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

edited 29 May 2012 at 6:02PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
37 replies 9.4K views
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  • Percy1983Percy1983 Forumite
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    I will say there can be a difference between HD ready and Full HD and full HD screen won't ways be better, when playing SD material a good (decent brand) HD ready set will usually be better than a cheap full HD set.

    As mentioned all means nothing if you don't feed it a HD signal.

    Personally I recently bought myself a new TV and actually got a cheaper model without built in freeview HD as I would be using a HTPC which is Freeview HD/Freesat HD/Blu-ray/HD-DVD capable.
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  • ~Brock~~Brock~ Forumite
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    ...and other news just in....Apollo 11 has landed on the moon....
  • jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    It's worth remembering that Martin is in an area that only just switched to digital service. Others may have done it three years ago but for his local area some of the digital issues are news. There will still be people investigating the market and discovering these things until the end of October as the last people in Northern Ireland do their buying.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    jonthedog wrote: »
    CRT IS better!
    :p
    Yes, but the size of the REAR of those sets makes them very heavy and unwieldy. As a result, the very large (40" plus) viewing area available with flat screen TVs was never available with Cathode Ray Tubes.
    Regardless, it's only a matter of time before advances in flat screen technology make CRTs even more akin to stylus turntables and VHS video recorders...
  • Percy1983Percy1983 Forumite
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    The whole argument about CRT being better is partially false.

    The main downfall of all flat screens is they don't have the same native resolution as an SD source so all require scaling, now a scaled picture will always suffer.

    On the flip side if you feed a 1080p LCD a 1080p signal the advantage the CRT had is now in the hands of the LCD.

    CRT is best for SD, LCD/Plasma is best for HD.

    I know which I prefer.
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  • jonthedogjonthedog Forumite
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    The whole argument about CRT being better is partially false.

    I only mentioned CRTs because Martin's original post's argument was that, in relation to HD Ready vs 'Full HD':
    Far too many people buy these tellies and feel ripped off as they can hardly notice a difference with their picture.
    Martin's proposition that this has anything to do with 'HD Ready' is completely and demonstrably false for reason's numerous posters have mentioned, the principle one being that 1080p pictures aren't actual broadcast in the UK - which Martin really should have known if he had done his homework.

    I was only mentioning that from my own experience with a side-by-side comparison with a decent brand LCD vs CRT, SD quality was unacceptably poor on the LCD, something that unless you do the comparison, most people wouldn't realize. This is far more likely to be the cause of 'people feeling ripped of as they can hardly notice a difference with their picture'. It was only by fiddling around with the settings on the LCD I go the picture to look something approaching the CRT quality for SD, but a lot of people again wouldn't realize this was necessary.

    My own experience of HD is that it is great for some things, but I find that for watching dramas and sitcoms it looks 'too real'...it feels like you are watching a am-dram production in your room rather than having the layer of abstraction that the previous blurring provided. For fast moving things like sports, it is great when the camera is still, but is obviously goes all blurry on the tracking shots, before settling down again...an effect I find a bit nauseating. This is dependent on things like refresh rate and processing and most definitely NOT 'Full HD' vs HD Ready, however; a decent 720p plasma is likely to deliver much, much better performance than a cheap 1080p LCD.
  • Percy1983Percy1983 Forumite
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    On the flipside 1080i does work better on a 1080p screen than a HD ready screen, yes it may be interlaced which does have drawbacks but it does still maintain 1080 lines, in many respects is 1920x540px2 (interlaced of course), with that any decent 1080p screen will deinterlace rather nicely.

    I will say in my case I run Bluray and video games which are all 1080p so its certainly worthwhile to me.

    As I say CRT will have an instant advantage due to native resolutions so if you look backwards CRT is the best, if you look forwards HD is the best.

    I do still think Martins advice is good, but maybe a bit late, up north we had the change over a while ago and there where many more HD ready tvs then.
    Have my first business premises (+4th business) 01/11/2017
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  • wikipedia has a pretty good page on this, if anyone's interested.

    ultimately, though, the confusion has nothing to do with the label, and everything to do with the source of the picture *and* the size of the screen.

    at 32" or less, there's no benefit to 720 or 1080 resolutions compared to sd unless you're sitting inches away from the screen. hell, on a 50" tv there's no visible difference between 720 and 1080 unless you're sitting closer than about eight feet!

    realistically, hd ready just means that the tv has an hdmi connector and can display 720p/1080i pictures and supports HDCP. that's all. it doesn't say anything about the *resolution* of the screen - that's an entirely separate ballgame. you could potentially have a tv that has a 720p resolution (still better than sd) that downscales the incoming 1080i signal to fit the resolution of the screen and that's still hd ready.

    ultimately, there are three things to be considered when buying an hd tv:
    1. the exact input signals that can be decoded i.e. 576i, 576p, 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p.
    2. the display resolution of the tv: this can be anything, but *native hd* means it has 1920x1080 pixels, meaning it doesn't have to scale the image. this is (almost always) better. hd ready 1080p meets this.
    3. how far away you'll be sitting. google 'tv viewing distance' (i can't post links, i'm afraid) and you'll find an array of calculators that'll give you the numbers, but as an example a 50" tv's recommended viewing distance for 1080 pixel resolution in terms of visual acuity is 6.5 feet. any further away, the average human would need a bigger tv to see the benefit of 1080 over 720.

    other than those, the only other things to consider are your sources - the tv signal, blu ray, media centre, etc. they need to be hd as well, or you might as well have not bothered.
  • thelawnetthelawnet Forumite
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    I was in Currys today, and an elderly couple were walking out with a 23" 3d TV. They were saying 'your sales person is so helpful' to the cashier. I did a !!!!!!? and went to check the price. Sure enough, £60 more than the non-3d version, and a complete waste of their money, full HD and 3d on a tiny screen, and both of them wearing bifocals to boot!

    Likewise, 'HD ready' is just fine for most TV buyers, it will be cheaper, and reducing TV buying to counting lines is just silly. If you are going to buy a £1200 50" TV, then no, HD Ready is not a good idea, but for the TVs that are actually being sold as 'HD Ready', it's just fine - we are talking about £200 supermarket specials here.
  • hpusehpuse Forumite
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    What plays and the "source" of the HD content is the other important thing which he has forgotten to mention.
    720p is what Virgin Media and Sky broadcast so "HD Ready" is more than enough - 80% of the public falls in this category here in the UK.

    On the other hand, if you plan to watch Blu-ray disc with original content recorded on 1080p 5 times a day, then you need a full-HD.

    Information is best kept when it is simple to understand...not confusing.
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