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18% of Consumers Can't Tell HD From SD

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the paying-the-old-standard-a-compliment dept.

Television 603

An anonymous reader writes "Thinking about upgrading to an HDTV this holiday season? The prices might be great, but some people won't be appreciating the technology as much as everyone else. A report by Leichtman Research Group is claiming that 18% of consumers who are watching standard definition channels on a HDTV think that the feed is in hi-def." (Here's the original story at PC World.)

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Are they nuts? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912447)

I'm half blind, and SD makes me want to gouge my eyes out after watching HD.

Re:Are they nuts? (4, Funny)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912461)

No, they just used Comcast "HD" for the tests.

Re:Are they nuts? (3, Interesting)

tiananmen tank man (979067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912469)

I have a HDTV and can tell the difference but don't care. I am not willing to pay the price difference for HD tv shows. My HDTV isnt going to waste tho, I do use it for high def gaming.

Re:Are they nuts? (0, Flamebait)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912477)

I am not willing to pay the price difference for HD tv shows

What's the price difference if you already have an HDTV??

Re:Are they nuts? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912565)

$10-20/mo for cable/satellite, or $50-100 for a set of HD "rabbit ears" or a building mounted HD antenna for OTA.

Re:Are they nuts? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912613)

Hmmm.. interesting. My cable provider (Time warner, FWIW) doesnt charge anything more for HDTV.

Re:Are they nuts? (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912643)

I have Time Warner. The cheapest package up from mine that has HD is around $50-$60 more, after the upgrade to the plan and the cost of the box rental.

Re:Are they nuts? (1)

winphreak (915766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912719)

Our family just recently switched up from basic basic cable (75 channels, no box) to Digital Cable with HD access, and we ended up spending maybe 20$ more.
(Also have Time Warner)

Re:Are they nuts? (5, Informative)

Kufat (563166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912629)

There's no such thing as HD rabbit ears, or a HD antenna*. Antenna manufacturers like to pretend that you need special equipment, but US DTV is broadcast on a subset of the frequencies used for OTA NTSC. Any existing antenna will work fine.

* You might handle multipath differently, and the UHF range is a little smaller, but that's about it.

Re:Are they nuts? (4, Informative)

penix1 (722987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912827)

High Definition TV != Digital TV mandated throughout the US although it becomes possible to transmit DHTV over the air when the switch is made. This too is often a common misunderstanding.

Many variables (5, Informative)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912611)

Including:

- type of screen - plasma vs LCD, SD would be more noticeable on the latter IMHO.

- 720p, 1080i or 1080p? All are technically "HD".

- distance from screen - it is well established that HD only improves your experience if you are close enough to overcome your eyes' limited ability to resolve that level of detail.

- quality of signal - I have seen "HD" signals which were so compressed and crappy they looked worse than well-encoded SD signals. Similarly, many "HD" broadcasts are just re-encoded from non-HD content.

My gf routinely has the SD, rather than HD, version of various TV channels on because evidently from her point of view there is no discernable difference. This is a 42" plasma from about 4 metres away.

In any event, this just highlights that, as with all audio-visual products, how it actually looks/sounds to you is far more important than its specs. IMHO you are much better off with a good 720p plasma (Pana or Pioneer) than a mediocre 1080p LCD, for example - you will get better colour, much less ghosting, and (if set up correctly) a more faithful reproduction of the source material rather than a sharpened, cartoon-y looking version like many LCDs produce.

In addition, your expected use is critical - movies and sport tend to suggest a plasma will suit your needs, whereas lots of normal broadcast TV/desktop-type computer use might be better suited to an LCD.

Re:Many variables (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912667)

My gf routinely has the SD, rather than HD, version of various TV channels on because evidently from her point of view there is no discernable difference. This is a 42" plasma from about 4 metres away.

I can tell the difference, and I don't care too much about the quality improvement. The primary reason I like the digital channels is that they are true 16:9 widescreen. Opening up the edges of the scene makes a much bigger difference than the horizontal resolution, as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, that only applies to regular television shows. Camera operators have been trained for decades to keep the camera tight on the subjects. Thus the extra detail is not needed. If you're talking about a complex scene like sports, however, all bets are off. I don't usually watch football (save for the Superbowl), but even a blind man can tell that an HD picture shows you more of the action than an SD picture. :-)

BTW, one reason why many people can't tell the difference is that the LCD or Plasma screens are already WAY sharper than the CRTs people used to watch. In result, even an SD signal looks a lot better. (Unless you're playing video games. Then SD looks worse.)

Re:Many variables (2, Insightful)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912885)

the LCD or Plasma screens are already WAY sharper than the CRTs people used to watch
Depends on how long ago.

Many LCDs and plasmas are not as good as latest generation CRTs.

The picture I get on my 100Hz widescreen SD CRT is still well ahead of many LCD or Plasma sets I've seen. The response time of the LCDs is one big difference - they don't deal with fast motion well. (A stationary shot of a sportsground is OK, but as soon as they pan the grass goes all blurry.) What many people might confuse is watching a digital TV signal versus an analogue TV signal. That was a big change in quality for me.

