ok wasn't seeing this section before, and posted monitor/tv question in "other", maybe i can get more of a response here. i bought a 720p philips 32" and really cant believe how poor the quality is. i realized it's not just the phililps it's all the brands. before my father went to school for computers and later became a teacher, he worked with televisions a lot in the 70's, so he always showed me what to look for in a picture. previously i've had 27" sony televisions (old versions, tube), that were just amazing totally amazing pictures..ofcourse they weighed 120lbs. but i'm really taken back, i thought maybe it had to do with the cable reception, but just plugged a dvd player in, and the pixelation/graininess is very apparent to a trained eye. i know a lot of people here are well trained in technology, and have to figure someone has something to say on this..? am i missing something? i'll buy some component cables which im sure will help, but still really amazed at how bad this picture is, even compared to a $150 25" tube tv i bought a few years ago.
thanks for reply. yea i'm a good 6 feet off it. glad you mentioned the hdmi...i'll get that instead. been so long since i've used a video game console...lot of options for plugging in the game console eh? standard video/s-video/component/hdmi ...how much better will the hdmi be compared to component? like going from s-video to component?
that's interesting, microsoft doesn't put a proprietary connection on the xbox for hdmi. so just hooked on a standard hdmi cable and seems the video game picture is much better, yet the dvd movie picture is the same...? cant figure that.
Generally speaking the quality coming from DVI and HDMI connections should be the same as long as the electronic components are of similar quality. It is merely a different arrangements of pins and the ability to carry audio signals.
LCD panels have a fixed number of pixels which combined together forms the monitor's native (or maximum) resolution. Images and text are at their sharpest when the monitor is set to the native resolution. Lowering the monitor's resolution means that the monitor must do interpolation to estimate where a pixels should be located on the screen. This results in less than sharp images and text. Traditional CRT TVs and monitors do not have pixels like LCD monitors.
Now getting to DVD quality... Movies on a DVD disc are stored at 720x480 resolution, depending on the aspect ratio of the movie, the movie is horizontally stretched. For example, Traffic is stored as 720x480 resolution on the DVD, however the aspect ratio of the movie is 16:9. Therefore, when the movie is displayed on the screen it's resolution would be 854x480.
As long as you are watching Traffic at 854x480 resolution, the video should be sharp. If you shrink it down it should also be sharp, there would be some video interpolation involved, but it is masked by the lower resolution.
Traditional CRT TVs have less than 640x480 resolution, even though they are referred to a 480i resolution, but lets keep it 640x480 to keep it simple. Therefore, Traffic would be shrunk down from 854x480 to about 640x360 on a CRT TV. CRTs use electron guns or emitters that can be adjusted to excite the phosphorus on the CRTs screen to display an image, therefore they do not have a fixed resolution.
A 720p HDTV or monitor is either 1280x720 resolution (old) or 1366x768 resolution. When you watch a movie like Traffic in full screen you are stretching the movie's resolution from 854x480 to 1366x768. Again, interpolation is involved estimate where the pixels should appear on the screen since the image is must be stretched to fill the screen. On one hand you have interpolation which decreases the clarity of the video. On the other hand, you are stretching video to fit a higher resolution. Since stretching something does not automatic create more detail, the video also becomes less sharp.
Take a hand knit blanket as an example. If you were to stretch each corner of the blanket, it would be come larger. However, you cause the strands of yarn to pull away from each other well. Perhaps to the point where there are now small holes in the blanket. That is what generally happens to a image or video when to stretch it beyond the resolution it was encoded to.