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Displays Television Technology

Beyond HDTV 354

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-me-pixels-or-give-me-death dept.
The Hub writes "The Economist writes a thoughtful article about the next generation of HDTVs and how they will provide resolutions beyond 1080p. The drive for higher resolution is driven in part by the demands of 3D content. Also, some see streaming higher resolution content to the home as a way to make up for declining DVD sales. This would mean the studios would have to better embrace services such as Netflix or stream directly to the consumer. Mind you, picture quality is driven by more than the number of pixels."
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Beyond HDTV

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:01PM (#36927182)

    I would venture to guess that 80%-90% of the people buying HDTV's are doing it either because their old TV broke and it's the only thing available, or because they heard it was cool from a friend and wanted it for their Superbowl party. Either way, almost no one really understands it or even knows how to get the most out of all that resolution as it is NOW. We're talking people who buy 32" HDTV's and sit 10 feet away from them, thinking they're getting "high definition." We're talking people who hook up DVD (and even blu-ray) players to their HDTV's with composite cables. We're talking people who still have the same SD cable box they've had for years, thinking that the channels "really look better now in HD."

    Joe isn't even ready for 1080p. This whole "let's add even MORE resolution" thing is just industry hype. It's Sony and Samsung thinking that if they just keep adding new gimmicks that people will constantly trade up their TV's like they trade up their computers. Joe Sixpack already has a perfectly good HDTV that he isn't even using to its full potential as it is, but they want him to go out and buy a TV with a resolution that he would need a magnifying glass to even appreciate. Welcome to America!

    • by PitaBred (632671)

      Yeah. I have a 61" 1080p TV, and I'm not sure I could make out any higher resolution on it sitting at normal viewing distances. Higher resolution might be nice for theatres and archiving, but not for the general user. Hell, I rip all my Blu-Rays to hard drive so I can watch them more easily and if it's nothing that is special-effects heavy I encode it at 720p to save disk space. What good would higher resolution do?

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        If you use it on a TV, resolution doesn't really matter. For a better display like a monitor, going below 1200p vertical is bad. Ok, assuming you weren't sold some shitty 768p piece of junk.

        • A monitor has a different use case. I'm not watching movies on my monitor terribly often, but I may do video editing. I also have 3 monitors hooked up to my PC. But I only have one big TV for watching movies/TV/console games (media center PC for the video).

          My point is that 1080p is more than enough for most people. As the OP said, many people are running their HDTVs at sub-HD resolutions and don't even realize it. I have a pretty large screen and 1080 vertical lines is about the limit of usefulness on it. Most people won't have a TV that large, or a place to put it. So higher-resolution video wins 99% of people absolutely nothing. It'll get a few people with thousands of dollars to throw away bragging rights, and that's about it. We're just reaching the limit of returns for improvements in resolution as far as the physical realities of people's eyes and their lifestyles are concerned. Just like SACD is a lot better technically than a CD [wikipedia.org], but... there's just no compelling reason for it for the vast majority of consumers.

          • by eharvill (991859) on Friday July 29, 2011 @08:31PM (#36929758)

            A monitor has a different use case. I'm not watching movies on my monitor terribly often, but I may do video editing. I also have 3 monitors hooked up to my PC. But I only have one big TV for watching movies/TV/console games (media center PC for the video).

            Yes, monitors do have much different use cases, but they have been royally screwed over by the TV 1080P standard. I recently purchased a 2nd monitor and could not find a match for my 3 year old 24" 1920x1200 display. I had to settle for a 23" 1080P. Very irritating to say the least. I guess the one good side effect is that monitors are dirt cheap these days.

    • by djdanlib (732853)

      Hmm. I can construe a few scenarios in which SD channels look better than they did before, when displayed on an HDTV.