Sure the top end flat-screen TVs might be ahead of the best CRTs, but I think the average CRT is still ahead of the majority of flat-screens that seem to be being snapped up by budget concious consumers. A digital signal makes a big difference, after that, not so much.

Re:Many variables (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912777)

Yes.

The quality of the screen has 10x the affect on the final picture than the number of pixels be it 1080p or 720p. In this respect plasmas wipe the floor with LCDS as plasmas are much better, and more like a CRT in terms of tech. I have never been impressed by the quality on any LCD TV I have seen. They always looks so processed and posterised, with shimmering edges. And they tend to highlight MPEG artifacting on compressed digital TV streams alot more than plasmas or CRT.

It's like digital cameras, more mega pixels does not mean better quality. I'd take a 720p plasma over a 1080p LCD anyday - unless I was gonna use the LCD as a computer monitor.

Re:Many variables (3, Interesting)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912869)

Last I heard the only things actually broadcast in HD are the World series and the Super Bowl, so yeah, I'd say that if you're watching a lot of broadcast TV but not much sports, you're just as well off getting a 720p anyway.

Incidentally, I spend a lot of time answering questions about TVs, selling them is part of my job. Funny thing though, all of our display model HDTVs are playing a looped DVD over split coax that isn't even terminated on the unused outlets... people will stand there oohing and ahhing over how great the picture is despite the fact that it is absolutely not HD in any way shape or form. Makes it pretty hard to convince people Sony sets are worth more than Olevia ones, too.

This headline comes as so little a surprise to me that I have trouble believing anyone even doubts it.

Truly (1, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912731)

The difference between dreck and HDTV-dreck is a difference that makes little difference.

People are different (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912685)

That's about all they have proven.
Consummer Reports found that the diff between 720 and 1080 was not that noticable.
It could be seen but not that big a deal.

Re:People are different (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912767)

Providers are also different.
I'll leave my cable provider unnamed, so that I can say that their policies WRT TiVo and HDTV suck nearly bad enough to be mistaken for those of the 110th Congress [wikipedia.org] .
While the CableCard standard is supposed to be workable, we are testing a second gadget in an attempt to make this crap heap work half as well as the competition (to which we very well may switch).
Disaster.

Re:Are they nuts? (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912851)

Nope. in fact I highly suspect their findings as too low. MOST people that buy a HDTV and have my company install it cant tell the difference between a SD broadcast and a HD broadcast, because they sit 15 feet away from that 50" plasma above their fireplace.

you need to sit 6-8 feet from a 42-50" display to really see the difference, more than that and your eyes cant see the resolution.

It's even worse if your HD signal is a crappy signal like Comcast. The Comcast local PBS Hd QAM channel looks like hell compared to the signal I get over an antenna. It's like night and day here they compress the OTA channels so hard. as well as discovery HD looking like crap as well...

18% at a proper viewing distance I can understand. but that number will grow exponentially the farther they sit from the TV. and most "trendy" homes have the TV way too far from the seating. and putting it above the fireplace is just plain old stupid,.

Frame rate (4, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912471)

Perhaps even more irritating than this, is how some people can't distinguish between 30 and 60 FPS (or at least don't care), when of course there is a massive difference. The latter is much smoother for all kinds of programmes and games. 120 FPS of course would be even better...

Re:Frame rate (2, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912489)

Does any framerate greater than your monitor's refresh rate matter?

Re:Frame rate (3, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912513)

In a very roundabout way, yes.

If a graphics card can barely average 60 FPS (or whatever your monitor's refresh rate is - my ThinkPad runs its LCD at 50 Hz,) then it's going to have dips well below 60 FPS.

Re:Frame rate (1)

marxmarv (30295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912879)

Averages are meaningless. Minimums are what matter. Any frames beyond 1.0 rendered during a single screen refresh are useful only as penis proxies. Go outside -- infinite FPS!

Re:Frame rate (2, Funny)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912541)

Yeah, its cool :)

Also gamers compare FPS instead of comparing penis size. Surely that's a good thing, even if both are reasonably pointless?

Motion blur (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912883)

Does any framerate greater than your monitor's refresh rate matter?

Yes. If your engine can render at 120 fps, it can render the scene twice and combine the two images to add motion blur. This makes fast motions, such as projectile motions and the constant quick pans of any first-person game, look more realistic. It's also why film looks acceptable despite 24 fps.

Re:Frame rate (2, Interesting)

Xorlium (1409453) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912505)

Hehe, I can definitely distinguis between HD and SD, but I definitely can't distinguish between 30fps and 60fps :) I don't see frames, I see things moving!

Re:Frame rate (5, Informative)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912617)

Try this - you may notice the difference after all. Honestly, it's not *that* hard to spot: Vid comparison of 24fps versus 60fps [loot-ninja.com]

They always shoot (or at least play) films at 25/30fps, and that irritates me no end. They basically look quite jerky when you know what to look for.

