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Author Topic: HD TV silly or not question  (Read 2984 times)
fredjeang
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« on: January 09, 2011, 09:44:29 AM »
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Hi,

I was watching a sport chanel the other day. I know they broadcast in 720. The bar have a uge hd tv and to be honest I was really impressed by the quality.

But then I thought that if we think about it, 720 is a rather small frame surface. How can it be that from a relatively small frame dimension, we end with a very good optical sensation on a big flat screen?

How does that work to make the signal from the camera to home with enlarging so much the output surface and not loosing that much? In still it simply does not work.

I'm confused.
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 10:06:39 AM »
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Not a silly question...

There are several factors to consider  - and I am certainly not qualified to give you a proper technical answer.

However there are a couple of things to consider before delving into the arcane technical 'magic' that makes this possible and the circumstances that make an optimum viewing experience of HD generally likely.

First, your viewing distance from the screen was likely ideal. You were probably exactly at the point where the pixels were able (with good edge contrast/sharpening) to be discerned without the jaggies being visible and the eye/perception was able to smooth the image.

That brings me to my next point.

Motion is far more forgiving of lack of edge-detail or 'softness' than is a still. In fact because of the way our eyes & brains have been conditioned by watching motion pictures & TV; and because of the 'persistence of vision' inherent to our seeing sense, motion actually needs some softness to allow a 'sense' of motion. I suspect that the conditioning part of this is in the process of changing from more to less blurred as technology and slow-motion effects change. - The "Saving Private Ryan" look of faster shutter speeds for motion is becoming more normal perhaps?

I also suspect that if you had taken any single freeze frame from the sports event and looked at it carefully as you would a still, that it would not meet your criteria of a good still. The two experiences have very different expectations. So we as the viewer are the first part of the answer to your good question. Perhaps someone with a greater technical knowledge can fill in the 'magic' parts  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 10:10:12 AM by Chris Sanderson » Logged

Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 12:38:30 PM »
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720 looks pretty good to me but my only experience of '4k' is creating timelapses with my nikon D3

The quality difference, even when downsized to view on my (computer) monitor is very apparent from DSLR fuzzycam motion footage which barely scrapes into being called 720

I have watched the same fuzzy cam 5d footage on my friends big television from normal viewing distance (sofa) and the focus errors etc that have stressed me in the edit have become invisible - it just looks great

I think we are attuned to low resolution and viewing distance by out history of watching SD television

The main thing I notice on UK terrestrial on a big TV srceen is horrendous compression artifacts which do affect my 'enjoyment' as the broadcaster squeezes 100 channels of cr4p down a farily limited bandwidth

S




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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 01:54:16 PM »
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Quote
The main thing I notice on UK terrestrial on a big TV srceen is horrendous compression artifacts which do affect my 'enjoyment' as the broadcaster squeezes 100 channels of cr4p down a farily limited bandwidth
Tell me about it, and it's not just the UK it's pretty much everywhere. It amazes me how many people would rather watch an "hd" streaming version of a movie from Hulu or Netflix rather than the Blu-Ray. Most people just don't care about image quality.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 02:13:43 PM »
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… It amazes me how many people would rather watch an "hd" streaming version of a movie from Hulu or Netflix rather than the Blu-Ray. Most people just don't care about image quality.

It is a "good-enough" syndrome. Good enough for the purpose, of course. Movies are about many other things that come before image quality, assuming of course it is good enough. I am watching Netfix and Hulu+ at speeds of about 6 Mb (measured at the Playstation 3 level), and I am surprised how "good enough" the HD appears to be. iPod music is "good enough", digital p&s are "good enough", hell, even cell-phone cameras are "good enough" these days. We are all living in a country known as Mediocristan (as opposed to Extremistan... both terms from Nassim Taleb's Black Swan concept).
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2011, 05:22:38 PM »
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It is a "good-enough" syndrome. Good enough for the purpose, of course. Movies are about many other things that come before image quality, assuming of course it is good enough. I am watching Netfix and Hulu+ at speeds of about 6 Mb (measured at the Playstation 3 level), and I am surprised how "good enough" the HD appears to be. iPod music is "good enough", digital p&s are "good enough", hell, even cell-phone cameras are "good enough" these days. We are all living in a country known as Mediocristan (as opposed to Extremistan... both terms from Nassim Taleb's Black Swan concept).