      1. If you had a really cheap, crappy set that gave you ~240 lines of vertical resolution, instead of the full 480i.
      2. If you're tuning them in digitally over the air or via cable, you won't get the wavy lines or snow that happened with analog signal interference. Although, digital noise is (IMO) a lot worse - you get blocks eating your picture and the sound cuts out. Personally, I would prefe

      • by hitmark (640295)

        In theory, at the point where digital goes crappy your looking at a unwatchable analog signal anyways. In practice however, the amount of error correction included in a stream is adjusted by the service provider. And less correction data means they can fit more streams in a single data channel. End result is that all bets are off...

        • by PhotoJim (813785)

          Analog is watchable/listenable way past the point when digital hits the cliff. It might be annoyingly noisy or staticky, but you will be able to watch and hear what is happening. Analog cellular was the same; it could get very noisy but you'd still understand the caller. Digital cellular tends to have silent dropouts and you lose whole parts of the conversation.

          Of course, analog consumes bandwidth the way a Hummer H1 drinks gasoline, so it's not all good.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      It's all advertising. Assuming that you're sat 12ft from your TV you need a 40" TV to even tell the difference between DVD res (576p) and 720p, you need a 60" TV to see any more detail than 1080p. Given that the average joe probably doesn't even have a 40" TV, increasing res again is just another excuse to get people to buy a new TV and new media.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Whoever they base those distances on needs to see an optometrist.
        I tried it out one time at work. Our company installs home theaters so we have lots of TVs on moveable racks and I could beat that chart by about one whole step. Other people did better than that.

        Also 12' seems like a long way to sit from such a small set. That is what you get when you have a giant living room and then can't afford a proper sized display due to the mortgage payments on the Mansion.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          Also 12' seems like a long way to sit from such a small set. That is what you get when you have a giant living room and then can't afford a proper sized display due to the mortgage payments on the Mansion.

          No. That is what you get when you have people who don't live their lives around having an optimal viewing experience, who don't want to dedicate a whole wall to the TV, and arrange all the furniture in the living room to point at it...

          Some people do more with their living room than watch TV, and the role,

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Then put it in another room or buy a proper sized set.

            I bet far more fall into "can't afford a proper sized display due to the mortgage payments on the McMansion" set then the "do more with their living room than watch TV" set. These are the same folks that drive an SUV and never leave the paved road, nor have more than 4 family members.

            • by beelsebob (529313)

              If we've already established that these people have other things to do with their lives than watch their TV, why would they dedicate an entire room to their TV?

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                I am suggesting that most people do not. I disagree with your premise. Sure some people do, but for joe sixpack this is not the case.

            • by vux984 (928602)

              Then put it in another room or buy a proper sized set.

              They don't live around the TV. They watch it, but its not the center of their universe, even when watching it.

              My parents fall into this category.

              I bet far more fall into "can't afford a proper sized display due to the mortgage payments on the McMansion" set then the "do more with their living room than watch TV" set. These are the same folks that drive an SUV and never leave the paved road, nor have more than 4 family members.

              The mcmansion set charged a

        • by hitmark (640295)

          Not uncommon for people to have the TV along one wall and the couch along the opposing one. This quickly results in 12' if they are after making maximum use of the floor space in said room.

      • >It's all advertising.

        Sorry, but no. No. A thousand times, "No!"

        You can tell the difference between 480i and *anything* progressive on a 19" display across a smoky room the day after having laser eye surgery. It's the same difference you saw years ago when comparing any TV to any VGA monitor. It might have only been 640x480, but it had a pleasing "solid" appearance that was instantly visible compared to any TV.

        That said, the difference between 480p60 and higher-res isn't quite as dramatic. 720p60 is a ni

      • by timeOday (582209)
        This thread is missing the point - we don't need to worry about the "average joe" any more because on-demand viewing can be tailored to whomever is watching. Once you stop broadcasting and start unicasting, it would be absurd to send an 8 megapixel video stream to a cellphone for viewing. But somebody with a nice projection system (a few years down the road) might well be willing to pay extra for it. There will be little if any reason not to produce at high resolution and then downscale as necessary.