Re:Frame rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912793)

I find the FPS argument more frustrating than the 24fps itself. No matter how much you explain why 60fps is better, they don't believe it and they do retarded things like capping frame rates to 24-30fps on the server configuration.

Re:Frame rate (1)

bh_doc (930270) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912797)

Standard film is typically 24fps (slow and jerky and part of why I don't much care for cinema these days, but I digress). When played on PAL TV it's simply sped up slightly to make it fit the 25fps PAL standard (audio also increases in pitch a little; for those with perfect pitch the music changes noticeably). For NTSC, I believe they use a scheme (3:2 pulldown IIRC) that displays film frames for alternating durations. I would imagine that would make things look unnaturally jerky, but I've never seen it in practice. Of course, they might do something a bit better for conversion to HD.

Re:Frame rate (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912825)

They always shoot (or at least play) films at 25/30fps, and that irritates me no end.

What/whom are you referring to here?

-b

Re:Frame rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912881)

First, it's clear that he doesn't really know what he's talking about. Two, it only bothers him because he's aware of it. It's a psychological thing.

Re:Frame rate (4, Interesting)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912521)

There is good evidence that humans are adapting to the frame rate and that for along time 30 FPS was enough to not notice the flicker... this is a ongoing problem, but it doesn't mean that some people still don't notice while others (such as gamers) may be more apt to notice.

Re:Frame rate (2, Interesting)

s.bots (1099921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912547)

We just bought a new tv not too long ago (Sony Bravia) with the option af setting the refresh rate to 120Hz, makes an amazing difference watching sports or anything with fast motion, but makes regular tv shows very eerie - almost cheap looking. I don't know how anyone could not tell the difference with fast motion, maybe if you were watching the fireplace channel...

Re:Frame rate (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912623)

Agree about the 120hz. Overall I found that I just didn't like the effect and havent used it much.

Re:Frame rate (2, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912727)

That may have something to do with how LCD displays have a bad response time (causing blurring - a separate issue from frame rate). Alternatively, perhaps the programmes you view were shot at 30 or 60fps, so they weren't meant for 120fps TVs anyway.

OLED technology should fix both issues in the future, as they have incredible response times, and probably excellent frame rate potential.

Re:Frame rate (1)

winphreak (915766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912743)

Also have the 120hz option, and found that using it with motion effects (frameskip, as far as I know) created really odd 'skips' in performance, though in certain situations it did look great.

Re:Frame rate (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912773)

I guess that means ~119.88 Hz? :)

So what is the set actually doing in this mode? Is it an LCD or plasma or something? Regardless since I presume it is not a CRT and that it is inherently a progressive display, I don't understand what difference this "refresh" rate could make unless there's some additional signal processing being implied (e.g. line doubling, etc).

I guess I should go research the Bravia and find out for myself, but I thought I would ask.

Re:Frame rate (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912927)

It's only really useful for film-based content. Film is shot at 24fps. On a normal 60Hz set, every frame alternates between being repeated 2 times or 3 times (2,3,2,3,2,3,2,3) in order to sync up with the 60Hz refresh rate (it's called 3:2 pulldown). This gives a slight stuttering effect, which is more pronounced during slow sideways panning shots. With displays that have a 120Hz refresh rate, this pulldown is eliminated be repeating every frame 5 times (5*24=120). This gives a more natural and fluid appearance.

Some displays will also use interpolation to "create" frames rather than simply repeating each frame for a set period of time. This technology, IMHO, isn't quite up to snuff and gives films/shows a somewhat odd synthetic appearance. Keep in mind that this tech is separate from the 5:5 pulldown described above.

Re:Frame rate (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912597)

Out of curiosity, why is it irritating that some people dont care about 30fps vs 60fps?

Anyway, I think the real issue is whether you have a constant rate of frames, jerkiness, blurring, etc.

if you're at 60fps one second and 20fps the next and then right back up to 60fps, it looks very jerky--even in comparison with a constant lower fps. Saying 120fps would be "even better" is kind of silly for most people now anyway since most people use LCDs that can't get close to displaying that. (try ~60fps afaik). I would wager most people with CRTs cant even get close to that either.

Re:Frame rate (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912691)

Yes - the 60-120FPS thing is a limitation of our current display tech. However, OLED potentially at least has the ability to display blinding frame rate speeds (never mind the blurring aspect, as OLED has a response time in the micro seconds - 500x faster than LCD).

About your question why I get irritated. The answer may be similar to why you would want a faster processor, but where everyone is happy with slow 300Mhz CPUs (which obviously isn't the case). It may also have something to do with how films are shot at 30fps. Almost always. They're jerky if you know what to look for.

Re:Frame rate (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912783)

However, OLED potentially at least has the ability to display blinding frame rate speeds

This is just personal preference, but I prefer my display devices don't blind me. I find them more functional this way.

