HDTV: The Big Picture

HD demystified; if you're shopping for Christmas here's what you need to know. We've been waiting over a decade for HDTV, and now that it's finally available, there's as much confusion in the marketing as there is clarity in the images.
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  1. You missed WMV HD. This is currently available on standard DVDs for use in PC's. There are several movies (Mostly IMAX conversions) and content from HDNet. The IMAX coversions often contain 720p and 1080i versions and include a player on the DVD that plays directly from the DVD. {NOTHING to install.... how rare is that :-) } This is a way to see HD content with your PC without spending a fortune for Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.

    The only issue I have found with it so far is that in the IMAX conversions I have seen, the movies have been highly compressed, so there is some blotchyness to blue sky's, sunsets, etc. The resolution is good and the compression is not very noticable in moving or action type scenes.
  2. Does the DRM nugget you mentioned have any implication for those of use wanting to hook a PC up to a gigunda 1080P screen for use with Oblivion, FEAR, etc?

    Can you expand on PC Games + HDTV and the issues?
  3. I wish to disagree with some of the info on HDTV.
    1) HD is ALL digital. Once totally in place there will be no more analog TV - and the government can sell a bunch of bandwidth.
    2) HD has one digital signal being sent out from the source. How the set at home displays it determines whether it is full HD - since there are now SD (standard definition) digital sets that will display that same HD digital image - although at a lower resolution. PDP (plasma) ED (enhanced definition) sets are some of the best buys there are - for now anyway. Prices are dropping all over, really fast.

    My 2c.
  4. Isn't the resolution (720 or 1080) the horizontal lines, not the vertical as stated in the article? It makes sense if you think about it - the dimensions of widescreen (16 wide by 9 high) leave less room for horizontal lines than the vertical , so the smaller number in the reolution (i.e. 720 or 1080) should be the horizontal.
  5. AFAIK there are no HDCP requirements for games. FSX works fine on my non HDCP compliant monitor.

    "Isn't the resolution (720 or 1080) the horizontal lines, not the vertical "

    You are correct. My guess is that was a brain fart typo.
  6. Kudos! IMHO, this is by far the best Tom's article yet on HD. Previous authors have not seemed to focus on the pertinent points and have seemed to not fully understand the majority of the issues.

    As HD tuner technology gets better, the directional dependence on the antenna should get less and less for local signals. It has already been significantly reduced from 1st gen tuners. However, distant signals will likely need an outdoor antenna and a pointing mechanism - i.e., a "rotor." I can't help but think we're going back to the future on this; however, the possibility exists to pull in a vast amount of distant digital tv signals over the air. Someone I know reported that the content is still viewable even when the S/N ratio is 20 percent. With that S/N ratio on an analog signal, you would only get snow.

    I can't say that I agree that HD-DVD or Blu-Ray writers will be expensive for a long time. Though I have not fully investigated this, there are single-layer Blu-Ray burners out there for PCs that should be able to read and play back pre-recorded movies in addition to recording your own. I've seen street prices on such burners at around $750 which seems in line with Blu-Ray "player only" units for home theater systems.

    And, as I understand it, the issue with releasing dedicated HD "disk" player/burners is ironing out the copy protection issues. However, once they are released to a wider market (Sony has had a dedicated Blu-Ray HT player/burner available in Japan for several years), I'm willing to bet prices will drop rapidly. Personally, I won't consider buying a dedicated player only unit for my HT system.

    Last, it will be interesting to see where HVD (holographic versatile disk) goes. As I see it, the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray could easily be obsoleted as HVD capabilities are far beyond either. AFAIK, there are storage HVD solutions available; it's only a matter of time before it comes to the movie industry.

    All the best,
  7. PKQUAT: what size monitor, and what resolutions? What card are you using to drive it?
  8. Its an older 19" NEC CRT with a DVI input. I got it used, and I haven't found any model No. info on it. It will do 1600x1200. I mostly run at 1280x1024. The card is a 7800GTX which does not have HDCP. I think only the 7600 series has HDCP right now.

