Joe Kane, creator of the original Digital Video Essentials, has now released Digital Video Essentials HD DVD. The new dual-sided hybrid disc features 1080p and 720p test and demonstration materials on one side and Standard Definition tests and demos in NTSC or PALformat on the other. The HD DVD layer also features introduces 6.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital True HD audio. Digital Video Essentials HD DVD was produced in cooperationwith Microsoft Corporation and Deluxe Laboratory.
In looking at a preview of the disc, it seems to, for the most part, merely reiterate the original DVE test patterns in HD DVD native formats (720p and 1080p). The addition of Dolby Digital Plus and True HD formats is a nice touch, but users expecting a whole new suite of tests are likely to be presented with updated (though accurate) HD versions of very familiar material. For calibrations purposes, this isn't exactly a bad thing and users will already be familiar with the many tests and patterns. The VERY dated introductory animation and graphics are almost laughable in this day and age, but they are so recognizably belonging to "DVE" that I almost understand why they were left in.
The Digital Video Essentials HD DVD utilizes VC-1 encoded matieral in both 720p and 1080p formats. This is actually the first time 720p has been used natively in HD DVD and the disc even includes a 720p/60 demo. The VC-1 codec was selected for this disc (as opposed to MPEG-2, for example)because it delivers the best looking pictures available in HD DVD.Critical patterns were generated in specifically in the 720p and 1080p resolutions and were not merely converted from prior versions. The program also includesextensive use of text files to drive the menu system, as well as testpatterns such as Reverse Gray Ramps with Steps, Shallow Ramps andColored Ramps which have been properly generated in HD.
In the United States, there are two standard resolutions for cable TV broadcasts: 720p and 1080i. Much like 1080p, the number refers to the vertical resolution of the screen, 720 and 1080 pixels. The letter refers to either progressive scan or interlaced scan. Every TV sold today uses progressive scan, but they're also compatible with a 1080i signal.
In addition to patterns, the Pattern Set contains a variety of still images as a final check on calibration and for use in evaluating image quality. Some are confined to the 16 to 235 dynamic range and others go out to the peak video capability of 254. Several of the images are down conversions from much higher resolution source images, making them ideal for challenging a true 1080p display capability.
To test for upscaling, we display a 480p, 720p, 1080p, and 4k image on all the TVs we test and subjectively evaluate how good they all look. For 8k TVs, we also display an 8k image to see if it's displayed properly.
For 1080p TVs, 1080p is the native resolution, meaning a 1080p signal fits perfectly, with no upscaling required to make the image fit. These TVs receive a perfect score for this test. However, the results of this test do matter when evaluating 4k models, as they do need to upscale 1080p.
To test for performance with 1080p, we display our 1080p test photo on the TV and evaluate how well it is reproduced. If the picture is too soft, or if there's over-sharpening of the image, the TV will get a lower score. Unlike the 480p and 720p tests, here we use a static image, as most 1080p content is at a high enough bandwidth that temporal artifacts shouldn't be an issue.
Upscaling is a feature TVs use to make lower resolutions fit their screen. Good upscaling preserves detail in an image, making the picture look properly crisp, not blurry or overly sharp. For that reason, you should make sure you get a model that performs well with all the resolutions you watch. We verify all the TVs we test for their capability with 480p, 720p, 1080p, and 4k resolutions (when supported).
As you move up the LCD size chain, your 720p options become more limited because vendors are going with 1080p displays in most LCDs larger than 37 inches. When it comes to plasma, Panasonic's entry-level 42-inch TH-42PX8A carries a price of around AU$1,699, while the step-up 1080p version, the TH-42PZ80A, comes in at AU$2,549. Move up to 50-inch 1080p models and you're looking at AU$3,649.
3. Why is 1080p theoretically better than 1080i?1080i, the former king of the HDTV hill, actually boasts an identical 1920x1080 resolution, but conveys the images in an interlaced format (the "i" in 1080i). In a CRT, 1080i sources get rendered on-screen sequentially: the odd-numbered lines of the image appear first followed by even lines, all within 1/25 of a second. Progressive-scan formats such as 480p, 720p and 1080p convey all the lines sequentially in a single pass, which makes for smoother, cleaner visuals, especially with sports and other motion-intensive content.
