Poor picture quality on an SD TV

jak.willis wrote on 3/5/2023, 3:55 PM

Hi,

I have posted here in the past regarding poor picture quality on UKTV broadcasts on Freeview. I gathered that, because the programmes they show are SD, the poor quality was coming from the upscaling to the native resolution of my HDTV. So, as a sort of experiment, I thought I'd look on eBay for a cheap, second-hand old non-HD TV, to see whether the SD programmes would look better because of no upscaling. I found and bought a Sanyo one which is digital but not HD. Unfortunately, the quality of the SD programmes look really bad on it when playing through a DVD Player connected to the TV via a good quality SCART cable.

Can anyone explain to me why the quality is no better on an SD TV? Is there something I'm perhaps doing wrong?

Comments

johnebaker wrote on 3/6/2023, 6:45 AM

@jak.willis

Hi

. . . . Freeview. I gathered that, because the programmes they show are SD . . . .

Freeview channels are HD 1280 x 720 minimum and can go up to 4K UHD.

The problem is anything you play on a DVD player is going to be restricted to 480p for NTSC, and is the SD maximum, or 576p PAL .

SD/DVD will look bad on a TV with no upscaling or a low quality upscaler in the TV, and on a SD TV because it is low resolution.

If you need a higher quality you need to be looking at Blu-Ray player and creating Blu-Ray discs at FullHD resolution 1920 x 1080 .

However if your source videos are not FullHD ie they are SD or 720p then normally it is better to let the TV do the upscaling, however you could try upscaling in Movie Studio/Movie Edit Pro to see if is any better.

HTH

John EB

Last changed by johnebaker on 3/6/2023, 6:47 AM, changed a total of 2 times.

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CubeAce wrote on 3/6/2023, 8:31 AM

@jak.willis

Hi.

Have you considered watching Freeview online and screen recording?

Ray.

 

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jak.willis wrote on 3/6/2023, 9:46 AM

@jak.willis

Hi.

Have you considered watching Freeview online and screen recording?

Ray.

Hi Ray,

What would be the advantage to doing that?

jak.willis wrote on 3/6/2023, 9:54 AM

Hi,

I have posted here in the past regarding poor picture quality on UKTV broadcasts on Freeview. I gathered that, because the programmes they show are SD, the poor quality was coming from the upscaling to the native resolution of my HDTV. So, as a sort of experiment, I thought I'd look on eBay for a cheap, second-hand old non-HD TV, to see whether the SD programmes would look better because of no upscaling. I found and bought a Sanyo one which is digital but not HD. Unfortunately, the quality of the SD programmes look really bad on it when playing through a DVD Player connected to the TV via a good quality SCART cable.

Can anyone explain to me why the quality is no better on an SD TV? Is there something I'm perhaps doing wrong?

Hi,

Yes, but on UKTV Drama channel, they broadcast in 544x576, and when watching on an HDTV it looks all soft and fuzzy (presumably because of the upscaling going on.)

That’s why I thought I’d buy an old second-hand SD TV on eBay so that I could look to see if the UKTV Drama broadcasts look any better on there, but they actually seem to look worse. I thought that perhaps with an SD television it wouldn’t have to upscale the 544x576 and therefore would actually make the quality better than what it looks like on an HDTV.

The old second-hand TV set that I got from eBay is a 27 inch Sanyo (non-HD) LCD TV with 1 set of the old RCA inputs, and 3 or 4 AV SCART inputs. There doesn’t seem to be any way for me to see what the actual resolution of this set is, but considering it’s only an SD TV, I presume it to be around 576i or p?

CubeAce wrote on 3/6/2023, 10:31 AM

@jak.willis

I think we sometimes forget the actual images we once saw on cathode ray tube TVs with often poor colour rendering from most makes, and the mesh / mask behind the screen to separate the beam to the points of the screen with their fluorescent dots, and that the original recordings were often soft or lacked the amount of colours now available. My parents had a Grundig set which on average was awful.

To my eye at least, watching such content via the internet on a decent colour calibrated monitor is better than watching a terrestrial broadcast via a TV set.

I will take down the following example images before the end of the day due to copyright issues but both clearly show the channels they streamed from. These are just screen grabs from two such channels. I doubt very much that the original experience had more colour or sharpness to them due to the lack of resolution and colour space of the original recordings, possibly from 16mm film stock (right image / ITV4) or early video recorders (left image / Dave).

[Images Removed]

Ray.

Last changed by CubeAce on 3/8/2023, 2:34 AM, changed a total of 3 times.

 

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