    I also had it hooked up to an Epson TW100 1280 x 720 projector once, and had no issues playing non DRM content, or any games. The projector was not HDCP compliant. It failed to play up-converted DVD movies from a DVD play via the DVI out.

    There will be ALOT of people pissed off about HDCP. Many things still are not HDCP compliant. And 2 years ago I don't think anything was including all the big screen TV's.
  9. Anyone out there playing graphics and motion intensive games at high resolutions on large screens (50"+)?
  10. Quote:
    Isn't the resolution (720 or 1080) the horizontal lines, not the vertical as stated in the article? It makes sense if you think about it - the dimensions of widescreen (16 wide by 9 high) leave less room for horizontal lines than the vertical , so the smaller number in the reolution (i.e. 720 or 1080) should be the horizontal.

    Actually, it used to be lines when we talked about 'lines of resolution' years back. Now it is 'pixels', and it is designated for a specific area - like a square inch (but could be a bit different - not sure). Anyway ..here is a PDF
    that sheds some light on the pixels and scan lines.
    Here is something else on that.
    Plus this..
    All in all I am getting confused!
  11. I hate the whole setup. As a cable guy, I have the displeasure of explaining to the customer who just spent 6000 bux on a new TV why the Analog channels look bad on their HDTV, then why the HD channels don't look as good as they should when the box is in 1080i. And it varies VASTLY between brands. I see lots of variations in TV's and some tv's, the menus look crisp and clean and the pictures are beautiful, and others they are blocky, blotchy and noisey. And they don't supply the HDMI cables with the DVR boxes either because they cost too much, they only give them the component cables.

    What I would like to see Tom's Hardware do is a comparison chart of all TV's and the visual quality of each one in each mode.
  12. I am in the business, working for a distributor selling LG HDTV. Here in my state, cable can be good to pretty bad - depending on the company. Just the way it is.
    Dish or Direct is what a lot of folk here do, but even that is limited as far as true HD content. The best picture to be had is from an UHF antenna - pulling in stations from as far away as 85 miles away. I have one dealer that is doing that very thing from that distance. The picture he gets is perfect - and I do mean perfect. Also when he tunes in on the educational channel (the first to go HD) it is even better. The stuff they broadcast is not only being shown in digital HD, it is recorded in HD. Amazing quality!

    It is really amazing that years back folks got away from antennas to go cable and dish. Now the best picture can be had with an antenna.
  13. Is there any real point of getting a 1080p TV? besides the fact that the $800+ Blue Ray and HD-DVD are the only things that can take advantage of 1080p. When we will start seeing 1080p broadcasts?
  14. I am a firm believer that no matter what set you buy - 1080P or 720P - when you get it home you will love it. They all are adjustable, and the settings you see in the store are usually hyped up as far as the contrast and color is concerned, and often the models the box store wants to sell the most look the best.

    I am looking to buy a 42" 720P LCD myself soon. Do I want a 1080P? Oh, it would be nice - but there is no real content now to bring out the full benefit in 1080P, and as far as the new HD players are concerned - all the better 720P sets have HDMI - and will play that content just fine.

    One high priority might be the quality and service that one might get - and there are real quality differences out there. Just ask any tech and you get a boatload of info on how so many of the bargain sets can be difficult to impossible to fix when a problem comes up.
  15. "What I would like to see Tom's Hardware do is a comparison chart of all TV's and the visual quality of each one in each mode."

    Below are some comparisons. Check the web under other hometheater sites. There are many comprehensive comparative reviews that include a number of products similar the link below.


    A number of sets or stores also "cheat" by implying they display a 1080p or 1080i image they only "accept" that signal. The end resolution is less because their native resolution is less. Most 1280x720 HDTV sets and projectors or computer panels and projectors today can "accept" a 1080i signal and some can accept 1080p. The native resolution is the maximum it can display.

    Some native 1080i and p sets do a poor job of displaying that signal too due to poor scaling. See the home theater mag link above.

