DVdoctor editorial by Bob C on HD TV and HDV

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bcrabtree
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I've at last finished the long-promised DVdoctor editorial column about HD TV and HDV resulting from my visit to a BBC R&D open day in early June.

Dive over here on the main DVdoctor site to check it out - returning back to this forum thread to add your comments.

Enjoy!

Bob C

Update - I've now completed the news story about sales in the UK of large-screen TV sets and how well the figures back up the theory that there's a lot of pressure on for the early introduction of HD broadcasts by the BBC.

Even if you think the theory is hokum, I reckon you'll find the stats - provided by GfK - amazing.

I simply hadn't a clue just how big this market had grown - it's astonishing. BC

RayL
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Bob

With your knowledge of the 'trade mags', is there a recent nationwide survey of television sets at present owned by the general public ie what are the proportions of 4:3 small screen, 4;3 large screen, 16:9 small screen, 16:9 large screen, plasma panels, etc?

To complement that, what are the proportions when people are buying a new set?

It's just to get a feel of the size of the market that would feel the need to seek out HD sets (which would inevitably be higher priced for quite some years to come).

The sudden takeover of DVD from VHS for video playback occured because of the massive price cut on players from hundreds of pounds to tens of pounds.

Agreed that 'home cinema' viewers and sports enthusiasts who already have big screens will be interested in trading up, but surely the average punter will take years to make the move (especially since TVs are generally very reliable).

What is the 'price point' at which HD sets suddenly become attractive?

Ray Liffen

bcrabtree
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Ray,

You are a mind reader!

I'd intended to try to include some market stats from GfK UK (the main market-research organisation for brown goods - and probably also for white goods and small appliances) but didn't manage to do that in time but was planning to make call a call during Friday and add an update.

:)

Bob

DVdoctor
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Seems to me I had a DVdoctor column about HD and a lot of folks felt that HD was not in the cards for the UK ;-)

There are a couple of additional things that might be worth considering

One is that in the US market and Japan HD is coming on very strong, and the content providers are realizing that they need to originate the material in HD to have it valuable over a longer period of time, Certainy in the US there are a lot of UK BBC based programs ( usually on PBS our public broadcasting viewer supported non advertizer tv) and more and more of these programs are in HD

Certainly NTSC never looked as good as PAL so the US and Japan had more urgency to upgrade and as always the Pal products are usually NTSC derived and modified for PAL

There is another set of issues that I have time and time again raised
First of all, our whole experience with music has dramatically changed over the years. Very few people sit down and lilsten to music the era of high end sound systems for music listening has just about ended, now music is a background listening pleasure, the record companies keep thinking that it is piracy that is driving the down load movement but they are missing the point, fact is certainly in the US people are selecting their own playlists and uploading music to their MPC players which are getting smaller and smaller each day. Just look at IPOD and how it has totally changed Apple

BUT when you add images to the experience then the consumer wants the cinema experience and again here in US the move to multi channel sound sytems based on Dolby Ac-3 etc has been massive. This is certainly influenced by the massive uptake in DVD Players. The latest stats show over 80 percent of US households have a dvd player and many have multiples
So the multi channel content is there, this is driving the addition of surround sound systems to the home video experience

In addition GAMES have now decided that sound is important and again there is a major increase in surround sound in games

Last but not least, games graphics puts tv to shame, If you have not looked at some of the latest games on the PC and seen the incredible detail, then you owe it to your self, This is why Microsoft and Sony etc are all offering HD output, if they hope to sell the games on the console they need to have the visual experience be close to the PC experience

Last is that TV viewing is a group experience now more anbd more and also people are sitting closer to the TV this is a combination of smaller homes but also I think the fact that we are more and more used to working with crts and lcds etc up close and we are again looking for a more immersive experience, the Look at the box in the distance has been replaced with a more immercive cinematic desire

One thing that I have found sort of by accident is that whilst large screen lcd systems are still pretty pricey, projected images that support HD are not For under a 1000 dollars you can get a lcd or dlp projector fully capable of projecting a HD image to sizes far larger than LCD and certainy for a lot fo the early adopters in the know that is the way they are going.

