HDTV Questions

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by dbair1967, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    Mods, feel free to move this after a couple of replies come in:

    I saw in another thread somebody saying CBS looked better the other day (and 1080 was the reason they cited) and have a couple of questions for anyone who's an expert on this. I have HDTV and since I got it, have had mine set on 480i. My TV doesnt support 720p, but it does have 1080i as an option.

    1) I know 1080i must be better resolution, but when I select 1080 instead of 480, the picture is not as clear and there are less colors, why is this? Is it because of the HD DVR from DirecTV?

    2) whats the difference between p and i? which is better?


  2. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    what kind of TV do you have and how long have you had it. I only ask because Im a little shocked to see that your tv doesn't support 720p as I think it is the standard for HD.

    You may want to check the settings on your DVR. make sure the output is set correctly and another big thing to do is make sure you are using a component cable or better. If you can use an HDMI, You may want to go with that but at the very least you need a component cable, a cable with Green, Blue and Red ends.

    hope this helps a little.
  3. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    p - progressive
    i - interlace

    i believe interlace is going to be a thing of the past and progressive gives you more of a picture that you see in movie theaters.

    your tv must support 1080 first and foremost. picture this being like your computer monitor. VGA was 640x480. 480 lines top to bottom is your standard TV resolution. remember those montiors that would go 1024x768 and how much smaller things got on the 15" screen?

    same theory. but the card and monitor and signal all has to support that resolution.

    1920x1080 is a pretty impressive resolution and if your tv doesn't support it, it may be trying for force the issue but what's called "interpolating" takes places and some sets do it better than others.

    then, do you run through your audio tuner? does it support 1080?

    so you need a tuner that supports 1080p (my denon 3808ci just came in) and a tv that supports it also (1080p - my 56" panasonic will be on order soon w/LIFI) and then your source (cable/sat) must support 1080p and then you're set.

    and if you're gonna go this far, leave behind the RGB cables and stick w/HDMI all the way. they carry 7.1 audio as well as the video and take a lot of bulky cables out of the mix.
  4. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    I do use HDMI. My TV is about two yrs old, its a Panasonic.

    it definitely does not support 720, but as I said it does have 480i and 1080i.


    BARRYRAY Well-Known Member

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    Since you asked, as apart time tv salesman at Sears, 1080P is state of the art, 1080i is last years state of the art(think medium) followed by 780 or whatever down to regular analog. You should also look at contrast ratio-higher the better. the best tv money no object is the Samsung LCD, the best tv for the least amount of money is vizio. It is how ever a photo finish on the high end,sony is just a tad back but they have been traditionally reliable so even if the picture is slightly less reliability may be better leaving you in a dead heat. Personally I am stuck in the 80's I love my old big rear projection, I love them they are like 8-tracks but thats ok when mine dies I'll just buy another used one off of Craig's list. I do not think based on what comes back, and a whole lot does, that any of these tvs will last you more than 3-5years. An old school rear projection will last 5-6 years minimum. these days you basicly decide at the time of purchase whether you will buy repair agreement or throw it away because tv repair has gotten so expensive its a dying art. If anyone has tv questions let them rip I'll give them a try..
  6. Mash

    Mash Active Member

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    Usually a TV that supports 720 p also supports 1080i....

    Also...sd channels are all in 480 format.....most TV's that are HDTV's are grainy when viewing these lower channels....they are picking up all the static and noise......some HDTV's are better then others.....but never as good as your old CRT tv's

    What HDTV's are meant for is to view HD channels.....or DVD movies set at 720,1080i or 1080p resolution.

    Now they have upcoverting DVD's ....and HD DVD's......a real pleasure on HDTV's.

    Once you view HD channels.....its real hard to view SD channels again.... :)
  7. Doomsday

    Doomsday Rising Star

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    You might need to cycle the power on your HD receiver as well as the TV to get a 1080i signal. I know on my Comcast box I had to set my HDMI output to 1080i because itsnt wasnt recognizing my TVs capabilities.
  8. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    I suspect that your DVR or TV is trying to do some upconverting and both or one is doing a poor job of it.