        As

    • by White Flame (1074973) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:19PM (#36927518)

      The whole 1080p thing has obliterated decent computer monitor resolutions. I don't give a rat's buttock about TVs and BluRays and home theater setups and all that crap, but the faster the mainstream media tech goes beyond 1080p, the faster I can have cheap high resolution computer monitors again.

      1080 is low resolution garbage when it comes to desktop displays.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        This!!

        My old CRT did 2560x2048 now the best I can find is 1920x1280.

      • by rsborg (111459) on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:26PM (#36929034) Homepage

        The whole 1080p thing has obliterated decent computer monitor resolutions. I don't give a rat's buttock about TVs and BluRays and home theater setups and all that crap, but the faster the mainstream media tech goes beyond 1080p, the faster I can have cheap high resolution computer monitors again.

        1080 is low resolution garbage when it comes to desktop displays.

        Worse than 1080p resolution limitations is the whole 16:9 craze in monitors.... what a useless ratio for work. I really would welcome back the 4:3, although I'm currently putting up with two 16:10 ratio monitors tilted 90degrees (using dual-monitor clamp [amazon.com] and a displaylink device)

    • by Jimbookis (517778)

      Most people were happy enough with their old standard definition CRT. I think these sorts of changes take time, much like the CD player slowly supplanting records and tape and DVDs slowly replacing VCRs. Current full HD as broadcast on free to air is crappy a lot of the time due to the heavy compression used at times by the network. A good case is sports with lots of movement or camera flashes on the news breaking out into what resembles a Lego(TM) rendition of the scene.

      SD-TV as TV production and edit

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Can someone invest as much into the quality of the content, as they are doing for the format?

      By "content", I am not just concerning myself with the visual appeal or other superficial characteristic. :-)

    • The ONLY reason HDTV ever took off is because they turned off the standard signal and they stopped making the $50 old tvs.

      Most people just want an inexpensive tv. To get people to move up they will either need to mandate the new technology or get it dirt cheap. DVD players only took off when they started costing less than a VCR and film companies figured out that you can make and then sell DVD's for real cheap.

    • Don't people watch TV to escape reality?

      As in entertainment?

      So what's with increasing resolution even beyond 1080p?

      Funnily enough, it's said in some movies, they actually digitally blurred an actresses forehead.

    • New consumer technology is never aimed at the Joe Sixpack of the time it is released, its an upgrade for Jane Enthusiast.

      Joe Sixpack is usually several iterations behind in terms of what they own, and often a couple more in terms of what they are making effective use of.

      With a proposed new technology, "Joe Sixpack isn't making effective use of what we have now" isn't really a meaningful criticism. Its almost always true in almost every domain, and it never is more than distantly related to the reason new te

    • by mochan_s (536939)

      1080p is just resolution - 1080p in itself is meaningless in terms of quality; DVDs can be unscaled to 1080p resolution and those DVD players are delivering 1080p resolution but it looks like crap.

      Blu-rays with components will look better because there is less compression artifacts than DVDs and the color depth (number of available colors) is higher than in DVDs. Again sitting 10ft will not diminish the higher color depths. As for cable boxes, the cost of cable is more per year than the cost of a TV and upg

  • At some point, displays have a high enough resolution that the human eye can't tell when the picture is any sharper. We've got to be getting close to that, no?
    • At some point, displays have a high enough resolution that the human eye can't tell when the picture is any sharper. We've got to be getting close to that, no?

      We already have in many cases. Got a 40" TV? No point going beyond 1080p unless you sit less than 5 feet away. 60" TV? You better sit less than 8 feet away if you want any more than 1080p. I'd suspect more than 90% of people sit further away than those distances, and thus they aren't even seeing the full benefit of current 1080p TVs.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Go see an optometrist.

        On a 60" screen anyone with a working set of eyes can see the difference between 720p and 1080p at 10' away.