Another point that we tend to forget is that as we get educated in a medium we tend to get more and more critical especially if we need to sit and look carefully at it/ Back in the audio days it was amazing to read reviews of people in the early 20th century go on and on about the amazing quality of early recordings including 78rpm records. I personaly think that as we get more and more discering we see more and more of the defects and that this drives us to want improved quailty or you have a paradyme shift like with music listening where we totally change how we appreciate the experience

Today we made in audio the trade off for portability and custimization against quality but in video which is still a more focused experience we are driving for quality and HD is simply the next step

John

harlequin
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sky launch new website ....... http://hd.sky.com/

sky's HDTV receiving equipment system will be based round a SKY+ type box , BUT , what worries me is they say you only need a TV with an 'HD ready' sticker , but not all 'hd ready' tvs have the correct connections , possibly including sky's own plasmas , which don't explicitly state what connectors are on them.

Back to BBC HD

How happy are all the people that bought into 'freeview' digital terrestrial going to be if they 'need' to replace the equipment by this time next year ?

Will BBC use all the bandwidth available or will they do a 'freeview' and use as little as possible resulting in some truly horrendous mpeg artifacting on many transmissions ?

Another reception box , as this is unlikely to co-exist with sky's new system ?

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

DVdoctor
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Hi Gary
In the US the HD ready was used with tv's that had the display and interface ability but did not have the proper tuners. Again, this is the US experience only.
John

cstv
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harlequin wrote:
sky launch new website ....... http://hd.sky.com/

hehe... you have to love Sky's graphic on that page. the disclaimer's the best part: "images used are for illustration purposes only and are not actual representations of the difference in picture quality between SD and HD"

i don't think it's even representative of the difference between 320x240 and HD! :D

anywho... i wouldn't have a problem with buying another box for HD. I've only invested in 1 freeview box so far and haven't gone any further for this exact reason. With analogue switch-off not realistically happening until 2012 a lot of people haven't gone the whole hog yet with digital SD.

There's no reason why the BBC couldn't get at least 1 terrestrial HD channel broadcasting before Sky start next year. Noone is really going to mourn the loss of a few of the less popular Freeview channels. Even BBC3 could go if it was being replaced by BBCHD. If the BBC wanted to go the satellite route then they could probably start broadcasting tomorrow! The playout centre is HD ready, Astra have the satellites in place, there are even a few people who already have HD sat boxes...

I do think though that if the BBC are going to try to beat Sky in the HD race then they need to get arangements in place for a set top box. What's stopping the beeb building a box themselves? something that could take a feed from a terrestrial aerial or a satellite at SD or HD and pump it out on HDMI or component... if it could also pump the TS out over ethernet then all the better! :D

The only purchase that's even close to future-proof at the moment is a DTB card for your PC, and that's assuming you've got a CPU the can handle HD rather than needing a seperate hardware decoder.

mark.

infocus
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All well said, Bob, even if it distresses me that you've not previously heeded what several of us have been predicting in these forums for over 18 months now! :) I also saw HDTV demos in the early 90's, but unlike you, WAS very impressed by the quality, and came away thinking "wow, I want one!" I'll freely admit that what I got wrong were the practical aspects - the costs then would, with hindsight, have been prohibitive for any widespread practical rollout, and hence the failure of Eureka and HDMAC.

What has now changed are those costs. Flat screens are becoming increasingly the norm, and they are increasingly becoming high definition by default. Costs are increasingly becoming a non issue - more and more it's a case of "want a flat panel? There are only high res versions available."

Ray's queries about relative statistics raise interesting points, though I'm not sure what conclusions should be drawn. From a manufacturer/broadcaster point of view, I suspect the new purchases are the important one, they are after all the ONLY one of importance to manufacturers! For that reason alone, they are also likely to have enhanced significance to broadcasters, since directly or indirectly they are influenced by manufacturers.

