Are all HDTV recordings created equal?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by seth_petry_john, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. seth_petry_john

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    OK, I have what is probably a huge newbie question, but its something that has confused me for some time.

    I have a 57" HD ready Toshiba set, and I have Time Warner's HD cable. This gives me a small number of HD channels in the 700 range: HBO, CBS, NBC, UPN and as of a day or two ago Discovery HD theater.

    Despite being "high definition" channels, only two shows have made me sit up and say "holy CRAP that's awesome!". The first was a football game I caught on CBS last week, and the second was Discovery HD theather I watched last night. I don't normally care for Jeff Corwin, but I couldn't stop watching! It was literally like I could reach into the TV and grab the frog right out of his hands. My girlfriend also commented about the difference so I feel somewhat validated that I'm not imagining things.

    The other shows I've watched on the HD channels such as Friends on NBC, Angel on UPN, and various dramas on CBS look noticeably better than their counterparts on non-HD channels but they don't seem as crisp and lifelike as Discovery. Still awesome, but not as much.

    So: am I just being an idiot, and there is no difference, or is there something different about the way a comedy or drama is filmed and broadcast in HD versus the way a football game or Discovery channel content is filmed and broadcast?

    Thanks for any input,
    Seth
     
  2. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Greetings

    no your not an idiot :) (I keep telling myself the same thing)

    HD can vary greatly. Some channels only upconvert the 480i signal. Others compress the heck out of the signal.

    Generally Ive seen the worse HD out of cable boxes and the best looking HD out of HD tape. Dish and DTV are some where in the middle. Then you have to consider how much band width the company is giving your signal.

    Regards

    Gregg Loewen
     
  3. seth_petry_john

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Yesterday morning, before I saw Discovery HD theater, I placed an order for a DirecTV setup. I'm getting one of the DirecTV-TiVo combo units and I thought it was worth losing what little HD content I have to get a TiVo.

    Had I seen Discovery HD BEFORE, I might have reconsidered. Its only one channel, but man was it a beautiful display. In one hour it erased the 12 months of mild buyers remorse I've been feeling for spending $2500 on a friggin TV.

    God, I'm such a geek [​IMG]

    Seth
     
  4. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Just got my first WS HDTV and am considering taking the plunge into digital cable to pick up the HD signals. My local Time-Warner is offering the following:

    TWC HD Sampler Time Warner Cable High Definition highlights
    CBS HDTV CBS shows in High Definition
    ABC HDTV ABC shows in High Definition
    Discovery HDTV Discovery's High Definition Theater
    HBO HDTV HBO programming in High Definition
    INHD iNDEMAND programming in High Definition
    INHD2 iNDEMAND programming in High Definition
    Showtime HDTV Showtime's High Definition programs

    Here's the description of the iNDEMAND programming:

    iN DEMAND's newest channel is a perfect entree into the world of high definition TV. Although iN DEMAND is known as a pay-per-view service, this offering is a linear channel showcasing some of the outstanding programming that iN DEMAND has gathered over the years. Movies, concerts and sporting events are at your high-def fingertips as you can enjoy some of the many memorable titles that have put iN DEMAND on the map as a leading program provider. Instead of pay per viewing it, now you can just high def it.

    Am on the bubble. After watching DVDs on the new set, standard cable is rather depressing in quality.
     

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