Help me understand output formats/resolution.

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cjr888

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Help me understand output formats/resolution.
« on: 5 Apr 2003, 05:53 pm »
Need to do the new TV purchase.  Projectors are out.  Rear-projection is most likely out -- too many windows, too much light.  Plasmas are out -- I haven't won the lottery.  So let's assume a 32-36" flat screen.  Your Panasonic, your Sony WEGAs, your Samsungs.  Still the possibility of a 42-50" rear projection, but most likely not.

I will use this dumbed down FAQ of video standards regarding format, etc as reference -- http://www.samsungusa.com/pdf/dtv.pdf

I'll list my assumptions below, and please mention if I'm incorrect along the way.  Please pardon my blatant lack of understanding of formats -- I'm starting from the beginning.

My understanding is you have:

Source (w/capable resolution) ->
Potential upscaling ->
Output (w/capable resolution)

So in general, if you have a television that 'supports' 780p or 1080i, it really doesn't do you anything unless your source is outputting 780p or 1080i, due to the source being HDTV (HDTV broadcast plus decoder), or a source format such as DVD, Cable, or Satellite upscaled to a higher resolution.

1) my first question -- A bit confused over interlacing/non-interlacing.  Used to the computer world, and assuming that a non-interlaced display is best at the highest resolution you can put out.  My understanding is that interlacing would be used to increase resolution, and non-interlacing would be used primarily to reduce flicker, increase stability.  Correct assumption?

2) Page 3 of the link above shows bar graphs of 'active pixels' of each format, with 720p being the second highest (921,600 pixles), and 1080i being the highest (1,036,800 pixels).  I would want to assume that 720p would provide the better viewing experience, being that the number of pixels isn't that far apart, and thow its less, you'd have a non-interlaced image.  

At the same time, if I was to look at a product like the Sony KV-34XBR800 (http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start;sid=-Ygytl5GtgsyhGDJ8Gg4vRFWnC8odp7QRkk=?CatalogCategoryID=380KC0%2eNkb4AAAD031%2e0sFhP&ProductID=cnsKC0%2eNDJUAAAD0okm0sFhU&Dept=tv&Boutique=wega), I would see two things:  first that the complete description title is "34 FD Trinitron WEGA Hi-Scan 1080i TV", so figure that if you're going to make a point of mentioning 1080i, that it is the better of the two.  Secondly, the fact that its 720p Input capable, but converts it to 1080i, so assume that's for the better...  Thoughts regarding the two standards?

3) My two primary sources will be a DVD player and a Cablevision digital cable signal.  For me to get the best video quality out of both of them, my assumption is that I need:

   - TV "capable" of higher resolution output/format
   - some sort of progressive scan output or upscaling,
     whether it be in the source (DVD Player), external
     upscaler, or built into the TV.

For the 'picture improvement/upscaling/deinterlacing' that's built into TVs, I've been impressed.  For example, the Samsung 32" TVs always appear to have a terrific picture to me as I believe that have some sort of built in deinterlacing.  Some of the higher end Sony's as well I think.

For combined cost and aiming for best picture quality though, is the whole upscaling thing best done by getting a cheaper television supporting the higher formats and getting an external upscaler?

This is my assumption figuring I can upscale all sources, and that most external boxes for improvement would be much better than anything included inside a DVD player or a television -- the equivalent of using an external DAC instead of what's inside of a CDP.

So if you knew you'd use an external scaler, it pretty much doesn't matter if such circuitry also exists in the TV?

Correct assumption?  

4) Any suggestions for 32"-36" flat screen digital televisions (non-plasma, non-rear projection) that support the highest resolution, without added cost due to circuitry that would be provided in an external scaler?


Interest in the scalers came when I stumbled upon the Brite View Video Scaler/Deinterlacer that can be picked up for about $400...

http://www.sonic.net/soundscape/terk.html
http://www.laaudiofile.com/briteview.html

Any assistance?  Just not sure if I'm reading into all these standards correctly, or if I'm completely off base.

bubba966

Help me understand output formats/resolution.
« Reply #1 on: 5 Apr 2003, 07:27 pm »
1) Correct

2) The debate as to which is better (1080i or 720p) seems to not be definite. I'd say that if a typical 60Hz scanrate bothers you, then 720p will be more to your liking. But if it doesn't then 1080i will be better for you. There isn't a whole lot of material in 720p, most of it is in 1080i. So if you prefer 720p you shouldn't get a set that scales everything to 1080i.

Most people seem to not be bothered by the scanrate and will prefer 1080i for the greater resolution.

3)Yes, if you get a cheaper set that is capable of running 1080i or 720p as well as an external scaler then it won't matter what the quality of the internal scaler is only if you can turn the internal scaler off. Some sets you can't turn the scaling off, so adding an external unit is a waste of time.

4)I don't recall seeing an HD ready set that didn't have some type of scaler/line doubler built in. It's entirely possible that such a beast exists.

