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# 214609 20-May-2017 14:15
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I often see disparaging comments about obsolete analogue standards, or even the SD channels still common on Sky. People say things like they won’t even look at anything that isn’t at least 1080p. I have given this some thought as it doesn’t reflect my own experience.

 

I want to make clear that I do very much see the difference between composite and HDMI, and certainly between 4K and anything else. I am not disputing that. But I am perplexed by people who insist that the analogue quality that people were perfectly happy with for years has somehow suddenly become unbearable torture to their eyes. I literally don’t see that.

 

Our main TV is a 50-inch Sony with ‘full’ 1080p HD. No doubt advanced videophiles will turn their noses up at that, but for us the quality is pretty good, especially when watching a Blu-Ray or even HD from streams or the UHF box. It is clearly better than the quality we get from our old analogue Sky decoder, but we don’t have a problem with that, either. On the 50 inch, at the distance we view it from, even s-video is pretty acceptable, especially as it goes through our old DVR and gets upscaled to HDMI. We like the convenience of our current set-up more than we miss any quality difference, so we have declined Sky’s invitation to upgrade for the time being. They already get enough money from us.

 

So are we missing something? I have wondered about this and I think I finally understand the difference. First, it has to do with viewing taste. I think the best possible resolution and contrast and refresh rate truly are pretty important when watching blockbuster action films and fast-moving sports. I can certainly see the value of that. But neither of these things reflect our own viewing tastes, which run more to documentaries and art films. So the quality difference doesn’t really affect us that much.

 

The other thing I have realised is that resolution only really matters with very big screens. This thought occurred to me the other day when I happened to be viewing a very low res internet video in a small window. I noticed that the video appeared quite sharp and clear in the small window, but looked truly awful when I blew it up to full screen. This seems pretty obvious, but it isn’t something we normally think about.

 

If I watch an SD broadcast fed via s-video on our 50-inch Sony from our normal viewing position a few meters back, it looks okay. But it wouldn’t if the screen was any bigger. Increasing the size to 65 inches would not add more pixel information, it would just make the existing pixels bigger and fuzzier. It would not be a pleasant viewing experience.

 

What this tells me is that different people see different things according to their needs. Outmoded analogue SD can be a perfectly adequate viewing experience depending on what is being watched and how it is being viewed. For some, it will provide all they require. So don’t write off the old technology yet.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 1785147 20-May-2017 14:20
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Watch some Freeview satellite and you'll understand.



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  # 1785152 20-May-2017 14:27
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tchart: Watch some Freeview satellite and you'll understand.

 

I have. It looks fine on my $30 Chinese sat box.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1785154 20-May-2017 14:32
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TV3 plus 1 is one that I notice the most. It is bloody terrible. I think the issue is you know how much better it normally looks. It is just so fuzzy and average it distracts from normal viewing... and I am by no means a "videophile".

 

Partner just takes her glasses off though and says "can't tell the difference"....


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  # 1785163 20-May-2017 15:07
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It was probably the same when colour TV was a rarity.


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  # 1785165 20-May-2017 15:11
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cant watch live sport unless it's in HD, you do really notice on the wide shots, Unwatchable.





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  # 1785185 20-May-2017 16:08
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Low-def sources on high-def displays looks pretty bad. 

 

We had an older panny plasma with a resolution of 852x600 (something like that from memory), and it would have a great image when sitting back 3 meters or so, and probably far better than some modern 4k LCD panels due to a far superior contrast ratio and solid blacks as opposed to washed out greys. 

 

I get where you're coming from. 


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  # 1785187 20-May-2017 16:13
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On our Panasonic VT 65" very very important. I long for the day (in vain) that all channels are at least HD and eventually 4K





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

There is no planet B

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1785190 20-May-2017 16:22
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Well certainly some thing higher Def looks more appealing. Cleaner sharper is always more attractive.
That said I use Kodi and find it upscales low definition pretty well.
I suppose the worst things to watch are badly encoded with a lot of blockiness and jolty motion. That would be true whether low or high definition.

Hi Def well encoded always wins for me.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  # 1785198 20-May-2017 16:38
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For me it depends on the size of the screen.  I have a 43" 4K TV in the bedroom.  Wouldn't have bothered with 4K only it was a cheap deal on an LG smart TV so it was worth it.  

 

Anyway, SD looks OK on it.  You can tell it's not the native resolution, it looks somewhat fuzzy/blurry because it's being stretched the fill the display.  On an even bigger TV (had a 55" 1080p in the lounge until recently) it looks atrocious to my eye.  Certain sources are better than others - e.g a well compressed mp4 or DVD is much better than Freeview or SD streaming for me.

 

HD is very important to me.  I won't buy SD on DVD anymore.  I only buy Blu-ray.  And I can see that fading away soon too as 4K streaming gets more common.  I won't be buying 4K Blu-ray unless it becomes cheaper and more pervasive.  I can't see that happening for a lot of years though.  


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  # 1785461 21-May-2017 13:37
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My eyesight is pretty terrible, so not as important for me as for some other folk I suspect.

 

For movies, it does make a bit of a difference. Plus, with Blu Rays, it isn't just the 1080 picture, the sound quality is also a lot better. For TV dramas etc, the difference is pretty negligible. A few minutes into the show, if it's good, I'm not even noticing. If it's not good, I have probably given up on it. Plus, a lot of the stuff I like to watch (eg old English comedies) isn't even available in HD. It wasn't shot that way.


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  # 1785466 21-May-2017 13:46
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JimmyH:

 

My eyesight is pretty terrible, so not as important for me as for some other folk I suspect.

 

<snip>

 

 

Beg to differ. smile

 

I have a slowly progressive eye complaint (with a long medical name), with increasingly blurred vision in both eyes.

 

I spend a lot of time in front of monitors.

 

I find it much easier to read from a large (32") 2k or 4k screen than from a standard "high definition" one.





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  # 1785485 21-May-2017 14:28
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Simple answer for me is that if you CAN have it look better, why not have it look better? 






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  # 1785488 21-May-2017 14:40
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In general, I find that I notice the quality of the picture for about the first 3 minutes of watching something. After that, it's not an issue.

 

It's the quality of the content that really matters rather than the quality of the picture.

 

I'd always choose to watch good content in SD rather than poor content in HD.


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  # 1785498 21-May-2017 15:17
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For me good quality sound trumps picture quality.
Being surrounded by 360 degree sounds puts me into the scene more.

First noticed this in early 90s when I borrowed lots of speakers and a 14 inch telly from flat mates to my Sony pro logic amp. @talkiet

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  # 1785500 21-May-2017 15:24
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afe66: For me good quality sound trumps picture quality.

 

Why not both? :)


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