I've just paid a visit to the Museum of Photography in Bradford, and it's fascinating to think how quickly things have changed, and to look back on timescales of comparable technologies of the past. Just think, the cinema as we know it is not that much more than a century old, "talkies" barely 80 years, TV 60 years, colour 40 years, and home video cameras only about 20 years! In no case did any technology take over overnight, and in the past things we now take for granted (eg colour photography) had a long interval before initial development and widespread acceptance.

From a personal straw poll, from just looking at what's on offer around the stores, then for new UK purchases 4:3 must be seen as effectively dead in the medium to large screen size, and with widescreen making inroads now in the small set sizes in the last 6 months.

To harlequin - as large, high resolution panels become sold in bigger and bigger numbers, then the problems of Freeview will become more and more obvious to more and more people. A fact which is becoming more and more difficult for it's proponents to deny. Freeview's acknowledged problems are such that some stores are now unwilling to use the internal tuners on modern sets for display, and use DVD pictures or RF feeds, whose fuzziness at least disguises some of the Freeview artifacting.

In general, a very interesting and well thought out editorial piece.

drgagx
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Other features on many of the new gen lcds/plasmas include the ability to connect a pc or to accept a pcmia or SD card with high res pictures (eg latest Panasonics). These only help highlight the gap in resolution between what is possible and what is available on today`s TV.

I have found a change to an HD ready 17" Humax, from a slightly smaller size 4:3 TV, has brought about a dramatic change in viewing quality. This too has pc connections.

What also interests me is the feasibility of making an HD dvd using current dvd burners, once the final version of the H264 capable Quicktime 7 is released, for display on this TV.

cstv
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drgagx wrote:
Other features on many of the new gen lcds/plasmas include the ability to connect a pc...

actually, we recently discovered (on the day of an installation!) that panasonic have removed the VGA input from their 42" SD Viera plasma TV. It was on there last year, but this year it's not. We can only assume this was to increase uptake of the 42" HD Viera which does have a PC input.

mark.

DVdoctor
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A analyst group in the US called DisplaySearch (Norman Bardsley) is forcasting that in the US 32 inch flat panel HD displays will be selling for under $1000 dollars and that in 2005 over 20.2 million units will be sold in the US. Manufacturing of these large panels has seen major improvements in cost and yields.

John

Colin Barrett
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I'm all in favour of HD, but given that our screens are already full of a zillion channels containing (for the large part) crap - we'll then have the benefit of watching crap in HD!

Big Brother in HD? Hmmmm.

Colin :-)

DVdoctor
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I agree, why on earth after seeing what 500 plus channels in the US created, the EU decided to go the same way is hard to understand. So far the main HD programs here are Sports, and some of the discovery channel stuff, so most of the garbage is still in SD
John

infocus
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Colin Barrett wrote:
.........given that our screens are already full of a zillion channels containing (for the large part) crap - we'll then have the benefit of watching crap in HD!

Or (to think the unthinkable) since these channels are taking up the bandwidth that HD transmissions crave, isn't it about time the authorities started to think along the lines that public interest may be better served by fewer, but HD channels? It would also have the benefit that the production budgets wouldn't be spread so thinly.

cstv
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true... we have an oportunity to do something about it if we act now. isn't there some sort of petition we could convince people to sign and then wave that the powers that be...?

mark.

infocus
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RayL wrote:
Bob

With your knowledge of the 'trade mags', is there a recent nationwide survey of television sets at present owned by the general public ie what are the proportions of 4:3 small screen, 4;3 large screen, 16:9 small screen, 16:9 large screen, plasma panels, etc?

To complement that, what are the proportions when people are buying a new set?

It's just to get a feel of the size of the market that would feel the need to seek out HD sets (which would inevitably be higher priced for quite some years to come).
........but surely the average punter will take years to make the move (especially since TVs are generally very reliable).

What is the 'price point' at which HD sets suddenly become attractive?

