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Poff
Mar 26, 2007, 10:08 AM
I see the :apple:TV outputs 720p, or 1280x720 pixels. Most LCD-TVs, however, have a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. So, will those extra pixels just be black, or will the image be stretched? And does it look worse stretched than native?

Thanks for answering this silly question.



panoz7
Mar 26, 2007, 10:20 AM
It will be stretched, as will all 720p signals. 1080p LCDs are among the first tvs that can do "dot by dot" meaning that each pixel transmitted from the source receives a pixel on the tv.

Poff
Mar 26, 2007, 10:36 AM
It will be stretched, as will all 720p signals. 1080p LCDs are among the first tvs that can do "dot by dot" meaning that each pixel transmitted from the source receives a pixel on the tv.

Then, is there any sensible explanation at all why TV-producers use a 1366 x 768 resolution instead of 1280 x 720? Seems totally stupid to me. Any TVs that will let you have a frame of black pixels around a 720p picture?

ftaok
Mar 26, 2007, 10:54 AM
Then, is there any sensible explanation at all why TV-producers use a 1366 x 768 resolution instead of 1280 x 720? Seems totally stupid to me. Blame stupid consumers for this one. Here's my theory. Consumers don't understand 1280x720 or 1366x768, however, they do understand 720p and 768p. Obviously 768p is 48p better than 720p.

Also, consumers understand "megapixels". After all, lots of people have upgraded from film to 5.1 megapixel cameras. Why would anyone want a 0.9MP TV when they can have a 1.0MP one. After all, the 1.0MP TV is 0.1MP better. Actually, I don't think it's widespread, but I have seen a couple of advertisments that listed a TV's "megapixel" rating.

Any TVs that will let you have a frame of black pixels around a 720p picture?
I do recall that some TVs do this. It may be a setting or something. The TV in particular was a Philips LCD. Can't remember the model number or any details.

dr_lha
Mar 26, 2007, 11:06 AM
Blame stupid consumers for this one. Here's my theory. Consumers don't understand 1280x720 or 1366x768, however, they do understand 720p and 768p. Obviously 768p is 48p better than 720p.

Bollocks IMHO. The fact is that there are standard screen sizes for a number of reasons, 1366x768 is a standard LCD size and therefore has been adapted to HDTVs. I don't think you can blame the consumers here at all, because your thesis is based on the idea that native LCD resolutions are trumpeted on HDTVs, whereas in reality they are usually in small print. I've seen plenty of TVs advertised as 1080i/p compatible, and only when you search through the specs do you find that they are actually 1366x768 and simply downsample 1080i/p to that resolution.

N10248
Mar 26, 2007, 11:10 AM
Having 768 vertical makes displays more compatible with computers by allowing the common size of 1024x768 with no scaling.

Plus the higher res of 1366x768 also gives extra lines for 1080i scaling.

Bye

ftaok
Mar 26, 2007, 11:55 AM
Bollocks IMHO. The fact is that there are standard screen sizes for a number of reasons, 1366x768 is a standard LCD size and therefore has been adapted to HDTVs. I don't think you can blame the consumers here at all, because your thesis is based on the idea that native LCD resolutions are trumpeted on HDTVs, whereas in reality they are usually in small print. I've seen plenty of TVs advertised as 1080i/p compatible, and only when you search through the specs do you find that they are actually 1366x768 and simply downsample 1080i/p to that resolution.

You can disagree with me. No problem, that's what forums are for.

I do disagree with your assertion that 1366x768 is a standard resolution. It's only a standard resolution now because all of the TV manufacturers have adopted it. "1366" is not a standard computer number at all and until recently, gave video card makers fits. 1280x768 would have been a better "standard" since it's divisible by 8 in both axises. However, that's not 16:9.

For TVs, the standard broadcast resolutions are 1920x1080 and 1280x720. 1366x768 was never available as a resolution until after HDTVs became popular. I could be wrong here, but I think that the plasma and LCD HDTV markets had 1280x768 (for plasma >42") and 1280x720 (for LCDs like the Sharp 22" from a few years ago) before the marketers figured out that 1366x768 was a good resolution from a marketing standpoint.

Anyways, it's just my opinion. Thanks for listening.

ft

GreatDrok
Mar 26, 2007, 12:02 PM
Having 768 vertical makes displays more compatible with computers by allowing the common size of 1024x768 with no scaling.

Plus the higher res of 1366x768 also gives extra lines for 1080i scaling.