        • by PitaBred (632671)

          You still can't see the full definition of 1080p until you get to about 8', even if you can tell the 1080p is better than the 720p, jackass. That's the point. You're still not going to want to sit much closer than 10' to a 60" display, and most people have a much smaller 40" or so display necessitating sitting much closer. 5-7', which means no laying down and watching TV. Another resolution jump over 1080p is going to have almost NO benefit for the vast majority of consumers, TVs or content.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I assure you I can do better than that. My corrected vision exceeds 20/20.
            Why would I not want to sit closer? Having the display fill my field of view is the whole point. Why does sitting at 6 feet mean no laying down? Is your couch bolted to the floor?

      • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:41PM (#36927874)

        And the misconceptions shown in that chart is exactly why we cant have nicer resolutions. That chart details the normal resolving capability of the human eye (one arcminute). The lines he drew there indicate when a person with 20/20 vision would be able to fully resolve each pixel. It does not account that a significant amount of the population can naturally see better than that, nor does it account for the fact that another significant amount of the population wears corrective lenses to see better than that. It does not account for the fact that certain structures like two parallel high contrast lines can be resolved significantly smaller than that. It does not account for the fact that structures smaller than that can still produce visible aliasing artifacts.

        Basically, someone somewhere took a couple minutes to find out the meaning of "20/20 vision" and decided that's all the better we ever need, without realizing that the human eye is far more complex than that single value depicts.

    • Yes at some sizes, no at others. That's kind of the problem with hi-res stuff, the actual resolution required be better than the human eye depends on the size of the display, and the distance at which you are viewing the display.

      We're much closer to hitting those limits in the mobile space than we are in the television space, and that seems to be the "screens that are ~300dpi" How much resolution you need to get the same experience in the front row of a home theatre with a 10+ foot screen, I dunno. But 1080

      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        How much resolution you need to get the same experience in the front row of a home theatre with a 10+ foot screen, I dunno.

        Although 35mm film has far more resolution than any other video source (about 4096 effective pixels hoizontal, with variable vertical because of different aspect ratios), a lot of movies are run through 2K digitizing (for special effects, color correction, etc.) before the final print is made.

        So, with a typical movie screen about 40-50 feet wide and sitting quite close (12 feet), you'd have the screen fill about 120 degrees of your field of view. Farther away (30 feet), the screen would fill about 70 degre

      • So we're getting there... but I do think at a certain point, you have to start releasing your media in different formats to suit different markets

        It used to be VHS for the cheapskates and laserdisc or DVD for the more discerning viewer. Now it's DVD for the cheapskates and BLU-ray for the more discerning viewer. I'm sure in time that will change again but each time I would expect the "more discerning viewer" category to get smaller.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      It all depends on the picture size. We simply don't expect TVs to fill our field of vision, only because it has never been practical to do so. If it were practical, I'm sure lots of people would like to have wall-sized "retinal" displays. I would, why not?
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I sure do. Sit closer, why pay all that money for a nice HDTV and not use it?

        The reason people sat so far away from old TVs was due to the low image quality, there is no reason to keep doing that.

  • by bradgoodman (964302) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:03PM (#36927232) Homepage
    3D doesn't necessarily require "higher resolution - what it requires is more fields per second. i.e. the ability to send two separate screen images, whereas now only one is sent.

    The way 3D TV works now, is they cheat, and squeeze two pictures into one image. That needs to stop.

    Apple's "retina" display gets its name, because the pixel size is small enough, that when viewed from arms-distance, has a small enough angle that the human retna can't distinguish individual pixels. Going any smaller won't by you anything.

    At what point does does this happen with - let's say a 52 inch TV, in my living room with a 12' viewing distance?

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Yes, a 52" 1080p screen at 12' is a "retina display" –so is a 60". Beyond that, it's not any more.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      ...Could this be a way to get people to regularly re-purchase appliances that typically last for a decade or more?

