OK, this is grim.  Having just shot a short in HD format, in 1080i60 no less, the news that the technology – even the cutting edge, latest in TVs – still can’t properly display the signal … well that’s just peachy.

Apparently Home Theater Magazine did one of their propellerhead tests to see if these HDTVs really lived up to the hype.  I mean, the Sunday papers are replete with those 4-page broadsheet 4-color ads all hyping the latest & greatest in TV technology, plasma screens and LCD screens as big as a bookcase, all for the low, low price of as much as the used car sitting in your driveway is worth.

But do they work? Check out the numbers.

54% of the sets failed the deinterlacing test.

80% failed the 3:2 cadence detection test.

100% of the sets passed the bandwidth test, though all but one attenuated the signal some.

these results are from big-name manufacturers like Fujitsu, HP,
Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Samsung,
Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba.

If you’re in the mood to have your brain stretched, try out some of the technical jargon behind this judgment:

Many scripted television and all film-based movies that telecast in
1080i HD are recorded at 24 frames per second. For broadcast, this is
converted from film or 1080p/24 video to 1080i/30 using a telecine
conversion. A good internal processor should use a method called HD
inverse telecine to recognize like frames and reconstruct them for a
60-frame-per-second display using a 3:2 cadence. If the processor
reconstructs the image properly, you’ll see all 2-million-plus pixels
of information in the original source material (on a 1080p display). A
720p display will downconvert the full 1,920-by-1,080 image to 1,280 by

Without HD inverse telecine, the television’s processor may discard up
to half of the image resolution (prior to conversion in 720p displays)
during horizontal pans. So, regardless of what you may have read
elsewhere-or what your local TV-store sales clerk has told you-if a
1080p display’s processor is capable of content based on HD 3:2 inverse
telecine (and properly deinterlaces, as well), you can see all of the
content in full 1080p resolution. You don’t need to wait for 1080p
broadcast or HD DVD disc players with 1080p output to do so.

So basically all this time and millions of dollars later, and the damn things still don’t work the way they’re supposed to? I’m supposed to invest $3-$5K in a piece of technology that isn’t really all that much better than the one that I already have … and that has all manner of invasive “digital content management” crapola stuck into it, to treat me like a freeeekin’ criminal.

No thanks.  Big TV is now off the Christmas shopping list.

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