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Old 01-10-08, 05:25 PM   #1
Jonno2006
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Why do LCD TV's look bad with SD content?

Why does LCD tv's look really awful with standard non HD television channels? I recently bought my dad a 19inch Insignia (yeah crappy brand but that shouldn't matter that much right?) LCD TV for Christmas and even the little 13inch CRT tv in the kitchen looks better than the image on my dad's LCD tv.

I really don't get it. And plus standard TV signal on the tv is a square right in the middle of the screen, and if want the image to be widescreen and fit the rest of the screen i gotta press 'Zoom'. I imagine is has to do with aspect ratios which i don't get at all. But even when i hooked up my PS2 on it and watched a DVD movie it still had the small square in the middle of the screen and i had to press Zoom to get it to fill the screen...

And couple months ago i went to a friend's house and he had bought a 32inch LCD Sharp HD TV and again when we watched SD television on it it looked REALLY bad and even SD DVDs didn't look good at all.

So are LCD/Plasma HD TV's ONLY for HD content?

Do i even make the slightest sense? LOL. I'm sorry if this sounds really n00bish, but i guess it is.

Any info would be awesome. Thanks
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Old 01-10-08, 08:06 PM   #2
Joe Schmoe
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I don't know the answer but I agree that SD looks crummy on an LCD TV. When I used to have a tube TV, I preferred watching SD content on it over my LCD HDTV (and also my rear-screen projection HDTV). It just looked sharper and less grainy. I don't have the tube TV anymore.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:10 PM   #3
Drexl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonno2006
I really don't get it. And plus standard TV signal on the tv is a square right in the middle of the screen, and if want the image to be widescreen and fit the rest of the screen i gotta press 'Zoom'. I imagine is has to do with aspect ratios which i don't get at all.
You didn't notice that the new TV is wider in shape than the other one? To preserve the shape of the squarish image without distorting it, The TV inserts black bars on the sides. The same principle is used for letterboxed movies, but with bars on the top and bottom rather than the sides.

Quote:
But even when i hooked up my PS2 on it and watched a DVD movie it still had the small square in the middle of the screen and i had to press Zoom to get it to fill the screen...
Your PS2 is probably still set for 4:3 mode. Set it to 16:9 mode. Most games will still be 4:3 though, so if you really want them to fill the screen you'll have to zoom or stretch.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:41 PM   #4
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It is not the fact that it is LCD, it is the fact that it is a HD DVD trying to display SD signal. Distance will make a difference. I find SD on my new 46" LCD very watchable and ok from about 9 feet and back. Anything closer and it looks like crap.

HD are not ONLY for HD signals. DVD's should look great. But if you don't plan on DVD or HD then no point in getting a HD TV, IMHO.
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Old 01-10-08, 11:54 PM   #5
Spiky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonno2006
Why does LCD tv's look really awful with standard non HD television channels? I recently bought my dad a 19inch Insignia (yeah crappy brand but that shouldn't matter that much right?) LCD TV for Christmas and even the little 13inch CRT tv in the kitchen looks better than the image on my dad's LCD tv.

I really don't get it.
Yeah, I think that last part is pretty damn true.

So, you think crappy means it can still look good? Do you not recognize the opposite definitions of those 2 words? I'm speechless.

Seriously, you need to read a FAQ on TVs or something.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:30 PM   #6
Jonno2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiky
Yeah, I think that last part is pretty damn true.

So, you think crappy means it can still look good? Do you not recognize the opposite definitions of those 2 words? I'm speechless.

Seriously, you need to read a FAQ on TVs or something.
Didn't your mother ever tell you that if you didn't have anything nice to say to not say anything at all?
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Old 01-11-08, 12:48 PM   #7
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I have dish network (non-HD) that I watch regularly on my LCD and some channels are passable and some are unbearable. For example, when I watch CSI from the DVR, the picture is crisp and vibrant, while if I watch ER, the image is muddy and the sound quality is very poor. I have cured this by trying to watch as many shows "live" via the HDTV over-the-air signal. But, yeah, quality of the standard channels is inconsistent.
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Old 01-11-08, 02:36 PM   #8
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It's my opinion that on a good HDTV with a good scaler, SD material will look different, not worse.
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Old 01-11-08, 03:07 PM   #9
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In general, LCDs tend to make "sharp" or noisy content look sharper and noisier. Cable news graphics, video games, etc. always look very crisp on LCDs. If your SD signal is jaggy (due to a bad signal, poor hardware, etc.) then it will look worse on an LCD. CRTs (including CRT HDTVs and projected CRTs) tend to make things look "softer" or more film-like.

That's how I feel about it at least.
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Old 01-11-08, 10:45 PM   #10
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As somebody else mentioned distance from the TV helps. Another thing that has helped for me is to turn off the surrounding lights. It might help you too.
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Old 01-12-08, 12:51 AM   #11
Nick Martin
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I've found that any standard TV signal will look like garbage on an LCD, because as it's been mentioned, an LCD basically reveals each and every flaw and compression artifact in the image. To me, it's like watching a youtube video set full screen on a computer - poor source made worse by magnifying it and all its flaws.

I try never to watch any SD programming on an LCD, including older TV shows on DVD. Plasmas and CRTs just don't reveal those flaws much, especially CRTs which make standard TV look fantastic, but of course that's the kind of screen standard TV was essentially meant to be viewed on.

I find even high-quality DVDs look flawed on LCDs which reveal even the slightest MPEG-2 compression but still look marvelous on a Plasma.
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Old 01-12-08, 09:42 PM   #12
Spiky
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Well, I think that the LCD and plasma, assuming same resolution, should be exactly the same as to revealing every flaw and artifact. The real problem is the upconversion software.

Mine is an LCD, and it is pretty good sized. And SD looks decent on it. Esp DVDs run from my Denon 2900 player. That's one of the best de-interlacers ever put in a DVD player, followed by a nice Faroudja upconverter. Beautiful picture.
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Old 01-15-08, 11:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonno2006
Why does LCD tv's look really awful with standard non HD television channels? I recently bought my dad a 19inch Insignia (yeah crappy brand but that shouldn't matter that much right?)
Yes, the brand matters a LOT! A crappy brand usually means a crappy picture. This is because the crappy brands have low-quality scalers and low-quality deinterlacers and, hence, make everything that uses those look terrible (i.e. any source that's not progressive HD). And for LCD TVs, crappy brands tend to suffer the worst from LCD's known limitations (motion-blurring, poor black levels and black detail, poor off-axis viewing).
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Last edited by dhmac; 01-15-08 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 01-15-08, 12:29 PM   #14
Darth Maher
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My Insignia NS-27HTV is a CRT and both SD & HD look great on it.
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Old 07-05-11, 07:49 AM   #15
danyaman
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Re: Why do LCD TV's look bad with SD content?

Your question is stupid...

LCD TV's look shit with any content!!! The picture on an LCD is far inferior to any other TV including old school tube's!\

Plasma all the way dickheads!!!


MOD Note: Please ignore this post. -namja

Last edited by namja; 07-05-11 at 10:13 AM.
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