Re:Frame rate (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912805)

The word 'blinding' was just put in for effect of course. You'll find that RealLife (tm) runs at (practically) infinite frames per second. Human vision may notice differences up to about 200-1000 fps. A long way to go yet.

Re:Frame rate (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912839)

It may also have something to do with how films are shot at 30fps. Almost always. They're jerky if you know what to look for.

You made a similar statement in another posting. Nobody ever shoots film at 30 fps. What are you talking about?

-b

Re:Frame rate (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912907)

Yes - the 60-120FPS thing is a limitation of our current display tech. However, OLED potentially at least has the ability to display blinding frame rate speeds (never mind the blurring aspect, as OLED has a response time in the micro seconds - 500x faster than LCD).

OLED can turn pixels on and off in microseconds. So does DLP, which uses pulse width modulation on each micromirror to create shades of gray. Yet there really isn't a lot of 120 fps material to display, unless these 120 Hz TVs are doing motion vector interpolation on the 24 to 60 fps input signals.

Re:Frame rate (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912621)

The lesson here is that the eyes of all of humanity don't see at a constant refresh rate. It depends on how healthy the person is in both eyes and brain. Their specific genealogy and how rested the person is at the time. In other words you tend to see at a faster refresh rate during combat thanks to an adrenaline rush but slower after just waking up from a night of drinking.

Re:Frame rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912819)

But films are general shot with 25fps

So what is the point in showing it with 60fps?

Yes there is that on good old CRT screens that 100Hz gives smoother pictur.

But when we are talkin LCD and Plasma, we do not have that pictur needs to be updated all the time.
The pixel is stady so long as it do not resive a new state it has to be in.

Re:Frame rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912821)

Why do you care that they can't distinguish? If for them 30 FPS is as good as 60 FPS, then why are you irritated that they're satisfied?

Wait.... (1)

Puffy Director Pants (1242492) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912479)

I don't think the summary is accurate. It's the people who don't know, not that they can't tell.

Its worth noting (5, Insightful)

Bazar (778572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912481)

The links don't say that 18% can't tell the Difference

Just that 18% can't tell if what their seeing is HD

An analogy would be playing mp3's, and asking people if it was 320kbps, or 64kbps.

Most people won't be able to tell the encoding rate just by hearing it, but if you play two different versions side by side they should be able to pick out the difference.

They probably can tell the difference, but they can't spot HD just by looking at it.

Give them an HD Content for a month and they'll quickly learn however.

Re:Its worth noting (4, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912517)

It is still important. I can most definately tell if what I'm watching is from a crappy VHS or from a DVD. That was obvious the first time I ever saw a movie on DVD. Walked in a room, saw people watching a DVD movie, and was like "Wow....so thats a DVD movie eh?". An HD source vs an SD source (to be fair, I'm talking about a movie or TV show... other kinds of content will be easier) gets a lot trickier.

I remember last time I brought my Xbox 360 to a family member's place. All of their TV's HDMI connectors were taken (which is what I normally use), so I brought the component cables (which can do 720p just fine). Since I had never used component, the console went back to default: 4:3, 480 lines. After playing a few hours, I started noticing something weird.... the ratio (the game i was playing didn't make it totally obvious like most would). So I went in the config to set it back to 16:9, when I noticed... 480 resolution? The hell? Switched it back up to 720p... There was a difference, but it wasn't all that obvious (no, it wasn't one of those 520p games that they upscale).

I'm sure I'm not the majority and that most people would have been able to tell much faster, but point still stands though: for a large amount of people its fairly irrelevent if you give them HD for a month or a year. As long as there's no artefact in the picture (like VHS), how many pixels you pump in Sex in the City won't matter.

Hilarious And Pathetic Xbox Fanboys (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912897)

Retarded Xbots babbling about SD vs HD after their shitty HD-DVD format gots its ass kicked right out of the market by Sony and the PS3.

Enjoy your 'digital downloads' with sub-720p compression and the coming wave of monthly download caps from ISPs assclown.

Re:Its worth noting (1)

DigitalisAkujin (846133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912573)

Into this seemingly complex insight is also the dynamic variable of eyesight. If your eyes are so bad you always see in SD it doesn't matter if you have HD. ;)

Having said that I think us nerds need to be mindful that not everyone pays attention to minute details. We are inherently trained to pickup details down to the pixel because a difference of a period (.) and a comma (,) can be the difference between a syntax error and a successful compile.

Re:Its worth noting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912799)

I'd say its not a case of 18% cant tell if its HD but they honestly cant tell the difference. Broadcast HD tends to be 720p mostly and very
highly compressed, so its not a huge improvement over SD anyway.

What I'd really like to know is how many people actually care if its HD or not. HD doesn't make the film or show any better.
Its the same story, same acting so if its entertaining as HD it'll be just as entertaining as SD. Audio adds just as much to immersion as visuals
and it hasn't improved between DVD & HD. There is a negligible difference between DVD & HD audio (considering 7.1 DTS was available on DVDs too).
The first time I watched The Matrix it was the poorest quality pirated film I've ever seen. Once I finished watching, I went online to find
if it was available to buy (in those days R1 DVDs were released quite a while before R2) and watched it again. If a film/show is good, you'll
be engrossed whether its HD or SD and if you're not then adding a few more pixels really isnt going to help.

