[opendtv] Re: Optimizing the system

  • From: Tom Barry <trbarry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 19:20:07 -0500

Craig -

Buy a 720p fixed pixel display at something significantly less than 100 
inches.  Sit for a few weeks at only 3 screen heights from it and look 
for the effect of highly textured objects moving across it like a swarm 
of bees.

Of course that is only display resolution, not delivery resolution.  But 
since that 720p display will last you for a few years, the next one will 
probably be a 1080p version since those will then dominate, and be 
cheaper MUCH cheaper.  At that time you will (in spite of the bees) have 
come to adjust your expectations and furniture such that you sit a bit 
closer.  You might then buy a large one in the 1080p range, though still 
not >100" since that is only for the front projector crowd.

Of course I am still only talking about display resolution, not delivery 
resolution.  But wouldn't you be curious by that time what full 4:4:4 
1080p looked like?  And wish that since the space was available freely 
on the disc back in 1995 they had used it?

Or are we just still just arguing about the studies of how far people 
sit from their TV's?  I have already crept closer to mine in the 4-5 
years I've had HD.  HDTV's exert a strange attractor force on furniture. 
  It has been proven. ;-)

- Tom

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> At 3:15 PM -0500 12/16/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>>It's your next two points that continue to be non
>>> 2. More than 90% of viewers will still be
>>> watching the SDTV down conversion;
>>Which is irrelevant by itself, even if true (which
>>it is not anymore). If the DVD plays in their
>>DVD players, or the signal fits in the 6 MHz TV
>>channel, no need to limit the quality of the signal.
> It IS still true, and will continue to be true for at least another 
> decade, if not longer. All that will change is that the percentage of 
> homes with HD capable displays will grow from the current <10% to 
> perhaps 25-30% within one to two decades.
> You may well challenge this, however, keep in mind that any display 
> smaller than 40 inches does not need 720P resolution, much less 
> 1080P. The percentage of homes that will buy sets smaller than 40 
> inch versus larger, is going to grow significantly, as people begin 
> to replace old NTSC receivers with new flat panel LCD TVs. But these 
> sets will not benefit from  HD resolution because of the size of the 
> screens.
>> > 3. Unless your display is larger than 100 inch
>>> diagonal you WILL NOT see any difference.
>>Which continues to be irrelevant to the problem
>>of optimization.
> NO BERT. THIS IS why it is relevant to the problem of optimization.
> There will be other ways to get high quality HD source for the 
> handful of homes that can afford a dedicated theater with a screen 
> larger than 100" diagonal. We are talking about distribution of media 
> to the masses, and optimization of the source signals to assure high 
> quality for the displays that will be used by the masses. This is 
> equally true for DTT, DBS. Cable, IPTV, HD-DVD, and future downloads 
> of content via the Internet.
> You cannot prove that there will be any perceptible benefit to 
> encoding of 1080P for emission, on sets smaller than 100 inch 
> diagonal; on the other hand, you can prove that the channel will be 
> stressed more for 1080P than 720P, IF the source content has levels 
> of detail that are significantly higher than the 720P source.
> But even this is irrelevant, as you will not find any RPTV or panel 
> displays even this large - the current max seems to be about 72" for 
> RPTV, and these sets tend to look washed out.
> So the only situation that is relevant is for the small number of 
> homes that will create the proper environment for a large (>100") 
> front projection display. That's a screen that is nearly 8 feet wide 
> by more than 4 feet high.
>>"Optimization" means maximizing (or minimizing)
>>an objective subject to a list of constraints.
>>Aside from your #1 point, the other two points
>>aim to reduce quality (i.e. the objective)
>>possibly below that allowed by the constraint set.
>>There's no valid excuse for this.
> NO BERT. They DO NOT aim to reduce quality. They aim to match the 
> level of quality delivered with the upper end of products that will 
> be purchased by consumers to view digital television. Note I did not 
> say the high end. The upper end of the product curve will be HDTV 
> displays in the 50-70 inch range. Beyond this, we are talking about a 
> VERY tiny niche market, and even here, upconversion from 720P will 
> produce VERY HIGH QUALITY images on those big displays.
>>Since the highest quality of HD has been defined
>>to be 1080 lines, that is where HDTV will
>>migrate over time. The Europeans are exactly
>>correct to question any pre-conceived one size
>>fits all 720p notion, especially if they are
>>not constained to MPEG-2 for HD.
> This is not even true today. Hollywood is still holding out for 4K x 
> 2K. And the Japanes are already developing Ultra High Definition 
> formats. In SOME peoples minds, HDTV has been defined as 1080 lines. 
> Back in the '30s the same type of people were calling 480 lines HDTV. 
> In other words, this is a moving target.
> But there is a problem with moving targets. They only need to move so 
> fast, and so far. We could build all motor vehicles to cruse at 150 
> miles per hour, but you can't drive that fast. The history of the CE 
> industry suggests that the average product will improve in quality 
> over time; it also suggests that the industry is very pragmatic about 
> performance, and will not burden its products with unnecessary 
> overhead, especially as they try to drive new technologies into the 
> mainstream of the marketplace.
> The truth is that many CE vendors took the easy way out, with 1080i 
> displays, which are technically less challenging to build than 720P 
> displays. These displays will NEVER work as well as a 720P display, 
> because they are ALWAYS interlaced, regardless of the source format. 
> It will be MUCH MORE DIFFICULT to justify 1080P displays over 720P 
> displays, because the cost differential is much larger than the delta 
> is performance, and most people will NOT be able to see the 
> difference on the screens that will be purchased by the masses.
> We are still in the political war phase over HD formats. But 
> progressive formats are winning the day as more and more people 
> understand the advantages. It should tell you something that all but 
> one of the networks doing live action sports have chosen 720P (NBC is 
> still not in the game, other than the Olympics, for which they took 
> the 1080i video that was being shot for the International 
> Broadcasters feed).
> I do not expect this format war to end tomorrow. There are powerful 
> forces at work that are propping up an inferior vision of HDTV. A 
> vision that is seriously flawed. These flaws will not stand the test 
> of time. But 1080P will find a home for applications where it makes 
> sense:
> 1. Image acquisition - for oversampling purposes
> 2. Digital Cinema display on very large screens
> 3. Large screen Digital Signage
> Just out of curiosity Bert, can you provide any examples of where the 
> consumer electronics industry has optimized products around the 
> highest level of performance for a mass market product? Please do not 
> cite the litany of improved audio formats we have seen over the 
> years. Each time the industry raised the bar on audio quality there 
> were higher quality formats available. For example, CD audio is 
> marginal in terms of quality, but it was much better than existing 
> analog formats. The mass market is generally satisfied with CD-audio. 
> But there is a tiny niche market of audiophiles who want something 
> better; for them the CE industry created DVD-A.
> For some reason, I do not see the masses rushing out to upgrade to 
> DVD-A players...
> It's time for a reality check Bert. Look in the mirror - you are an 
> above average consumer. One who cannot even justify an investment in 
> HDTV at this time. And please don't try to tell me that your new LCD 
> panel is HD capable. There's more to the HD viewing experience than 
> numerology.
> Regards
> Craig
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