Bye

Its not really of any benefit for downsampling 1080 as neither 720 or 768 can fit 1080 exactly so there is some interpolation. Similarly, 1280x720 resolution displays will actually look clearer than a 1366x768 display showing 1280x720 material because there is an exact pixel to pixel match. The same effect happens on an LCD such as on my MBP. The native resolution is1440x900 and that looks nice but set it to 1280x800 for instance and it actually looks less clear than a 1280x800 native display would because there isn't an exact matching of the resolution. A very good scaler can hide a lot of the problem but it is still better to have an exact match.

N10248
Mar 26, 2007, 12:30 PM
Its not really of any benefit for downsampling 1080 as neither 720 or 768 can fit 1080 exactly so there is some interpolation. Similarly, 1280x720 resolution displays will actually look clearer than a 1366x768 display showing 1280x720 material because there is an exact pixel to pixel match. The same effect happens on an LCD such as on my MBP. The native resolution is1440x900 and that looks nice but set it to 1280x800 for instance and it actually looks less clear than a 1280x800 native display would because there isn't an exact matching of the resolution. A very good scaler can hide a lot of the problem but it is still better to have an exact match.

Its true 720p suffers a bit on a 768 screen, i used notice it on my xbox 360, diagonal lines had a "step" every few inches from the scaling (although its not visble on my newest 32" samsung, they've improved the scaling a lot), but there are more advantages than dissadvantages to this resolution and while 1080i/p won't be much better at 768 than 720, it is still better.

I breifly owned a Philips HDTV that was 1280x768 which made it a 16:10 display and 720p stuff got stretched to fill the screen - awful, i got rid of that after a week.

i'm supprised the Apple TV doesn't have 1366x768 as an option, or is this not in the HDMI standard?

dr_lha
Mar 26, 2007, 12:55 PM
You can disagree with me. No problem, that's what forums are for.

I do disagree with your assertion that 1366x768 is a standard resolution. It's only a standard resolution now because all of the TV manufacturers have adopted it. "1366" is not a standard computer number at all and until recently, gave video card makers fits. 1280x768 would have been a better "standard" since it's divisible by 8 in both axises. However, that's not 16:9.

Yeah, OK. Its 1280x768 but 16:9 instead of 16:10 (which most widescreen computer monitors are). Its the 768 bit which is more standard. Computer monitor resolutions tend to be multiples of 128 or 256 vertically.

My main disagreement was your implication that somehow the extra 48 pixels were being sold as a "extra" to consumer. I disagree that 768 is used as a marketing ploy, because you rarely see it emphasized.

mkrishnan
Mar 26, 2007, 01:02 PM
i'm supprised the Apple TV doesn't have 1366x768 as an option, or is this not in the HDMI standard?

Now I'm going to jump into the controversy... think about it this way. Some device has to do a conversion, right? Your MEDIA is not in 1366x768, even though that is the most common HDTV set resolution being sold on the market right now. None of your Apple-provided media is in 720p for that matter, nor are your DVDs. Almost none of your content is in 720p or in 1366x768.

So, either the :apple:tv or the HDTV set must convert between something -- 640x480, 720x484, 1920x540, 1920x1080, whatever -- and 1366x768. Your content is not dynamically rendered polygons like in a video game, where any available resolution can immediately be put to work. Your content is video in an already rendered, pixelated format.

Now, since one device or another is doing a conversion, what's the advantage of making the :apple:tv the one that converts? From what I've seen, most TVs do upconverting in analog. Have you dropped the resolution down on a computer with an integrated LCD and then gotten an incredibly jagged image? This doesn't happen on LCD TVs for the most part. Jagging is minimal.

So unless Apple put in some particular high-powered hardware to facilitate the conversion, I'm not sure why anyone would expect anything to be better as a result of the :apple:tv outputting TV-native resolution with content at 640x480.

GreatDrok
Mar 26, 2007, 01:48 PM
Now I'm going to jump into the controversy... think about it this way. Some device has to do a conversion, right? Your MEDIA is not in 1366x768, even though that is the most common HDTV set resolution being sold on the market right now.

....snip....

Now, since one device or another is doing a conversion, what's the advantage of making the :apple:tv the one that converts? From what I've seen, most TVs do upconverting in analog. Have you dropped the resolution down on a computer with an integrated LCD and then gotten an incredibly jagged image? This doesn't happen on LCD TVs for the most part. Jagging is minimal.