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      That "retina" gimmick is marketing bullshit, individual pixels there are not only visible but even somewhat annoying. I'm nearsighted and that gives a bonus to close range sight, but I can't believe a "normal person" wouldn't be able to see this.

    • by Twinbee (767046)

      Fields per second? Is that frames per second?

      We need more fps anyway for lots of reasons (less/no flicker, smoother motion, less/no blurring), so let's just go with that.

  • by tooyoung (853621) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:09PM (#36927328)

    The drive for higher resolution is driven in part by the demands of 3D content.

    Too bad there isn't a huge demand from the users for this high resolution demanding 3D content.

    Also, some see streaming higher resolution content to the home as a way to make up for declining DVD sales.

    How does this make up for declining DVD sales? When I buy a DVD or BlueRay it costs between $10-$30. Am I going to be paying anywhere near this much for streaming high definition content? I have an Apple TV today where I can "rent" HD movies for somewhere along the lines of $4. I've done this twice, because renting regular resolution DVD's and low-quality streaming from Netflix is just fine with me. It would be nice if the quality was better, but I'm definitely not going to shell out much cash for it.

  • by sphealey (2855) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:11PM (#36927374)

    Does anyone really like 3D, particularly in the home environment? One or maybe two 3D movies per half-decade is OK, but I don't hear (or see in line at the theater) any great demand for 3D other than among Hollywood marketing execs.

    sPh

    • I was not around in the 50's but I was aware of the first 3d fad.

      and every few years, they try to rehash it over again. it never catches on for very long. this one wont, either.

      and.... GLASSES? are you kidding me?

      come back when those of us who already wear glasses can properly view '3d content'.

      its only 'new' to the very youngest generation. I see no one else really buying this crap.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        come back when those of us who already wear glasses can properly view '3d content'.

        They are called contacts. Behold the amazement of peripheral vision!

    • In the home environment? No, not me.

      However, in the theater, yes. I am a fan of the 3D movies that have been coming out. Probably the main reason I enjoy the current 3D movies is that the 3D tends to go "in" instead of "out" towards me. I never enjoyed 3D when it mainly involved things begin thrown at me - I don't understand why anyone would enjoy that. But what I enjoy about recent 3D movies is that the 3D goes in and it seems like I am watching through a window versus on a 2d screen.
  • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

    I have a suspicion 25:9 will take over before 2160p. Not enough of a change and bigger screen heights cause all kinds of issues like the need to rent a truck to bring your TV home. Wider screen gives options on how to arrange content to make it more interactive, as well as giving a wider field of view without resorting to the 3d gimmic.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      And there will be people watching 4:3 content on a 25:9 screen, set to stretch it to the full width of the screen. Don't want to waste any pixels, you know.

    • Oh please no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by White Flame (1074973) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:24PM (#36927612)

      Computer monitors have been following television resolutions & aspect ratios. We need height back in our displays for all the portrait document-oriented stuff that we spend the majority of our times with on computers (emails, webpages, word processing, heck even board-based casual games). I'm sick of seeing my interactive options through a narrow slit.

      • I'm sick of seeing my interactive options through a narrow slit.

        Rotate your display 90 degrees. No, seriously.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:24PM (#36927618)

    hear me out..

    many of us have HTPC's. we store our media on hard disk.

    how much space does blue ray take, natively? a shitload, that's how much. many more times what a dvd takes in its native form; and many people take dvd and compress THAT further before storing on htpc.

    add in HD audio (which is beyond what consumer DACs and preamp stages can do; so this is clearly overkill for playback systems at home) and you end up with huge file sizes.

    I actually do think this was on purpose. and now that disks are getting bigger, still (of course they are) the entertainment cartels want to keep the storage requirements absurdly high to 'convince' us to use the native shinydisc stuff, which is chock full of DRM. and commercials. gotta LOVE that 'do not skip' stuff, too.