And the very epitome of the 'good enough' syndrome is to be found adorning the photo albums on Facebook. "I have camera and I will now share my sh*t with the world! (all 237 dimly lit snaps of Waynes 18th or somesuch)" Seems to be the guiding philosophy. If it ain't totally black or totally white then it's good enough.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2011, 05:53:05 PM »
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And the very epitome of the 'good enough' syndrome is to be found adorning the photo albums on Facebook. "I have camera and I will now share my sh*t with the world! (all 237 dimly lit snaps of Waynes 18th or somesuch)" Seems to be the guiding philosophy. If it ain't totally black or totally white then it's good enough.

Lighten up!  Facebook is for sharing with your friends ... what's wrong with that?  Just 'cause someone owns a camera doesn't require them to be on a quest for some kind of photographic excellence.  WE are the weirdos with the pretensions and delusions ...

As I see it, not only is there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with people sharing snaps with their friends online ... but using Facebook and other such technology allows people to maintain relationships over the physical and emotional distances created by our mobile society.

... and ... if today's world is Mediocristan, then the 70's were the 7th level of Hell!
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2011, 01:47:19 AM »
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Hi,

I was watching a sport chanel the other day. I know they broadcast in 720. The bar have a uge hd tv and to be honest I was really impressed by the quality.

But then I thought that if we think about it, 720 is a rather small frame surface. How can it be that from a relatively small frame dimension, we end with a very good optical sensation on a big flat screen?

How does that work to make the signal from the camera to home with enlarging so much the output surface and not loosing that much? In still it simply does not work.

I'm confused.
Movement is generally more foregiving than stills.
Good camera operators/editors seems to be good at "hiding" the flaws and limitations of the total system
The size of the display and its distance from you both counts

-h
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 07:04:05 AM »
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I understand and appreciate that a better picture is nicer, but for the content that is broadcast on TV, frankly, who cares. I know it's nice to be able to rent good quality movies, with good imaging, but I was perfectly happy with DVDs on analogue TVs. But I watch TV in a smallish room, so I can understand that it matters more to others. I know it makes sense to migrate to digital, not arguing against it, but I am not completely happy about it either. Canada goes digital broadcast next August, and when that happens I will lose the ability to tape some programs that I normally watch. They are mostly news and documentaries, interview shows, things for which image detail is entirely irrelevant to me. Taping programs off-air and watching at a more convenient time is important to me, the image resolution is not. I do not buy cable or satellite, there's not enough on that I care about, and am perfectly happy with reception off my antenna. But there seems to be no easy cheap consumer way to record digital programs off-air, no equivalent of the VHS tape recorder. I will NOT pay monthly fees (to Tivo or others) for the privilege of recording shows so I can watch them later. Rather than pay more money for that privilege, the more attractive option for me is to throw my TV out in the trash and never watch again.

I enjoy the irony that because programming is increasingly available online, more and more people are watching programming on their computers. But why do you need HD on a small screen? It's similar to all the millions of multi-megapixel cameras sold whose output only ever gets viewed on peoples' web sites, for which a 3-4 mpix camera was more than adequate.

I am not a curmudgeon, I don't hate modern tech, but I am being forced to upgrade to something I don't need, all for a non-obvious benefit. I understand that as the advertizing model goes away, free broadcast and reception off-air is less attractive to the producers of content. Being forced to receive signals through near-monopoly suppliers makes it easy to charge us money for it. Well, bully for them. But the broadcast spectrum was never meant to be used just to sell soap, it was supposed to host public information content, and that's actually the more important function, imo. Football and sitcoms are not the point of it all.
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 09:28:45 AM »
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... and ... if today's world is Mediocristan, then the 70's were the 7th level of Hell!


Hmmm… let me see: in the 70's and 80's I was listening to music on a class A amplifier, with matching Acoustic Research speakers… all that on a budget, mind you. In the 90's, it was Bang & Olufsen "pencil" speakers. Fast forward, I am listening to music on my iPhone or, at best, on some cheap speakers with a subwoofer, attached to my iMac. Seems to me, I would rather be in the "7th level of Hell" than in the Mediocristan Wink
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Slobodan

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bcooter
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 10:28:12 AM »
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Obviously photography, editing, color grading, etc. play an important part in what you see.

One of the reasons movies and professional entertainment looks good on a moving screen is a lot of care, resources are put towards the final optimization, for a given medium, i.e. hd tv.

