'Don't buy a HD Ready telly thinking it's high-definition – it's not' blog discussion

Former_MSE_Helen Former MSE Posts: 2,382 Forumite
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • MarkLS12
    MarkLS12 Forumite Posts: 243 Forumite
    edited 29 May 2012 at 7:16PM
    It also worth considering that for screen sizes under 32" most people would be hard pushed to see a difference between the picture on a "HD Ready" TV and "Full HD 1080p" TV.

    There also the problem of TVs being HD and having Freeview built in but not supporting Freeview HD channels.
  • jamesd
    jamesd Forumite Posts: 25,833
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 29 May 2012 at 7:59PM
    Perhaps "Half HD" should be reserved for 3D sets that don't provide 1080i or 1080p to each eye but instead split the picture so that each gets half?

    The bigger potential rip-off with a HD Ready set is the complete lack of any digital tuner requirement, so you get no picture at all unless you have an extra piece of equipment.

    For HD itself the bigger ripoff is the lack of content and complete lack, so far as I know, of any 1080p service. So every TV is only half HD at best - either interleaved 1080i showing half the lines at once or 720p. Then there are the half TV channels that use lots of compression instead of full bandwidth.

    HD Ready works and does what it says. Better to look forward to the newer challenges or require "no picture without extra equipment" labels for HD Ready sets.
  • paddyrg
    paddyrg Forumite Posts: 13,543 Forumite
    HD *typically* comes in 2 flavours (720p/1080i and 1080p), but there is no definition of HD beyond being a marketing term. It is just not SD (Standard Definition). Must admit I am surprised this is news enough to be bloggable, we're best part of a decade or so into 'HD'. There are also many more, higher resolutions and aspect ratios used in cinematic digital projection for instance.

    Interlacing was a stroke of genius for making pictures seem smoother, especially for things like sports. In fact, football etc look pretty horrible when shot progressive. Progressive works well with a good cinematographer who understands how fast an object can and cannot pass through a frame, or the fastest you can pan without getting stuttering. Alas everybody thinks progressive images are inherently 'better' than interlaced ones, the case isn't as simple as that.

    Me, I actually still prefer the picture on a good CRT.
  • ronangel
    ronangel Forumite Posts: 124 Forumite
    when you buy a "full HD" (1080p) television make sure that it has a HD freeview tuner incorporated or you will not be able to watch HD freeview channels without an external HD tuner which defeats the point! unless you are only going to watch via a freeview HD satellite receiver.
    The richard montgomery matter

  • redux
    redux Forumite Posts: 22,977
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Given that probably quite a few people will have been buying new TVs recently, triggered into it by approaching digital switchover, which has now happened across about 90% of the country, I think Martin could have produced this useful advice a little earlier.

    Switchover here started roughly a couple of months ago, and the old Freeview box was superseded, and the CRT telly I bought on eBay a few years back has always had its digital tuner go off after half an hour, so although one choice was just another Freeview box the excuse for a new telly instead managed to gain ground.

    So I looked into and got the hang of all of this a couple of months ago, and I don't think I'll have been alone.

    I reckoned if it was going to be HD at all it might as well be 1080, and went for one also supporting having an internet connection.
  • worried_jim
    worried_jim Posts: 11,631
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 31 May 2012 at 7:47AM
    I bought a 43" HD ready 3D Samsung for £364 in December and I knew that it isn't full hd, but for £364 it is stunning and I certainly have no issues with it or the wonderful picture quality.
  • CoolHotCold
    CoolHotCold Forumite Posts: 2,158
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    A lot of people forget to figure out where they are going to be sitting and how far away the TV is going to be.

    The Screen size and distance to the viewing area makes a big difference in buying a TV along with the source.

    For example viewing SD content on a 42" TV (capable of 1080p) would be about 12 feet minimum distance, any closer and you would notice the blockness (though most image processors nowerdays are good at filling in the blanks (remember 576 resolution is only the source, you still see all 1080 lines, which means the TV is creating 500 extra lines which it's made up itself) ) but back to the distance, viewing 1080p content on a 1080p 42" TV would only be about half the distance (meaning you can sit closer without noticing any problems).

    Also the further away you are from the TV the bigger the screen should be.
  • Azari
    Azari Forumite Posts: 4,317
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    One point about the naming that you missed:

    HD ready was originally used for TV's that would accept HD input but did not have an HD tuner.

    For some time, the only HD would come from DSat and HD DVD's.

    It was only after HD became available of Freeview that you could have a stand-alone TV that showed HD. (There might have been the odd Freesat integrated TV with an HD tuner but if there was, they were rare.)
    There are two types of people in the world: Those that can extrapolate information.
  • jgriggle
    jgriggle Forumite Posts: 165 Forumite
    The best way is to trust your own eyes. There are some great 720 line 'HD Ready' TVs out there and some not so great 1080 line 'Full HD' sets.

    My four year old 42" 720 line Panasonic plasma still shows a better picture both in standard and HD modes than a lot of modern 1080 line TVs.

    At the time I bought it I was working in the TV/Home Cinema trade so had the luxury of being able to have a good play with lots of models, both 720 and 1080.
  • lincoln_dj
    lincoln_dj Forumite Posts: 47
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    "And that’s why we should find a new term to describe lower 720 resolution TVs."

    There already is - 720p. Every TV I've ever looked at will say either 720p or 1080p. it's really not that difficult at all...
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 340.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 448.3K Spending & Discounts
  • 231.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 603K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 171.6K Life & Family
  • 245.1K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards