What's so special about 1080p?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Bradley_Z, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Bradley_Z

    Bradley_Z Agent

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    I don't understand why the tv resolution is limited to 1080p, and why we are limited to that particular reolution. Right now a lot of high def shows are being shown only in 720p, which is a lot lower resolution, yet its called the same thing as 1080p (high definition).

    I guess what really confuses me is that computer monitors for years have supported much higher than 1080, and these computer monitors are usually smaller than 19 inches. Now that people are spending thousands of dollars on giant screens that are 50, 60, or even larger, they have a limit to 1080, at the same time people with tiny 15 inch screens are playing games at 1920 resolution.

    Wouldn't it make more sense for a 15 inch screen to have a lower resolution than a 60 inch screen? Why can't cameras and shows be shown in higher than 1080? Why can't these mega screens support higher than 1080 for future use?
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    PC monitors (and graphic cards) supporting 1920x1080 or better haven't been there for years. They are beginning to show up now.

    TV sets have been limited to 480 vertical lines (NTSC) or 575 v.l. (PAL). Higher resolution are on the market now (and HD broadcasting started only a few years ago). There wasn't much use for a TV set having a higher resolution, and LCD panels (or plasma screens) with a resolution that high were not easy to produce at all and quite expensive. Big CRT screens had their own, different problem (weight).

    No, 720 vertical lines is not as good as 1080 (if the resolutions are really present in the images), but both are a step up from 480.

    In Europe, where PAL had a higher spatial resolution to begin with, HD broadcasting came to the market slower, but it's starting.

    So that's what's so "special" about it: people are just only starting to use it.


    Cees
     
  3. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    There is a also one huge difference in use; TV is being used to view moving pictures, monitors for text. The ability to get as much readable text into a monitor is a huge factor for people who use them for a profession. I am a software engineer and dual 20" monitors is making me work much more efficiently when I have a lot of readable text available to me at once. One area that has been driving the display and video card industry (before the gaming came along) was CAD developers. You needed the top end on equipment to do it, especially if it involved 3D design and modeling. Not sure how it is today as I haven't done that in years. I am sure they still would like to have the best display available.
     
  4. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Adding to Cees & Sami 1080p comments abve and specifically addressing the above quote, ... a 15" screen would defeat the purpose for creating a personal Home Theater and all that implies, ... basically better DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 (now w/HD DVDs Dolby Digital Plus) surround sounds and a relatively large 1080p viewing screen that can be shared by more than 2 people.

    Phil
     
  5. Bradley_Z

    Bradley_Z Agent

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    I'm fully aware that 1080p looks much better than standard television, I've seen those promotional displays in the store and they look great. My question is why is 1080p the limit for how high a resolution any tv or source input for video can go? I sometimes play pc games at a higher resolution on my 3 year old dell 17 inch lcd monitor. Why can't I play the same game at a higher resolution on my new sony projector with a MSRP of 10,000?

    I'm also looking to get a 56 inch lcd to use in my living room, and these are limited to 1080, whereas my relativley small 17 inch lcd is limited to a much higher resolution. If I want to connect my computer to the new giant lcd I have to turn down the resolution. I guess if you use a small monitor and need to fit a lot of text it makes sense to have a high resolution, but I think it would make more sense to have higher resolution capabilities for larger screens.

    I guess my real question is that. Is it possible to shoot video in resolution that is higher than 1080, or is 1080 the limit for the next 40 years, just as 480 was the limit for the older tvs.
     
  6. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    How good are your eyes? And how close to the screens do you sit?
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    There is absolutely nothing principal about 1080 vertical lines. It's just a practical limit we experience now. They could also have chosen 1360 lines, or 1620, or what.

    However, on most displays, when you sit at an appropriate distance (if too close, the display is bigger than your eyefield and you have to move your head to see it all - which is not nice), anything between 1000 and 2000 is "enough", namely about equals the resolution your retina (personally, I would say approx. 1600 is "enough").

    Comes in the limitations of the current LCD manufacturing process (and to keep those things economically feasible): at the moment 1080 lines is a "good" choice for LCD screens of various sizes. So when they had to choose the next format (a few years ago), "they" agreed upon a reasonable figure, and it is 1080 (for now).


    Cees
     
  8. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    The question is, what is really the native resolution of your LCD? Do you set your games to the native resolution or higher? I have a 20" widescreen monitor and its native resolution is "only" 1600x1050.
     
  9. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    I don't know where the exact number 1080 came from except that 1080i was in use in Japan several years before the U.S. finalized an HDTV (ATSC) system and format. Most likely 1080i, like 480i, was chosen because it was the maximum that then existing electronics at reasonable cost could handle.

    1080i came before 720p. The latter may have been standardized because it requires the same bandwidth (37 MHz) for the uncompressed luminance video signal in analog form such as just before being fed to CRT's. (It is customary to handle the two accompanying chrominance signals Pb and Pr at half the luminance resolution each.)

    The future of resolutions higher than 1080p is greatly clouded because the studios are, even today, reluctant to release shows even at the 1080i level without severe restrictions.

    For the consumer, the special nature of 1080p must include the following:

    1. With equipment available today, any 1080i show can be shown as 1080p with quality approaching the same show originally produced as 1080p if the latter production existed.

    2. Non-CRT displays that have 1080 lines of resolution vertically must operate at 1080p, converting all input material to that format,

    3. Converting 1080i to 1080p (or to 720p) is far from easy and there are some TV's that display 1080p but with lower quality than top quality 1080i CRT's.

    >>> what is the native resolution of the LCD?
    It would be the pixel dimensions of the screen or display element, but only when the electronics can also handle video frames with that pixel count.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/viddoubl.htm
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You can currently purchase 2k monitors from Sony at very attractive prices. You can also shoot home videos in 2k, if you like.

    There is nothing holding you to a 1080 limit.

    The only question is does one "need" more than 1080 in a home theater environement.

    RAH
     
  11. Rob_Walton

    Rob_Walton Second Unit

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    Robert, I've heard of digital projectors for 2k (1080*2048) but not any commercial applications, do you know where they're being sold? It is, however, an unusual resolution and not a real advance over the standard of 1080*1920. There have been tests run in Japan with a tech known as ultra high definition which has a res of 4320*7680! This is said to be so lifelike that people who watch it sometimes feel queezy if there's too much motion! Recording , delivery, and transmition have all been accomplished to the best of my knowledge, so it's only a question of the prices coming down in about 10-20 years before we start to see it commercially available.

    I suspect that Bradley's monitior is not of a higher resolution. The more likely explaination is that computers generally list the horizontal resolution first, ie 1920*1080.
     
  12. Brandon Pop

    Brandon Pop Stunt Coordinator

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    Perhaps I overlooked someone's response, but has anyone pointed out that 1080p is 1920 x 1080 resolution?
     
  13. Rob_Walton

    Rob_Walton Second Unit

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    only twice...
     

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