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Old January 21st, 2011, 06:12 AM   #1
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Dumb question on LCD screens

Although I have been shooting in HD for two+ years, I have only just started to burn BluRay and have just purchased my first BluRay player.

On my Sony 28" LCD TV I notice that commercial disks have a setting of 1080i 50, whereas if I play the same disc on my father in laws Sony 40" LCD tv his display shows up as 1080p 50.

I know the difference between interlaced and progressive shooting, but my question is, why does the LCD screen show up as interlaced on one and progressive on the other. And what difference does this make in real terms, am I losing out on quality through having 1080i.

Sorry this is a dumb question, my strap line at the bottom says it all.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 01:54 PM   #2
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Hi, Vincent............

Not sure I can answer your Q completely, however, I'll take a stab.

Your Sony 28" screen will probably NOT be a "Full HD" screen, ie will not natively be able to display a full 1920 X 1080 picture, because it simply doesn't have that many display pixels. It's real pixel count will be lower..

It will, no doubt, have the beautifully weasel worded "HD Ready" emblazened somewhere on it's fascia, which is, in HD terms, about as much use as an ash tray on a bicycle.

So, if you throw a full HD signal at it, it has to take a subset of it to display, mangling it in it's own particular fashion in the process.

To confuse things further, the connection mode between the TV and "source" comes into play. No set that I am aware of will accept 1080p on the Component signal connectors, only 1080i.

So, if you have connected your TV to the BD player using that connection method, it's only going to get 1080i 'cos that's what's coming out of the BD players Component connectors.

To get 1080p, you MUST use the HDMI connector on the BD player, no bloody good if your set doesn't have an HDMI port, however, unlikely as I think that is.

The FIL's set, on the other hand, being a 40" (you sure about that? 42" sounds more likely, but moving swiftly on) will, most probably, be a "Full HD" set and most definately will have an HDMI port and is most likely connected to the BD player by same.

Hence, 1080p if it is on the disc.

As to the second half or the Q, if your 28" is only "HD ReadY", it really matters not whether it's getting p or i, by the time it's finished mangling it you wouldn't be able to tell one from the other, most likely.

I've only recently got a BD player for my 46" Sony Full HD set, and I'm hard pressed to really see a difference, not that I'm saying there isn't one, but doing A - B testing is almost impossible, which is the only real way to tell.

Did I manage to get all the bases?


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Old January 21st, 2011, 02:43 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris,

You are right, it is a HD Ready set.

I am using the HDMI connector from player to LCD screen, and the picture quality does look very impressive. When I looked at the picture quality on the Full HD LCD screen it also looked very impressive, albeit mainly because it was a bigger screen. I just couldn't work out what the difference was (other than size) between 1080i & 1080p
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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Chris, I thought your answer was a great one but I have a question. I do some event videography, mostly weddings. The preview monitor I use is a 20" 720p LG HDTV. I am shooting HDV but until now have been rendering and burning to regular DVD's. My workflow has been;

1. Edit / Preview / Color Correct using 20" 720p LG HDTV
2. When DVD disc is burned test on:

* Cheap $30 DVD player hooked up to 20" 720p LG HDTV
* Blu-ray player upscaled to 42" VIZIO 1080p LCD
* Blu-ray player upscaled to 92" Mitsubishi HD1000 720p home theater projector.

I should have mentioned that the 20" 720p LG was adjusted using a Blu-ray player and DVD Essentials calibrating DVD.

So far the DVD's that have looked good on the cheapo DVD player and 720p LG have looked just as good on the 1080p Vizio and 720p Mitsu projector / 92" screen.

In lieu of an expensive calibrated monitor my belief is that the color, etc looking good on all three of these diverse playback / viewing options is a good indicator it will look good on just about any high def system the DVD might be played in. What do you think?
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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Well, yes and no.............

It really depends on how the other systems have been set up.

Your setup sounds like it's as close to the real deal as you can get without the extra expense of a pro monitor.

Whether other systems are set up that well is impossible to say.

HDTV's installed by the stores people or contractors in private homes tend to be way too hot, just as they are in the stores themselves, and a lot of HDTV owners aren't the most discerning individuals when it comes to toning down flourescent reds and dayglow greens.

Sets in commercial environments are "usually" pretty close, but never guaranteed.

A good way to get an idea of what your stuff will look like on a "normal" set is to go into one of the big stores selling HDTV systems and actually play your DVD/ other HD source straight into a few of their systems (maybe they're just super cooperative here but every time I do it they practically fall over themselves to help).

You'll find, probably, that what you thought was about right looks distinctly different on a "real" system, especially if they've set up the display using what Sony terms "Vibrant" mode and I call "Shock and Awe".

That is awefull, no other way to describe it, but it happens more than you'd think.

The bottom line is, I suppose, once that puppy has left home, it's on it's own, and it's a big bad mis - calibrated world out there.


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