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Dish STB: how good w/ stretching? and SD?

evanmartin
10-19-2005, 03:17 PM
I would really appreciate any help from those who have the Dish
Set Top Box for HD - I'd be interested in knowing what your experiences
are with how well it handles stretching for SD content.

I'm also very confused about which channels are being broadcast by Dish through their digital cable plan as analog - and which are coming through as digital. (currently we have the 2nd tier digital cable plan with HBO and Max -- up until a few days ago, I assumed that this meant every channel we could see was digital - now I'm not so sure - and I am worried about how that will translate once we switch over the HD receiver)

I don't have a HD tv yet, but hope to soon. I'm sure we'll still watch alot of SD content - and haven't been able to figure out what that will actually mean - as far as specific channels go - after we switch over to the HD receiver from Dish.

Thanks so much for any info.
Evan

jergenf
10-20-2005, 02:15 PM
I would really appreciate any help from those who have the Dish Set Top Box for HD - I'd be interested in knowing what your experiences are with how well it handles stretching for SD content.
I have the DVR 921 and pretty sure the 811 and 942 would be the same in features. If you are going to use the component or DVI output and set it up as 16:9 (because hopefully you'll have a widescreen set) then you have four modes of outputs. "Stretch mode" won't affect wide content be will stretch 4:3 to fill wide screen. I don't care for this mode because it's a distorted picture.
"Zoom mode" also fills the widescreen but you'll loose some stuff on the top a bottom. It good to use if your watching a SD channel that showing letterbox. "Gray Bars" sets up gray side bars. "Normal mode" sets up black side bars. If your going through the standard {ex. s-video/composite/RF} inputs (for normal 4:3 displays) the four modes are different. I'll have to get back to you later after trying some tests.

I'm also very confused about which channels are being broadcast by Dish through their digital cable plan as analog - and which are coming through as digital. (currently we have the 2nd tier digital cable plan with HBO and Max -- up until a few days ago, I assumed that this meant every channel we could see was digital - now I'm not so sure - and I am worried about how that will translate once we switch over the HD receiver)Technically (just as digital cable is) all satellite channels are digital. If you're asking if some of the channels were originally analog before converted to digital and uplinked to the satellite then I wouldn't know for sure (but doubt it). The locals channels (NBC,ABC,CBS,Fox,PBS,etc) provided by dish certainly are analog based and you can see a lower quality.

I don't have a HD tv yet, but hope to soon. I'm sure we'll still watch alot of SD content - and haven't been able to figure out what that will actually mean - as far as specific channels go - after we switch over to the HD receiver from Dish.

Thanks so much for any info.
Evan
For HD channels the receiver will provide two methods of getting channels. One you can subscribe to HD channels from dish. And two using a TV antenna you'll be able to get digital stations (for free) which may show HD programs but SD will look much better than the analog OTA you may be getting now. You'll need a HD set to see the difference and also a digital dolby entertainment center if you want to hear it in surround sound.

Digital SD (480p) is about twice a sharp as a typical analog (480i) TV using OTA antenna. HD (720p/1080i)i s 3-6 times sharper that digital SD (480p).

Actually sharper is the wrong word it contains far more detail than before. You'll be able to see every blade of grass, skin pores in peoples faces, thread count in their clothes also more richer colors than ever before. A typical analog TV (if one defines the resolution in digital terms) is about 320x480 pixels where digital SD is 640x480p or 704x480p. In HD it's 1280x720p or 1920x1080i.

PS: i=interlace (half the lines are sent in the first pass then the other half on the second pass)
and p=progressive (all lines sent during every refresh)

evanmartin
10-20-2005, 04:07 PM
[QUOTE=jergenf]I have the DVR 921 and pretty sure the 811 and 942 would be the same in features. If you are going to use the component or DVI output and set it up as 16:9 (because hopefully you'll have a widescreen set) then you have four modes of outputs. "Stretch mode" won't affect wide content be will stretch 4:3 to fill wide screen. I don't care for this mode because it's a distorted picture.

Thanks for replying!!

--what did you set the output res. from your dish receiver (720p, 1080i) ?
If i get a lcd hdtv with a native resolution of 720p, shouldn't i make sure to out put 720p from receiver to tv? -- and if i get a native 720p res tv - will that be good enough to handle SD and HD through the dish receiver?

