Going HD

This weekend, Erin and I treated ourselves to a nice 37″ LCD HDTV… and it’s big (at least compared to our old 20″ standard resolution tube TV)! We opted for the 720p Sony Bravia as in my opinion, we didn’t need 1080p. Not yet having a BlueRay DVD player and with the TV not being ginormous, I doubt we would have noticed much difference between the 2 resolutions, plus there’s the difference in price. Regardless of not going for the best thing available, I still feel like I have a little devil on one shoulder, hunched over, rubbing his hands and smirking naughtily while the angel on my other shoulder is shaking his head and rambling on about the roof that needs new shingles.

Setting up the TV has been a good test of screen dimensions, video resolutions, and video interlacing; all things we encounter constantly at DDA Video, working on various tradeshow videos, spokesperson videos, DVD menu authoring, and product training videos. First I hooked up our region free DVD player only to notice some interlacing distortion throughout the various screen settings on the TV. Luckily, I also have a Sony DVD player which I purchased before realizing the Philips one can be switched to region free (thanks Mick!). The Sony DVD player being a slightly better unit, has the option of being switched from interlaced to progressive, the later being ideal for a 720p TV. The switch resulted in a much better image quality and a happier me.

We also have a Nintendo Wii which also supports a lower progressive resolution of 480p–although it doesn’t come with the necessary component cable for this capability. Upgrading the cable will certainly result in a much better image quality and hopefully less jaggies. I will also be contacting Comcast to switch to an HD tuner to properly convert the cable signal to HD and pass through the HDMI interface of the TV.

Purchasing the TV has certainly opened a Pandora’s box of video options and necessary upgrades (of course they aren’t necessary, but who wants to watch crappy resolution TV when it has the option of so much more?) but having worked with video for over 5 years at DDA, understanding the formats and options was a  lot easier.