Friday, September 08, 2006

TV Has Arrived

We picked up the new TV. It’s awesome. The only source running to it now is the up-converting DVD player. The 480p digital signal (the maximum resolution of a DVD) is up-converted up to 1080i. So, while the actual amount of visual information hasn’t gone up (a DVD is a DVD no matter what), the player can convert the image to fill a high resolution scheme. The advantage has a higher number of line of resolution, but the same data fills those lines. So, technically, it’s not HD. It’s more of an HD-poser. The short of it is there is no way to get the true HD high-rez resolution of 1080p until our cable gets hooked up next weekend.

Up-converting players are getting more common, but they are still the exception. This is sad because the image quality is much more vibrant than the 480p standard that it totally justifies the $50-$100 price different between a standard and an up-converting player. I can’t wait to see what a true 1080p HD signal looks like when the cable box is hooked up. I wish more people who really enjoy their home theaters were better informed so we could get a practical, feature-rich HD movie player like, uh, four years ago.

I found a great tweak guide for the TV. The picture controls are pretty limited (no gain or C/mi controls) but there’s enough to significantly improve the quality of the picture beyond the default settings. For instance, the brightness of the monitor is ridiculously high. The brightness might be nice for watching a movie with all of your windows open at noon, but that’s about it. Everywhere I’ve read about the TV recommends turning the brightness (lamp voltage, actually) all the way down for viewing in a room that is in any way darkened. There are several more controls in a hidden service menu I read about, but I’m not going to go mucking around in there – changing a wrong value in this ‘secret’ menu can destroy the TV.

Anyway, I love it. It’s going to be fun to watch some of our old movies again to check out how they look on the new screen. Sorry to devote an entire post to it. But, hey, we loves the films.

(When I get a true HD-source running through it, I'll take a picutre of the screen.)

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