    I'm actually ok with upres'd dvd's on my TV. and I like how they don't chew up nearly as much space; plus the drm on dvd is trivial to break. drm on hd discs is a bit harder and much more hassle to deal with.

    think about it. making the files so large (and taking up more room than they really need to; lets be honest) is actually a DOS. denial of service; by taking so much room on your system, it denies you the ability to store a large library, in practical terms.

    • by PitaBred (632671)

      Ehh... I call shenanigans on DVD. Yes, you compress that further, but you generally compress it using a much superior codec to the MPEG2 that DVD uses natively. An MPEG2 stream of the same quality of the same content in H.264 is typically twice the bitrate. So encoding a 4GB DVD down to 2GB loses almost none of the quality while still taking up much less disk space.

      Re-encoding a Blu-Ray, yes, you do lose some quality. But it's not a linear loss of quality.

  • Most of the call for 3D content are from the people PUSHING 3D as the "next big thing".

    Actual traction in the customer channels is lukewarm AT BEST.

    • by discord5 (798235)

      Actual traction in the customer channels is lukewarm AT BEST.

      If by lukewarm you mean that most people don't give a flying fuck, you would be correct.

      A lot of people only recently upgraded to a HDTV, and most of those aren't going to be looking for a replacement any time soon. It's the industry just pushing their latest new technology onto the consumer market because they realize that nearly everyone has gone through the upgrade cycle and their increase in revenue is going to dissipate.

      I personally don't even own a single Bluray title, and I don't plant to in the near

  • Call me a pessimist, but something tells me that trying to steam 4K quality movies over the kinds of broadband connections that most homes have right now is a BAD idea. Hell... even trying to stream movies in 720p without a ton of compression artifacts can be difficult in many areas right now.

    Considering that the average connection right now is only 8 Mb/sec with a 100 GB download cap, you'll end up having to wait half an hour for a 4K resolution movie to buffer before it started. Not to mention that you wo

  • The trickle down effect will ensure that we enter another craze were we're given our pixels back. I remember an age of 1200 vertical resolutions even on laptops (Dell D800 for business) that has become insurmountable with 'progress'. So the second these same guys who deflated our resolutions get down with setting some high posts, we'll be seeing our pixels back.

    The bad part is that we'll reach an expanding - contracting sol-like state, because they got away with it once, and will do in the future. Meanwhile

    • by discord5 (798235)

      I remember an age of 1200 vertical resolutions even on laptops

      Strange, I have a laptop with 1920x1200 resolution... Progress indeed, a few years ago I had far less horizontal space.

      I get your point, but there's little you can do about it. The 16:9 format (or 16:10) became the new standard. I personally don't mind either. I just try to fit more stuff on my screen horizontally nowadays ;)

  • The cable and sat systems don't have that much bandwidth and they are still missing lot's of HD channels.

    Now maybe if they where to dump all the old mpeg 2 sd and HD boxes and go all MEPG 4 they will have the room.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:30PM (#36927708) Homepage

    Few sources, even Blu-Ray, consistently deliver 1080p now. Get close enough to a display to see the pixels, and notice the compression blur that stabilizes once motion stops.

    The next logical step is a higher frame rate. 24FPS for movies is way too slow. Cameron ("Titanic", "Avatar", etc.) has been bitching about this for years. He likes pans over highly detailed backgrounds, which produce strobing effects at 24FPS. Movies should be at least 48FPS, and maybe 72FPS. (The Showscan tests [wikipedia.org] indicate that viewers notice improved quality up to about 72FPS, but not above that, so that's the limit of human perception.)

