Monday, March 19, 2007

HDTV

I have a little list of pet peeves like...

* No one ever taught me the secret language of love
* The CW's Smallville isn't on iTunes (yet).
* Fox's House isn't on iTunes (yet).
* Even though I wish there could be only Peace, I still think sometimes war is necessary
* Hamas won't acknowledge Israel and give up on their stupid evil desire to murder their neighbors
* Ipods Don't have a removeable battery
* and other important peeves like....HDTVs that are displaying stretched regular TV content

Let me just address that last one.

HDTV comprises such a complex field of products, specifications and numbers that I will just try to keep this simple.

HDTV displays and signals accomodate a wide screen. It is not quite twice as wide as it is tall. The typical ratio as I understand it is 16:9 where regular TV is 4 x 3.

So...if your screen is a regular TV that is 480 pixels tall it will be 640 wide. (480/3) * 4.

If your screen is an HDTV that is 720 pixels tall it will be 1280 wide. (720/9) * 16.

All over this damn crazy modern transitional world I see wide screen (16:9) screens with 4:3 content that has been stretched to fit!!! OMG this drives me crazy.

See, content meant for a certain screen is said to be 1:1...the proportions are true to reality. A circle will look round, a human head will be correctly proportioned and real looking.

Stretched content is not true to reality and thus distorts the way people look. It's an abuse of the technology. Regular screen content should leave blank spaces on the sides of an HDTV screen, so that it stays correctly proportioned. Only HDTV content should span the screen. I hate this trade off. It's so lame to make people and objects stretch to look unnatural just to spare the screen or use the full screen.

Here, I will visually demonstrate with this example from House (Fox) character Dr. Allison Cameron played by the lovely Jennifer Morrison...who is married...wait I have another pet peeve:

* Jennifer Morrison taken

Here she is in HDTV...



Here she is in a regular TV form factor...



Here she is in "faked HD" which is a regular TV signal stretched to fill an HDTV screen. It is Pure Visual Heresy and leaves the actor out of proportion from her usual attractive, natural human form. Yes, I am thinking about it too much.



I always say "stretched" as I walk by a TV in that mode. Not everyone notices, I have discovered, but to me it is obvious.

3 comments:

Rachel said...

it does look a bit strange. Like she is trying to emulate pressed fairy or something.

Eight Hour Lunch said...

Creative Labs Zen Micro. Removable battery. Microphone. Less money, more memory. Doug like. Grunt.

:)

Sumwun said...

Yah I started my MP3 life with a RIO I liked, then a Creative MG II Ti, Which ruled, could record voice, synced with itunes (when using regular mp3's) and had regular aaa batteries, wonderful. I am total mac user, but maybe I should shop for the features I prefer in an mp3 player.