    I don't see much benefit to Theater movies in 1080p, ie 1920 x 1080 @ 60fps [(full)frames per second]. Theater movies are 24fps. A good 1080i signal should suffice. The main benefit would be that frame conversion could be done with a high quality converter, and special attention applied to certain scenes to ensure a good converstion. Though that is not very likely for the majority of movies.

    Another point on 1080i vs 1080p is 1080i referers to 1080i @ 60fps (1080i/60). Much of 1920 x 1080 content is shot at only 30fps, or 1080p/30. Each frame is split in to two 540 interlaced fields so two fields at 60 feilds per second equal a complete image. That is why I don't like this article ( http://alvyray.com/DigitalTV/Naming_Proposal.htm ). It is very misleading on all fronts. Who cares if an image in interlaced if the interlaced field rate is over twice the original frame rate. Part of the image shifting problems he is referring to relates to 3:2 pull down errors when converting 24fps film to TV frame rates.

    The biggest benefit of 1080p/60 is the higher frame rate for motion. The funny thing is most people don't really notice 30fps vs 60 fps until you freeze frame. Another point is that to limit file size or bandwidth the 60fps image may be compressed more, like a blotchy jpg. Unless noise it added it may have a poor image that 1080i/60 or 1080p30.

    Below is a good article on many of the formats and explainations of frame and field rate designations.


    As far as standard TV on an HD TV, the biggest reason for a poor picture is a very poor or non-existent scaler and converter. That is why DVD players with upconversion have become more popular. My projector has a good Faroudja chip and the component signal looks better than most of the mid-range up converting DVD players 720p (or 1080i) DVI (HDMI) output. Since the scaler is in the projector standard TV, even old VHS doesn't look too bad. I have seen some HD sets that look very pixelated with no anti-aliasing when displaying standard TV.
  16. XBox360 does do 1080P last I checked, through the new dashboard update and an RGB cord. Gaming takes a hit through that connection, but the jury is out what HDDVD will look like.

    I spent three weeks in Tokyo last month doing a detailed analysis of BlueRay with a dedicated player and a PS3 both (they look identical) and was not impressed at all. The lower bitrate with BD is very noticable compared with HDDVD.

    If you are in town, head to the Sony building in Ginza and check out the lobby at street level. They have had to go so far as dumb down a DVD in quality to make the BD comparison look decent (and it still doesn't).

    So I wonder which the greater shame is:

    1) Microsoft won't produce 360's in black, with HDMI ouput, and with an internal drive option... --OR--

    2) Producers of BD content are using MP2 and lower bitrates because dual layer BD still hasn't cut the mustard.

    Either way you lose, but with the lower cost of HDDVD and better durability /less copyright protection (so your legal stuff will not get hosed by overly aggressive blocking) Microsoft stands in a good position to do something significant with home entertainment...

    But they apparently won't.

    Guess I'll wait.
  17. Hello again,

    I am gaming and playing video on a Vizio P50HDTV. The image quality is excellent and motion solid. My PC scales very well (actually better than my DVD player which I bought highly recommended froma DVD Forum). So far I have had a rough time getting my favorite games to display at 1360x768 though and if it isn't exact I get no love at all from my plasma.

    I'm holding out and trying to use my computer for gaming and not have to but a console but don't know if I can get the resolution issues resolved. Halo 2 for Vista may be a big help if I can get it working (with the XBox controller no less).

    Let me know if I can be of any help.
  18. I've been doing a lot of researching myself and what I've found is REALLY strange: MOST of what's on the web are people trying to resolve issues back in 2003/2004. VERY little content from this year.

    I did find a website that had some people gaming recently. It's the same news: lots and lots of posts saying, "help, I can't get 1920x1080 from my graphics card to my 1080p HDTV. Attempts cause crash/reboot/no image/downconversion/snow/lines/etc..."

    So it appears no good solutions. I haven't found even ONE post saying, "I got it hooked up, pumping out max res on FEAR, and it looks grand and here's what I'm using".

    Strange to me because I would think every twitchgamer on the net, and there is a LOT of brain power in that crowd (much of which probably works Sony/NVIDIA/Samsung/ATI for day jobs), would be all over this capability and have had it sown up tight a year ago. At least with hacks and workarounds....