You might want to look at the 30" Loewe Aconda if you're looking at 16:9 CRT's. It's the only picture I like better than the 34XBR800. And the internal upsampler (forgot if it's a doubler or a scaler) is quite exceptional.

cjr888

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Help me understand output formats/resolution.
« Reply #2 on: 5 Apr 2003, 08:21 pm »
Quote from: bubba966
4)I don't recall seeing an HD ready set that didn't have some type of scaler/line doubler built in. It's entirely possible that such a beast exists.

You might want to look at the 30" Loewe Aconda if you're looking at 16:9 CRT's. It's the only picture I like better than the 34XBR800. And the internal upsampler (forgot if it's a doubler or a scaler) is quite exceptional.


1) For example, this Sony (KV-32HS500 32" - http://www.reliableaudiovideo.com/sonkv32fdtri.html) supports HDTV/SDTV at displays at 1080i or 480p....but also has "Digital Reality Creation Multifunction (upconverts NTSC sources to 960i or 480p)".  I read that as upscaling and a fancy marketing name, and the equivalent of having some form of scaling internal -- do I read this correct?  Outside of standards and formats, with little video background, I'm trying to make sure I don't get too caught in marketing speak.

I honestly don't know how that would compare with an external scaler doing 1080i or 780p, but take it as something in the TV improving the resolution and display of your picture...


2) I'll take a look at the Loewe -- I'd ideally love to go 16x9...but in the same way that I'd love all music available on CD to be available on SACD.  Not there yet.  If I only watched movies, I think I'd go 16x9.  But since a lot of viewing is still general digital cable, and 4x3, I think I'll stick 4x3 even if it means I have the bars..  I've yet to see anything with 'stretching' that doesn't look somewhat awkward, so I figure its a matter of when I want bars on the top or the sides -- for TV or for movies...

bubba966

Help me understand output formats/resolution.
« Reply #3 on: 9 Apr 2003, 11:32 pm »
Quote from: cjr888
Quote from: bubba966
4)I don't recall seeing an HD ready set that didn't have some type of scaler/line doubler built in. It's entirely possible that such a beast exists.

You might want to look at the 30" Loewe Aconda if you're looking at 16:9 CRT's. It's the only picture I like better than the 34XBR800. And the internal upsampler (forgot if it's a doubler or a scaler) is quite exceptional.


1) For example, this Sony (KV-32HS500 32" - http://www.reliableaudiovideo.com/sonkv32fdtri.html) supports HDTV/SDTV at displays at 1080i or 480p....but also has "Digital Reality Creation Multifunction (upconverts NTSC sources to 960i or 480p)".  I read that as upscaling and a fancy marketing name, and the equivalent of having some form of scaling internal -- do I read this correct?  Outside of standards and formats, with little video background, I'm trying to make sure I don't get too caught in marketing speak.

I honestly don't know how that would compare with an external scaler doing 1080i or 780p, but take it as something in the TV improving the resolution and display of your picture...


2) I'll take a look at the Loewe -- I'd ideally love to go 16x9...but in the same way that I'd love all music available on CD to be available on SACD.  Not there yet.  If I only watched movies, I think I'd go 16x9.  But since a lot of viewing is still general digital cable, and 4x3, I think I'll stick 4x3 even if it means I have the bars..  I've yet to see anything with 'stretching' that doesn't look somewhat awkward, so I figure its a matter of when I want bars on the top or the sides -- for TV or for movies...


Sorry I missed this thread for a couple of days. :oops:

1) Correct, the Sony you're referring to has a scaler which in their marketing they're calling "Digital Reality Creation Multifunction". Sounds cooler than "Upscaler", right?

2) Loewe makes 4:3 sets as well as 16:9 sets. I for one really only watch movies, so a 4:3 set isn't optimal (I've currently got a 4:3 set and have "burned-in" the 1.85:1 & 2.35:1 areas on my set from so much WS use). But try and look at the Loewe's, be it 16:9 or 4:3. Not only do they give the best pic from DVD or HD material (on the 16:9 tubes), but the picture on analog sources is great as well.

What you should do (if possible) is take a VCR or LD player in to a shop and try it out on the sets that you're looking at. You can't really judge digital sets just on their DVD playback. And if they're running cable or HD Sat, it's probably being split so many ways that the signal is severely degraded. Most digital sets don't seem to do the A/D conversion very well from composite analog sources (VCR/LD/Cable). So if you're going to be viewing much analog composite material it'd be a good idea to test sets out with a direct source that you bring in on cables you'll be using.

As far as if an external scaler/doubler goes, it'll be hard to tell which is the better alternative. That's another thing that you'd have to a/b yourself. The scaler/doubler might be better in the set, or it might be better outboard. You need to try it yourself to make sure.

I recently took my LD player into my local shop to do a comb filter test on the Sony 34XBR800 16:9 set. Found out the comb filter in the player is almost identical in performance to the one in the Sony. So close that it came down to cable quality.

What surprised me though was how bad the A/D conversion was in that model Sony. I'm somewhat used to a friend's 30" Loewe Aconda. He's got a lesser quality LD player and cables that don't come close to what I was using on the Sony. But the Loewe handles the A/D conversion from analog composite signals much better than the Sony does.

I was very disappointed with the Sony in that aspect. It looks damn good on DVD & HD content. But nasty on analog composite sources.