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Author Topic: Is Blu Ray dying?  (Read 49301 times)
Ray
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« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2009, 11:12:33 PM »
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Quote from: Wally
for me there is just no advantage to Blu Ray worth the extra costs. I have a large TV, and an upsampling DVD player. I can buy $5-$15 DVDs that look great to my eyes or I can drop $40+ for a Blu Ray disk I think not.

The jump from VHS to DVD was far more than just a better picture and sound. You also did not have to rewind and fast forward and DVDs were much smaller to store.

The only advantage for the average consumer with Blu Ray is that you can get a better picture but most of us just don't care.

That seems to be the general case. You're not alone with that view. Nevertheless, I still find it very curious that photographers will jump at the opportunity to double the pixel count of their DSLR yet show an almost total lack of interest in a 6x increase in pixel count simply because the image is moving.

I understand that many folks are not interested in image quality period, whether the image is still or moving. But that's not the situation on this site, is it?

I wonder, do photographers trying to make a living from selling still images feel threatened by the increasing quality of video?

I came across a recent article addressing the problems of the transition to HD, which you might find interesting, at http://www.screendigest.com/press/releases..._2008/view.html

Here's an exctract:

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London 25th June 2008.
According to the latest report from media analysts Screen Digest, HD technology has reached a tipping point in Europe, with take-up across the region accelerating rapidly. Despite the growing penetration of HD screens, the report identifies a significant content gap caused by a lack of HD content on free-to-air platforms across the region. By the end of 2007, 18 per cent of the 165 million European TV households were equipped with HD displays - but less than one per cent of these (approximately one million) were fully 'HD enabled' (i.e. equipped with an HD set-top box and an HD subscription enabling them to watch HD broadcasts).

The report forecasts that by 2012 the situation will have improved little – only 20 per cent of the 85 per cent of European households with HD displays will actually be watching in HD.

Screen Digest Senior Analyst and author of the report, Vincent Létang comments "In the next five years, HDTV will remain little more than a pay TV product in Europe – primarily on satellite. Analogue switch-off, which will happen between 2010 and 2012 will free-up bandwidth capacity on the digital terrestrial platform and will kick-start the next phase of growth in HD TV. HD TV will become the mainstream and ultimately the standard form of free television around the middle of the next decade. In ten years time, nobody will ever refer to 'high definition' because HD will be everywhere."


In Australia we have no TV license fees as they have in the U.K, and we have plenty of free-to-air HD broadcasts. I suppose that makes a difference.
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Wally
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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2009, 02:28:11 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
That seems to be the general case. You're not alone with that view. Nevertheless, I still find it very curious that photographers will jump at the opportunity to double the pixel count of their DSLR yet show an almost total lack of interest in a 6x increase in pixel count simply because the image is moving.

I think with digital cameras Mega Pixels are one easy way to measure what you are buying. For the average buyer looking at say P&S cameras they all look the same but one is 10mp and the other 6mp so they think the 10mp ones are better simply because they have a bigger number. I think with High Def TVs you don't need pixel counts as a measuring tool as people can just go into a store and see a nice big flat LCD or Plasma TV. The physical size of the unit is all they need. Then they take them home and watch a DVD on them and are quite happy.

I also think a lot of tech savy people (like me) also see any disc based format as a dead end. Currently (where I live in the USA) I can watch hundreds if not thousands of Movies and TV Shows on Demand through my Digital Cable, many of them for free, the rest for very minimal cost. On top of that I belong to service called Netflix where I get DVDs mailed to me at my home, I can keep and watch them as long as I like, and when I am done, I just mail them back and I get more the next day. Recently I got a box that plugs into my home network where I can stream movies and TV shows directly from Netflix right to my TV no computer required. The quality is somewhere between that of a VHS tape and a DVD but I know that it will only get better with time, and with time more and more titles will be available also. My guess is that 5-10 years from now between my Digital Cable and Netflix (or a similar service) I will be able to watch just about any movie or TV show ever made, whenever I want, in High Def, and I will never touch a disk of any sort.

On a personal level I shoot digital with a Canon 30D, I am very happy with the 8mp size and don't want anything bigger. The more MPs the bigger the files, and the more I have to commit to storage and backups
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samirkharusi
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« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2009, 10:41:03 PM »
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Quote from: Wally
I also think a lot of tech savy people (like me) also see any disc based format as a dead end. Currently (where I live in the USA) I can watch hundreds if not thousands of Movies and TV Shows on Demand through my Digital Cable, many of them for free, the rest for very minimal cost. On top of that I belong to service called Netflix where I get DVDs mailed to me at my home, I can keep and watch them as long as I like, and when I am done, I just mail them back and I get more the next day. Recently I got a box that plugs into my home network where I can stream movies and TV shows directly from Netflix right to my TV no computer required. The quality is somewhere between that of a VHS tape and a DVD but I know that it will only get better with time, and with time more and more titles will be available also. My guess is that 5-10 years from now between my Digital Cable and Netflix (or a similar service) I will be able to watch just about any movie or TV show ever made, whenever I want, in High Def, and I will never touch a disk of any sort.