    What are you using currently? What game(s)?
  19. Quote:
    XBox360 does do 1080P last I checked, through the new dashboard update and an RGB cord.

    Not according to this Oct. 24 article
  20. He probably meant 1080i.
  21. Quote:
    XBox360 does do 1080P last I checked, through the new dashboard update and an RGB cord.

    Not according to this Oct. 24 article

    Well according to Xbox's website it does, here is the url, http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/news/2006/1030-novemberupdate-completelist.htm

    Please, I am not sure if you wrote this article, but please do some research before making statements such as these.

    As far as this article, I could spend 2 hours on the mis-statements in this article and it's only 3 pages. This type of misinformation is what causes all the confusion with HDTV. I was very disappointed to see that a place I regard as an "Authority" on PC gear would even post such a misinformed, unresearched and outdated article on their website. Attention writer: Please go back and re-do your article, I would first suggest looking up the ATSC standards as a starter.

    Thank you,

  22. It sounds like there's not much of a PQ difference between 1080i and 1080p. Is there much of a difference between 1080i and 720p?
  23. Just posting a viewpoint I came across, which did have some valid points. I am sure soon enough (if there isn't already) there will be game content in 1080p and more TV's will accept 1080p singals via component inputs. (I thought the HDCP guys were trying to put a stop to this but who knows).

    The author is listed as Geoffrey Morrison, not me. If you have any issues take them up with him.
  24. Quote:
    Just posting a viewpoint I came across, which did have some valid points. I am sure soon enough (if there isn't already) there will be game content in 1080p and more TV's will accept 1080p singals via component inputs. (I thought the HDCP guys were trying to put a stop to this but who knows).

    The author is listed as Geoffrey Morrison, not me. If you have any issues take them up with him.

    You did not state it was a viewpoint, you implied that the information that the XBOX 360 outputing a 1080p signal was incorrect. While the games may not be designed currently as a 1080p game the box can still output them as an upconverted 1080p signal. This was part of their update done on October 31st. My point on this whole thing is that people were making statements about HD in this forum without checking their facts. This is what leads to misinformation and confusion about HD. The sheer fact that the opening statement of the article "We've been waiting over a decade for HDTV, and now that it's finally available" goes to show my point about how wrong this article is. The first HD broadcast was done back in 98 or 99. You can currently get up to 26 HD channels from some providers with over half of those channels broadcasting everything in HD. The confusion between 720p and 1080i isn't in the amount of resolution they display but in how they do it, one being progressive (it displays the full frame all at once like your computer) or interlaced (it display every other line of the frame only showing half of the frame at any given time). These are just a few examples of where this article misinforms people and my point to you is that you shouldn't be part of the problem by not checking your facts.

  25. Good article.
    Any ideas on the reasons PC cos,have been so so in coming to market with accepatable HDMI connector vid cards. I have seen a couple (Saphire). But as anybody who looks at the reviews knows,the Hd resolutions with the cards that are available,are severely underpowered.

    It is only towards the higher end(300$ vid cards and up)that the higher scaled HD resolutions actually take tender to necesary performance in the card.Yet HDMI is not implemented.

    So then why so slow to implement this in PC vid cards ? And why only in a low end PC vid card wich actuallly can be bought,but cannot live up to the expectation in necesary values in performance of HD.?

    Also I would like to comment about the broadcast of HD. :

    Will some channels broadcast in a certain specification of resolution ALL OF THE TIME.? Or will the broadcast leave a person at their remote control having to adjust constantly,or unknowingly to the persistence of the broadcast ? What will decide this in the market place,the broadcaster,or the actual content creator ? Where will settings take place,or be implemented in the processing of the TV (as auto-adjust) in lieu of the signal transmitted-broadcaster ? Or does the person at their set take their chances,or self-imposed risk,at having available to control(or not) their own equipments signal receptive processing?

