolution (about one minute of arc).
1080p sets can occupy 30 degrees.
720p sets can occupy 20 degrees.

Or you can consult this handy chart.

#8 of 15 Jefferson Morris

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Posted August 04 2006 - 05:46 AM

Thanks, all. I tend to sit fairly close to the screen, but not so close that I'm seeing screen door on my LCD set. I'm probably no more than 2 screen widths from the set, and maybe less. I'm also the type who sits fairly close to the screen in movie theaters.

What is 'bobbed' 540p? Never heard of that. I don't much like the sound of it.

--Jefferson Morris
"If fakes, they were masterpieces."

--The New York Times commenting on Willis O'Brien's dinosaurs in The Lost World (1925).

"From the two trailers I've seen, the movie looks like AIDS."--Recent thread post on AICN

#9 of 15 JeremyErwin

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Posted August 04 2006 - 06:36 AM

2 screen widths is 28 degrees. If you have good vision, you might notice a slight improvement with 1080p.

As for bobbed 540p, maybe this page will help explain it.

A 1080i picture is divided into two 1920x540 fields. Your brain, or a decent pulldown algorithm will combine this into a 1920x1080 picture.

bobbed 540p takes one of the fields, and upscales it to 720x1280 or 768x1366. Are you feeling cheated yet?

#10 of 15 Larry Sutliff

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Posted August 04 2006 - 08:46 AM

I can see a very clear difference between HD DVD and DVD on my 47" CRT 1080i rear projection set.

#11 of 15 Jimi C

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Posted August 04 2006 - 10:33 AM

I can see a huge difference between DVD and HDTV on my 84" 480P front projector setup.
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#12 of 15 JeremyErwin

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Posted August 04 2006 - 02:58 PM

Quote:
I can see a huge difference between DVD and HDTV on my 84" 480P front projector setup.
You have more than 720 horizontal pixels, don't you? The higher resolution color components probably help as well.

#13 of 15 Jefferson Morris

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Posted August 09 2006 - 03:17 AM

Quote:
bobbed 540p takes one of the fields, and upscales it to 720x1280 or 768x1366. Are you feeling cheated yet?
So it takes half the original image, and essentially interpolates the other half? Yes, I suppose 'cheated' is the right word. But a monitor upgrade isn't in the cards for me for at least a few years.

--Jefferson Morris
"If fakes, they were masterpieces."

--The New York Times commenting on Willis O'Brien's dinosaurs in The Lost World (1925).

"From the two trailers I've seen, the movie looks like AIDS."--Recent thread post on AICN

#14 of 15 Steve Phillips

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Posted August 09 2006 - 03:28 AM

I can see a noticable difference even when watching on my 30" Sony. You do NOT have to have a huge screen to enjoy HD. Put the measuring tapes away and simply enjoy.

#15 of 15 JeremyErwin

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Posted August 09 2006 - 06:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefferson Morris
So it takes half the original image, and essentially interpolates the other half? Yes, I suppose 'cheated' is the right word. But a monitor upgrade isn't in the cards for me for at least a few years.

--Jefferson Morris

To be fair, a few displays incorporate more sophisticated scaling and deinterlacing, and future players may as well. The only way to be sure is to somehow get your mitts on a set of 1080 test patterns, stare into them for a bit.

PS. It seems that some of the Sony Bluray releases incorporate a secret test pattern. Perhaps some hddvd discs do as well.


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