All HD does is highlight flaws in people's skin and make CGI look worse. Thats why porn couldn't do for HD what it did for video.
Porn in HD just shows every mole, every bit of stubble, every gross sticky sweaty squelchy detail.

Re:Its worth noting (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912813)

Give them an HD Content for a month and they'll quickly learn however.

Not bloody likely. My parents have a 50" LCD that does 1080p with FiOS and all the networks in regular and HD. They often watch the standard def versions. They couldn't really tell the difference between DVD and VHS, either. They're in their 50's, decent eyesight. It just doesn't make a difference to them.

They also have a nice 5.1 setup and had their receiver locked in mono for about 6 months. Couldn't tell.

It would be more interesting if... (5, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912483)

I'd be more interested in a comparison between upscaled SD and HD. That is, an upscaled DVD (even the Xbox 360 upscale would do...no need to go fancy), vs a 720p source. I bet that 18% would become much, much higher... I have 2 TV of exactly the same size and resolution, and I tried putting them side by side... aside for the annoying 4:3 ratio that most DVDs are in, Its freakishly hard to tell the difference on anything below 40-45 inches (at a reasonable distance... of course its easy if you have your face in the TV).

The biggest reason SD "looks so awful about seeing HD" is because the built in upscalers of most HDTV is completly horrible, and make SD sources look faaaaaar worse than they should.

Re:It would be more interesting if... (5, Interesting)

ogminlo (941711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912551)

I'm a broadcast engineer, and when we brought in a Teranex VC100 (broadcast version of the HQV chipset) to test how it compared to real HD we were stunned to discover that even our snobbiest and best-trained eyes could hardly tell the difference between upscaled anamorphic 480i and true 1080i. The testing was performed on a $60K Sony BVM series HD broadcast monitor. Granted, it was not trying to make 1080p and both were 29.97 fps, but the results were still very impressive. We were hoping to see it fail so we could justify a bunch of HD equipment, but the Teranex did too good a job. There is a consumer version of this chip- the Realta HQV. Higher-end home theater gear uses it to scale HDMI up to 1080p. Upconvert a 16:9 DVD with an HQV device, and you get 99% of the quality of Blu-Ray.

Go Fuck Yourself Loser - HD-DVD Is Dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912615)

Go back to crying over HD-DVD taking a dirt nap you piece of shit.

Re:Go Fuck Yourself Loser - HD-DVD Is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912755)

Error: Your insult has encountered a short circuit at the other end, and has bounced back at you with infinite VSWR.

Re:It would be more interesting if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912651)

aside for the annoying 4:3 ratio that most DVDs are in

Only in the United States (and maybe Canada). In Europe you'd be hard pressed to find a DVD in 4:3. Most, if not all, are wide screen.

Re:It would be more interesting if... (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912689)

Only in the United States (and maybe Canada). In Europe you'd be hard pressed to find a DVD in 4:3. Most, if not all, are wide screen.

Its still 4:3, just with bars on top and at the bottom. As far as I know, its not even in 16:9 with bars, its (not always, but usually) is closer to a movie theater's aspect ratio. So sure, its widescreen, but you need to change your TV's settings, since your TV thinks its 4:3 (it doesn't know if the bars are part of it or not). If you're playing a blu ray disk or similar "standard" 720p source, the aspect ratio will be correct for your TV right off the bat. You'll virtually never see a recent movie on DVD in 4:3 without the bars in the US either.

Re:It would be more interesting if... (1)

g0at (135364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912845)

DVDs inherently carry an SD (4:3) picture, but you can encode the picture anamorphically (16:9 squashed into 4:3) and set a flag so that the DVD player will play it back either as letterboxed 4:3 (SD) or widescreen 16:9 if your TV can accept such a signal.

You'll virtually never see a recent movie on DVD in 4:3 without the bars in the US either.

I think this is incorrect. If you take the "widescreen" DVD and play it in a player connected to dumb old-school CRT (like my TV), you will see the bars, but the player is creating them. If you play the DVD e.g. in your computer, you will likely see a 16:9 window without any letterboxing.

-b

Bars and stretches (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912701)

The biggest reason SD "looks so awful about seeing HD" is because the built in upscalers of most HDTV is completly horrible, and make SD sources look faaaaaar worse than they should.

I don't agree with this. I think the biggest reason is because HD is usually in 16x9, so it is not stretched on a new widescreen TV. If there are bars (usually for commercials) they are usually encoded in the signal. SD, in contrast, is always 4:3 so you either have black bars (which is the correct way), stretching (most people do this) or cropping.

I think stretching is the worst possible solution, but it also seems to be the most common, especially in TV store displays and other public places. I have changed some TVs to black bars, and the immediate response is "change it back! We hate black bars". The fact that the screen is horribly stretched usually goes unnoticed.