    Typically as some have mentioned in this forum,the history of movies/motion pictures - they have had their own set of specifications.Then broadcast has had their own. These specifications in wich between the two,they are not equal measures.
    I cannot see that 'hd,or TV device resolution,does anything any different between the two 'different comparitors.Movie,and Broadcast specs.Since you need a movie to make a movie (done through film etc.),cameras ,optics. Yet the broadcast is still very much a juxaposition requiring specifications for it. You didn't for example make a digital film from your 35MM. and have it broadcast.You had still the 35mm,and you had its benounced specification to digital relationships.

    In a certain reflection,I really dont care what broadcast does.The HD,LCD especially have more value to the contrast between personal use,and broadcast use.Than the value of contrast between 'content',and device.

    If you take these devices to their true utility.I have seen for example some DVD players such as the manufacture Phillips touting MPEG4 playback. So here again you see the reference to the MPEG2,MPEG4 in 'transmission standard to High Resolution". Yet to the world of specification,the MPEG4 is totally useless except of those relationships contained to 10" screens. And 2gb SD digital storage medias of camera makers.

    As well there are much better things in mind to the Internet connection than bottling up bandwidth . Of wich to complete the "make it so" transmission of 'broadcast'and 'device'. "Something new,wich is really getting old fast" ......?

    Nah,I dont think so.

    How bout something fast that never gets old ? And 'make it so".

    Thanks for article.And ability to post here.
  26. Sorry Guys, been out of town...

    Actually I did mean 1080P. I just read that article and though i was hard to sift through the rhetoric, it didn't mention anything about using the VGA cord. We all know component doesn't "do" 1080P so what are they saying that we don't already know? Did they test with a VGA cord? If they have a point I couldn't find it.

    On the game side, not all PS3 games will be 1080P either. I spent some time watching both 1080P games on a PS3 (Afrika) and 720P, and as we have heard, there is definitely a framerate problem with 1080P. The demo looks beautifully resolute but it is a slide show.

    So, has anyone connected an XBox360 HDDVD player to a 1080P native set with a VGA cord and not gotten 1080P? That is the question no?

  27. Hey Dude, I'm trying to get Battlefield 1942 going in 1360x768...no luck. Yeah I bought a plasma assuming that this stuff must have been worked out....pretty stupid huh? Thats OK, I love the TV and get my moneys worth in movies.

  28. I am confused, are you saying that component cables will not pass a 1080p signal? Or, do you mean that there are no games from Xbox 360 that are in 1080p?

    As far as HD DVD and BluRay the movies are recorded in 1080p, however the HD DVD players were not able to output a 1080p signal, apparently this was a sacrifice in order to be first to market.

    The problem with the article that was referenced was that it was posted on Oct 24th. Xbox 360 did an update to their system that now allows them to output 1080p from their box via component cables. There was a whole list of updates they did, but this was the main one everyone was interested in since the PS3 outputs 1080p.

    So, I am not sure what you were asking or stating, if you have a second please restate it.

    Thank you,


    P.S. The HDDVD add on for the Xbox 360 doesn't hit the states until the end of the month, not sure of the exact date, however I believe it is on the market in Japan, for obvious reasons.
  29. Hey Utnorris,

    I don't know if component cables will deliver a 1080P signal since I don't have the equipment to try it, but it seems from every article I have read it isn't possible. Have you tried? I use my computer to output 720P to my plasma and wont have a 1080P screen until spring.

    I don't know of any 360 games in higher than 720P but have seen many PS3 games that are 720P and one that is 1080P.

    Let me know whatever info I can provide, somehow we can figure this thing out.

  30. Hey Bankie,

    I hear lots of guys at TV stores talking about how they cant see a difference and they are looking at 720P native sets. 1080P looks far more reolute that 720P but you have to have the right signal/content/set. A 1080P source delivered to a 1080P native set is beautiful and leaps beyond a 720P signal viewed on a 720P set.

    I haven't had a chance to compare 1080P with 1080i on a 1080 set /or/ a 1080i on a 1080 set with 720p on a 720 set. Has anyone else? It seems the 1080 set will look better either way from what I know. I see little reason to find out what 1080i looks like on a 720p set but am curious.