On a personal level I shoot digital with a Canon 30D, I am very happy with the 8mp size and don't want anything bigger. The more MPs the bigger the files, and the more I have to commit to storage and backups
Indeed I suspect that is the view of many people, even the tech savy. BD seems destined to be a flash-in-the-pan, like Laser Discs turned out to be. Pity really, since it implies that we will not get the currently available BD movie quality going mainstream for many years yet. It took many years before FM sound became widely available on VHS tapes, even though the initial mono sound format was simply horrible. All these downloaded movies, cable, satellite or broadband, even when so-called HD, are simply not comparable to BD on a large enough screen (or small screen when viewed close-up, like on a PC monitor). I find that a well recorded commercial DVD (4GB? per movie) on an upgrading HD TV or DVD player, is invariably better than the more usual compressed downloads (1.5 -3GB?). It may take many years before 10+GB downloads per movie become routine and thus competitive with BD. It will come eventually. One suspicion I have regarding DVDs is that PAL DVDs (625 lines?) seem inherently to have an advantage over NTSC DVDs (525 lines?) hence line doubling seems to have picked up more in N. America than in Europe during the 1990s amongst the cognoscenti. Anyway these days many higher end HD TVs seem to do very good upgrading from DVD to 1080 internally anyway, so perhaps there is no longer a need for higher end DVD players.

A comment on Netfix and Apple TV. Good systems for downloads, but for whatever reason not available worldwide, unlike LLVJ. Presumably the copyright owners are scared of piracy? Duh! The rest of the world seems to be downloading as-good or better pirate copies routinely. Any yuppie outside N.America probably has already 100+ pirated movies on those millions of 500GB and terabyte drives that are selling like hotcakes... Don't the copyright owners ever learn, eg from the music industry experience?

One thing I would emphasise though. Shoot all your home videos on HD, now! I have digitised all my home movies (starting with 8mm and 16mm in the 1950s, Super 8 in the 1970s, analogue videos from the 1980s, digital videos in the 1990s and ending with grand kids on HD) and the enormous quality difference is shocking. All these were "very good" quality for their epoch. Home videos go up in value with the passage of time. 25 years from now your kids will be watching whatever you shoot today on 8ft screens, and SD will most assuredly look horrible. Even HD 1080 will struggle, but it'll be much better than SD, perhaps like 1990s digital SD compared to analogue video from the 1980s.
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Ray
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« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2009, 08:15:06 PM »
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Quote from: Wally
I think with digital cameras Mega Pixels are one easy way to measure what you are buying. For the average buyer looking at say P&S cameras they all look the same but one is 10mp and the other 6mp so they think the 10mp ones are better simply because they have a bigger number. I think with High Def TVs you don't need pixel counts as a measuring tool as people can just go into a store and see a nice big flat LCD or Plasma TV. The physical size of the unit is all they need. Then they take them home and watch a DVD on them and are quite happy.


True! But the point I raised was in regard to the attitude of photographers, the sort of people who frequent this site. The average member of the public buys a P&S camera in preference to a DSLR because they are not fussy about image quality. The P&S is good enough, just as SD TV is good enough.

When the P&S is not good enough and you want better quality, more resolution and/or better DR and lower noise, then you buy a DSLR. It just seems very odd that someone like jjj (for example) who obviously appreciates high image quality in his still images, doesn't give a stuff about the low image quality of SDTV. It's not good enough if the image is still. It is good enough if the image is moving. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this dual standard.

Anyway, at least I appreciate the benefits of HD moving images. I'm pleased that grand opera is at last beginning to become available on Blu-ray. I've already ordered from Amazon a selection of operas on Blu-ray, each with a 5 star rating from reviewers; operas such as Bizet's Carmen starring Anna Caterina Antonacci, The Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville, Aida etc.

Grand opera deserves a grand plasma display in full HD   .
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jjj
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« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2009, 08:00:38 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
When the P&S is not good enough and you want better quality, more resolution and/or better DR and lower noise, then you buy a DSLR. It just seems very odd that someone like jjj (for example) who obviously appreciates high image quality in his still images, doesn't give a stuff about the low image quality of SDTV..
Eh!? Not sure why you think that I don't care about moving image quality. My view is completely the opposite - I'm very fussy about it.
I do not have a HD TV as the quality of most TV [which is still SD], viewed on them is effing awful, plus the nasty digital look that most display is also something I despise. I'd much rather watch SD with subtle gradations of tone, good blacks and highlights that aren't burnt out on my CRT, that virtually any large TV I've looked at. They look OK with a BluRay source, but the chance of my buying/renting BR i very small. I have very few DVDs and have probably watched less than half of them. Don't have the time. Mainly as if I want HD I go to the Cinema and watch film or digital projection, which is way better than your meagre 50" TV.  

