Am I the only one who finds HD Ready tv-resolutions odd?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bengt77, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #1
    There's this weird thing in HDTV land going on. Full HD is fine and dandy. It's 1920x1080 pixels, and so is the 1080P (Full HD) content you can play on it. But HD Ready tv's are really odd, I think. Why did all the makers of those sets settle for the 1366x768 pixels standard? Why, when most content is 720P (let's call that Normal HD)? I mean, all these tv's have screens with a 16:9 proportion. The Normal HD content is 720 pixels high, so a width of 1280 would make a perfect 16:9 proportion. But why then does an HD Ready tv has a 1366x768 pixels screen, while a 1280x720 resolution makes so much more sense?

    Can somebody please explain why this is?
     
  2. bacaramac macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

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    #2
    I believe these are LCD resolutions. I think LCD downscales 1080i to 720p. Something wierd like that.

    Don't yell at me if I am wrong, but for some reason that is what I see on LCD.
     
  3. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #3
    Maybe, but then it's still 720 pixels, and not 768 pixels. Therefore, when watching either 720P or 1080P content on an HD Ready tv, the content will be scaled. My guess is that neither would look optimal, then. At least on Full HD screens, 1080P content is displayed as a 1:1 picture. Sure, 720P content will be scaled, but that's fine.

    Why did everybody settle for a standard on which all content will have to be either scaled up or down to fill the screen? I really don't get that logic.
     
  4. bacaramac macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

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    #4
    I bought my TV 2 years ago before the big 1080p release. Looking at going 1080p as soon as the new house is built.
     
  5. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #5
    You're confusing your terminology.

    "HD Ready" is used to refer an HDTV that does NOT have a built in ATSC (digital over the air) tuner.

    720p and 1080p are the two resolutions that HD content comes in.

    The reason you see some 720p HDTVs with 1366x768 is because that is the actual pixel resolution of the display. So technically, it would be 768p, but most TV manufacturers just call it 720p to keep it less confusing. These sets will usually accept 1080i/p, 720p, and 480i/p signals.


    I have a Sony BRAVIA 720p TV (actual pixel res 1366x768) and 720 and 1080 content both look great on it.
     
  6. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

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    #6
    I appreciate cinematography. For that reason I refuse to use the zoom function of my Sharp 1080P; I would lose what the director intended to be seen. Why then, do 80% of my Bluray have 2" of black bars top and bottom?! Only Bluray such as 'Superbad' fill my screen while beautiful movies like '300' leave those damn bars!
     
  7. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #7
    Oh, okay, thanks for clarifying the HD Ready name. But still, it's still odd that all the manufacturers chose a resolution for which all content (480P/i, 576i, 720P/i and 1080P/i) will have to be scaled. And until somebody can come up with a good, convincing explanation, I will keep finding it odd.
     
  8. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #8
    There are three basic aspect ratios:

    4:3, the old standard def (practially square) format
    16:9, the new widescreen HD ratio, which all HDTVs are
    2.35:1, cinema aspect ratio.

    The reason your blu-rays are letterboxed are because they were movies shot in 2.35:1 and they are being displayed on a 16:9 screen. Superbad was shot in 16:9.
     
  9. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #9
    I don't mind either pillarboxing or letterboxing, as long as either the height or width of the content matches that of the screen's resolution. But with 720P content, neither will match these 1366x768 pixels screens. Odd.

    BTW, I ordered a Full HD tv (Samsung LE40M87BD) yesterday, so I won't be affected, but still...
     
  10. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #10
    I always found it odd too. Why would they make the screen 1366x768 when they could make it 1280x720 and display the content better because it wouldn't be scaled?
     
  11. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #11
    i always thought the meaning of hd (when it first emerged) to be at least one million pixels. while a good amount of content out there is 1280 by 720 (720p), selling tv sets at 1280 by 720 wouldn't really be considered hd, just falling short of the 1 million pixel number. so i think tv manufacturers sell the sets at 1366 by 768 so that it can cross that one million border, while not doing anything to enhance 720 content. it might not be the real reason, but it makes sense to me. stupid tv manufacturers.

    what i really want to know is why 720p plasma displays come in 1024 by 768 resolutions. i get that the pixels are rectangular, but how did it come about in the first place?
     
  12. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #12
    Thank you! At least I'm not alone in finding all this very, very odd. (I'm starting to really like that word: odd.)

    BTW, I'm off to bed.
     