--also, can you tell me more about your DVR from dish? i was told by someone in cust. support that a basic reciever was $50. one time payment - then $5. for first 4 months, then 9.99 each month after.
i didn't ask about their dvrs... should I wait until they switch over to all DVR receivers?

I'm still trying to figure out the differences between all thier recivers.
is there an agreed upon Best receiver to request? 811? ...?


""Zoom mode" also fills the widescreen but you'll loose some stuff on the top a bottom. It good to use if your watching a SD channel that showing letterbox. "Gray Bars" sets up gray side bars. "Normal mode" sets up black side bars. If your going through the standard {ex. s-video/composite/RF} inputs (for normal 4:3 displays) the four modes are different. I'll have to get back to you later after trying some tests."


I'm pretty sure I'd rather go DVI or HDMI if I have the option. How many DVI inputs should I need in a TV? (sorry, but I'm still baffled at how to hook up everything - and that really is cramping my learning curve and keeps me from feeling like i know enough to settle on one tv over many others.)

I'm going to have a dish receiver, PS2, DVD, VCR, and Gamecube -- what would you reccomend I plan on using to hook each up to the TV - (ie, what cables - DVI, HDMI, component etc) Knowing what to expect there would really help me narrow the search for a TV. :)

"Technically (just as digital cable is) all satellite channels are digital. If you're asking if some of the channels were originally analog before converted to digital and uplinked to the satellite then I wouldn't know for sure (but doubt it). The locals channels (NBC,ABC,CBS,Fox,PBS,etc) provided by dish certainly are analog based and you can see a lower quality."

So, basically, the number of analog channels will certainly be a minority (?) that's good! but if i get the HD service from dish, wouldn't channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX all be offering HD shows? please help me understand how that works - and what I'll need to do to ensure that I can see nbc, abc,etc in HD.

"For HD channels the receiver will provide two methods of getting channels. One you can subscribe to HD channels from dish. And two using a TV antenna you'll be able to get digital stations (for free) which may show HD programs but SD will look much better than the analog OTA you may be getting now. "

I can't put up an extra antenna. We rent :( -- but I don't think i understood... doesn't OTA refer to channels picked up on an external antenna? if so - i'm not getting any OTA channels now.

So - are you saying that SD on OTA looks better than SD through Dish's digital cable? (sorry, I'm confused again :)

Thanks again for your help jergenf!!

Evan

jim5506
10-20-2005, 09:45 PM
So, basically, the number of analog channels will certainly be a minority (?) that's good! but if i get the HD service from dish, wouldn't channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX all be offering HD shows? please help me understand how that works - and what I'll need to do to ensure that I can see nbc, abc,etc in HD.
Evan
ALL channels received over the satellite are digital, none are analog. Very few if not NONE of the locals are HD over satellite at this time. If you want your locals in HD, you must install an Over the Air (OTA) antenna and connect it to your HD tuner.


I can't put up an extra antenna. We rent :( -- but I don't think i understood... doesn't OTA refer to channels picked up on an external antenna? if so - i'm not getting any OTA channels now.
Evan
Whether you own or rent Federal Regulations require that you have access to OTA , If you have a satellite dish, you can mount an OTA antenna to it (offset pipe from the base).

Look up your address on www.antennaweb.org and on the page that displays your channels, click on the Digital channels, to see which digital channels you may receive OTA. There you also will get a recommendation as to how powerful your antenna must be to receive programming digitally OTA.


So - are you saying that SD on OTA looks better than SD through Dish's digital cable? (sorry, I'm confused again :)
Evan
SD OTA on a digital channel is better quality picture than digital over satellite in most cases, because OTA digital channels are wider bandwidth (more data being received).

jergenf
10-21-2005, 07:43 AM
--what did you set the output res. from your dish receiver (720p, 1080i) ?
If i get a lcd hdtv with a native resolution of 720p, shouldn't i make sure to out put 720p from receiver to tv? -- and if i get a native 720p res tv - will that be good enough to handle SD and HD through the dish receiver?
I have mine set to 1080i but if your LCD display is native 720p then set it for that instead.


--also, can you tell me more about your DVR from dish? i was told by someone in cust. support that a basic reciever was $50. one time payment - then $5. for first 4 months, then 9.99 each month after.
i didn't ask about their dvrs... should I wait until they switch over to all DVR receivers?
I haven't kept up with the latest prices but that sound like a rental plan for the 811. The 942 DVR had $250 up front and $5 monthly for a new customer (only) lease plan. The MSRP for the present HD receivers are $399 for the 811, $699 for the 942 DVR and $549 for the 921 DVR (no longer available from dish). New HD receivers and DVRs that are mpeg4 capable will be announced soon and probably be available early next year. Until then I don't what's in store for all those that have the present receivers

I'm still trying to figure out the differences between all thier recivers.
is there an agreed upon Best receiver to request? 811? ...?
If money is no object the 942 DVR would probably be it. Remember that will be obsoleted by the 962 (rumored to be the mpeg4 version of the 942) next year.

I'm pretty sure I'd rather go DVI or HDMI if I have the option. How many DVI inputs should I need in a TV? (sorry, but I'm still baffled at how to hook up everything - and that really is cramping my learning curve and keeps me from feeling like i know enough to settle on one tv over many others.) Of course the more the merrier but I've haven't heard of a set that has more than one DVI or HDMI input. Some do have multiple component inputs.

I'm going to have a dish receiver, PS2, DVD, VCR, and Gamecube -- what would you reccomend I plan on using to hook each up to the TV - (ie, what cables - DVI, HDMI, component etc) Knowing what to expect there would really help me narrow the search for a TV. :)
HD receiver --> DVI or HDMI
DVD --> Component (if unit is 480p capable) else S-Video.
VCR --> S-Video or Composite.
PS2 and Gamecube --> S-Video or Composite (may need to connect on an as needed basis depending how many input are available). Could also use RF input as last resort.

DVI is a 24 pin digital connector also found on computer graphic cards. Some (DVI-I) have additional 4 pins with RGB analog capability.
HDMI is a new smaller connector appearing in the latest HD displays. It has all the digital signal that DVI has plus more pin for audio.
Component is very simular to RGB except it's Y,Pr,Pb (Y=luminance or B&W replacing the green portion).

DVI, component, s-video, composite still require L&R audio connections.

So, basically, the number of analog channels will certainly be a minority (?) that's good! but if i get the HD service from dish, wouldn't channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX all be offering HD shows? please help me understand how that works - and what I'll need to do to ensure that I can see nbc, abc,etc in HD.
Presently dish only offers CBS-HD and that only qualified in 17 cites. In the distant future HD locals may be available. Officially all sat channels are digital, I just meant that the locals that dish provides usually digitized from the analog feeds.

I can't put up an extra antenna. We rent :( -- but I don't think i understood... doesn't OTA refer to channels picked up on an external antenna? if so - i'm not getting any OTA channels now.

So - are you saying that SD on OTA looks better than SD through Dish's digital cable? (sorry, I'm confused again :)
Evan
Maybe you can use an indoor antenna or a small omni directional that can be mounted above the dish, but you're going to need something if you want your locals in HD. Dish is only providing SD versions for locals at an extra $5-6.

As Jim stated the SD quality from the OTA digital stations is better than the sat channels because there's less limitations on bandwidth. Also they're 480p where SD sat channels are 480i only.

RSawdey
10-21-2005, 07:05 PM
There is a lot of misinformation here... digital transmission doesn't mean the signal isn't sourced & displayed via analog. And digital TV doesn't mean HD, although all HD is digital... there are 18 different ATSC formats, including SD & ED & HDTV.

480i is the analog NTSC standard we've used since the '30s... it's also called SDTV (standard def TV). For transmission over Satellite, this is digitized & compressed with MPEG2 @ Low Level. This is modulated onto the analog microwaves, received by your dish, then demodulated decompressed and converted back to analog for output. Just like digital cable, but with the wire replaced by microwaves & a different modulation type. It's digitally transmitted, but captured & displayed as analog.

When the 480i is captured or converted to digital - and then stored & displayed as digital - it's the digital equivalent that is part of the new digital ATSC standard. Same low res and slow framerate but transmitted with noiseless digital perfection all the way to the display.

EDTV is the same res as SDTV, but has been deinterlaced to progressive 480p... or captured (etc) with a digital TV camera like DV camcorders.

HDTV's higher specs must use the MPEG2 @ high level codec... it's got too much data for the low level... 720p at 24, 30, or 60 fps, and 1080i&p at 24 or 30 fps are the HD formats.

The vast majority of channels on either Sat or Digital Cable were analog captured 480i SDTV. Unless the channel is called out as HDTV, you must assume SDTV. OTA broadcast digital TV is either 720p or 1080i. Fox WAS 480p EDTV, but they've upgraded to real 720p HDTV. For simplicity of operation, stations upconvert old narrowscreen analog content to the HD format they use, and broadcast as HD... but the OBSERVED quality will be 480 lines - upconversion doesn't invent any new detail.

