History has shown that when it comes to technology, the fastest method to hamper consumer adoption is to have FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). In my limited lifespan, this dates back to the VHS-Betamax duel back in the 80s, and continues today in the BluRay-HD battles. Nobody wants to buy the wrong thing, and consumers will often sit around and wait for a victor to emerge.
HP, a company I’ve liked over the years (and one where I have a lot of friends), decided that they wanted to get involved and, for lack of a more perfect phrase, screw with the HDTV industry by using the term “HDTV 2.0”. Shame on you, HP, for such an ill-timed, inappropriate, and unnecessary move.
Consumers today have enough trouble differentiating between 720p, 1080i, and 1080p when they try to buy a set (answer: the first two are effectively the same, 1080p is the ‘better one’ that you should be looking for if you are spending more than about $1500 on a set).
They have enough issues trying to figure out if they should buy an upscaling DVD player or an actual high-definition player (answer: unless you have a very good set, you probably won’t really notice the difference, plus I wouldn’t buy until the format is settled).
They have to figure out if they should buy DVI or HDMI or component cables (answer: it’s gotta be HDMI, no debate here), and once they’ve picked, have to then assess how much to spend on those cables (answer: now that I’ve learned a bit more about the cabling and the future of HD, if you are looking at a long-term investment in your HD setup, buy the expensive cables, there will be a difference).
Shame on you, HP. It’s not like a debate on what Web 2.0 (or 3.0) really is, where end-users can happily ignore the topic and just enjoy trying out cool new Web sites/services as they launch. For a marketing organization to intentionally go out and cause additional FUD in an already confusing space is pure and simple a bad move. Your job is to answer questions, not create them, and your job is to grow the overall pie, not try to cut out some small piece with such short-term thinking.
Shame on you, HP!
Love the site, but this isn’t your best work.
720p and 1080i are not even close to being the same thing, if any two are even close, it’s 1080i and 1080p.
HDMI isn’t always better than component, and expensive HDMI cables are a complete rip off. Don’t spend more than $30 on a 2m cable or you are paying too much.
Upscalling DVD players are usually a gimmick, and it’s Blu-ray and HD DVD. Not BluRay HD.
Sure HP shouldn’t have used the name HD 2.0 (neither should HD Radio, but everyone loves to jump on the bandwagon). I do however agree with what HP is doing and wish that everyone would build some sort of PC media access software in their TVs.
720p vs 1080i – yes, they are technically very different, however to the average consumer, there is no difference. Experts in the field like Alvy Ray Smith have done a good job pointing out the difference (http://alvyray.com/DigitalTV/default.htm), but your typical Joe out there can’t pinpoint the differences…
HDMI v component – can you show an example of when component is better? this one I think is pretty easily distinguishable on the average HD set-top box.
HDMI cables – I’ve got a great demo to show you using all-1080p equipment. As I said if you are looking at the long-term and spending a lot of money for a great setup, the $50/60 cable IS DIFFERENT than the $10/20/30 cables. If you are like me, with a 720p setup and a low-end 32″ display, then sure, all the cables are the same.
Upscaling DVD players – look better, and easily distinguishable even on inexpensive equipment
Blu-ray HD – I put the hyphen in to distinguish the two, I know they are two different things, I just miscapitalized one – fixing now.
HP – yes, I do think HP is making a cool product, and I hope they set the trend. I hate the marketing term, and that’s really what my post was about.
I would say that 90% of people can’t tell the difference between 720, 1080i and 1080p. But that doesn’t mean it is fair to call them the same thing. Also more people can tell the difference between 720p and 1080i and 1080i and 1080p.
My TV is a Mitsubishi WS55813, which works best with component. There are other TVs as well, especially if you consider the fact that HDMI is so problematic. (Like you had with your Netgear NV8000) Again 90% of people can’t tell the difference. (Ryan’s Xbox 360 Elite post is a good example)
You will only see a difference with an upconverting DVD players if your TV has a cheap scalers in it. If you can see a difference with a $150 upscaling DVD player then you must own a “budget” TV (nothing wrong with that, we all have one). You won’t see a difference on any of the “named brand” TVs. Ask Ryan Block about it, he has 46″ Sharp Aquos. The reason is a 4k TV has a much nicer scaler than a $150 DVD player.
But the main reason is explained here.
The jest of it is that almost ALL TVs scale, (yes even LCDs and Plasmas) and when you use an upconverting DVD player it causes the signal to get scaled twice. So it only helps if the scaler in your DVD player is better than the one in your TV. Otherwise it just mucks up the signal.
As for cables, in the case of digital transmissions, bits are bits and they either get there or they don’t. If you are really that worried about it, buy two sets and take a look for yourself, but if you don’t think Blu-ray is worth the money, then there is no way you will think $50 for a $30 cable is worth it.
Ultimately we both agree on the main point of the post.
Re the cables: my point here is on the future – I’ve seen some demos recently that actually showed cheap HDMI cables failing to present a 1080p signal from a PS3. The only point I have here is as the bandwidth increases, so will the needs for quality on cabling and interconnects. Handling a sub-1Gbps HDMI signal is very different than a 10Gbps. I agree that anything you are buying in stores today you won’t see the difference, but as the next gen of games and movies comes along, you will…
For the rest, we will have to agree to agree! 🙂
I think the key point that I would make is, between DVI and HDMI, there is not a perceivable video quality differance.
Of course, HDMI offers a whole slew of additional advantages, carrying sound just being one of them.
clearly, componant is a step down, even if just 1% down, topic of discussion. there are cases to be made for componant, depending on TV type and resolution and output and CONTENT where componant might mask some of the lack of quality in SD material, or DVD material.
I would never say, HDMI video quality is better than DVI.
As for 720p to 1080i, I think, at six+ feet with an HD tv, nobody is going to perceive a video quality differance, but COULD perceive a differance based on CONTENT type, part of the reason networks like ESPN and ABC use 720p, as it SUPPOSEDLY offers a better image quality with fast moving, action images. 1080P should offer a similar advantage.
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