  31. Component cables themselves can carry a 1080p signal. They have the bandwidth capability. The analog VGA monitor connectors support higher resolutions. The main problem at this point relative to HDTV is that few sets will accept 1080p through component cables. I don't think there are many consumer devices that will output component 1080p at this time either. Most consumer devices that support 1080p do it via the HDMI / DVI ports. As I mentioned in a previous post, I think some of this is due to HDCP. The other is that HDMI is a simple single connection for the average user.

    Most computer cards have been using a DVI out for years which is directly comptable with HDMI. One only needs a converter plug. I am not sure if the poster was refering to HDCP, which seems to be only available in some lower end cards. I have not heard about it being available in some of the newer cards. I think in the future HDMI will become more prevalent in some cards geared towards home theater setups, and in general if (when?) more more monitors adopt HDMI plugs.

    As for 1080 vs 720, check out my previous posts and a few of the articles I posted. A lot of the seen difference depends on the orginal source material, how the set interprets the image, scalars, etc. Of course from a resolution stand point a true 1080 image will look better than a 720 image, but 1080 can look worse because of the incoming signal and how it is handled.
  32. On page two, plasmas are referred to for 720p display abilities. Unforatunly, and extremely confusing, most Plasma and LCD displays are not TRUE HD displays! The vast majority of these dislplays are 1024x768, not 1280x720 or even near 1920x1080. I feel this is an extreme problem in the marketplace. Some plasma are even as low as 800x480, which is barely SDTV, much less HDTV standards.

    DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT consider a plasma or LCD before reading the full specs of the unit. They say they handle 720 or 1080, but do they truely have the pixels to back up that claim? Most don't! Only recently have plasmas even been introduced that are full HD compliant, and those models are very expensive. This error in the market is just sick.

    Also, the information on interlaced and progressive is a bit wrong. All LCD, plasmas and DLP sets display their image in a progressive style. In fact it's not even progressive, as each image is displayed a full frame at a time without "drawing" the image like a CRT does. The "deinterlacing" is done so well, that it's almost impossible to tell the difference on alike sets between the interlaced image and the progressive image. The only real difference between these sets is the bandwidth the electronics can handle internally. In the future all sets will be progressive so that really not an issue, but don't fall for the "you need progressive because its better" bull, the cost added is not worth it. Especially since all HD programming is only 1080i or 720p anyway.
  33. A lot..no I take that back..'most all' of the bencmarking reviews show utilizing 'high-resolution'stats. So of course the ability to run the HDTV screens 'must'be a self explanatory reality.

    With this here:
    HDMI coverter:
    (Hi HDTV supply.com)


    ..if your computer is so equiped,arent you then sort of obligated to take your audio source to another destination ? Since of course the DVI will not have audio.

    HDCP is such a different animal ? I'll have to look into the bit about it.

    I had been under the impression that you first had to have HDCP,in order for HDMI to work. Or that the reason HDMI was utilized was for some sort of content protection. (forgive me,if Im a little 'off here).

    HDMI you mean 'isn't exactly a CP spec 'bus !?

    I have noticed that the DVI has not been used on some of the lesser coslty HDTV sets I've been seeing. Yet for 500$ "more" you can get one.

    Yeah,I was under the impression that HDMI was some kind of DRM implemeted 'bus.[ ]

    Here is a link to Saphires HDMI video card....


    Sure using the converter plug would be simpler than having several different video manufacturers turn their plants to making HDMI connections on the chipsets if this is easily available along with if the audio can be implemented without a performance penalty.

    HDCP was a software emplemted content protection(say from a certain 'rights holders media),requiring specific hardware in order to 'decrypt items. I dont have a problem running DVDs on my computer.I guess I might if they were available in HD,and the HDCP spec decided that I would have to watch it in 'standard mode ,anyway. On the HD screen.

    That would be a bummer.I couldn't get HD since I didn't know a certain media required HDCP.Even though the 'screen had it as a capability,but the Vid card/did not.