I should also mention that I don't particularly care for the image out of most digital cameras, too video like a lot of the time.
Besides, if you look at my photography, grain and fuzziness is something I like to use creatively.
When appropriate, I actively 'degrade' my images at times, as it can look great.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 08:01:38 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2009, 08:42:51 PM »
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I do not have a HD TV as the quality of most TV [which is still SD], viewed on them is effing awful, plus the nasty digital look that most display is also something I despise. I'd much rather watch SD with subtle gradations of tone, good blacks and highlights that aren't burnt out on my CRT, that virtually any large TV I've looked at. They look OK with a BluRay source, but the chance of my buying/renting BR i very small. I have very few DVDs and have probably watched less than half of them. Don't have the time. Mainly as if I want HD I go to the Cinema and watch film or digital projection, which is way better than your meagre 50" TV.

That's not my experience. I think you are comparing the appearance of maladjusted, cheap or early models of big LCD screens with well-adjusted CRT displays. Any reasonably good quality SD source looks decidely and clearly better on a modern and properly adjusted HD plasma TV, viewed from an appropriate distance in relation to the sceen size. If this wasn't the case, then nobody would buy a projector. Those who do or did buy projectors, HD or not, used to be very impressed with the SD definition of DVDs on their huge 100" screens. Now such people are even more impressed with the improved quallity of full HD from Blu-ray on their 100" screens.

It's possible that certain cheap DVD players or early Plasma TVs have substandard upscaling chips which deliver disappointing results with SD material. However, I can attest that the 11th generation Panasonic Plasma sets do an excellent upscaling job, and that "The Bill" definitely looks better on my 50" plasma set than it used to on my high quality 33" Loewe CRT set.
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« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2009, 06:24:25 PM »
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That's not my experience. I think you are comparing the appearance of maladjusted, cheap or early models of big LCD screens with well-adjusted CRT displays. Any reasonably good quality SD source looks decidely and clearly better on a modern and properly adjusted HD plasma TV, viewed from an appropriate distance in relation to the sceen size.
Duh, you still seem to be struggling with this part. You won't move your seats back and fore depending on the source material. You either sit too close for SD or too far for HD to do the best job. Now if I want a large screen I want the benefit of the large size so I won't sit a long way back just so the SD looks the same size as on the CRT. Currently, a little closer to my CRT and I can see the pixels - I have good eyesight. So a bigger screen is of no benefit for SD.
There was a article in papers this week claiming most people didn't get the benfit of big TVs/HD as their eyesight wasn't up to it. Possible a publicity stunt by opticians, but there's a germ of truth in it regardless.


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It's possible that certain cheap DVD players or early Plasma TVs have substandard upscaling chips which deliver disappointing results with SD material. However, I can attest that the 11th generation Panasonic Plasma sets do an excellent upscaling job, and that "The Bill" definitely looks better on my 50" plasma set than it used to on my high quality 33" Loewe CRT set.
Uh duh again, shops don't stock old TVs and so funnily I've been looking at the latest ones [Panasonics too],  and I will also alter them as well from defaults. I'm sure I also mentioned above that that a local highend hifi shop admitted that flat screens simply aren't as good as CRTs yet -  they do not sell CRTs.
Upscaled SD, simply looks upscaled to me and doesn't survive being shown on a big screen as it tends to look soft.
How far away was the CRT you watched? It may have been a smaller angle of view than your big screen and probably could have been viewed closer. Most people's CRTs were/are a long way away, relatively. I'm presently at my sisters, looking at the TV in lounge, in a typicaly sized home, it's a 32". Yet interestingly, the angle of view it covers, is less than that of a video on say an iPhone in my hand.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 06:24:45 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2009, 08:08:34 PM »
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Duh, you still seem to be struggling with this part. You won't move your seats back and fore depending on the source material. You either sit too close for SD or too far for HD to do the best job. Now if I want a large screen I want the benefit of the large size so I won't sit a long way back just so the SD looks the same size as on the CRT. Currently, a little closer to my CRT and I can see the pixels - I have good eyesight. So a bigger screen is of no benefit for SD.
There was a article in papers this week claiming most people didn't get the benfit of big TVs/HD as their eyesight wasn't up to it. Possible a publicity stunt by opticians, but there's a germ of truth in it regardless.

JJJ,
Now who's being silly? You seem to imply that I am recommending you get out your calculator and measuring tape in order to determine the ideal position to sit in relation to a screen of a particular size and a broadcast of a particular quality.

Let me be clear on this matter. Whatever the size of the TV, whatever the quality of the broadcast, I always try to sit at a comfortable viewing distance from the display. I use my eyes to determine what is a comfortable viewing distance and I understand that what may be a comfortable viewing distance for one person may not be for another. I thought everyone did this as a matter of course, so I'm surprised that you seem to have so much difficulty with this issue.

Could it be that all the chairs in your living room are bolted to the floor at an equal distance to your TV screen? This would be very unusual, but if that were the case, then I would agree you might have a slight problem with regard to replacing your CRT TV with a large HD display.

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Uh duh again, shops don't stock old TVs

They sometimes stock new TVs with old technology. They are usually of the cheaper and smaller variety. Haven't you noticed?

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I'm sure I also mentioned above that that a local highend hifi shop admitted that flat screens simply aren't as good as CRTs yet -  they do not sell CRTs.

