June 04, 2008

High Definition - why the fuss?

There's a thread over on Cable Forum about this old chestnut which I've just posted on. Would be interested to hear others views on this if you'd care to comment guys:
I think it very much depends on what you're watching. If something has been shot in HD, the PQ on the SD channels is notably stronger. I have watched the BBC's excellent Wild China on both BBC2 and BBC HD; the latter is stunning, but, unless you literally watch them back to back, the BBC2 version is pretty spectacular too. Ditto with Heroes and Mad Men. But if I compare PQ on Channel 4 programmes shot with SD cameras (pretty much everything home grown) and there's more of a difference. In terms of PQ, I think you can use this as a rule of thumb, from lowest to highest:

Filmed in SD, broadcast in SD via SCART - average
Filmed in SD, broadcast in SD via HDMI - good
Filmed in HD, broadcast in SD via HDMI - very good
Filmed in HD, broadcast in HD via HDMI - excellent

So what I'm saying is that the comparisons you're making with the V+ box are between "very good" and "excellent". I don't disagree with what you're saying btw - my wife cannot tell the difference (32" Tosh Regza viewed from 8ft, 720p) and if I'm recording something for her, I save on disc space by recording the SD version...

4 comments:

Dan said...

Mine too - 32" Samsung @ 720p in a normal sized living room and she can't see the difference between SD through V+ & HDMI and HD.

Maybe it's like reading a map?

Nialli said...

Oh, Mrs Nialli can read a map far better than me. Thank god for TomTom!

Carol Steele said...

I think any coments are relevant to the size of the screen and viewing distance. For instance, I have a 42" Toshiba running at 1080i with a viewing distance of around 8' and the difference in PQ between upscaled SD and HD is considerable.

Anonymous said...

I have a Panasonic 37". The picture quality on SD stuff is pretty good. HD is better..... but not that much. Certainly not enough to make me want to change to Sky for more HD content. I agree with the comments about stuff shot in HD looking better on SD.