Re:Bars and stretches (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912801)

Indeed. I personally use cropping. But that really wasn't what I was refering to.

With the totally craptastic signal the cable company sends me (I don't have an HDTV for TV, its for gaming), it looks fairly bad, but if I use the DVD, and stick it on an SDTV, it looks -just fine-. If I stick it on a typical overpriced HDTV, no zooming, no stretching, it looks horrible. Same size, no stretching, no zooming, no cropping. If I stick it in -my- HDTV, which upscales relatively well (which is impressive, since it was cheap), it looks about the same as it does on an SDTV, and it looks fine. If I put it in something that upscales (like a Xbox 360 with HDMI), it looks much better than on an SDTV.

On most HDTVs I've seen, if you watch normal TV (not HD), don't zoom/crop, it still looks really bad, but its really the TV's fault more than the signal.

Re:Bars and stretches (1)

All_One_Mind (945389) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912871)

I've got a 52" RCA 1080i TV and use the XBox 360 to upscale DVDs to 1080i. I also have a DVD player that does the same thing.

From experience I disagree with you. I've got plenty of widescreen, native 16:9 aspect ratio DVDs, and the XBox 360 upscales it so well that I almost pissed my pants the first time I saw the picture. It was difficult to distinguish a widescreen DVD from the 720p versions of many movies. Specifically "There Will Be Blood" as I had downloaded a 720p version and had the DVD arrive from Netflix around the same time. I took some time and tested my girlfriend to identify the HD version against the DVD. She refused to guess for awhile. Finally she picked the upscaled DVD.

Awesome! (1)

Fustican (897132) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912485)

We should set up a charity, so that those 18% of people can switch their HDTV's with people like me who have crappy old SD TV's, but would be able to tell the difference!

Closer to 75% in my experience (5, Informative)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912495)

There's an ongoing battle in my family between keying in the "standard definition" version of channels and the "high definition". They all think I'm this weird limey geek (I'm the only English person in the family) who's obsessed with it. They're right of course. You should've seen the argument when I blocked the SD channels *grin*.

The fact is, most people really don't care so long as the TV is reasonably sharp and the sound is reasonably good. Standard definition is perfectly watchable to the average user, HDTV is still seen as just another buzz word. The majority of people with newer HDTVs are watching them with the coaxial cable stuffed into the antenna port in SD, and they're none the wiser.

Re:Closer to 75% in my experience (3, Informative)

Avogadro65 (942457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912861)

DirecTV (and probably others) has the nice option of automatically replacing the SD versions of channels with the HD version - it's the only way I can get my wife to pick the right one.

Are you serious? (1)

SemiSpook (1382311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912497)

I'm sorry, but that 18% is a complete bunch of morons.

Maybe the OTA signal coming in may supposedly show up as HD when it's SD, but it's real easy to tell the difference if you're using cable or FiOS.

And I'm able to see this on a 46" Samsung 6 Series LCD with HDMI.

It all goes back to the source. If the OTA broadcast is crap, that's what you'll receive, and that's what the cable company will put out.

Re:Are you serious? (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912553)

Its "real easy" because most HDTVs make a total mess of SD signals, AND that SD signal often has noise in it. Get a good 480i signal (not a videogame though, that is much easier. Let say a movie) from a digital source, resized to 16:9 the way the Wii does it (since 480i/p isn't naturally widescreen), on a TV that doesn't trash low resolution signals (my cheap Toshiba handles em fine. My step-dad's couple of years old 60 inch panasonic is great too. I've seen some totally overpriced Sony TVs that still trashed it though, so price doesn't matter here), and the difference won't be -nearly- as obvious.

If the TV has a proper upscaler (or if you have an external one), the difference really becomes minimal unless the HD source is 1080P on a high quality 60 inch TV

so what? I'm surprised it's that low. (0)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912503)

Come on, 18%?

If you told me 10% of people can't tell that their TV is turned on or not I wouldn't be surprised.

Re:so what? I'm surprised it's that low. (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912535)

I actually agreed with that...

From my experience something like 50% of HD* users probably don't know what the H and D stand for...

Re:so what? I'm surprised it's that low. (3, Funny)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912559)

Is it ready for the hood? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OIbQDAlAjM [youtube.com]

Re:so what? I'm surprised it's that low. (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912761)

Haha best youtube laugh I've had for a while :) Thanks for sharing that.

Re:so what? I'm surprised it's that low. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912657)

From my experience something like 50% of HD* users probably don't know what the H and D stand for...
Are those 50% users of HD radio by chance? I know most people seem to think that HD radio is High Definition radio. Of course, it stands for Hybrid Digital, but the purveyors of HD Radio are more than happy to have people make the assumption that it is much higher quality than standard FM.

Re:so what? I'm surprised it's that low. (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912919)

I was wondering about that HD radio crap, I've heard ads for it and thought to myself, 'WTF, how can audio be in HD?', but just never bothered to check it out because honestly upgrading the radio is pretty low on my tech totem pole.

