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"True", "True" (H)DTV....and the relation to 720/60P Display Systems



I wish to be precise about the context of this message (unlike several
other "True", "True" Corporate Irishmen who contribute to Popular
Journals and Honorary Self-Appointed Committees Evangelizing &
Specializing in the subject of "True", "True" (H)DTV).    (I am not
making this up!....Ayuup...Sorry, Mario.)

This message only concerns final display of the delivered net DTV
product to the net DTV consumer next year and the one thereafter.  Let
us not confuse things with New Jersey folklore and popular mythology
about blue bananas and spectrum wars gone by.  Those wars are over,
dead, done, gone.  Let's not confuse things with the fact that the
"True", "True" (H)DTV systems being commonly evangelized only have a NET
dynamic resolution of, AT BEST: 1440 by 540 instead of the advertised
1920 by 1080.  Let's not confuse things with the fact that the future
1080/60P upgrades being promised to these "True", "True" (H)DTV
production and transmission systems will be incompatible with the CEMA
digital television sets promised to American Consumers in 1998 and 1999.
Let's not confuse things with the fact that those CEMA TV sets can and
WILL go black during Prime Time unless a proper layering plan is put
into place now and communicated to all concerned in order to alleviate
fears of obsolescence....

But who would want to confuse the public at this critical juncture?
Let's NOT discuss that now.  Let's NOT discuss possible stimulation of a
"True", "True" (H)DTV market frenzy which delivers unto America that
promise which was borne unto us by our sacred ancestry!!!

To be even more precise: The following text is NOT concerned with
acquisition, origination, contribution, production, post production,
compression, distribution or transmission (many stages of which have
become co-mingled recently, resulting in obfuscation of the real issues
at hand, unintentionally I am sure).  If everyone on this mailing list
(and elsewhere) qualified their statements prior to emission, we'd
probably have consensus by now simply due to the irrefutable nature of
physics:

---

If we were talking NOT about the "proclaimed" resolution of "True",
"True" (H)DTV (the oft-overused qualifier), but simply delivered spatial
resolution to the consumer at a given price point at a given screen
size: we would observe that 720P requires a shadow mask and/or
information-reproduction display-surface with a spatial resolution of
only HALF that of the claimed "True", "True" (H)DTV spatial resolution
of 1920 by 1080.

If that sounds complex, well...., yes it is.  This is an extremely
complex subject and any attempt to simplify it for simple minds is prone
to roundoff error.  (But: Again, where on Moses' Tablets or in the Koran
did it say that thousands of years hence "True", True" (H)DTV would
adhere to a given set of Magus-borne numerology?  Who the heck appointed
anyone to be the sacred holder of the (H)DTV sword that would proclaim a
pixel-police on the world's markets for any given screen size?  Oh yeah,
that's waaaay too complex for the average consumer to need to know
about...especially right now when we have markets to stimulate and
patents at stake...and we're NOT going to talk about that anyway....)

Back to simple math:

1920 by 1080 = ~ about 2 million purported pixels.  1280 by 720P equals
about ~1 million pixels.  OK, fine.  One million pixels is about
one-half the number of pixels as Two million pixels.  One is less than
two.   Two times something is usually harder to make than One times
something, especially in the early years; therefore =>  Two costs more
than One.  For a given screen area, two million pixels (of REAL
resolution) would be Twice-The-Definition as One Million Pixels.  Twice
the definition = twice the cost (or more).  (Or MUCH more, depending on
the yield and manufacturing technology.)   Twice the cost means no where
near as wide and deep a consumer acceptance.  Perhaps better numerology
without the same delivered quality means better marketability?

Am I wrong here?  Where is "True", "True" (H)DTV going to come from at
less cost than anything else?  Who thinks you can get twice the
displayed spatial resolution for less cost?  Ever get twice the RAM or
twice the CPU clock speed in your computer for less cost?   Ever get
twice the horsepower in your car or twice the watts in your stereo (at a
given distortion level) for less cost?  What makes shadow mask or
display surface technology so different than semiconductor lithography
technology or the rest of the real world?  The answer is: it isn't.
Santa Claus doesn't do Video.

Therefore, since shadow mask and flat-screen cost/yield curves vary in
direct proportion to the REAL DELIVERED spatial resolution, how can
anyone claim that a display reproduction surface of HALF that of "True",
"True" HDTV can cost MORE than that of a Two Million Pixel surface?  You
cannot.

The NET delivered picture quality to the NET consumer is NOT going to be
the factor of two that is being promised by the promoters of "True",
"True" (H)DTV.  Given physics and the realities of manufacturing
technology, you can't get the "True", "True" (H)DTV picture in the same
5 pound bag for less cost.  You get less delivered quality than that
with other technologies.  In fact, much less.  As John Watkinson would
say, the "I" in 1080/30I stands for "Inferior".  So true it is.

There has been much debate about 45 kHz horizontal deflection
frequencies.  This is a Big Red Herring.  All stakeholders must qualify
their statements at every step of the game with "At What Cost", "In What
Timeframe", and most importantly "At What Net Delivered Dynamic
Resolution".  The dot pitch, contrast, brightness and net delivered
quality to the consumer at a given price threshold cannot possibly
compare between the 1080I and 720P formats, especially after the
now-required MPEG-2 ATSC compression.  The progressive-display consumer
electronics demonstrations this week in Tokyo were highly indicative of
what is about to happen.  Only those who feel threatened by these events
would claim otherwise.  In fact, as we have recently seen, 480 line
progressive systems on screen sizes which are reasonable by American
standards are perceived as HDTV by all but the most (H)DTV hard core
fanatics.  And...480P done right on a 100 inch screen looks unbelievably
good.  720P is only going to look that much better.  Tell me then, who
holds the promise of 1080/60 progressive; how will that be displayed and
when will it be transmitted?











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  HDTV discussion thread is at http://www.alegria.com/telecine/hdtv.txt
    Thanks to Rick Anthony of DuArt for support of the TIG in 1997
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