Will HDTV make your latest buy obsolete?

  Wilham 20:59 17 Feb 2005

I wanted to buy a new DVD recorder with built-in HDD. Then I noticed in a news item that Germany hopes to televise the Football World Cup next year in HDTV. Oh dear...

TV retailers are having a bonanza with plasma and dvd/lcd screens. Also they do well with the new digital TV's, which with few exceptions simply have top box built-in. All this seems to obscure the impending introduction of High Definition TV.

The change that makes HDTV different is the increase in no. of scan lines, from present 625 to over 1000. On each horizontal line are about 1900 pixels and the picture definition is said to improve six-fold.

Older readers may remember the last line change 1968'ish onward. Number of lines went from 405 to 625, and it paved the way for colour TV. 'Interim' monochrome TV's then appeared in the shops, and had inside a strip of change-over switches. The sets were ok until the new 605 transmissions started,... I believe dust was often blamed for the disappointing '625' TV. Not surprising the TV colour take-up was very high.

What lessons can be learned?

Dual 625/HDTV compatibility may lumber your new HDTV with old hat circuitry.
An expensive monitor may not be pixel friendly with HDTV.
Present DVD recorders will not cope with HDTV quality.

The trade say HDTV is a long way off. Maybe...
So what to do?
Answer: Ask questions before you buy.
After that it depends on your pocket.
Some BBC info here... click here

  €dstowe 22:34 17 Feb 2005

Have a look click here

  Wilham 15:54 18 Feb 2005

Edstowe, thanks, I apologize to Giddygum. He has ticked resolved and hope is with me if I carry the banner.

GANDALF's and Edstone's conclusions in Giddygum's thread are just what the retail section of the UK electronic industry at present would like everybody to share. I suggest these two discerning intelligent people, G and E (sorry can't do the Euro E), could have been be misled, yet without being told lies. (For anyone unable to click back Giddygum's thread, both G and E watched a Sony HDTV demo and were unimpressed)

For argument's case I accept the following statement put about by the trade is true...

All 42" plasma screens are HDTV ready and all have built-in scalar/resolution converters.

Going deeper we find the resolution converters all are filters or sieves,... they reduce input picture data to max screen res.
Screen res as we know it has moved through VGA, SVGA, XGA. SXGA, and more recently UXGA, with a question mark against HDTV. The 1600x1200 of UXGA doesn't quite reach.

So if you see an HDTV demo or meet sales talk, ask the screen res.

I'm never good at homing in to the key info sites, but this may help... click here

I read that moving up from UXGA to true HDTV res is little change except for the improved 3D effect. World Cup football next year... Phew!

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:36 18 Feb 2005

'I suggest these two discerning intelligent people, G and E (sorry can't do the Euro E), could have been be misled, yet without being told lies'...I've spent a long time in media and Photography and I can assure anyone that a lot of this is 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. There is a difference between HDTV and the ordinary stuff that is piped in at present but the differences are not eye-wateringly staggering. It is similar to me watching a DVD and then the same programme on a video tape. If you put the two side by side you will notice a difference but there is not that much that you are going to hit spiritual Nirvana.

This reminds me of the dull camera club members that used to rabbit on endlessly about the differences between Leica and Nikon lenses. The differences are not usually noticeable to mortals and even if you can see a difference it is not ground-breakingly different unless you move into 'Trainspotter Mode'.

I remain suitably unimpressed.


  €dstowe 18:50 18 Feb 2005

€ = Alt Gr + 4

  JonnyTub 19:39 18 Feb 2005

Germany broadcasting in HDtv, hmm, does this not remind anyone of the last massive tv footbal marketing campaign.

Watch the footy on the latest and greatest widescreen tv...... the bigger the better

except it wasn't broadcast in widescreen was it......


  oresome 19:49 18 Feb 2005

625 line scanning was introduced when screen sizes were around the 19" mark and the 405 scanning lines were becoming noticable on the enlarged screens.

I suppose as screen sizes get ever bigger, the transmission quality needs to keep pace. But if we're talking about terrestial TV, I wouldn't hold your breath as change takes a long time and has to be compatible with existing receiving equipment.

Incidently, with the old dual standard TV's with the large wafer switch, changing to 625 lines was often accompanied by a loud crack from within the cabinet as the extra high tension voltage which was derived from the scanning frequency suddenly increased and flashed over. You needed nerves of steel to watch BBC2 which was the first channel on 625 lines!

  Wilham 20:12 18 Feb 2005

€dstowe... thanks. And GANDALF... yeah we did and still rabbit on. Wasn't really Leica but Zeiss with the edge on lenses. Tessars were fitted to Leicas, never Elmars to Contax. Post WW2 Nikon cameras staggered us with their definition. Secret was in the use of platinum crucibles and bringing in lanthanum. Actually Nikon definition was superb but a hidden fault was spherical aberration. A new breed of lenses (macro's- basically Tessar) became necessary for line copying m/s. Today this is especially relative to today's SLR digital cameras... But sorry, I do go on.

Anyway, my/Giddygum's thread was partly to share thoughts how we can prepare for HDTV if it's as good as some make out. G and € appear to assess HDTV, and my response is to question whether they've really seen it.

I'm pleased to see the interest.

  Wilham 21:12 18 Feb 2005

oresome, you're right. The larger screens showed up the lines. One set maker even put an up-and-down wobble on the horiz'l lines to fill the gap...didn't catch on. As for the dual sets...

A long gone colleague at one of my schools taught woodwork (nowdays Info Tech?). Clever with head and hands, he had this advice for pupils et al. "If possible never use a tool that is made to do more than one task, it does none as well as it should"

It applied to those dual 405/625 tv's.

  €dstowe 23:01 18 Feb 2005

Similar to my metalwork teacher:

There are tools and there are toys.

  rupie 00:24 19 Feb 2005

Broadcast hdtv is a little way off yet and plasmas are already set up for it because they are realy designed for data and not video and I am sorry to say that if gandalf says there is not a great difference between vhs and dvd then he needs to check his dvd player. Vhs was always the poorest quality tape but only became standard because the most rental film were on this format. DVD is in a different league, especially if you can get it into your tv via RGB or YUV.

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