I don't know if Bob's been able to come up with anything fairly statistically definitive, but the recent IBE magazine I got had a whole supplement dedicated to the future of HD in Europe. I thought of Rays post when I read one paragraph. Quote:

"Market research specialist EuroConsult is forecasting a bullish future for high-def in Europe. (Their MD) says....." ..... the promotional activity is beginning. New flat panel displays are fashionable, desirable objects, and they are already selling well." His company predicts a rapid take up of HD receivers in Europe, and in a report being issued in July suggests that while Black & White sets took 25 years to reach 80% penetration in most in most major European countries, and colour took 21 years to hit the 80%, the HDTV is only going to take 15 years to reach 80%."

So what conclusion you draw from that depends on whether you define a pot as half full or half empty! Yes, SD sets will be around for years, even 4:3 ones, but new purchases will increasingly become widescreen high resolution, even in quite small screen sizes.

What I do think is different here from the migration from b&w to colour, and where I would disagree with Rays assumptions, is that in the near future they will NOT "inevitably be higher priced for quite some years to come". What is different here is that the new screens are being developed for purposes other than just watching TV, as was the b&w/colour case 30 years ago. Games, still picture display, PC monitors, information displays and a host of others are all factors driving development, and all factors which prefer high resolution. It will simply not be sensible to produce high and low resolution displays at the same time - the former will just be the "norm", even for such as 15" displays, that market driven by the PC industry. Soon, when you buy a TV, it will be HD capable by default.

In 20 years time you may go into a house somewhere, and still find a 27" 4:3 TV being watched, but I'd be prepared to bet a lot of money it won't be the norm! The clever money seems to be on HD AND very small low res portable screens, as being used for the DVB-H trials. I think a crunch will really come in about 2 years with next gen screen technology, SED etc. At that time the advantages of flat screen may be combined with the quality of CRT, - throw HD in and Tv watching could really become an experience. Content permitting, of course....... ;)

infocus
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RayL wrote:
......... a feel of the size of the market that would feel the need to seek out HD sets (which would inevitably be higher priced for quite some years to come).

The sudden takeover of DVD from VHS for video playback occured because of the massive price cut on players from hundreds of pounds to tens of pounds.

I happened to pass a Sony shop today, and asked a few questions about their current and near future flat screen ranges. It appears my guesses about future trends weren't quite right - the "future" appears to be only weeks away! I was told that whilst most of their current range are already high resolution with component input, they are mostly not HDMI input, so not "HDready".

However, it seems the next range (flat screen) in a couple of months time will all be true "HDready", so for Sony at least, if you buy a plasma or LCD screen, HD sets won't be higher priced for years to come - they will be all you can get in a couple of months! The CRT sets seem to be gradually moving further back in the shop, and 4:3 seems to have gone the way of black and white.

StevenBagley
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infocus wrote:
However, it seems the next range (flat screen) in a couple of months time will all be true "HDready", so for Sony at least, if you buy a plasma or LCD screen, HD sets won't be higher priced for years to come - they will be all you can get in a couple of months! The CRT sets seem to be gradually moving further back in the shop, and 4:3 seems to have gone the way of black and white.

I was in Curry's the other night and noticed Samsung's range of new HD ready LCD TV, of which they had 26", 32" and 40" models about. Not only did the picture look good compared to every other plasma and LCD in the place (especially after I'd fiddled in the menus turning off all the image-mangling options :), but the price level was crazy. The 26" model was as cheap as my 28" SD widescreen CRT was 8 years ago (£799 versus £849 for my CRT) and the 32" model was only a little over a grand.

However, go online and the same model TVs can be picked up for £599 and £799.

HD is here, and HD is cheap!

Steven

infocus
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StevenBagley wrote:
Not only did the picture look good compared to every other plasma and LCD in the place ...........

It's nothing to do with the sets, but I can only once ever remember going into a Currys and seeing a good picture, and that was when an hd set was being sourced off a hard drive, presumably as a trial to gauge opinion.

What will be interesting is when Sky HD starts, presumably very keen for retailers to display their wares to best advantage. When the comparisons then start with the same displays showing Freeview, side by side in the same store, that's when the BBC, ITV are going to feel the pressure.

cstv
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infocus wrote:
When the comparisons then start with the same displays showing Freeview, side by side [with Sky HD] in the same store, that's when the BBC, ITV are going to feel the pressure.

which is exactly why BBC have to get HD freeview up and running asap... what about ITV, C4 and C5 though...?

infocus
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cstv wrote:
... what about ITV, C4 and C5 though...?