  13. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #13
    My supposition is that the decline in popularity of 1024x768 LCD computer monitors drove the early availability of low-cost LCD televisions. 768 is close to 720 on the generous side and it was probably economical to retool existing fabrication equipment to produce these panels at 16:9 instead of 4:3.
     
  14. NJPitcher macrumors regular

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    #14
    Well back when 4:3 was the standard, computers used 1024x768 (which I'm sure all of you loved at one point), 1024 being 2^10, and 768 being 3/4 of that. When 16:9 became preferred, rather than change both height and width, they kept the 768 height and just scaled the width to match, yielding 1366x768.
     
  15. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

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    #15
    Where do I find an HDTV with 2.35:1 aspect? I will buy it immediately.

    2538x1080 resolution would display 300 perfectly.

    I would trade my Aquos in a moment.
     
  16. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

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    #16
    You won't find one.

    Sheesh. Why do people keep going on about wanting to fill their screens? It was true in the days of 4:3 and it is still true today.

    As others have said, TVs come in two aspect ratios: 4:3 and 16:9. Cinema on the other hand typically comes in several ranging from academy (4:3) through wide screen (1.85:1), cinemascope (2.35:1) up to 70mm (2.4:1) and none of these will fill your 16:9 monitor so you will always have some black bars, either on the sides (pillarboxing) for academy ratio, or very thin top and bottom (letterboxing) for 1.85:1 but these are often cropped to 1.77:1 which is the same as 16:9 so you lose a little of the picture, up to quite big black bars top and bottom for cinemascope.

    You will never, repeat NEVER, get a screen that is always full unless you mangle the picture some way such as stretching it horizontally or vertically thus resulting in a distorted image. If you had a cinemascope screen you would have black bars on the sides for most material. In addition, if a cinemascope screen was available you would then have trouble with subtitles which often assume a 16:9 screen so appear in the black part of the screen for cinemascope material so if you had a 2.35:1 screen you would lose the subtitles.

    If it really does drive you that nuts your only solution is to go projection and have movable mattes which is what cinemas themselves often do. I have done so in the past but now I am just projecting onto a wall without mattes because the projector has good contrast and brightness so with the lights down it is just a screen and little else.

    So, there you have it. I hope that helps.

    As for the issue of resolution, it is not a problem these days because scalers in TVs are very good so it doesn't really matter that the screen resolution isn't exactly 1280x720 or 1920x1080. The scaler will deal with these just fine.
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #17
    It's a nice theory but ultimate flawed because the "magic number" for HD is not one million pixels.


    Lethal
     
  18. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #18
    Okay, thanks GreatDrok, for your explanation. And I assumed as much as the modern scalers to be quite good, for otherwise most tv's would have really sucky picture quality. But then, they (being the 1366x768 pixel displays) still scale all content. Not an optimal situation, I'd say. And of course, as time goes on, 1920x1080 pixel Full HD displays will become the standard and the Normal HD displays will at one point stop being made. But then again, why didn't the manufacturers just went ahead and chose to manufacture 1280x720 pixel displays? Sure, initially they would have been more expensive to make, but then again, LCD and plasma tv's were really expensive when they first became available. Over time, though, these displays wouldn't have been any more expensive to make than these odd non-content-conforming 1366x768 pixel displays.
     
  19. GAS macrumors regular

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    #19
    Many people don't see the point in 1080p as it usually(I stress usually) makes standard definition (read:normal tv) look worse.
    Also, the image science foundation has said it is impossible for the human eye to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p unless they sit 5.5 feet from a 42" screen, which is very close imo. 1080p will be useful once most of our sources are hd and the tv is over 50". Until then, I'm happy with 720p.
     
  20. Bengt77 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

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    #20
    Of course, having ordered a 1080P Full HD tv just this week, I wouldn't admit agreeing with you even if I did. Anyways, these charts seem to contradict what you say.

    A quick and dirty conclusion is that 1080P becomes noticable with, for example, a 40" screen when seated within about 16 feet from the screen. Assuming that most people sit within that distance from their tv, it's quite fair to say that nearly everyone will benefit from Full HD. Even with a fairly conservatively sized 40" tv.

    (Imagine stating that a 40" tv is 'conservatively sized' two, or even one year ago. :rolleyes:)
     
  21. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    #21
    1080p isn't of much use. I personally don't see a massive difference watching on any screen, even up to 135" at a sensible distance for the relative screen size.

    In fact, I've seen people swear they're watching an HD signal when in fact it's just a normal DVD...
     

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