It's not just HD vs SD (5, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912889)

Once you get to a certain level of quality/performance it it quite hard for anyone but the technophiles to appreciate any improvement.

Is HD really that much better than SD? Is a dual core really that much better than a single core? Is 100Mbits/sec really better than 20Mbits/s?Is a $5000 hifi really better than a $200 one?

Once people have something that is "good enough", they don't value an improvement. This is vexing for companies trying to psh consumers to the next level.

Age makes a difference (4, Insightful)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912509)

20 year old eyes are much better than 50 year old eyes. I wonder how many of the 18% are older folks? I'm 55 and I'm hard-pressed to distinguish between SD and HD.

Re:Age makes a difference (1)

tguh (1418855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912593)

Ow. I didnt know that. Then it'll be hard to catch the details?

Re:Age makes a difference (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912723)

My 81 year old grandmother complains when things aren't in HD on the actual HD channels, and pretty much refuses to match the SD channels because of the quality difference. Age may matter some, but I think it really is more of an education thing. She understands the difference better than many 20 and 30 somethings I've talked to.

Could be the effects of video pollution? (0, Troll)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912519)

All you have to do is listen to the difference between an extrodinary classical recording of say Stravinsky on Columbia from 1960 Le Sacre De Printemps in a digital remaster to high def audio specs...then listen to the same thing on an mp3 download. It is amazing what passes for good audio these days. I am convinced that the average listener is half deaf! So is it any wonder that our eyes are suffering the same degradation from the video pollution that assaults us daily.

Re:Could be the effects of video pollution? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912893)

Oh no! No Television Man [theonion.com] has become an audiophile! :D

Can't tell Hard Drive from South Dakota ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912523)

Or is that Secure Digital

This means 82% can (5, Insightful)

cpct0 (558171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912531)

Of course the psychology of words will make you believe this is horrible, when in fact, 82% can tell the difference!

Then, like said elsewhere, a properly upscaled good-resolution SD is very potent. What is crap is the digital signals we're being fed.

A story that happened to me. I used to listen to Paramount channel for ST:V a few years ago (god I'm old), and this was the only digital channel I used to have. Sometimes, I couldn't listen to some shows immediately, so I time-shifted them on a VHS, in EP (that's the 8 hours per cassette mode, young folks ;) ), and even then, with quality degraded, I could still see the digital scans when scenes were changed, or during space-blacks! Now that my boobtube provider is putting approximately 3 times the amount of channels into the same QAM, quality is even worse than before.

Change in every other tech is huge... (1)

h4x354x0r (1367733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912557)

but consumer TV video only gets marginally better after 50 years? I say give those old fart engineers that designed SD video some cred.

I work in A/V, recently installed about 30 52" flat panel displays (native 720 pixel res), and have been testing SD, various res of PC video, and 1080p on these things. Everyone that looks can tell a difference, but nobody says "Wow!" It just isn't that much of a change.

Difference between SD and HD? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912577)

That's depressing. I mean, how hard is it really? One's as big as a postage stamp and goes in your camera, and the other goes in your computer ... oh, wait ...

UsersAreMorons is an inappropriate tag (3, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912579)

Please use usersAreBlind instead ;-)

In all seriousness though, blaming people for being unable to tell the difference between SD and HD isn't a positive thing. The irony being that if they can't tell the difference they get to save themselves a whole lot of money. Thoguh personally I'd rather have decent eyesight and make the choice of SD vs HD based on whether I think it's worth it. I can tell the difference and I'll be sticking with SD until HD is much cheaper by the way.

Content Quality versus Visual Quality (4, Interesting)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912591)

Humans are often easily distracted creatures, as demonstrated by numerous examples of highly successful ad campaigns over the years. As long as you present the audience with enough interesting or flashy content, the quality of the medium becomes less relevant.

The solution to speeding up HD adoption, is to make the content itself less interesting. The viewers will have no choice but to start taking notice of external annoyances like picture quality.

The big jump is end-to-end digital (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912609)

The big jump in quality comes when the channel is end-to-end digital. That's a huge improvement over NTSC. But 1080p from a DVD player with upscaling and HDMI output is hard to distinguish from "broadcast-quality" HDTV. Pixar's pixel-clean digital animation on Blu-Ray looks great, because all the detail really is there, the compression isn't too harsh, and Pixar makes their Blu-Ray disks from the digital data, not a photographic film intermediate. If there's photographic film in the middle, the image is degraded, and a sizable chunk of the bandwidth goes into trying to represent film grain.

There's still too much compression,. Look at football in HDTV. While the camera pans, there's blurring, and shortly after, but not immediately after, the camera stops moving, the blades of grass suddenly get sharp edges as the data stream catches up. ESPN insists on a minimum bandwidth allocation from cable companies to try to keep the compression artifacts down to a tolerable level, but it's still marginal.