    For any HD telecast both the DVR or TV should be set to pass through mode. The only time both devices shouldn’t be set to pass through or passive mode is if your TV set cannot handle the broadcasting mode’s format, i.e. station is broadcasting in 720P (progressive scan) and your set only accepts 1080i (interlaced) or you are watching a NTSC source (non-HD). In either case you should have only one device to upconvert the signal just make sure you use the better of the two. Another thing that I have noticed about CBS in particular, they say they are broadcasting in 1080i and it is actually 480P or i via their cable and satellite feeds but if you go to their external ATSC (external antenna) feed it is true 1080i.

    The bottom line with most HD TV(s) if you get a true HD signal your display will be phenomenal. The only thing that differentiates the higher-end more expensive sets from the consumer level is the level of video processing for NTSC signals. In other words, a high-end Pioneer elite can take a crappy signal and make it look less crappy. However, a high Pioneer elite and a Vizio would produce similar picture quality with an equivalent HD source.
  9. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    Thanks for all the advice peeps...appreciate it

  10. Chocolate Lab

    Chocolate Lab Run-loving Dino

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    Adbutcher got it, I think.

    Is there a setting on the DirecTV box for the resolution? I had an older 30" CRT HDTV that didn't have a built-in tuner, and if the set-top-box and TV weren't set to the same resolution, I'd get some strange-looking pictures.

    I don't have HDTV on my Directv, but I've read a lot of complaints about it on forums. Maybe DirecTv's feed just isn't that great?
  11. ThreeSportStar80

    ThreeSportStar80 Benched

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    Long story short... when you have a 720p you have a 1080i HDTV...

    The best picture clarity on the market right now is the 1080p.
  12. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    yeah, my DTV has all the resolution settings...even if I change to 1080i (which my TV supports) the picture doesnt look as good as 480i...I am not really sure why

  13. ChldsPlay

    ChldsPlay Well-Known Member

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    Is this on SD channels that it doesn't look as good? Is the 480i option for all channels or for SD channels only? I'm kind of surprised that your TV has HDMI, but doesn't support 720. You should have 480p as well, so even if you're at 480 it would be better.

    Can you describe in what way the picture isn't better?
  14. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    I have a 1080i - totally outstanding clarity. Both on DTV and btw this stuff is free to all with ol rabitt ears locally. It's amazing and works.

    I ocasionally get a few HD channels at 720P and not 1080i, Not sure why

    I almost never watch ANY regular programming other than NFL network.
  15. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    it's kinda the same thing but "i"nterlacing is going away thankfully. every other line was responsible for the picture - twice. it "interlaced". "p"rogressive is more like what you'll see in theaters.

    keep in mind if you view older shows it *will* do strange stuff in the lower resolutions. it will guess and try to fill in what it can and as someone said - some sets are better at it than others.

    the pioneer elite plasma is bar none the best on the planet. however, only at full 720p or 1080p. at lower resolutions it doesn't do as well. common on all HDTVs.

    watch some old movies like a plane flying through a sky it *will* look kinda jacked up and like it's pixelating. depending on the tvs capabilities that's what you're gonna get, david. period.

    the trick is to put it on an HD channel - *now* how does it look?
    now watch MASH or something - does it get strange? not at all like your CRT? it won't and that's just the price to pay while we "crossover" to the better technology.
  16. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Coincidentally, that's the TV of my dreams, though not for that reason (I didn't know it was so good until I read what you wrote here)... my THX components are all Pioneer Elite, with JBL Studio Series speakers... I never really cared that much for Pioneer home entertainment equipment, but I have had their car stereos installed on my last 3 vehicles... and when I read about their Elite line, I thought it looked pretty good, and gave it a try...