Well, that settles the matter, doesn't it? Who could possibly argue with the authority of a salesman in your local hi fi shop. Salesman know everything, don't they?

Nobody sells 50" flat panel CRTs, so we can't compare, and your local hi fi shop apparently does't even have a small CRT with which to compare.

The impression that LCD monitors are not as good as CRT monitors for critical image processing, has been around for a long time. It seems to be the case (or certainly was the case) that only top-end and very expensive LCD computer monitors could rival the quality of a medium priced CRT computer monitor. For this reason I have not bothered to replace my old CRT computer monitor with an LCD monitor, although I can see there would be other advantages unrelated to image quality, such as a wider and bigger screen and a smaller footprint.

Plasma displays are in another category. What has been described as the deficiency of the LCD monitor, relatively poor contrast ratio and blacks lacking detail, exists in spades on the plasma screen. I doubt that any old-fashioned CRT would have a better contrast ratio than a modern plasma set.

If you have any links to authoritative sources that can specify in what ways a CRT is still better than the best of the current crop of plasma sets, I'd be interested.
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« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2009, 08:57:54 PM »
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JJJ,
Now who's being silly? You seem to imply that I am recommending you get out your calculator and measuring tape in order to determine the ideal position to sit in relation to a screen of a particular size and a broadcast of a particular quality.
No, I'm not. I'm pointing out there is a variation in optimum distance that's all. Unlike a photo on a gallery wall, you don't normally have the option of varying viewing distance depending on whether the programme is HD or SD.
Plus, now you've mentioned it, it occured to me that to to pick TV in first place, you may well have to get tape measure out to decide which size is best. Why? Most rooms in Europe have a place for the TV and a place for the sofas, usually on opposite walls as houses/flats are rarely as big as in the less populated countries.

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Let me be clear on this matter. Whatever the size of the TV, whatever the quality of the broadcast, I always try to sit at a comfortable viewing distance from the display. I use my eyes to determine what is a comfortable viewing distance and I understand that what may be a comfortable viewing distance for one person may not be for another. I thought everyone did this as a matter of course, so I'm surprised that you seem to have so much difficulty with this issue.
I'm not, you seem to be struggling with reading. The optimum viewing distance for SD + HD on a big screen is not the same, hence the problem.

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Could it be that all the chairs in your living room are bolted to the floor at an equal distance to your TV screen? This would be very unusual, but if that were the case, then I would agree you might have a slight problem with regard to replacing your CRT TV with a large HD display.
No not bolted but very heavy and against the wall. A very normal arrangement. Besides to repeat point yet again, who's going change seating arrangements when changing channels if some progs are in SD and some in HD?

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They sometimes stock new TVs with old technology. They are usually of the cheaper and smaller variety. Haven't you noticed?
And why would I be looking at small, cheap TVs? I work with images for a living, I'm hardly going to look at crap kit, particularly as it doesn't even show HD anyway. I was looking at a £5.5K Sony plasma a few days back. Not that impressive really, apart from price and size. Not as good a the Panasonics.

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Well, that settles the matter, doesn't it? Who could possibly argue with the authority of a salesman in your local hi fi shop. Salesman know everything, don't they?
Nobody sells 50" flat panel CRTs, so we can't compare, and your local hi fi shop apparently does't even have a small CRT with which to compare.
Duh, yet again. They were saying a product they don't even sell is better [in many ways] than one they do sell. That's a very honest answer as it will lose the sale.

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The impression that LCD monitors are not as good as CRT monitors for critical image processing, has been around for a long time. It seems to be the case (or certainly was the case) that only top-end and very expensive LCD computer monitors could rival the quality of a medium priced CRT computer monitor. For this reason I have not bothered to replace my old CRT computer monitor with an LCD monitor, although I can see there would be other advantages unrelated to image quality, such as a wider and bigger screen and a smaller footprint.
Plasma displays are in another category. What has been described as the deficiency of the LCD monitor, relatively poor contrast ratio and blacks lacking detail, exists in spades on the plasma screen. I doubt that any old-fashioned CRT would have a better contrast ratio than a modern plasma set.
Image quality is not simply defined by contrast ratio. Just as sound quality is not definined by the figures used to sell audio kit or MPs to sell cameras. It's not the contrast that is the main issue, it's the overall digital look, only part of which is related to the blacks

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If you have any links to authoritative sources that can specify in what ways a CRT is still better than the best of the current crop of plasma sets, I'd be interested.
One of my main skills is parsing image quality, so I actually have no need to ask anyone else's opinion on this particular matter and I've spent a lot of time of late looking at Plasmas, they are certainly better than they were, but are still lacking, particularly as I keep repeating, when viewing normal SD TV [95% of current TV], as it simply does not look too good that big, especially after upresing. When SD becomes the minority format then I'll consider a larger replacement for lounge. Though one for the Kitchen is a vague possibilty for convienience, but girlfiend will find it a bit odd having the newer, bigger and fancier TV in kitchen. But as Kitchen viewing distance is quite long compared to lounge, it makes more sense to do that.
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« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2009, 11:41:57 PM »
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Most rooms in Europe have a place for the TV and a place for the sofas, usually on opposite walls as houses/flats are rarely as big as in the less populated countries.