It's almost better to have lower resolution rather than annoying compression artifacts.

$1000 Better... (5, Insightful)

wzinc (612701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912635)

Is HD better than SD, yes. Is it worth the $1000 extra you have to spend on everything to get HD? IMHO, no, but I know others feel differently.

hehe (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912709)

It depends. For the most part I think you're wrong. Tiny tvs, yes. But if you're going from a max-sized (36-inch) CRT to a larger LCD ... You'd be a fucking retard NOT to get it. When your screen gets 40% (arbitrary number) bigger and you're sitting equally far away as you would from your old tv - you need 40% quality increase just to maintain the same experince. 720p on a 52-inch HDTV with 1920x1080 looks frickin' good. DVD on a 36-inch CRT looks about as good as you need for that size, and for that inferior display technology. A BluRay on a 36-inch CRT isn't going to look any better than a DVD.

But if you get a device that is capable of displaying better -- and the device is bigger than what you've had before -- Yes, you definitely need HD. And you will also realize how worthless buying DVDs are, when what airs on HDTV has twice the pixels (720p = 2.25X DVD, 1080p = 6X dvd). The longer you wait, the more you're hurting yourself in the long run. And granted I still watch a lot of SDTV, but that's animation. Curb Your Enthusiasm was the ONLY live action show in the past year i've seen in SDTV only, and on a big 52-inch TV with greater pixel depth, it looked as bad as a VHS does on a normal tv.

An extra $1000? Yes. But you act like the $1000 only buys the SDTV->HDTV different. It doesn't. The extra $1000 buys a huge TV.

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912649)

Telling the difference between HD and SD is easy.

What's hard is telling the difference between different types of SD.

See if you can spot the difference between 576p and 480p on an analog display. ;)

18% of Everything is Crud (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912679)

I'm impressed that the 18% number isn't higher. I mean, come on. The bottom 18% of your high school class were "F" students. And that was when someone was regularly feeding them info, telling them how to tell what was going on, regularly testing them. These people are morons. 82% noticing it's HD is pretty impressive.

Statistically speaking... (2, Interesting)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912703)

Nearly four out of five viewers can tell the difference. This correlates well with other studies that show four out of five respondents [google.com] answer surveys.

Failed Economics 101 (1, Flamebait)

wap911 (637820) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912741)

I am really surprised at how many people here did not take Economics 101 or slept through the class.

All corporations have a legal responsibility to "INCREASE SHAREHOLDER VALUE" -- that is it, bottom line, you and I don't count.

And as far as that "consumer" attitude, I don't need that either, danged near starved to death at BestBuy with my mouth stuck on that TV trying to eat enough HD's. Tried bar-b-queing, baking, boiling, frying CD's and they are still tough and chewy.

Now, once again I will let you know that the USoA died in the 80's. It was replaced by the UCCA. The United Corporations and Churches of America.
Where the real product is the stock and the true customer is the stockholder and if you don't go to someone's particular Sunday service you are toast - literally in their eyes.

And lastly I'm an administrator of 9-1-1 and the killing off of law enforcement radio freqs. just to have Digital HD Broadcast is a farce, because in a major fire the fire generates EMF that is a harmonic of the freq's and the firefighter walking into the building on the end of the hose will get/send only static. THANKS FCC for being another Hollywood Clueless Stooge.

 

Re:Failed Economics 101 (1)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912847)

Huh?

Meh, consumers (5, Funny)

Godji (957148) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912769)

80% of consumers can't tell 192kbps mp3 from FLAC. 70% of comsumers can't tell IE from Firefox. 60% of consumers can't tell their head from their ass. Your point?

Of course I've pulled these numbers out of my ass, where I pull 63% of all statistics I post on Slashdot.

I can barely tell 640x480 from real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912775)

And I'm sure I'm not that much of a minority.

1x1 resolution considered perfect (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25912831)

Personally I think the feed needs to be a single pixel that fills the entire screen. That is, the resolution of the screen will be 1x1. And there should be only five possibilities for its color: black, red, green, blue, or white. People will sit in front of this thing and watch the thing change colors at various rates while listening to recordings and it will cause them to become hypnotized and placed under the government's control. That would be good because people have demonstrated that they want to be more tightly controlled by the government.

Not suprising, and it doesn't prove any point... (3, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912915)

Generally SD looks noticeably better when upscaled on a respectable HDTV. Especially when the person has upgraded from a CRT, old rear projection or some older not so good panel TV. Also, a current HDTV will have superior colour &/ contrast (often artificially boosted) than the older SD screen.

These factors would account for a good fraction of the statistic the being rest of the would be accounted for by the Idiot Factor - or to be fair, that many people have slightly off eyesight, or may be just sitting too far away.

I can't see a difference ... (5, Interesting)

wylderide (933251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25912917)

... It's the same old crappy writing and acting, characters and dialogue. Now, with HD, you get a crystal clear image of the crap they put on the millions of channels. Yay! Maybe once they put out something worth watching I'll worry about the picture quality.
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