HDTV update and excitement.

It’s new HDTV time!

It must have been about 8 years ago when I replaced my old style CRT type television with an LED model. This new 26 inch size screen was a nice move up from my old 23 inch television, and though it was a base model it had all the functionality I needed. Its main use was as a display device for my DVD player, occasionally plugged into my PC for internet related stuff, and very occasionally (and only very occasionally) used for standard television viewing.

However time goes by, terrestrial broadcast HDTV arrives, general video camera quality improves, YouTube moves up to HD resolution, there’s Netflix and other streaming services… and so on. So, time for an upgrade and I’ve just got hold of a 40 inch 1080p Samsung* LED TV. It’s a basic model down at the lower end of the range so no smart functionality, but connecting it to my PC will sort that out. Yet despite it being one of the cheaper 40 inch models it really did give me a bit of a ‘wow factor’ on first switch-on – the quality of the image is so much better than my old TV. I did expect an improvement, otherwise why would I be doing this, but I had not anticipated by how much that improvement would be.

This does throw up one problem however. Before, when you had a video source of ‘average’ quality being played back on a similarly matched TV system everything was in balance and you had an enjoyable viewing experience. With this new higher quality playback device all the imperfections there on the poorer quality source now become visible, and even multiplied up with my increase in screen size. A DVD of 720 x 480 or 576 looks great on a DVD resolution screen, but upscale that 720 signal to 1920 x 1080 and unless this upscaling is done very cleverly then it does not look so good. One thing I have quickly learned with this device – play things back at their native resolution. Even if it means a smaller image, this generally gives a far nicer viewing experience than altering / stretching and thus corrupting the picture.

So perhaps it’s no longer time to be buying DVDs but going Blu-Ray when looking for physical media, though now with more and more material being streamed over the internet (thank goodness for an unlimited connection) maybe this will just not be an issue.

* Samsung UE40H5000

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