Byron Rabone a director of Queensland based home automation Company Rabone Systems has said that he has watched the debate over Hitachi and 1080p Vs 1080i with intertest. He claims that he finds it find it interesting that this argument exists in the first place.

Byron Rabone a director of Queensland based home automation Company Rabone Systems has said that he has watched the debate over Hitachi and 1080p Vs 1080i with intertest. He claims that he finds it find it interesting that this argument exists in the first place.

In an email to SmartHouse he claimed that  the use of the term “True HD” is allowing both consumers and retailers to be misled as it is open to much speculation.

He personally believes that Hitachi has done nothing wrong in stating that their products are true HD as the term HD, “High Definition” represents the resolution of a display and not necessarily the refresh rate or interlacing method. Under the two current Australian HD broadcast formats, 720p and 1080i, Hitachi’s display meets these requirements and let’s not forget that the introduction to high definition content to consumers originated from the broadcast world and was introduced long before Blu-ray and HD-DVD which is still under much debate with the current format war.

He goes on to claim that in the professional industry we discuss the performance of a display by “Native resolution” such as “1080/50P native”. (Resolution/refresh rate/interlacing/the physical maximum output resolution of the screen regardless of scaling technologies used).

 

If a manufacturer is trying to market the specification of a panel to the consumer, then they should be promoting it as such. By branding a panel as “1080/50P native” or “1080/50i native” this is far less open to interpretation and allows a consumer to make better judgement on a panel’s specifications.

Typically Plasmas, LCD’s, DLP and LCOS technologies are all using progressive scanning versus the CRT technology which only produced progressive images once the refresh rate was bumped up to 100Hz for interlaced images. This allowed a full frame rate to be drawn at 50Hz. However with 100Hz models CRT’s produced less flicker using the 100Hz interlaced mode.

With this in mind, does a display that can accept 1080i signals but only produces the image in a progressive format become non-compliant? Australia uses the PAL system which works on a frame rate of 25 or 50 fields per second with progressive scan effectively doubling the full frame rate and drawing the image sequentially providing cleaner images and less motion artefacts.

However regardless of specifications my advice to clients is not to get drawn into the retail hype of specs but to focus more on the overall performance of a display.

Compare displays side by side if possible and use some selected content that shows detailed skin tones, dark scenes, and fast action. These attributes will bring out the imperfections of a display and its video processing technologies applied which plays a huge part in a display’s performance and is not always discussed by retailers.

In fact, some retailers have a history of showing content that is rich in colours such as cartoon based material or movies with bright images to attract the attention of a consumer, much the way a fish is attracted to a lure and we all know what happens to the fish.

 

 I have personally seen standard definition plasmas provide better picture quality than high definition plasmas from competing manufacturers and this is the very reason why displays should be evaluated on performance and not specifications alone.

This is much the same method used by audiophiles when selecting speakers, again using references that the client particularly listens to E.G: Classical music versus Pop or Rock. Although frequency responses are looked at by a potential purchaser, the unique characteristics of each speaker manufacturer’s products is what ultimately makes the final decision.

Hitachi’s specifications show the native panel resolution as 1920 x 1080 and the accepted signals types cover all the popular standards, but the video processing techniques can be unique to each manufacturer and is the very reason why this display should be judged on its merits.

It is valid to say that a panel producing 1080p images versus 1080i should appear sharper and display less motion artefacts but there are a number of factors that could prove this wrong such as poor scaling technologies much the same as HDMI versus Component. In theory HDMI is supposed to be the superior technology however I have seen better image quality on some displays using Component signal types over HDMI, this due to the signal management and processing from the source to the display device.

I have not personally seen this display in use and we are not an agent for Hitachi however your article stated that Len Wallis, a systems integrator much like ourselves, thought that the panel was apparently ‘True HD’ by industry terms then one has to ask if this was based on the performance of the panel compared against other manufacturers products or purely the specification?

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