I was mentally bundling the latter two in with ITV..... Similar arguments apply about not looking bad in side by side comparisons, though I suspect their thinking about HD is behind the BBCs. In some ways it may be more crucial for them as time goes on. With the BBC it's "only" a matter of pride - though I can't see them wanting to stay at an unarguable disadvantage technically for long. A core argument for retaining the licence fee is a "we're best" one - once they are indisputably a second best, even if just in the technical sense, it may be seized on by adversaries as "the beginning of the end".

For the terrestial commercial channels, advertisers will want the adverts for their products to be seen in the best light. Don't forget ITV was keener on getting colour sooner than the BBC for just that reason - they would have preferred to introduce NTSC colour onto 405 line to bring it in sooner. Hence, if the uptake for Sky HD lives up to their hopes, ITV may find advertising budgets slipping that way unless they respond with an HD service of their own.

StevenBagley
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infocus wrote:
For the terrestial commercial channels, advertisers will want the adverts for their products to be seen in the best light. Don't forget ITV was keener on getting colour sooner than the BBC for just that reason - they would have preferred to introduce NTSC colour onto 405 line to bring it in sooner. Hence, if the uptake for Sky HD lives up to their hopes, ITV may find advertising budgets slipping that way unless they respond with an HD service of their own.

Except in the US all adverts are still 4:3, and upconverted from NTSC...

Steven

infocus
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Oh well..... in the UK adverts went widescreen at an early stage. I'd understood because generally advertisers wanted to get across the best possible window for their product. Surely adverts will be a very early convert to HD once Sky starts - generally a very high budget, with camera costs being a lower overall percentage than for most programming?

cstv
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aren't a lot of adverts being shot on HD already...?

Alan Roberts
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I've not been following this for a while, but adverts interest me (not that they influence me when buying...)

An awful lot of adverts are being made in HD now, and have been for a few years. The reason's terribly obvious, and it's not just about the quality. Advertisers want to get their message onto many fora, so a single production must deliver content that will survive on tv, and in the cinema. For many years, it was blatantly obvious that much of the cinema adverts were shot in SD video then printed to film, you could clearly (or rather un-clearly) see it, they were fuzzy and noisy. But over the past few years, the cinema adverts have got hugely better quality. This is all at the time when you can see the same advert on tv and in the cinema.

The implications for the industry are huge; they can make an advert in HD at 1080p/24 and use the same tape anywhere in the world on any outlet forum. The advantage is that they can spend more on the production knowing that it can get worldwide exposure. With digital cinema emerging, this conversion can only get faster, e.g Brazil building chains of cinemas without film, simply because they haven't got a significant film processing industry there, so starting with digits makes much more sense. So, why would they ever bother to produce content on film, unless someone specifically wants to for aesthetic reasons?

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

bcrabtree
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News story on GfK big-screen sales stats is now live

Rather later than intended, I've now completed the news story about sales in the UK of large-screen TV sets and how well the figures back up the theory that there's a lot of pressure on for the early introduction of HD broadcasts by the BBC.

Even if you think the theory is hokum, I reckon you'll find the stats - provided by GfK - amazing.

I simply hadn't a clue just how big this market had grown - it's astonishing.

Bob C

RayL
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The UK newspapers this weekend (July 30th/31st) had full page ads for big-screen TVs. Comet in particular were pushing HD Ready (so have they shifted all their old, non-HD stock?).

What makes this all the more remarkable is that there are no HD broadcasts to watch, AND NO WAY OF WATCHING RECORDED HD - no disks (not even an agreement on ONE disk format) and no players.

The previous weekend I noted that a local Dixons (in Croydon, Surrey) was attempting to 'show off' HD by putting a big-screen TV facing the entrance to the shop and linking it it a standard DVD player which was showing some murky sci-fi epic (all blues and blacks and netting over the camera lens)! Great advertisment, eh?