    ;; No really Im kind of saddened because it appears as though Camera makers are taking to changing from using the DV cams with mini-dvd,.hardrives in them. Terrible battery life,uneditable formats. Along with a soon to be affected 'old school ,dvd.
    As yet there is not really any editing for these cameras. That I can see from the consumer retail. The later DV/tape cams,just recently as last year(05) could easily be edited,and now the quickly done computer editing isn't available for the compressed formats.If these are coming to market,it appears that we are getting strung out waiting for HD-dvd,or Blue-ray commodities.

    Perhaps somebody would be happy about it. I am not. Get rid of the DV cams.Waaait a second. Not so fast.[ ]
  34. My Vizio 50HDTV does not accept a DVI adapted signal through HDMI, only VGA so I'll be checking before I buy my next screen whether it does! I am getting 1360x768 through RGB and download HD content to feel the love. I'd like to buy into HDDVD since I am feeling good enough about its future, but am waiting for a decent player...
  35. First, the only 1080p sources I know of are HD DVD, BluRay, PS3 and now Xbox 360. Currently, no one is broadcasting in 1080p OTA or via cable/satellite. Post people who have really researched it, made the comparisons and actually own a 1080p set will tell you it only makes sense to get 1080p if you are dealing with a larger set, ie 60" plus. There comes a point of diminishing returns on resolution and most people would be hard pressed to see the difference between 720p, 1080i and 1080p displayed on a 32" set. What most have found is that you should match the resolution of your set with your source and vice versa. For example, if you have a 720p DLP rear projection set then the output from your source (whether it is a cable box or HD DVD player) should be set at 720p.

    Component cables - yes it is correct that HDCP will block anything over 480p from being transmitted over component cables, however this has nothing to do with the capabilities of the component cables. Most of your HD DVD players have not incorporated a protection system (except when dealing with regular DVD's) yet because they do not want to alienate HDTV owners of older sets that only have component inputs only and therefore do allow transmition of 1080i across the component output. But here is the thing, if you have HDMI/DVI then use it. It is a straight digital to digital connection and therefore you do not have to worry about all the conversions from digital to analog and then back to digital as you do with component cables. This is why HDMI/DVI give a superior picture when compared to component.

    Hope that clears things up a little,

  36. OMG. :x

    The more I read this forum the more my head starts to hurt. Of course, I'm not exactly tech savvy in this arena either.

    Let me ask a simply yes or no question.

    Is there a 60" or larger HDTV out there that allows me to set the video card on my PC to "max" resolution, then plug the PC into the HDTV and see the PC image on the HDTV at that resolution?

    Or am I better just to stick with my current 20" 1998 era CRT?
  37. The best you could hope for is 1920 x 1080. If that is high enough for you then yes there are plenty of 60" and larger TV's or Projectors that would work for you. Keep in mind you would need either a DVI or HDMI out on your computer.

  38. I am not sure why there would be an issue with a DVI signal converted to HDMI? It should be possible provided the signal resolution and timing being set is one it can accept. Could it be the source settings? That set should be HDCP compliant according to the specs. so that should not be the problem.

    As mentioned most HDTV's should be able to be connected to a computer provided the computer can output the correct DVI or RGB signal and the HDTV can accept it. ie most newer cards with Windows XP can output a DVI signal in the screens native resolution, or one of the HDTV formats. With RGB, it depends more what and if the TV will accept that signal. Regarding games and such, as also mentioned the Max native resolution today for any affordable HDTV set is 1920x1080. Some people prefer their 20"monitor at 1600x1200 or even 1280 x 1024 vs 1280 x 720. Regarding HDDVD or BluRay on a PC, then I beleive you need an HDCP compliant video card to view the content at resolutions above 480P no matter if the output is DVI or RGB.

    The last I was aware HDCP did not effect component cables at any resolution because it was an analog signal. HDCP wanted to protect the digital content, and digital handshaking is required for HDCP. That is not to say that HDCP could be put in place before the analog conversion and block any output over 480p for HDCP protected content. I have heard that this is the case for PC video cards, but I am not sure about HDDVD or BluRay players. I think in that case the only option was DVI / HDMI for resolutions over 480P. Think Cable and Sattelite tuners passed higher resolutions over component cables.
  39. I wonder if the 480P restriction is already set for ALL pc output. When I surf around looking for this particular issue, all I find are people back in 2003 trying to solve it.

