HD1080i De-mystify HDTV 1080i ::: know why before you buy

Friday, April 21, 2006


It seems the industry is competing with itself, in terms of its own delivery of widescreen, larger than life screens and content, because we are starting to see words like "up to full 1080i" and "True HD 1080i" and the holy grail of image quality, "HD 1080p" .

True HD why does this so-called term exist? ....

I have used this mysef.
Mostly it is to differentiate the Best from The Rest, and this may or may not be a good thing. For starters there is no real definition for True HD, since standards for HD span several resolution, delivery and formatting categories that are more than 50% different in what they are, making use of the term HD and HD-Ready a fuzzy proposition already.

Using the term "True HD" by implication makes it sound like all the rest must somehow be "Fake HD", or "HD Wannabe", or "Amost but not quite HD". I know this stems from the perception that a BIG screens in WIDE format must also be "HD" in the eyes of Joe Sixpack and Sally Soccermom, the marketspace that is right now seeking a better life in bigger things, and represents the stage following early adopter consumption ... yes that's the point where serious money is to be made, brands are established and mass acceptance takes hold.

Question... "WHAT'S in a NAME?"

" A ... everything. I'm starting to see logo-type designs that are purporting to identify the True HDness of an item, like a stamp of validation, in store stickers and online ads." -- unnamed marketing expert 2006

It seems there is no shortage of confusion out there as a result of all this, only the people in the business actually know the useful facts from the marginal tech issues, and they are not the market, since they already own HD equipment. SO...

1) There is no current recognized global authority that validates and has a stamp of assurance that the HD you have is true or anything else, so "True HD" is totaly "More noise".

2) 1080i/1080p is True HD? -- false. It is the Best HD for large screens, but that has nothing to do with trueness....



If your HD screen is lets say 32" in size, then a 1366 x 768 resolution and 720p display specs is fine, and you will see great looking stuff. Enjoy... you are seeing about 1/2 the pixel accuracy of 1080, and you probably will not miss it.

If you have a large screen lets say 37" to 48-52" then resolution and quality matter much more.
It is still possible to buy a screen that seems to be expensive and therefore must be high quality, and wind up with a very large fuzzy image most of the time.
For larger screen sizes you do want to seek out a couple things.
1) 1080 resolution that is Native Resolution
2) DCDi or Faroudja processing. Under the name Genesis.

oh oh ... WTF is this DCDi? Never heard of faroudja ...
well that is likely a chipset in the HD screen firmware that processes whatever comes in and makes the image actually happen, and this is but one of the more important Quality issues that will affect what you see. Most marketing info hides this info, and it shouldnt, since it is the de-interlacing and scaling and edge definition and color quality engine that will define your experience.

If you must use the term True and HD together then so be it, just dont say "up to full 1080i" about a display that is 1366 x 768 native resolution.

HOWEVER, the processing done by stuff like DCDi , is where HD as an experience is managed, and the perception of trueness exists there.

more on that later...


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