4. What content is available in 1080p?Today's high-def broadcasts are done in either 1080i or 720p, and there's little or no chance they'll jump to 1080p anytime soon because of bandwidth issues. As for HD gaming, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games are available in both 720p and 1080p resolutions. (Also, the 720p titles can be upscaled to 1080i or 1080p in the user settings of those consoles).
5. What kinds of TV technologies offer 1080p resolution?Aside from CRT, which has basically been discontinued, every technology on the market comes in 1080p versions. That means you can find 1080p-capable versions utilising all fixed-pixel technologies, including DLP, LCoS and LCD projectors, and flat panels (plasma and LCD). Of course, as specified above, more affordable entry-level models are still limited to 720p resolution. But whatever the resolution, all fixed-pixel TVs are essentially progressive-scan technologies. So when the incoming source is interlaced (1080i or even good old-fashioned 480i standard definition), they convert it to progressive-scan for display.
7. What happens when you feed a 1080p signal to 720p TV?Assuming the TV can accept a 1080p signal, it will be scaled to 720p. But the caveat is that many older 720p and even some 1080p models cannot handle 1080p signals at all. In which case, you'll get a blank screen. Thankfully, most newer HDTVs can accept 1080p signals.
That's changed in the last few years. Virtually all 1080p sets are now capable of fully resolving these materials, though not every 1080p TV is created equal. As our resident video guru, senior editor David Katzmaier, explains, Blu-ray serves up 1080p24 video format which not every TV can display properly. The 24 refers to the true frame rate of film-based content, and displaying it in its native format is supposed to give you a picture exactly as the director intended you to see it.
Whether you're dealing with 1080p24 or video-based 1080p50 doesn't alter our overall views about 1080p TVs. We still believe that when you're dealing with TVs 50 inches and smaller, the added resolution has only a very minor impact on picture quality. In our tests, we put 720p next to 1080p sets, then feed them both the same source material from high-end Blu-ray players. We typically watch both sets for a while, with eyes darting back and forth between the two to look for differences in the most-detailed sections such as hair, textures of fabric, and grassy plains.
Finally, it's a good idea to go with 1080p instead of 720p if you plan to use your TV a lot as a big computer monitor. That said, if you set your computer to output at 1920x1080, you might find that the icons and text on the screen are too small to view from far away (as a result, you may end up zooming the desktop or even changing to a lower resolution). But a 1080p set does give you some added flexibility (and sharpness) when it comes to computer connectivity.
Marshall's test generator allows easy field calibration, testing and maintenance of many applications such as: production line quality assessment; studio equipment for both installers and users; television sets by TV engineers or technicians; digital signage configurations with extenders, switches, splitters or video wall processors; and discerning home theater users. Using the corresponding video cable needed, simply connect the video test pattern generator to the supported display unit to run the test patterns on the screen. No other video source, such as a computer, DVD player or set-top box is needed for the testing process.
The 1080 and 720 in 1080p and 720p stand for vertical screen resolution, or height, in pixels. The more pixels there are in an image, the clearer it will be. As such, a screen resolution of 1920x1080 (two million pixels when multiplied) should appear twice as sharp as a resolution of 1280x720 (fewer than one million pixels). Meanwhile, the p in 1080p and 720p stands for progressive scanning, which updates full frame images more quickly than traditionally interlaced content.
HD DVDs contain 720p content and sometimes 1080p, while all Blu-ray discs contain 1080p content. Regular DVD quality can vary considerably, with some displaying content at a resolution lower than 720p, such as 480p. Moreover, there are still DVD players around that only carry support for up to 480p or 480i, meaning a viewer cannot get the full experience of any high-definition DVD they insert into the player.
Netflix typically streams at 720p, but with the release and expansion of what it calls "Super HD," users are able to stream more and more content at 1080p quality with a high-speed internet connection. Apple TV allows users to choose between 720p and 1080p streaming. DirecTV displays a "1080pHD" logo on 1080p pay-per-view content, and all their latest DirecTV Cinema content is in 1080p. On YouTube and Vimeo, high quality videos often allow for 720p or even 1080p streaming.
Screen resolution can be especially important in video gaming. Because there are more pixels in 1080p, less anti-aliasing is required for a smooth visual experience. This means that 1080p will not only likely look better than 720p, but will lead to a better gaming experience overall, as anti-aliasing can slow down a console or computer. 2b1af7f3a8