Item 3- Resolution

Resolution is defined as how much fine detail can be captured and displayed.

The Claim

HDTV is far sharper than standard 35mm motion picture film. Top name actors’ faces look flawless when seen at your local movie theater but appear dreadful in HDTV. Why? Movie film can’t resolve the wrinkles, acne scars, age lines or ther beauty defects in actors’ faces, but HDTVs higher resolution exposes everything. This notion has been reported by an “HDTV expert” and has been recycled over and over again by the mass media.

The Reality

This is a big lie. Film is far sharper than HDTV’s maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080. Major movie studios through an industry initiative have settled on a digital cinema standard to assure all the detail within each 35mm movie film frame is captured when converted to video. How much more detail is in the digital theater standard? Over four times the resolution of HDTV. It’s 4096 x 2160. Every detail captured in movie film isn’t always reproduced in HDTV, because of films’ inherent higher resolution capability. Movie film can be far more revealing than HDTV and depending on the director’s technique, choice of lenses and other variables, actors’ faces can look worse on film, not the other way around.

What to do about it.

Next time you read an article that states how HDTV reveals skin flaws that make movie stars’ faces look lousy, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the reporter is either misinformed or fibbing

Item 4- 1080p Displays

1080p displays are defined as HDTVs with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 that refresh the entire image every 1/60th of a second

The Claim

1080p displays are the only HDTVs you should consider buying.

The Reality

The concept of a 1080p being the only HDTV you should purchase is a misinformed generalization. This myth has been perpetuated by various HDTV manufacturers and retailers. The reality, a high contrast ratio display with deep blacks will be perceived as sharper than comparable size 1080p display with a lower contrast ratio (see below for more on contrast ratio). Screen size is another factor.

1080p HDTVs, with screens less than 45” have little inherent advantage over 720p displays. The smaller the display the harder it is to see a detail improvement when compared to a 1080p display. Why? The 720p and 768p screens under 45” already pack the pixels very tightly together.

A similar effect can be observed with 7″ and under standard definition TVs (480 lines of resolution). Theses tiny TVs appear very sharp because the lines of resolution are very close to each other.

Another consideration what will be your viewing distance? The further back you sit from the optimum viewing distance for 1080p (see chart) the harder it is to see the difference between 720p and 1080p. When you sit back beyond the maximum 720p viewing distance, you simply can’t justify the added cost of 1080p display.

What to do about it?

For screens below 45” consider a 720p display with high contrast and deep blacks over a 1080p display with lower contrast ratio. With the picture controls properly adjusted, you will be seen a wonderful sharp detailed high definition image that looks better that the 1080p model and costs less.

Copyright 2006 HD Guru (sm) All rights reserved.