    Personally, I'd like to see framefree compression. [framefree.com] This is a concept out of Kerner Optical (a Lucasfilm spinoff). Instead of merely switching from one frame to the next, the player computes a morph between frames. This allows running at any display rate, allows arbitrarily slow motion, allows much higher compression ratios than MPEG-4, and requires substantial computation in the decoder. They never did much with the technology, though; it was sold to Monolith in Japan, which hasn't done much with it. It's worth looking at again, now that putting a GPU in a TV isn't a radical concept.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      And before someone brings in the whole "people are conditioned to like 24fps because that's what all the good movies are in" argument, let me point out that games have consistently been running at a full 60FPS for years now, and no gamer has ever seen a problem with that. Some even splurge on 120hz displays, for even higher framerates. Nobody I've spoken to has noticed any "fake" feelings from them.

    • Increasing frame rates is unlikely to happen - though it should. More FPS for TV/Movies would mean more costs to create and would not result in more money being made. Lowering profits isn't something that is going to catch on.
    • by mochan_s (536939)

      Few sources, even Blu-Ray, consistently deliver 1080p now. Get close enough to a display to see the pixels, and notice the compression blur that stabilizes once motion stops.

      1080p is just a resolution. Compression blur has nothing to do with resolution.

      The next logical step is a higher frame rate. 24FPS for movies is way too slow. Cameron ("Titanic", "Avatar", etc.) has been bitching about this for years. He likes pans over highly detailed backgrounds, which produce strobing effects at 24FPS. Movies should

  • Last night, my son asked me "Dad, what will TV look like in 10 years?". I thought about all the great technological and social advancements that are going on. Then I thought back to how painfully long it took for digital TV and HTDV to get adopted, and how old-world media conglomerates are clinging to outdated business models. "Probably the same as today", I answered him.

  • by Co0Ps (1539395) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:38PM (#36927846)

    More resolution on my TV to watch Movies? Whatever. I need resolution for my monitor though - 1080p is a joke in terms of desktop surface. Give me a standard 19" 4:3 LCD with same pixel resolution as the screen on iPhone 4. I'd easily pay1000$ for that.

    A comparison: A normal 19" 1280x1024 LCD has ~90 DPI. If it had ~326 dpi instead like the iPhone4 claims, the display would have a resolution of ~4640x3710 - the closest "common resolution" would then be: 4096x3072 (HXGA) or 6400x4800 (HUXGA). *drool* Imagine all the lines of code that would fit on that.

  • Someone has a plan to auction off free over-the-air TV channel bandwidth to cell phone companies in exchange for billions needed to balance the budget. Isn't there some Federal obligation to provide access to those that don't want to pay for cable or is all bandwidth for sale? Grr.
  • > The Economist writes a thoughtful article about the next generation of HDTVs and how they will provide resolutions beyond 1080p.

    But... but... why?

    > The drive for higher resolution is driven in part by the demands of 3D content.

    But... but... but... WHY??

  • by MrWin2kMan (918702) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:50PM (#36928012) Homepage
    I attended the NAB show in Las Vegas last year, and speaking with representatives of dozens of television manufacturers and content producers it was clear that 3D, even last April, was already a dead issue with no significant consumer uptake. The only people talking it up were the major studios. It's pretty clear the only group that benefits from 3D is theater operators, who charge higher prices for the showings. The major studios were pushing 3D to the home only to leverage their investment in producing the content. Nobody wants to wear the stupid glasses, and if you have a bunch of people over to watch a special event like the Superbowl, it's either impractical or downright impossible to accomodate everyone. Glasses-free 3D has a problem similar to 1st-gen LCD panels in that the viewing angle is extremely narrow. 3D is not driving the road to 4K and beyond. Military usage, as always is the big driver, as the NSA especially needs higher and higher resolution monitors for their analysis. The other off-shoot that is a big driver is cinema-width TV's. 1920x1080p is insufficient to view many of the CinemaScope and similar titles that were produced in their full glory, at a large enough size to make any difference from DVD resolution. Simply making 1080p sets larger only makes the pixels larger, and produces perceived graininess. They had a wonderful 200" Panasonic LCD television on display, but it was no where near as good as the 40" 4K set directly across from it. The bigger problem is that Joe Sixpack on average doesn't know the differences between 720p, 1080i and 1080p. DVD's look great on 720p sets, but BluRays do not. Even worse, Joe Sixpack doesn't know that there are different HD's at all! Joe Sixpack goes mostly on price, which is why the low-end sets are selling well, but the more expensive 55-70" 1080p 240/480Hz sets are not, and why the manufacturers are struggling right now. And why they're trying to change the focus to 4K sets. HDTV's have become a commodity, and they need to introduce something new to keep their sales momentum. Unfortunately, the consumers haven't been cooperating.
  • We're gonna need more bandwidth at the service provider and at the home if we're gonna replace bluray with streaming...