There must be an awful lot of disposable income out there if people are happy to spend £1500+ on a TV set for an improvment in definition that they have yet to see.

Ray Liffen

mooblie
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I bet the message such shops are unwittingly (or maybe wittingly) trying to get across is:

"if you buy an HD-ready set, you will get better pictures from your existing broadcasts and DVDs"

- even though, as you rightly point out, Ray, this is complete rubbish.

I fear the general public and also the less-than-knowledgable sales staff selling to them will all be talking bo**ocks to each other in shops these days, thinking the same arguement applies that did with, for example, buying "better" speakers to give you better sound from your existing broadcasts and CDs - which is generally true.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Robin Davies-Ro...
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Dixons in Cardiff were demonstarting a 72inch HD screen in their entrance area.
The HD material on show was surprisingly good and attracted a lot of comments:
"...that's a clear picture innit..." etc.
At a mere £7000 I almost ordered two ;-)

Robin

RayL
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Robin

How were they sourcing their HD material?

Ray

cstv
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RayL wrote:
What makes this all the more remarkable is that there are no HD broadcasts to watch, AND NO WAY OF WATCHING RECORDED HD - no disks (not even an agreement on ONE disk format) and no players.

there's Windows Media HD... you can get them on DVD and you can get stb players for them too.

you could also import an HD Digital VHS recorder from the states and use that to play back HD footage.

you could plug an HD camcorder into the screen - there are a few of them around these days.

and if you've got the budget then there's always DVCProHD, HDCAM, etc...

So there are actually plenty of ways to record and play back HD footage. As for broadcasts, if you point a sat dish in the right direction and get an HD decoder you'll find Euro1080's Channels which have been beaming HD down to earth for quite a while now.

mark.

RayL
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Mark

I was looking at the situation from a domestic consumer point of view. I think you would agree that the options you suggest are possible for an enthusiast but are not really available for the domestic consumer. In other words, if your non-technical auntie wandered into her local shop, be it Currys, Comet etc or an independent retailer, would she be able to buy anything off the shelf to provide HD pictures to go with the 'HD Ready' TV set that they might tempt her with?

Ray Liffen

cstv
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oh sorry Ray, i missunderstood. I thought you were talking about HD demo stuff for places like Currys to use to show off HD displays.

Agreed, once auntie gets it home she's back to SD pictures... for a few months at least. ;)

Alan Roberts
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I don't think the shopkeepers have a particular line that they're pushing on HDTV. What I think's happening is that the most expensive displays the factories are turning out are all HD, and they make the most profit on the most expensive stuff, so they'll push HD. At least, that's what it looks like to me.

I've seen some good and some poor demos on HD displays. The best were from a Blu-Ray player (1080-line). The rolling demo stuff from Euro1080 is ok but not technically the same quality. It costs a lot to get good material, until regular broadcasts start. Until then, the HD-ready displays will just show up the compression artefacts on Freeview.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

drgagx
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I`ve looked at parts of two DVDs (Star Wars 1 and Master and Commander) on a new 37" HD Panasonic Viera plasma screen. I thought this HDTV showed more detail than I could see on my own conventional 28" wide screen TV. More detail was visible on the various robots in Star Wars and in M&C the opening fog sequence seemed to come out much better.

Alan Roberts
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Yes, I'd expect that; there's a very good technical reason.

A cathode ray tube does not have a well defined spot shape, in general it best approximates to a Gaussian- or bell-shape. The Fourier transform of that curve gives it's frequency resonse, and is again Gaussian, so it tends to die off in a nice gentle smooth way. In other words, crts are a bit soft, typically 8dB or more down at the top end of the bandwidth needed.

LCD and plasma displays are pixel-based, and the pixels have well defined shapes, they're rectangular. The Fourier transform of a rectangle is near enough to the Sinc function (Sin(x)/x) and holds up better but then rolls off much more rapidly, it's only 4dB down at the used band edge.

