Video Placebo: Is that Really HDTV You Are Watching?

by on December 7, 2005 · 58 comments

News of the video bizarre: According to a just-released survey by Scientific-Atlanta, millions of people who have HDTV sets apparently think they are watching high definition television, but aren’t. The survey was spurred by an earlier Forrester Research projection that by the end of the year some 16 million U.S. households will have HDTV sets, but only seven million wll have HDTV reception. The Scientific Atlanta survey found that, yes, some 49 percent of households were not taking advantage of their HD equipment. About a quarter found that their HD set itself provided better reception, without taking the additional steps necessary to view HD. Eighteen percent said they didn’t even know needed additional equipment, such as a set-top box or antenna. A quarter admitted they thought they were watching HD video because, after all, the programs said at the beginning that they were broadcast in HDTV.

The survey confirms the long-standing prejudice of many of us non-videophiles that HDTV really isn’t all that impressive. Still, it is milding shocking that so many people plunk down money for an HD set, but never catch on that it isn’t actually turned on.

This could open up a slew of innovative policy options for the digital transition. Perhaps, instead of actually allocating spectrum to HDTV broadcasts, the FCC could just say it has done so, saving the spectrum for more valued uses. And instead of requiring HD tuners on sets, the FCC could just require a sticker saying the set has an HD tuner. The possibilities are endless.

  • Natalia Wolter

    My first day that know to placebo was in the concert that was very cool, about

  • Natalia Wolter

    My first day that know to placebo was in the concert that was very cool, about

  • Elton

    I just bought an HDTV and when hooked up to my standard Dish Network box, the picture looked good as long as nothing noved in the show. If something moved then it got fuzzy around the moving araes edges. I have now been told that for any LCD tv to look good, would have to get a dishnetwork HD box and even an LCD tv with 480 LRs would do this. Does this sound right?
    Thanks

  • Elton

    I just bought an HDTV and when hooked up to my standard Dish Network box, the picture looked good as long as nothing noved in the show. If something moved then it got fuzzy around the moving araes edges. I have now been told that for any LCD tv to look good, would have to get a dishnetwork HD box and even an LCD tv with 480 LRs would do this. Does this sound right?
    Thanks

  • Bob

    I just got a new LCD HDTV RCA L32WD12. There is no cable service offered in my rural area, and our local stations in Springfield, MO. do not transmit in HD over the air. When I got the set, I hooked it up to my existing DIRECTV analog SD box. The picture quality was OK, but disappointing and seemingly not as good as CRT. Pix looked like it had poor focusing and plenty of artifacts, some channels better than others. I realize that some of this is characateristic of LCD’s as well.

    Today, DIRECTV came out and installed my new HD box, and wow! I was really impressed while viewing true HD material at 1080i. The box was hooked up using the component jacks on the tv. I am well aware there are better LCD sets than RCA out there, but can honestly say that I have NEVER seen a better picture on ANY tv, even plasma!

    My question to anyone is there anything else I can do to improve SD on my set? Fortunately, I am able to change the format (screen size) on the set, which helps to some degree. As I said, ALL the HD channel broadcasts look superb.

    Unfortunately, there are only a few HD channels available to me, and of course, most of the stuff I prefer to watch is in SD.

    I shoot and edit SD broadcast commercials for cable tv, which at least gives me the ability to distinguish good and poor picture quality, but I don’t really know much else….

    Any response as to improving picture quality when viewing SD channels would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Bob

  • Bob

    I just got a new LCD HDTV RCA L32WD12. There is no cable service offered in my rural area, and our local stations in Springfield, MO. do not transmit in HD over the air. When I got the set, I hooked it up to my existing DIRECTV analog SD box. The picture quality was OK, but disappointing and seemingly not as good as CRT. Pix looked like it had poor focusing and plenty of artifacts, some channels better than others. I realize that some of this is characateristic of LCD’s as well.

    Today, DIRECTV came out and installed my new HD box, and wow! I was really impressed while viewing true HD material at 1080i. The box was hooked up using the component jacks on the tv. I am well aware there are better LCD sets than RCA out there, but can honestly say that I have NEVER seen a better picture on ANY tv, even plasma!

    My question to anyone is there anything else I can do to improve SD on my set? Fortunately, I am able to change the format (screen size) on the set, which helps to some degree. As I said, ALL the HD channel broadcasts look superb.

    Unfortunately, there are only a few HD channels available to me, and of course, most of the stuff I prefer to watch is in SD.

    I shoot and edit SD broadcast commercials for cable tv, which at least gives me the ability to distinguish good and poor picture quality, but I don’t really know much else….

    Any response as to improving picture quality when viewing SD channels would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Bob

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    Luogo interessante, buon disegno, lo gradisco, signore! =)

  • http://www.lukxi.org/firewall firewall

    Luogo interessante, buon disegno, lo gradisco, signore! =)

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