I'm not, you seem to be struggling with reading. The optimum viewing distance for SD + HD on a big screen is not the same, hence the problem.

No problem for me. I can understand if you are renting temporary living quarters, that the seating arrangements might be inflexible. If you own your own house then I presume you would arrange everything to suit your own living style and preferences in all matters. If your argument is, 'I live in rented accommodation which does not lend itself to any sort of flexibility with regard to seating arrangements and it would therefore be impractical and inconvenient for me to install a large screen HD display', then I understand completley. Why didn't you say so in the first place? Duh! Duh! Duh!

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And why would I be looking at small, cheap TVs? I work with images for a living, I'm hardly going to look at crap kit, particularly as it doesn't even show HD anyway. I was looking at a £5.5K Sony plasma a few days back. Not that impressive really, apart from price and size. Not as good a the Panasonics.

I don't know why, except I deduced you might have been looking at crap because you seem to have the view that upscaling of SD material is very unsatisfactory. I find it susrprisingly good. I get the impression that Sony are not noted for the excellence of their plasma displays. There was some talk a while back of their discontinuing production of plasma displays and concentrating on LCDs.

By the way, you can get small and cheap, full HD displays. I have a 24" LCD display from Acer that I picked up for around US$270. First impressions are, it's very much lacking in contrast ratio. It probably does all processing of the signal in 8-bit mode and displays the results in 6-bit dithered.


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Duh, yet again. They were saying a product they don't even sell is better [in many ways] than one they do sell. That's a very honest answer as it will lose the sale.

It's a shrewd answer. Since you are such a clever fellow and your salesman is local, he knows already that you have the impression, rightly or wrongly, that CRT is better. He also knows that you are not going to buy another CRT TV and that there are no Full HD CRT TVs available anywhere. When you are ready to buy a full HD plasma (after you've sorted out your seating arrangements), he knows you are likely to return to him because he's given you the impression that he's perceptive and knowledgeable on such matters. He will also be in a good position to persuade you to buy a more expensive display than you otherwise might have bought, on the grounds that this latest Plasma display (a Pioneer Kuro perhaps) really is better than a CRT.

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Image quality is not simply defined by contrast ratio. Just as sound quality is not definined by the figures used to sell audio kit or MPs to sell cameras. It's not the contrast that is the main issue, it's the overall digital look, only part of which is related to the blacks

One of my main skills is parsing image quality, so I actually have no need to ask anyone else's opinion on this particular matter and I've spent a lot of time of late looking at Plasmas, they are certainly better than they were, but are still lacking, particularly as I keep repeating, when viewing normal SD TV [95% of current TV], as it simply does not look too good that big, especially after upresing. When SD becomes the minority format then I'll consider a larger replacement for lounge. Though one for the Kitchen is a vague possibilty for convienience, but girlfiend will find it a bit odd having the newer, bigger and fancier TV in kitchen. But as Kitchen viewing distance is quite long compared to lounge, it makes more sense to do that.

95% of broadcasts in the U.K are still SD? Dear me! When I used to visit the U.K. when my parents were still alive, I would occasionally find there was some confusion amongst friends and relatives as to whether the time in Australia was 10 hours ahead or 10 hours behind. I sometimes clarified the situation by saying it was easy to remember. Just remember that Australia is ahead in everything. (I know how to win friends and influence people.)

I think part of your problem with SD image quality might have something to do with the difference between the analogue broadcast signal and the digital broadcast signal. A CRT set cannot receive a digital signal, except through a set-top box. During the time of the Olympics in Beijing, and before I bought the Panasonic plasma set for my partner, I hooked up the Loewe CRT TV to a set-top box. The Loewe Calida has a real 16:9 option whereby the scan lines are vertically compressed to the 16:9 aspect ratio (as opposed to cropping the scan lines which effectively reduces vertical resolution).

Through the set-top box I was able to get a very clear 16:9 digital broadcast, which was presumably the full HD signal downscaled to SD, and it seemed to have the resolution edge compared with the analogue broadcast of the same material. However, there were one or two aspects of image quality with which I was not satisfied. First, there was a tendency towards blown highlights which reminded me a bit of the differences between film and digital cameras. The digital highlights tend to clip suddenly whereas film is more gradual in its handling of highlights. I wondered at the time if analogue broadcasts were more like film in this respect.

The second disappointment was in the fine tuning of color shades. The Loewe set has a tint control which was very useful with analogue broadcasts. With the digital broadcast, this control was not functional. It had no effect. These disappointments with the way a CRT TV handles a digital signal influenced my decision to buy a modern plasma display.

There is also sometimes evident, a certain plasticity in the complexions of people in a digital broadcast, as though the image has been subjected to heavy noise reduction. I don't see this effect in HD footage from Blu-ray discs, so I think such effects are in the source material and are a result of digital manipulation. I think you might be confusing such digital manipulation, that seems to be quite common, with the quality of the display.