So, a crt is several dB down in terms of resolution. And that means the pixel-based display appears to be sharper. It also means the pixel-based display is much more testing for compressed signals, because the artefacts show up more.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

drgagx
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Thanks for that explanation. I wonder if that also explains why the presenters seem to look older on an HD ready 17" Humax I now use to watch early morning breakfast TV programmes! Their features do not appear to be so softened. Bags under the eyes are more pronounced. More work for the make up artists?

Alan Roberts
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Correct, that's exactly the effect.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

RayL
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It's not only faces that look 'true to life' under the merciless gaze of an HD camera - I can remember the consternation in the design, construction and costume departments at Television Centre when the first HD tests were done at the end of the eighties. Fresh white spruce painted with dark stain will look like grained mahogany at 625 lines but HD made it look like . . . . . . white spruce painted with stain by a wobbly hand! All those hasty wallpaper jobs done to conceal the meeting of two flats, all the make-it-fit stitching on costumes that was suddenly visible . . . . . .

Ray Liffen

Robin Davies-Ro...
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Don't forget the make-up department...
Trying to hide the net pieces on wigs etc!

Robin

Alan Roberts
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I was involved in those TC tests, having already been working on HD for at least 10 years. Incidentally, recent experience of HDTV and wigs has shown that the give-away isn't the netting and the join, it's the tufting; in a job I was advising on, the only way I could tell she was wearing awig was the fact that hairs stood up in groups. We were monitoring on a proper HD crt monitor, big recent lcds and a 1920x1080 genuine resolution JVC projector. I was impressed with the makeup, no airbrushing, just conventional procedures, only powder showed. It gives great credit to the makeup people that I couldn't see what they'd done, and nor will you when you see the pictures. I'll tell you what the programme was when it's a lot closer to transmission time.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

drgagx
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When exploring the Tiffen filter site some time ago, I came across an endorsement of the Tiffen Diffusion/FX filters from an photographer shooting in 24p HD for TV. The reason he gave was "to conceal the hyper analytical detail that HD reveals of sets and, more dangerously, an actor`s face".

Alan Roberts
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I'd guess that comment came from someone who'd not learnt how to set the camera up decently. If you use factory settings, the pictures look like US basket-ball, high contrast and full of edges. Once I've had a go at it, the pictures look like 35mm film. You don't have to pay lots of money to stop it making pictures you don't like, you just need to know what you're doing. As a freelance consultant, that's the service I sell.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Alan Roberts wrote:
..........I'll tell you what the programme was when it's a lot closer to transmission time.

But presumeably, Alan, there will be no means for us to watch it in HD? :(

(mooblie trying to FORCE the BBC's HD plans out of Alan here.....) :)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

infocus
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RayL wrote:
In other words, if your non-technical auntie wandered into her local shop, be it Currys, Comet etc or an independent retailer, would she be able to buy anything off the shelf to provide HD pictures to go with the 'HD Ready' TV set that they might tempt her with?

Ray Liffen

Not sure about "non-technical aunties", but for some people there are of course HDV cameras.....

Perhaps more relevant for most people now is not to forget how they can be used to display STILL pictures from digital cameras, being the modern day equivalent of slide projector and screen! Some displays will take SD cards directly.

Maybe not for aunties, but games will soon be a reality in HD, and no doubt prerecorded material not far behind, but that is getting further into the future.

What's more to the point is that soon if you buy a large display, it is likely to be HD ready. Period. And if you intend to spend that much money, surely it should be for something that will be fairly future proof? So even if broadcasts won't be commonplace for 3, 4, 5(?) years yet, a set bought now should well outlast that, so buying a non-HDready set now (at least if a large one) seems very silly to me.

Alan Roberts
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Mooblie, you'll see it in SD, but given that previous series of the programme were super16, the improvements are dramatic. HD broadcast of repeats are a possibiolity, should there be no channle for it at the time of first broadcast.

Did you see the "Genghis Khan" drama/doc? That was shot HD and looked superb in SD, simply because it was done properly, just blike hosts of other HD-originated stuff :D

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

mooblie
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Alan Roberts wrote:
Mooblie, you'll see it in SD, but given that previous series of the programme were super16, the improvements are dramatic. HD broadcast of repeats are a possibiolity, should there be no channle for it at the time of first broadcast.