The format you configure your STB to depends on your TV. CRT based TVs, both direct view & RPTV, are natively interlaced 1080i. All other technologies are progressive - either 720p or 1080p. If the TV does a better format conversion than your STB, and for all 1080p TVs, you would ideally pass thru all formats unconverted... but not all STBs have this feature. If you don't have pass thru, or for 720p & 1080i TVs with format converters of quality equivalent to your STB's, set the output format to the format closest to the native res of the display. CRTs and Plasma can suffer phosphor burn, so you'll want to stretch narrow content... other technologies are burn proof, so the image can be kept in it's proper aspect unstretched.

Bosco
10-21-2005, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by evanmartin
I would really appreciate any help from those who have the Dish
Set Top Box for HD - I'd be interested in knowing what your experiences
are with how well it handles stretching for SD content.
I have the 811 receiver and personally do not like the stretch mode. The picture is distored.

Originally posted by evanmartin
I'm still trying to figure out the differences between all thier recivers.
is there an agreed upon Best receiver to request? 811?
The 811 is a good receiver, but you cannot record with it. As an existing customer (for several years) we upgraded to the 811 after we bought a HD ready TV last year. DN switched out the old dish and installed the 811 at no charge. We still pay the say rental as the old receiver, which is 5 bucks a month. We also, have the HD package for 9.99 a month (not happy with that package though :( ). Go with a DVR ... I plan on upgrading soon myself.

Originally posted by evanmartin
I can't put up an extra antenna. We rent -- but I don't think i understood... doesn't OTA refer to channels picked up on an external antenna? if so - i'm not getting any OTA channels now.
If you're in a city and close to a tower you can use an indoor antenna for local OTA (over the air) TV stations in digital and HD. That's what I have and it works great, but I will say that I am only about 3 miles from the tower. As previously mentioned, go to www.antennaweb.org for help. You will need to attach the cable from that indoor antenna to your DN HD receiver and then scan for digital channels in order to receive them.

evanmartin
10-24-2005, 05:19 PM
Thank you all for the info. Please keep this thread going if you have more to say - I'm still listening. :)

Unfortunately, I'm still not too clear about what to expect. I've heard that everyone is dissappointed with their SD reception on HDTVs. I've read, and re-read all the above posts, and I'm still not positive that I understand if the Dish digital signal is the same as SD - and if this is what everyone is let down by.

I'm also really confused about why Dish is asking for 9.99 a month to upgrade to HD reception if they are only offering one channel.
Does this mean that - if i get a HDTV and then upgrade to the HD plan with dish, that I won't just be able to sit back and watch Lost in HD - or any other show on ABC or NBC or FOX that says it's being broadcast in HD?

Would I be able to view Lost on ABC in HD if I get a HDTV with built in Tuner - and do not connect to the upgraded Dish HD package?

I went to antennaweb and it says that I'll have to get the large, medium, and small antennas and even then I still won't be able to get ABC - which has Lost.
So, how in the world can I view Lost - or any other show - in HD?

Will Dish let me get the Zoom channels for no extra charge?

Are there other channels offered in the HD package from Dish that ARE HD?
if so, what are they?

I really appreciate all the help - and I can't believe how complicated this is to begin understanding.

Thank you all
Evan

evanmartin
10-24-2005, 06:25 PM
just a follow up --- i've heard podcasts where they guys say thier favorite show is CSI in HD - they didn't say what channel or how they were viewing it.
if CSI is on DISH network spike - will it come in HD?
i noticed that Surface is broadcast on NBC in HD where available. SO, how do I can I know for sure that what ever HDTV i get will be able to receive all the shows in HD that are being offered in HD.?

Thanks again.
Evan

rbinck
10-24-2005, 07:04 PM
With Dish Network in order to view network (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC etc.)programming in HD you will need an antenna, most likely mounted outside depending on how far you are from the transmitters. Once you get this setup, then most of the primetime shows are broadcast in HD. To see specifically what is available go to www.titantv.com (http://www.titantv.com/) and enter your zip code. Also select the Digital Broadcast.

