Testing 1080p HDTV Processing

Long-time readers may realize that I avoid links and references to posts on other sites; I feel that you deserve some original research and original thought when you take the time to read the HDTV Almanac. But today, I’m breaking that rule to make you aware of some outstanding work that has been done by Gary Merson for Home Theater.

Earlier this year, he tested 54 1080p HDTV sets to see whether they “bob” (bad) or “weave” (good) to process 1080i signals. He has now expanded on that original testing, and has results for 61 new sets covering 1080i signal processing for deinterlacing, as well as 3:2 film cadence and possible bandwidth limitations. Yes, this is pretty techie stuff, but it makes a difference in whether you’re actually seeing the detail that your display is capable of showing. And Gary does an excellent job of explaining each test, how to see the results for yourself, and how to interpret them. So I strongly recommend that you go to http://www.hometheatermag.com/hookmeup/1106hook/ and give it a careful read. And when you see that 54% of the sets failed deinterlacing, and 80% failed the 3:2 film cadence test, you’ll want to know more about these tests

Why do I think that Gary’s article is so good and so important? It uses empirical results — not fuzzy theory or subjective observations — to get at the heart of performance issues that really make a difference in what you see on the screen. He cannot possibly test all the 1080p products that are out there, but he tells you what to use and what to look for so that you can do the same test on any display you want. It’s this “teach a man to fish” attitude that gives you the ability to see for yourself, and not have to blindly trust the recommendations of someone else who may or may not know what they’re talking about.

Thanks, Gary. You’ve done us all — both consumers and the display industry — a great service.