Did you see the "Genghis Khan" drama/doc? That was shot HD and looked superb in SD, simply because it was done properly, just blike hosts of other HD-originated stuff :D

Thanks, Alan. I didn't see Genghis Kahn - but it obvioiusly had the spirit of AR wafted over it..... :)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

DVdoctor
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HD Plasma 42" displays drop to $1300 in the US

Costco one of the big discounters in in the states (even in Alaska) has just started OFFERING HDtv 42 inch Plasma systems for 1300 dollars. Usually this is a good predictor of where things will be in the UK in a few months
Virtually all of the new tv systems on offer were all HD

John

infocus
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RayL wrote:
Bob

With your knowledge of the 'trade mags', is there a recent nationwide survey of television sets at present owned by the general public ie what are the proportions of 4:3 small screen, 4;3 large screen, 16:9 small screen, 16:9 large screen, plasma panels, etc?

To complement that, what are the proportions when people are buying a new set?

Ray - this is what you asked at the start of this thread - to back up Bobs figures, one view (at least of the US market) is at http://www.internetweek.com/GLOBAL/btg/pipeline/shared/article/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=SOMCGVNKUFXECQSNDBCCKHSCJUMEKJVN?articleId=170703262&pgno=2 . The section which most caught my eye was, quote:
"In terms of market penetration, Wilson said HD televisions were present in only 17 percent of U.S. households last year, a number that will grow to 22 percent this year and will exceed 55 percent in 2008.

The year 2008 is crucial, because it is the year, according to panelist Byran Burns of ESPN, that sales of digital 16:9 TVs will exceed sales of analog 4:3 aspect TVs by a 12-to-1 ratio."

In terms of "why buy one now" - the prime motivator personally would be to display still photos. And with the expectation that it will be future prooofed for forthcoming services. But with falling prices/improving quality, yes, I'm holding off - unless my current TV should suddenly die. In that case, it's replacement will not be a 4:3 SD only model. ;)

Terry Stetler
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Just to put this into perspective;

I know several salespersons at large retailers in our area (suburban Detroit, Michigan USA), which is mostly working/middle class.

They tell me that for several months HDTV's have accounted for >60% of their sales. Small models still sell for bedrooms, kitchens etc., but for living and family rooms HDTV's are "it".

This is reflected by the floorspace allocation in most of the local retailers. The vast majority of their space is now dedicated to HDTV's of all kinds ranging from CRT to plasma & LCD.

30" CRT's can be had for as little as $650 on sale, 34" CRT's for <$1000 and some locales have 42" plasmas ranging from $1200 and up. LCD projection can be had for well under $2000 and DLP projections are running well under $3000.

Now for the perspective. 2 years ago I paid >$750 for a Sony WEGA 32" SDTV.

Terry Stetler

Co-Moderator: Digital Media Net MSPro forum
Co-Moderator: Ulead User to User MSPro forum
Moderator: MURC Digital Video forum

Alan Roberts
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I had to replace a 25" 4:3 set 3 years ago because it went bang, aged 12. Logically, I bought a 28" 16:9 set with 2 SCARTs. By the time there is enough HD broadcast in the UK for me to invest, that set'll be about 6 years old, a decent age to retire it.

HD is going to happen here, like it ot not, the only issues are when and who.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

infocus
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Alan Roberts wrote:
I had to replace a 25" 4:3 set 3 years ago ..... By the time there is enough HD broadcast in the UK ......that set'll be about 6 years old, ....

(Mischievous mode on.) How much inside knowledge can we read into that timescale? ;)

More seriously, interesting to get opinions from outside the UK. Any more takers?

Alan Roberts
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You can read absolutely anything or nothing into my comment, it's simply musing. Published information tells us that within the next 3 years (the timescale I was thinking of), HD broadcasting will be 2 years old from Sky, 2.5 years old in France and Germany. There could well be other startups in that time.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.