    1080p24 (24frames per second) is about 4-8Mb/s when streamed from something like youtube, however a bluray disk can stream at ~54Mb/s.

    However, I could encode, or rather compress the hell out of a 1080p source and still call it 1080p. So I guess we come back to the definition of what is HD or 1080p...

  • by cjonslashdot (904508) on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:03PM (#36928190)

    We are in the Idiocracy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/ [imdb.com]

    We will be able to watch "Ow My Balls" on the same large screen that Frito used.... http://www.nerdnexus.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/idiocracy-tv-dvd1.jpg [nerdnexus.com]

  • In one corner, you have the studios who want 1080p content pumped out, in the most rigorous DRM fashion possible, to the unrealized monetary assets, errr customers, for an outrageously high premium. The studios who want to charge ANY content provider streaming the studio's material to pay through the nose for the right of distribution.

    On the other hand, you have the telco's who want to monetize every bit on the internet, and are soon going to charge ANY content provider streaming the studio's material to p

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:36PM (#36928590) Homepage Journal

    1. HDTV has a path to 2160p, and uHDTV projects to 4320p, or 7680x4320. In tests, it only takes 4TB to record 20 minutes of this. We will be a while getting this on the market, since even buffering this is going to present new challenges, and the bandwidth just doesn't exist. Thank NHK and the BBC for this advance...

    2. Quad HDTV (uHDTV) would require either reducing pixel size by 4x, or mandating minimum screen sizes a lot larger than what we have now. Two ways to do this; Learn to make Apple's retina displays on a huge scale, or, more likely, flexible screens. I can deal with assembling a frame and basically rolling out the screen into the frame. This is cool beyond all this, and will probably happen. Shipping 72" screens must be fraught with uncertainty, but a tube for a rollup screen would be much less trouble.

    Unfortunately, this is all conjecture. Much technology to be made, and of course the raw data is just overwhelming now. Do I want a 256TB array in the house to save a few movies on, and do I get this on anything other than fiber?

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:54PM (#36929220)

    I was laughing at people a few years ago "oh man I gotta get rid of this perfectly fine TV for a 640p model, OMFG theres a 720P model time to spend another 3 grans, HOLY FUCK! 1080 P!!!!!! time to get that new one, hey osgeld why havent you upgraded yet?"

    cause in a few years there will be a 204080 Z model and I will be able to buy your 4 grand hunk of shit for 100 bucks

    I am not that far away now and my 27 inch sanyo crt is still working fine

  • by TheSync (5291) on Friday July 29, 2011 @07:44PM (#36929516) Journal

    1080 isn't a number picked out of the air. This is the number of scan lines a typical eye can resolve at a viewing distance of 3 picture heights from the screen. You won't be able to see any more detail, and many people can barely perceive the resolution increase of 1080 line HD over 480 line SD (although the higher-quality digital video image and 16:9 aspect ratio is perceivable to most people).

    Unless video screens become much larger (like taking up your whole wall), most people are not going to be sitting closer than 3 picture heights to a video screen.

    Now I 100% can imagine a whole wall screen of "OLED wallpaper", but until that is practical, UHDTV will not have much utility.

    What will have utility is non-glasses-based 3D displays (aka autostereoscopic). These could use UHDTV 2D panels to generate multiple views projected through the room with lenses or through a parallax barrier.

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