Edit: Also as far as analog SD goes, I had one customer that kept his 301 SD receiver for viewing SD programs. The 301 had a much better picture than the 811 so he switches to the 301 to watch SD. He also uses the 301 to allow the PIP feature to work and to hook into his VCR for recording his wife's soaps.

evanmartin
10-24-2005, 08:52 PM
assuming that i can't set up an external antenna - if a show is aired in HD on any network - OR, if a show is aired in widescreen - will it automatically fill the 16:9 screen on my HDTV without artifical stretching?
or, will it appear in 4:3 - forcing me to view it with zoom - thereby causing artifacts and degraded image?

Evan

rbinck
10-24-2005, 09:20 PM
If you can't get an antenna then you will not be able to get network broadcasts in HD unless you qualify for a waiver. You will only be able to get SD material which will require stretching or zooming if you have to have it full screen.

evanmartin
10-25-2005, 04:50 PM
With Dish Network in order to view network (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC etc.)programming in HD you will need an antenna, most likely mounted outside depending on how far you are from the transmitters. Once you get this setup, then most of the primetime shows are broadcast in HD. To see specifically what is available go to www.titantv.com (http://www.titantv.com/) and enter your zip code. Also select the Digital Broadcast.

ok - i checked titan and i see a lot of HD content on stations other than just the big four. now, for shows that come on TNTHD, DISC-HD, HDNET, HBOHD, EQUA, GAL, ANIA (those are some of the ones popping up on a titantv search for my current time on DISH eastern). I understand that I'll need to have an antenna to view fox, nbc, abc, cbs in HD - and that those channels will only show HD content in 16x9 if I have that antenna - but what about the other channels listed above? how do they work? are they apart of the DISH HD package for 9.99 extra each month? if i tune to any of those channels and turn on an HDTV, what can i expect to see? (will the picture fill the 16x9 screen? how about PQ?)


Edit: Also as far as analog SD goes, I had one customer that kept his 301 SD receiver for viewing SD programs. The 301 had a much better picture than the 811 so he switches to the 301 to watch SD. He also uses the 301 to allow the PIP feature to work and to hook into his VCR for recording his wife's soaps.


would dish charge extra for that?
hmm... does that mean that with a 811 I won't be able to hook up my vcr to record shows? I'm on a real strict budget - and i may not be able to afford a DVR right now.

Thanks again!

evanmartin
10-25-2005, 04:53 PM
If you can't get an antenna then you will not be able to get network broadcasts in HD unless you qualify for a waiver. You will only be able to get SD material which will require stretching or zooming if you have to have it full screen.

you mean SD material on the big 4 channels? right?

i'm still confused about the difference - if any - between SD and digital. i thought that all DIsh channels were coming in Digital to the Dish HD STB.
and I thought that digital content played with better PQ on HDTVs than SD does. Does this make sense? can you help straighten me out please?
:)
thanks
Evan

jergenf
10-26-2005, 08:41 AM
OTA analog and digital broadcasts:
With OTA there are two methods of transmission. Analog is the method that has been in place for over 50 years and will end in few. Digital transmission is now becoming the new standard and broardcasters may use any of the 18 formats (see chart below). Note that 6 formats are HD and all are 16:9. If you see any other aspect ratio on an HD channel then the station is providing the side bars or letterbox.

Presently many local OTA stations are broadcasting both analog and digital at the same time. The digital channel will reside on a different frequency, example channel 10 analog may have it digital station on chan 58 however that channel identifies itself as chan 10-1.

Subchannels:
Something new to digital is that in the bit stream of 19.4 Mbits, there may be space available to send multiple programs (multicasting) so that station may show up as 10-1 and 10-2 each showing different programs. In fact there could be as many as 4 or more SD quality channels coming from one single digital channel or on the other hand it may devote the entire bandwidth to a single HD transmission.

Digital cable and satellite broadcasts:
With digital cable and satellite they are providing their own method and definitions for channel bandwidth. Usually they have lower resolution because they're trying to meet analog quality levels and also want to provide more channels in the same space. Now that people have HD sets they're starting to notice the difference in quality where with their older sets the quality appeared equal or better before. Typically they try to fit 6 or more channels in the same space as a single OTA digital has.


SD analog vs digital:
Although analog is not defined in digital terms I'm going try to express it in those terms anyway. At the broadcast station the program is recorded at something like 640x480. But when analog is send OTA the picture is divided into two images. The first is a B&W (luminance or Y) picture at full resolution and the other is chroma (color information or C) which is at one third the resolution. The color TV combines the two images to generate one complete color image. The picture quality result is about 320x480 or half the color resolution it was at the station.
With digital the 640x480 picture is converted into numbers and send so the result is you get the entire color resolution at your set. You need to have a digital OTA tuner (either built-in to your HD set or separate set top box) in order to pickup digital broadcasts, but fortunately that's included in todays HD satellite tuners.