Hollywood can spend more money just converting a master to the output device (blu-ray, high def, computer streaming), than the budget of most small movies.

But why HDV on a computer?  Well even a 17" laptop has a 1920 pixel wide screen.  You might not see real high def on your computer (actually you rarely see any thing that is not compressed three different times on your television set, regardless of the carrier, but the old saying is garbage in garbage out.

The better the source media the better the final viewing.

As far as standard def being as acceptable as high def viewing on television, SD was a very small and weak file, though for years unless it was a news program or cheap sitcom, all television was shot 35mm file which is high def.   It may have been crunched down, but once again better source, better viewing.

Even the news programs your so use to seeing and think the production values don't matter are done very professionally.   Compare the evening news to the wall street journals roving reporters that usually use their laptop camera as a recording device an you'll notice a big difference.

IMO

BC
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jerryrock
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 11:24:32 AM »
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Another reason for HD format on the computer is the ability to wirelessly stream the media content to your large screen HDTV with devices like the Apple TV. YouTube, Netflix and many broadcast networks are buying into the world on internet streaming.
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Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 12:59:11 PM »
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As far as standard def being as acceptable as high def viewing on television, SD was a very small and weak file, though for years unless it was a news program or cheap sitcom, all television was shot 35mm file which is high def.   It may have been crunched down, but once again better source, better viewing.

Even the news programs your so use to seeing and think the production values don't matter are done very professionally.   Compare the evening news to the wall street journals roving reporters that usually use their laptop camera as a recording device an you'll notice a big difference.
I think that evening news from the more "serious" tv broadcasters where I live are "good enough" even in SD. They seem to use high-quality cameras, lighting, make-up, avoid pin-stripe suits, high-bitrate encoding etc. The result is a sharp, pleasing image even at 40" and 3 meters distance.

The image quality that I can get out of a consumer DV camera is very low quality in comparision, even though the number of pixels (naively) would suggest similar quality.

-h
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 02:13:42 PM »
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My chum shoots for the local news on some old sony $50-60k 'SD' betacam with a $15k parfocal super zoom that optically and mechanically wonderful

He remains convinced that his output has more depth DR and resolution than any sub $5k 'HD cam'

Im not sure about resolution but im with him on DR

He could be right on resoution too - I think that cam has a very high datarate, compression even in cam kills resolution

he describes looking at consumer 'HD' as dividing shit into more pixels

The sub regional BBC stations studio has a dedicated hard link to the the regional centre or he transmits via a ($250000?) sat van

All that screams fat data to me

I think such investment in local news is from a bygone era however, its all EX1s if you are lucky for the new news crews around here

S



 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 02:22:37 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2011, 02:34:20 PM »
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I was listening to music on a class A amplifier

No wonder I had to wait in line for gasoline ... all the available energy was going into your ancient and inefficient amp!

with matching Acoustic Research speakers

Still exists ... and it ain't like they've just been sitting around ...

Fast forward, I am listening to music on my iPhone or, at best, on some cheap speakers with a subwoofer, attached to my iMac.

I, too, listen to music on my iPad & iPhone ... and watch TV ... and recorded videos ... over the wireless network ... streaming from my 12 terabyte array ... Pretty darn cool.

You can buy acoustic research speakers for your iMac ... and it'll sound great!

Are you joining the "good old days were better" club?
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2011, 03:22:31 AM »
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Im not sure about resolution but im .....
He could be right on resoution too
If you ever get the chance to see the uncompressed SDI on a grade1 SDI monitor you'll probably be convinced.

The sad fact is that most people have never seen quite how good SD can be because of the losses incurred through distribution. When they see SDI, most people assume it's HD.
Again there's even less that have seen the amazing quality that a good HD camera like the Sony HDC-1500 can deliver.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2011, 06:03:43 AM »
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If you ever get the chance to see the uncompressed SDI on a grade1 SDI monitor you'll probably be convinced.

The sad fact is that most people have never seen quite how good SD can be because of the losses incurred through distribution. When they see SDI, most people assume it's HD.
Again there's even less that have seen the amazing quality that a good HD camera like the Sony HDC-1500 can deliver.

I agree - the stuff that comes out of a nice camera - whether SD or HD - blows away what makes it to your TV.

But ... just like with still photography, size and viewing distance matter a lot.  There are reasonable sizes and distances where HD and SD are virtually indistinguishable and reasonable sizes and viewing distances where the extra resolution becomes critical to maintaining the illusion.
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