[opendtv] Re: Why Europe should choose 720P for HDTV

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 10:42:42 -0500

At 3:22 PM -0500 12/15/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
>Having seen SD in a theater, and how inadequate it
>is, I'd love to see the difference between 720 and
>1080 line displays on that size screen. Or even on
>much smaller screens, like 50".

I am certain that there a some theaters in your area that are 
offering digital screenings, most likely using the TI DLP projectors 
with 1280 x 1024 chips.

Here are two possibilities that may be within easy driving distance.

Crown Annapolis Mall 11
2002 Annapolis Mall, Route 450
Annapolis, MD 21401
Tel: 410-224-1145

National Amusements Lee Highway Multiplex
8223 Lee Highway
Merrifield, VA 22116
Tel: 703-502-4060

The Incredibles is also being screened in digital.

There are a few theaters that are getting the new 2K dark chip 
projectors, but I have no way of knowing i=which theaters, where have 
these new projectors.

As for TV displays, just go to any upscale home theater store. But be 
warned that the source video available may not support your desire to 
compare formats.

>The reality is, only very few years ago everyone
>was claiming that 480p was "plenty adequate" for
>home use. But we've all seen 480p by now, and
>adequate as it might be, 1080i or 720p blows it in
>the weeds easily. In consumer gear.

True. But 480P is STILL plenty adequate for many applications, and 
more important, why not improve the quality of ALL TV, not just HDTV? 
There are many applications for progressive video that is not HDTV.

>>  So we should optimize the source for 0.01% of the
>>  market?
>To "optimize," in the context of this discussion,
>is to provide the best quality for a given cost. If
>the source material can be encoded, stored (and/or
>transmitted) as 1080p for the same cost as 720p,
>then *why not*?

Because your premise is not accurate. You cannot acquire, or produce 
in 1080@60P for the same cost as 720@60P today. You may be able to 
argue that film transfers to 1080@24P are not much more expensive 
than to 720@24P. But when it comes to emission, there is no way that 
you are going to fit 1080P into the same bandwidth as 720P (at any 
comparable frame rate), if the 1080P source actually contains more 
detail than the 720P source. Bandwidth IS the big cost today. 
Therefore it makes sense to pick emission formats that deliver the 
best bang for the buck for the most people. At the moment this means 

>For example, if a given movie will fit in an HD-DVD
>either as 720 at 24p or as 1080 at 24p, why bother
>with 720 at 24p? The DVD will cost no less if you
>load it with 720p.

1. It is likely that 720P will deliver higher quality samples at the 
available bit rate;
2. More than 90% of viewers will still be watching the SDTV down conversion;
3. Unless your display is larger than 100 inch diagonal you WILL NOT 
see any difference.

>Playback devices are not constrained to displaying at
>the full quality level. Therefore, in "optimizing"
>the system, there's no need to scrimp on the encoding


IT is not scrimping on encoding to use the format that best preserves 
the integrity of the samples at a given bit rate. It IS scrimping on 
quality when you try to push too much detail through the channel and 
wind up with visible compression artifacts.

>In RF transmission, same argument holds. Unless
>there's something else to transmit in a tight
>channel, or to store in a DVD, "optimizing" does not
>mean to reduce the quality level unnecessarily.

By definition, you are not optimizing if you are trying to push the 
highest format through the pipe, when only a tiny percentage of the 
audience can use the additional detail.

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