Crappy SD/HD:
One rule about picture quality is that the initial quality of the program determines the overall quality. If the program was origianlly from VHS tape, even if you digitize it, up convert into HD it won't look any better than it started out as. Allot of times people will say one HD channel looks like crap compared to another but it really a matter of where they get their source material.


If you have a HDTV or HD ready set then you'll see these formats at full resolution. If you don't have a HD set then using a digital tuner you'll receive these formats but would be forced to watch it from the NTSC type outputs. In that case the image quality will be down converted to 480i (see as #1 on this chart).


# Name Format Aspect Resolution Frames
Ratio horz x vert per/sec
================================================== ===
1 SDTV 480i 4:3 640 x 480 30
2 SDTV 480i 4:3 704 x 480 30
3 SDTV 480i 16:9 704 x 480 30

4 EDTV 480p 4:3 640 x 480 24
5 EDTV 480p 4:3 640 x 480 30
6 EDTV 480p 4:3 640 x 480 60
7 EDTV 480p 4:3 704 x 480 24
8 EDTV 480p 4:3 704 x 480 30
9 EDTV 480p 4:3 704 x 480 60
10 EDTV 480p 16:9 704 x 480 24
11 EDTV 480p 16:9 704 x 480 30
12 EDTV 480p 16:9 704 x 480 60

13 HDTV 720p 16:9 1280 x 720 24
14 HDTV 720p 16:9 1280 x 720 30
15 HDTV 720p 16:9 1280 x 720 60
16 HDTV 1080i 16:9 1920 x 1080 30
17 HDTV 1080p 16:9 1920 x 1080 24
18 HDTV 1080p 16:9 1920 x 1080 30

evanmartin
10-28-2005, 07:52 PM
thanks so much for everyone who replied. I've been away from my computer for a few days and couldn't say thanks sooner - but I really do appreciate your time with helping me understand.

now i need to start narrowing down which LCD TV to get. I'm thinking the Sharp, or maybe an LG that i saw the other night at CC.

Thanks again!
Evan

jergenf
11-01-2005, 11:21 AM
When searching for a LCD TV look at native resolution, response time and contrast ratio.
Many LCD TVs have native resolution 1280x768 or 1366x768 or even 1920 x 1080.
Example BenQ has a 37 inch 1080p display.
Response time (measured in msec) is the amount of time it takes for a given pixel to change from one color to another. The lower the better else you'll get smear, ghosting or blur during fast motion scenes. In theory 16 ms means it can change colors 60 time per second however different verdors have different methods for their measuring response times. For example some use black to white others use gray to gray while some others might quote average or typical (which is totally useless).

evanmartin
11-01-2005, 05:07 PM
When searching for a LCD TV look at native resolution, response time and contrast ratio.
Many LCD TVs have native resolution 1280x768 or 1366x768 or even 1920 x 1080.
Example BenQ has a 37 inch 1080p display.


intersting. - anyone have input on if there's a noticable/significant/worth-the-extra-cost-if-it's-a-deal-breaker
difference between 1280x768 and 1366x768?

and - are resolutions like this different from saying that a tv's native
res is 720p or 1080i?

Evan

jergenf
11-02-2005, 08:17 AM
intersting. - anyone have input on if there's a noticable/significant/worth-the-extra-cost-if-it's-a-deal-breaker
difference between 1280x768 and 1366x768?

and - are resolutions like this different from saying that a tv's native
res is 720p or 1080i?

Evan
The standard HD resolution are 1280x720 and 1920x1080 so the LCDs (assuming 16:9) would have to interpolate those resolutions to fit 1280x768 or 1366x768. For average TV viewing the ammount of distortion would hardly be noticable but if you were to use it as a computer display distortion to "text characters" would be quite apparent. Also for computer displays 1280x768 is a supported resolution however the correct aspect ratio should be 15:9 (1.67:1) not 16:9 (1.78:1).

I believe Sharp has 1366 (86 more pixels horizontally) so I imagine at 1920x1080 you would squeeze the extra 6% more resolution than 720p would provide. But without being able to display true HD test patterns it's hard to say how well these LCD displays interpolate.