    I have not been disappointed...
  17. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    pioneer doesn't even screw around with LCD, they're plasma only. you can get the 50" plasma for around $4500 at 1080p. you'll want the blue-ray dvd player to go with it to get "full" capability. you'll also want a bad arse tuner to do video switching between your other componants.

    the system i'm putting together now - coupled with what i've already had:

    1. tomorrow directtv puts in a new dish and gives me an hd dvr for $100. i'm full up to date there.
    2. my sony bravia 55" 3000 series will be here monday. based off lcos technology it's likely the best picture you can get after the pioneer plasma.
    3. denon 3808ci audio/home tuner. you either know this bad boy or you don't

    then i already had an LG and a panasonic dvd recorder that upconverts cd's to 1080p through hdmi.
    dual 15" dcm 400w subwoofer
    dcm wall speakers in back
    cerwin vega center channel
    klipsch tower speakers with subs built in also. (the floor can shake baby)

    if you're in the market there are a few things you have to decide before you go on.

    plasma or flat lcd or projection lcd?

    projection lcd then dlp or lcos?

    and go from there.

    pioneer elite (pro as they call it in the model #) is plasma only but you've got the top dog. period.

    panasonic also has a good rep and not too far behind pioneer.

    samsung is always good.

    from there sony is probably between the panasonic and the pioneer elite. the one i am getting has a 120hz refresh rate - freaking incredible.

    now - when you go into best buy, don't let them put a blueray in and capture with the 1080p signal - *all* 1080p tvs will look good at that quality of signal coming in. have them put in a standard DVD or even something like an old i love lucy sitcom.

    how well does the set do with lower resolutions? this is what to watch for because there's not a lot of 1080p native signals just yet.
  18. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    for audio - i have a very "good" ear unfortuantely. jbl doesn't spread out well across a whole spectrum and i miss a lot listening to jbl speakers.

    the tv i give full credit. i'd not buy a pioneer home tuner but i do like their car audio but have not owned one in awhile.

    for home audio i'd stick with denon for the ultra high end, even over harmon kardon. onkyo isn't too far behind either.

    pioneer, sony (not ES), yamaha (don't like their audio equip either) jvc and so forth are all mid-tier and just personal preference and what options they have you need.

    speakers are just personal preference. klipsch are fantastic to me but DCM does better than cerwin vega to my ears. stillwater designs is my choice of audio speakers for my truck and polk if i have to move away from it for any reason. cerwin vegas are good but not as "wide" as the dcm's to me.

    but for speakers - listen to a lot and just get what you like. don't worry about being a "spec" freak. same for the tv's. look at the pic and get what you like. keep an eye on the basics 1080p/720p and hdmi inputs and go from there.
  19. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    I dunno, when I watch a movie like "Twister", I hear the storm rumbling up from behind me, it's really great... when I watch "Heat", you can hear the jets coming in from the left to land in that final shootout...

    My biggest complaint about the Studio Series is the subwoofer was a piece of crap, and had to be replaced... the new one has worked just fine, though...

    I have since learned that Pioneer has a high-priced line of speakers, I think they call it their EX line, that I'd like to look into if ever I decided to upgrade... I also like the Infinity Cascade series of speakers, even though I'm not generally into the futuristic look for home entertainment components...

    But I ever get took rich, I'll have a Runco SC projector, a 200" screen, 2 Runco 61" PlasmaWalls flanking it, Lexicon video processors and Meridian for everything else... shouldn't run me more than about 300k... :p:

    I have different standards than most in what I look for in a speaker... rather than being concerned about pulsing bass, I wanna hear the fret squeak when a good guitarist goes from chord to chord... I want that clarity on the high end... I prefer my bass to be crisp, not pounding...
  20. iceberg

    iceberg it's business, this emotional game Zone Supporter

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    i want the floor to shake if there's a jet engine in my ear. if there's a herd of cattle coming down the trail. if there's an explosion - other than all that i just want a tight bass backing up overall sound.

    when you listen to a movie most all speakers will sound fine. get a good center channel and almost anything for surround cause it's only sending small signals back to the back for effect. how "expensive" a speaker do you need to hear a bullet fly by behind you? or that "Creak"? not much.

    i'm an audiophile and what i go for is when i listen to music. do i hear it all or does it muddy down in mid-range? i want to hear the cymbal smash out when hit but i don't want it to take over. much of this is the mix in as much as the speaker. but jbl (not their studio series - my home speakers and what i got for a jeep awhile back sucked - the studio monitors i have in my home studio are fine but i'd not likely buy jbl again. i'd go mackie) is a good overall speaker and many will swear by it. a pair of powered monitors that i had on my yahama keyboard sounded good, just underpowered.

    so music is what i refer to when it muds down and i get pickey. one day i'll get to the stereo in my truck. : )

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