Need straight scoop - 16:9 enhanced mode on 4:3 set with HD feed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_L, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Mike_L

    Mike_L Auditioning

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    What happens to the 1080 lines of HD source material when sent to a 4:3 set with a 16:9 enhanced mode (e.g., Sony HS or Toshiba)?

    I understand that when these sets receive a DVD signal, all 480 lines are drawn within the 16:9 area of the screen, giving an equivalent picture to a widescreen set.

    However, can it be possible that these sets are also able to resolve all 1080 lines of vertical HD resolution within the 16:9 area? If this is true, then you really do get the best of both worlds using a 4:3 set with 16:9 enhanced mode. However, I'm skeptical because equivalent widescreen sets have the full screen area (height) to display the 1080 lines. If 4:3 sets can do it using only a portion of the screen, then would that mean that the total number of lines of vertical resolution is even higher on these 4:3 sets than on equivalent 16:9 sets?

    Or are the 4:3 sets (even in 16:9 mode) only showing some portion of the 1080 vertical lines? Or is there some overlap among the lines?
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    The paradigm that is throwing you is that except for some giant models in the 70 inch range, 4:3 HD sets aren't narrower versions of wider 16:9 sets...they are shorter.

    If you look at the 16:9 sets internals, you'll see pre-squeezed 4:3 CRTs. Any problem due to 4:3 7" (typical) CRTs in resolving 1080i carries right over to the 16:9 sets. There is no real advantage any more to 16:9 from a pure resolution standpoint. Beam size could be an issue, but on the new Sonys it is apparent when examining the picture that the beam size was optimized for the squeeze mode...instead of excessive overlap on 16:9, you get somewhat visible scanlines on 4:3 (even in progressive). Presumably the other sets are optimizing for squeeze mode as well.

    Resolution is not an argument to buy a 16:9 passive screen over a 4:3 passive screen. There are other arguments that are subjective, and each ratio is right for different people.
     
  3. Mike_L

    Mike_L Auditioning

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    Thanks for your informative post, Michael.

    I'm trying to break my purchase decision down to fundamentals, not marketing hype or glitz. There's a lot of talk on these and other message boards about individuals buying widescreen sets "because that's the way that movies are meant to be shown."

    From your post, I gather there is no technical difference resulting in a superior/inferior picture when comparing, say, a Sony 61HS30 running in 16:9 mode vs. a Sony 57HW40 running the same source material, be it DVD or HD. Is this correct?

    Given your apparent knowledge on the subject, let me pose another question - that of future interface standards. I saw that Sony's recent press release announcing their 2002 lineup includes 7 new widescreen sets, all with a DVI-HDTV connection, "allowing copy-protected, high-definition video content to be delivered to the TV from a DVI/HDCP (high definition content protection) compatible set-top box." Furthermore, I saw an article in a recent home theater mag discussing the IEEE-1394 (firewire) standard as a possible future interface resulting from movie studios' paranoia over copy-protection.

    So, first question: is Sony's DVI interface the same thing as firewire?

    And second: Does the shift towards these new standards mean that all current generation HD compatible sets and receivers will need to be replaced in the (near) future with DVI/firewire ready sets/receivers in order to take full advantage of all the HD programming that will be available?
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    There are also a large number of 4:3 HDTV ready sets where, to display a 16:9 picture, only 810 scan lines are used instead of 1080.
    AFAIK all 4:3 sets that offer gray top and bottom bars (whether or not black bars are yet another selection) use 810 scan lines for 1080i HDTV pictures and 360 scan liens for DVD/NTSC 16:9 pictures.
    (In order to have 1080 scan lines available ffor the picture, a TV offering gray top/bottom bars has to up its scan rate to 1440i and I doubt any do.)
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. Jeremy Engel

    Jeremy Engel Extra

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    The DVI connector is something totally different than sonys I-link firewire connector. As of right now they are not compatible with each other. DVI will be on some sony sets this summer.

    As far as DVI making the current sets obsolite, it's all up in the air, no one is sure yet. If it happens the current sets won't necessarily be obsolite they will just be downrezzed to 480p for certain copyrighted material, hopefully just ppv movies. Everything you hear on this topic is just speculation right now, nothing has been set.
     

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