So unless Apple put in some particular high-powered hardware to facilitate the conversion, I'm not sure why anyone would expect anything to be better as a result of the :apple:tv outputting TV-native resolution with content at 640x480.

Ideally, there should be as few scalers as possible involved. My HDMI upscaling DVD player can output DVDs in native, 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolutions. My projector takes everything up to 1080i over HDMI (1080p only works via component oddly but there is really no difference in quality between the two) and the input is scaled to fit the display which is a 1280x720 DLP. With HD-DVD (Xbox360) I drive the display with 1080i and let the projector scale the image down to the native resolution since it does a better job than the Xbox itself. With the DVD player I have tried it with 1080i and 720p output and the picture is definitely better when the player is set to 720p mode because the projector doesn't have to do any scaling. In 1080i mode the DVD player upscales the image and then the projector scales it back down so the picture ends up being over processed and less detailed than it should be. This is similar to the situation with :apple: TV which is close to DVD resolution.

ftaok
Mar 26, 2007, 02:19 PM
Yeah, OK. Its 1280x768 but 16:9 instead of 16:10 (which most widescreen computer monitors are). Its the 768 bit which is more standard. Computer monitor resolutions tend to be multiples of 128 or 256 vertically.

My main disagreement was your implication that somehow the extra 48 pixels were being sold as a "extra" to consumer. I disagree that 768 is used as a marketing ploy, because you rarely see it emphasized.

Well, maybe the whole 720p vs. 768p thing isn't explicitly emphasized, but every brick/mortar set up has the TV's resolution listed under the TV. I will relay an anecdote ... I was at Best Buy a couple of years ago and overheard a couple deciding on a TV purchase. They were looking at either an LCD flat screen or a Samsung DLP. One of the dicussion points was that the LCD was 1366x768 and the DLP was 1280x720, therefore the LCD was better.

They didn't look at anything else, other than price. They focused in on the resolution and since 1366x768 had more pixels, than 1280x720, they automatically annointed the LCD as being better.

OK, so maybe the resolutions aren't forced down our throats, at least not anymore since all LCDs are at least 1366x768 and DLPs have gone to 1080p. I guess the fight was won decisively by the 768p folks.

The fight these days is over 1080p. The marketers will have you believe that anything less than 1080p isn't HD. You'll see stuff saying that 1080p is "True HD" or "Full HD", etc. Well, at least the LCD guys are pushing 1080p while the plasma manufacturers are still touting their stronger features.

I will go on record as saying that I do own a 1080p LCD, but not because I fell for the marketing. I was (still am) interested in hooking up a Mac to my TV and felt that the extra desktop space would be valuable.

ft

dr_lha
Mar 26, 2007, 02:28 PM
Well, maybe the whole 720p vs. 768p thing isn't explicitly emphasized, but every brick/mortar set up has the TV's resolution listed under the TV. I will relay an anecdote ... I was at Best Buy a couple of years ago and overheard a couple deciding on a TV purchase. They were looking at either an LCD flat screen or a Samsung DLP. One of the dicussion points was that the LCD was 1366x768 and the DLP was 1280x720, therefore the LCD was better.
I think what you have here is an example of people being morons, rather than a cunning marketing strategy by LCD sellers!

andiwm2003
Mar 26, 2007, 02:41 PM
ok, maybe a dump question and a bit off topic. but are blue ray dvd's capable of 1080p or are they 720p?

because aside of hooking up you mac to the tv that would be the only media with 1080p i know of.

Silentwave
Mar 26, 2007, 02:46 PM
ok, maybe a dump question and a bit off topic. but are blue ray dvd's capable of 1080p or are they 720p?

because aside of hooking up you mac to the tv that would be the only media with 1080p i know of.


Blu-Ray films are 1080P. And gorgeous :D

Tymmz
Mar 26, 2007, 03:39 PM
Off topic, sorry.

My goodness! I haven't had a TV for five or six years now and I wonder: "Did TVs become way more complicated over the years?"

What's all this about upscaling, resolution and such things. Do I need to become an "IT-guy" these days to watch crappy TV-program?


Sorry for this a bit off topic rant.

mkrishnan
Mar 26, 2007, 03:48 PM
Ideally, there should be as few scalers as possible involved.

This is a good point...you do have me there. Given that most :apple:tv content is already being scaled once to the output res of the Apple unit, it would be beneficial for that output res to match the TV exactly so that there isn't a second round of upscaling the upscale. That's a very good point.