    From what I've read they've all be been frustrated either by the HDTV refusing to do anything over 640x480 or have hosts of problems of the the "hash, reboot, lines, noise, crash" variety.

    That's why I'm searching for a 1920x1080PC--->HDTV success story.
  40. Vizio tech support wrote me back and confirmed (after I played around for a week in frustration) that the panel can only take 1366x768 RGB from a computer, so the question is do they know what they are talking about?

    It doesn't make sense to me either, but heck I am doing RGB and its OK.

    So are we settled on that the XBox 360 can do 1080P native to native with HDDVD's? And the 360 obviously has to upconvert the games from their native res to 1080? But is the game inputted as P or I?

    Sony is playing the same game. few of their titles are true 1080P and all are upconverted by the console to 1080P. The few that are 1080P run native but have frame rate issues.

    Now I am shopping for an HDCP compliant video card with dual outputs, preferablt ATI, any suggestions gentlemen?

  41. I have an Nvidia 7800GTX that is NOT HDCP compliant. At different times I had it connected to two different Epson 1280 x 720 projectors. One non HDCP projector via direct DVI and the the other HCDP via a DVI to HDMI plug. I was able to output directly at a few different resolutions up to 1280 x 720. I was also able to input some listed (including 4:3) resolutions below that and even 1024 x 768. I forget if I could do 1280 x 1024 via the DVI out. I was also able acheive more resolutions including 1280 x 1024 via the VGA connector. The projector did a better job of downsampling the higher resolutions (greater than 720) via VGA than the card did, ie the picture and text looked better. I was able to play upconverted DVD's and purchased WMVHD DVDs at 720p output to both projectors. The 1080p played fine to my monitor via VGA at 1600x 1200. Older WMVHD titles do not support HDCP :-). You can DL some clips from MS to test it out.

    Most HDTV's and projectors list what type of input resolutions and sync rates they support if you check the manual.

    It looks like the XBOX 360 can output native 1080p. The game input would depend on how the game is written. Output would depend on how it was set.

    I haven't heard much about current HDCP compliant cards from ATI. I know a flavor of the Nvidia 7600 is supposed to have it, and maybe a 7300 version. Both suppliers haven't really pushed or developed those cards well. Some vendors had cards that were supposed to be HDCP, but the chip was implemented wrong or something. Even some early cards direct from ATI had to remove the HDCP label because they failed to support it properly. Its all a mess, but I can't blame either supplier. I think HDCP has still been a moving target in some area's.

    My current system does me fine. I have no plans to upgrade until it all settles down, and prices become more reasonable.
  42. The Moai have smiled on us all... check out today's article on Anandtech:


    And I was wondering this morning when this would be written!
  43. Quote:
    Anyone out there playing graphics and motion intensive games at high resolutions on large screens (50"+)?

    i have played games like fear,oblivion,bf2 etc.
    on my moms (im not a teenager im 35)
    dlp projector at 104 inches. it looks good.
    but not as good as my hd tube tv.
  44. Having researched a lot, and paying attention to Tom's recommendation, I now run a Samsung 26" and for 1080i the Dish Network 211 receiver.
    You can get a monitor for 600 or 1200 in this size, and the cheapies don't scale well at all as you indicated, regular TV looks awful. The expensive Samsung renders everything perfectly. While Dish has bought Voom and there are technically over 20 HD channels, only 4 or 5 are actually broadcast in 1080i on a 24-7 basis, and those are absolutely spectacular. The rest are excellent, but most films have been modified for the format imperfectly, i.e. flaws in editing sizing and sometimes lots of grain. For the record, the better monitors display regular TV so much better they are worth the price if only for that, but it will be a while before there is even much xBox content, let alone games and television, a lot of expensive hardware/software has to be updated.
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