I've read that the extra clarity of the HD standard in portraying every wart, pore and blemish is a great problem for the porn industry, so I've heard. And I can believe it without seeing for myself.  
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« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2009, 01:14:06 AM »
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OK, now for another controversy(?). I have looked at the 103" Panasonic plasma TV and also the most recent 70" Sony LCD in the same showroom, roughly at the same ridiculous price of $35,000 to $40,000 each, perhaps the largest available single displays from either technology(?), and also many other more affordable versions at around 50", and invariably I come to the conclusion that the LCDs are better displays than the plasmas. Don't get me wrong. That 103" is awesome! Just from the experience I'd say that our kids and grandkids WILL have wall sized displays 20 to 40 years hence. Anyway, why all the above emphasis on plasmas? The plasmas in our corner of the world are invariably cheaper than the same size LCDs (from the same manufacturer such as LG) and they all seem not quite up to the LCDs from the same manufacturers in image quality. The plasmas have lower contrast ratios than the LCD and also the rumoured possibility of screen burn (from games). The old contrast ratios of 5000:1 are now history so image quality has certainly improved a lot in the past year or two. I have never seen HD on a CRT, except possibly on my ancient computer monitor, so I cannot really compare with a state of the art CRT. The only real shortfall I still note on LCDs is grey-scale contouring when there is a very subtle gradation on, eg the sky or similar on a large chunk of the screen. Presumably the culprit must be that 6-bit thing mentioned earlier? We do not have this contouring issue with 8-bit displays of Jpeg images that we look at daily, so human vision is satisfied with 8-bit displays, but if HD displays only 6-bits then that must be the culprit. Next time I am in that shop I'll check out whether the contouring is less or more on the Panasonic plasma. It's definitely present on the Sony LCDs we have at home (also a DLP we have in a vacation home). Of course the programming they use in the showroom is chosen deliberately to avoid all the deficiencies the manufacturers have identified, so it's difficult to compare except by sticking in the same BD into both an LCD and a plasma. I never did notice it when viewing HD on a PC monitor, but now I will of course look for it.
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« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2009, 01:39:33 AM »
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Quote from: samirkharusi
Anyway, why all the above emphasis on plasmas? The plasmas in our corner of the world are invariably cheaper than the same size LCDs (from the same manufacturer such as LG) and they all seem not quite up to the LCDs from the same manufacturers in image quality. The plasmas have lower contrast ratios than the LCD and also the rumoured possibility of screen burn (from games). The old contrast ratios of 5000:1 are now history so image quality has certainly improved a lot in the past year or two.

Plasmas have always had a reputation for having a greater contrast ratio than the LCD. They certainly have a higher published (claimed) CR figure. You may take such claims with a pinch of salt, but it does raise the question as to why manufacturers of plasma displays feel the need to exaggerate their CR figures whilst the same manufacturers of LCD displays feel compelled to provide more honest figures, if it is indeed the case that LCD displays have a higher contrast ratio. Are you implying that manufacturers of Plasma screens have greater need to lie about the CR in order to compete with the LCD?

As I understand, the Plasma system has individual phosophors much like a CRT which can individually be varied in brightness from off to full on. The LCD has a constant backlight. However, recent improvements in LCD technology, using an LED backlight in clusters which can be varied with the changing contrast of the scene being displayed, have improved the situation, but as far as I'm aware, not to the extent that LCD is now better than plasma.
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« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2009, 05:33:22 PM »
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No problem for me. I can understand if you are renting temporary living quarters, that the seating arrangements might be inflexible. If you own your own house then I presume you would arrange everything to suit your own living style and preferences in all matters. If your argument is, 'I live in rented accommodation which does not lend itself to any sort of flexibility with regard to seating arrangements and it would therefore be impractical and inconvenient for me to install a large screen HD display', then I understand completley. Why didn't you say so in the first place? Duh! Duh! Duh!
More incorrect assumptions and STILL missing the point. The sweet spot for SD + HD are in different spots. That is the issue.
Not sure why you think you cannot move furniture in rented accomodation, particularly when some properies are let unfurnished.
I own my house and have no mortgage thank you, but the walls get in the way of moving furniture back and fore, not that that is a soluion anyway. Plus as I said before, homes in crowded counties tend to be smaller, so normally less room for manouevre and massive screens and SD simply won't work if you care about image quality.



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I don't know why, except I deduced you might have been looking at crap because you seem to have the view that upscaling of SD material is very unsatisfactory.
Making asumptions - not good.
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I find it susrprisingly good.
Can I recommend a visit to optician.  


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By the way, you can get small and cheap, full HD displays. I have a 24" LCD display from Acer that I picked up for around US$270.
24" small!?! That was a huge TV not that long ago and is still fairly big for a monitor.




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It's a shrewd answer. Since you are such a clever fellow and your salesman is local, he knows already that you have the impression, rightly or wrongly, that CRT is better. He also knows that you are not going to buy another CRT TV and that there are no Full HD CRT TVs available anywhere. When you are ready to buy a full HD plasma (after you've sorted out your seating arrangements), he knows you are likely to return to him because he's given you the impression that he's perceptive and knowledgeable on such matters. He will also be in a good position to persuade you to buy a more expensive display than you otherwise might have bought, on the grounds that this latest Plasma display (a Pioneer Kuro perhaps) really is better than a CRT.
Assumptions again. You don't know how I asked the question or in what context. The other thing is and this may come as a surprise, some shops are actually good. Not many admittedly, but there are good stores and some decent good staff in existence. I've come across a few recently, much to my pleasant surprise. And I know the difference between someone giving an honest answer and one trying to please me in the way you suggest and I normally test their response with safe questions first.



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I think part of your problem with SD image quality might have something to do with the difference between the analogue broadcast signal and the digital broadcast signal.
Nope it's not. I'm comparing a CRT with a digital signal and a Plasma/LCD with a digital signal

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Through the set-top box I was able to get a very clear 16:9 digital broadcast, which was presumably the full HD signal downscaled to SD, and it seemed to have the resolution edge compared with the analogue broadcast of the same material. However, there were one or two aspects of image quality with which I was not satisfied. First, there was a tendency towards blown highlights which reminded me a bit of the differences between film and digital cameras. The digital highlights tend to clip suddenly whereas film is more gradual in its handling of highlights. I wondered at the time if analogue broadcasts were more like film in this respect.
The only issues I have with a digital signal [on a CRT] is the blockyness of smooth toned areas and things like dissolves, rain, fog which digital really, really struggles with due to compreession issues and can look like a youtube video at times. Compression/bandwith issues. HD takes up even more bandwdth, so....


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There is also sometimes evident, a certain plasticity in the complexions of people in a digital broadcast, as though the image has been subjected to heavy noise reduction. I don't see this effect in HD footage from Blu-ray discs, so I think such effects are in the source material and are a result of digital manipulation. I think you might be confusing such digital manipulation, that seems to be quite common, with the quality of the display.
No, I'm not as I've not had an analogue signal in house since wind moved aerial about 5yrs ago - I have cable, so never bothered sorting it out.

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I've read that the extra clarity of the HD standard in portraying every wart, pore and blemish is a great problem for the porn industry, so I've heard. And I can believe it without seeing for myself.  
I've commented before that sometimes more detail is not a good thing, particularly on skin and as porn is almost all skin, probably not a good idea. Though if you are into leather/PVC stuff, then less of an issue.   This may be why the porn industry didn't lead the way with the latest technology during the BluRay/HDD spat as it has in the past.
Certainly one of those things. I remember reading about HDTV in Japan when it first appeared 10+ years ago was that newscasters suddenly had every pore and wrinkle on display and younger presenters were suddenly required. Why not simply put a stocking over lens instead?  
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 05:38:26 PM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2009, 06:16:53 PM »
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Well, jjj, I guess there's no more to be said on the subject. As a person who doesn't own a full HD plasma set, you are quite adamant that it doesn't have anything to offer you in your current circumstances, considering the paucity of HD broadcasts in the U.K.

As a person who does effectively own an HD Plasma TV (although I bought it as a Christmas present for someone) I'm very pleased with the increased detail and image quality of all good broadcasts, both SD and HD as well as DVDs, Blu-ray and my own images, downsampled and converted to jpeg. Of course, it goes without saying, if the image quality of the broadcast is really bad and the colors very much out of adjustment, faces too red or too pale as is often the case with clips that are shown during News programs, then the size or quality of the display is irrelevant.

I notice that Panasonic are now starting to advertise their 12th generation Plasma TVs with even greater contrast ratio. They are now claiming 40,000:1 native, and 2,000,000:1 dynamic. I believe the panel in their top model is only 1" thick.
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« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2009, 08:53:52 AM »
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I notice that Panasonic are now starting to advertise their 12th generation Plasma TVs with even greater contrast ratio. They are now claiming 40,000:1 native, and 2,000,000:1 dynamic. I believe the panel in their top model is only 1" thick.
More marketing BS. Most spec numbers mean very little in reality.
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« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2009, 09:12:55 AM »
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More marketing BS. Most spec numbers mean very little in reality.

Perhaps one could apply the principle espoused by George Bernard Shaw; the more photos that are taken, the more 'good' photos that are taken as a small proprtion of the total.

Likewise, the larger the manufacturers' inflated specs, the larger the true specs. Does that make sense   .
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« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2009, 09:47:21 AM »
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Perhaps one could apply the principle espoused by George Bernard Shaw; the more photos that are taken, the more 'good' photos that are taken as a small proprtion of the total.
That's not necessarily true. It depends on the population [statistically speaking] of who's taking the pictures. Not that it has anything to do with what I said anyway.

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Likewise, the larger the manufacturers' inflated specs, the larger the true specs. Does that make sense   .
No. The logic is poor and the point was that the numbers are often meaningless, even if accurate.
Such as more MP make for a better camera. Yes my GX200 may have more MP that the GX100, but the picture quality [the important part] is actually poorer and noise is worse than cameras I have with half the MPs.
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« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2009, 10:11:45 AM »
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That's not necessarily true. It depends on the population [statistically speaking] of who's taking the pictures. Not that it has anything to do with what I said anyway.

No. The logic is poor and the point was that the numbers are often meaningless, even if accurate.
Such as more MP make for a better camera. Yes my GX200 may have more MP that the GX100, but the picture quality [the important part] is actually poorer and noise is worse than cameras I have with half the MPs.

It seems you are stuck in old-fashioned paradigms. The jpeg output of P&S cameras with no RAW capability is something I have no experience comparing. But you must have heard of the concept of downsizing higher pixel count images to produce the same noise as lower pixel count cameras of the same format. You can see the effect on DXOmark. They've chosen 8x12" prints as the downsize.
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« Reply #58 on: January 27, 2009, 03:50:28 PM »
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To get back to the topic, yes Blu Ray is dying. I don't see it ever getting to critical mass before it becomes unnecesary. Global recession means adoption rates will fall even more. I am the target audience, gadget addicted disposable income having geek and I have only recently joined the blu ray revolution and even then dipped the smallest of toes in the water. I would have preferred HD-DVD since I tend to hate Sony and their proprietary crap but that was not to be.

I was a very early adopter on dvd storage. For years I backed up my photos to 2 dvd's and 1 hard drive. That got a lot more troublesome when I got the 1ds2. Nothing like coming home from a long photo trip and taking a day to divvy the pictures up into dvd size folders, then for the next week starting another disk burning everytime I walked by a computer. If the folks behind blu ray had been aggressive and got the price down on the burners and blanks i'd have jumped right in. For a year or so they had a window. They have waited too long though, and now laptop drives are spacious enough that I take 2 of those along on any trip, well 3 counting the one in the laptop. Of course since it's movie studios behind it, they don't want cheap blanks for fear of piracy. This to me was tremendously short sighted. I think DVD really took off when it became cheap to burn them.

I have about 1.5tb of photos and 2tb of video. Western Digital finally announced their new 2tb hard drive today. It's much much easier for me to plink one of those in a desktop quick eject enclosure, drag and drop, come back a few hours later and it's done. So now I keep 3 hard drive copies of everthing, 1 is stored offsite, one in a fireproof box and 1 copy is on my network. Hard drives do fail, and I think fail even more often when not used all the time, so I think keeping 3 is worthwhile. I'd hate to have a fire, pull out my offsite drive and it be dead. One of these days i'll make a lightroom catalog of selects and maybe burn those to dvd's and store online.
Squeezing from the bottom end on storage is the ubiqitous flash drive. I picked up a 16gb one in a christmas deal for $20. There are 32gb now, 64gb on the way. In a few years 16gb flash cards will probably be $5 or less and blu ray will be pointless for storage. Keep going and figure in 5-10 years flash drives are a buck for 16-32gb. At some point video games, movies, etc., everything that is not downloaded will come on a flash drive and by then you'll have USB3.0 widespread so it will be much quicker to use. In the past I have edited down my travel video and burned to dvd, even gave people that were on the trip with me a copy. Now those people ask, but since i'm shooting HD, there's not been an easy way for them to play back the footage. I really thought at some point i'd be able to do it on blu-ray, now I figure i'll give them a flash card. My HDTV has an SD slot and it will slideshow any images on an inserted SD card. I would imagine very soon they will play video the same way.

Forget storage, what about video quality. I recently bought a 42inch tv. I bought a 720p instead of 1080p. Why? Because the 1080p costs a lot more and I sit far enough back I couldn't tell the difference. That means I couldn't tell the difference between DVD and Blu Ray. Here's a chart showing this
http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html
Why did I get such a "small" tv? Because the space on the wall above it is all projector screen, about 7 feet diagonal. My projector is 1080i. My next one will be 1080p just because price has fallen tremendously on them but again it's at a size/distance where i'll have a hard time telling the difference. I play my dvd's using a home theater PC so the scaling is top notch.
I did recently buy a Playstation 3 and thus got a Blu Ray player. So far my only video purchase has been Planet Earth(the BBC version of course). When I rent movies I still rent DVD instead of paying extra for Blu Ray. It would have to be some exceptional movie before i'm going to care and the movie will have to be well shot, edited and transferred to digital before i'd be able to tell the difference. There is probably only 5 movies a year that would matter to me and I watch a lot of movies. If I can't tell the difference what about average joe 6 pac?
Just like going from cassette to CD was a huge improvement, going from VHS to DVD was a giant leap. That analog to digital is amazing. Digital to slightly better digital, just doesn't matter to most people.

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« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2009, 04:41:47 PM »
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It seems you are stuck in old-fashioned paradigms. The jpeg output of P&S cameras with no RAW capability is something I have no experience comparing. But you must have heard of the concept of downsizing higher pixel count images to produce the same noise as lower pixel count cameras of the same format. You can see the effect on DXOmark. They've chosen 8x12" prints as the downsize.
And you're stuck yet again on the pointless downsizing to 'improve' quality nonsense. I want the good quality at full size, not half size. It's a very stupid way to compare best quality. No idea why you keep banging on about it.  
Not to mention I was talking about cameras with RAW ability.  
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