Krevnik
Mar 26, 2007, 04:37 PM
This is a good point...you do have me there. Given that most :apple:tv content is already being scaled once to the output res of the Apple unit, it would be beneficial for that output res to match the TV exactly so that there isn't a second round of upscaling the upscale. That's a very good point.

Except I think a lot of people are missing an important matter:

Not all TVs actually accept signals at their native resolution over HDMI or Component. In terms of A/V equipment, they should be outputting at 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p if they want to conform to the standards that the industry agreed on. Supporting non-standard resolutions, and requiring the user to then select them doesn't actually provide any goodness, especially when some of these '768p' TVs can't actually take in native-res signals.

mkrishnan
Mar 26, 2007, 04:55 PM
Except I think a lot of people are missing an important matter:

That's a fair point too... Mine does happen to do so, but I do understand that others do not. I think the reality -- what I've learned in my several months so far of interacting with HDTV -- is that up and down scaling is just a reality for now. For a long laundry list of reasons, counting on a purely native digital content to screen pathway for everything you watch on your HDTV is going to be unrealistic for some time to come.

My experience so far, though, is that this isn't nearly so bad. Video I rented online (Jaman -- I love this service!) at 480p looked great when I had my iMac upscale it to 1366x768 and then went native from there to the TV. DVDs look great when my DVD player outputs 480 to my TV and it does the upscaling. Etc. Even cable SD television, when the signal is good and the original show quality is high, going from analog wire to my DVR to my TV at 480p and then upscaling, looks fairly good.

ftaok
Mar 27, 2007, 07:20 AM
I think what you have here is an example of people being morons, rather than a cunning marketing strategy by LCD sellers!

Which was my point in the beginning. You can't blame the manufacturer/marketers for catering to the dumb (OK, maybe dumb is too strong ... ignorant) consumer. It's just good business sense. At least in the USA, bigger is better (with the exception of cellphones, mp3 players, and digital cameras). In the mind of most consumers, the 52" TV is better than the 46" one. The 1366x768 TV is better than the 1280x720 one. The 10,000:1 contrast TV is better than the 2,000:1 TV. And so on ...

Companies know this and develop their products to be "strong" in those stats. If those stats happen to be important, then all the better. Heck, how many TVs do you see out there that boast great stats, but fall short in other areas such as de-interlacing, sacling quality, color space. Some of these characteristics are more important to the overall quality of the TV, but since it's harder to convey these statistics, the marketers emphasize the stats that are easy for consumers to understand.

The funniest thing about the whole thing is that these ignorant consumers think they're doing a good job at being an educated consumer because they're comparing a couple of stats.

In closing, I feel that there is still hope for these consumers. I point to the whole optical/digital zoom on digital cameras. A few years ago, many consumers were mislead by the digicam guys into thinking digital zoom was an important stat. With proper education, consumers wised up and now, it seems like no one trumpets their digital zoom numbers.

ft

Krevnik
Mar 29, 2007, 02:52 PM
That's a fair point too... Mine does happen to do so, but I do understand that others do not.

It accepts a ****x768 signal over Component? Not bad, except for the fact there is no spec at all for such a signal. Nothing is required or even suggested to support it. :/

Billy Boo Bob
Mar 29, 2007, 09:20 PM
I haven't been in a position yet to be able to purchase any HDTV, but it's looking like I will be able to by years end. In the mean time, I do try to learn as much as I can about it so when the time comes (or if I'm asked about it by someone who knows nothing about them) I'll be ready. I like reading threads like this where I understand all of what you guys are talking about, but just didn't know some of it. The topic that started this whole thread has been buzzing around my head for some time.

However, I'm wondering about something related to the topic at hand... Any time I go into a store that has a boatload of different sets on display (usually all showing the same thing), I'm seeing that some sets seem to have perfect Hor/Ver ratios (visually), yet some seem to be stretched wider than they should (fat faces, etc), and yet others seem to be squished horizontally (not quite as bad as the 720p crammed into 480p, but still funky).

Is this the result of some manufacturers screwing up the physical structure of the display, or using some non-standard resolution and scaling the image up or down horizontally to fit (no black bars) , or more like the set probably not handling up or down scaling of content made for the opposite res (1080 vs. 720) very well?

It's always puzzled me. I would hope there are adjustments available on any of these sets to correct what I'm seeing, and the dweebs working at the store don't bother changing them. But, when I see one TV with perfect visual ratios next to one that's all squished or stretched, I'm sure as hell not inclined to give much consideration to the oddball set.

Thoughts? Comments? Facts? :confused: