AfterDawn: Tech news

1/5 HDTV owners don't know difference between SD and HD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 28 Nov 2008 14:52 User comments (37)

1/5 HDTV owners don't know difference between SD and HD According to a recent survey by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), about one in five HDTV owners believe they are watching HD (high definition) programming simply because they own an HDTV, but instead are really watching SD (standard definition) content.
The data compiled by LRG is based on a telephone survey of 1302 U.S. households and marks the 6th consecutive year the survey has been run.

The findings are not all that surprising given the general consumer confusion surrounding terms such as 720p, 1080p, HDMI and Blu-ray. Cable providers are still only on their baby steps in regards to releasing HD services, and most companies only offer under 100 highly compressed HD channels that never live up to HD's full potential.

42 percent of HDTV owners surveyed also noted that when they bought their sets they were told to get HD programming. It appears retailers may still be confused as well if that number is accurate.

Topics HDTV

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37 user comments

128.11.2008 15:01

Most people are morons, especially with technology. I am surprised the number is not higher.

228.11.2008 15:22

lets face it, HD televisions are only usefull for ps3/xbox right now. i have some hd programming but still its sad that hd tvs been out this long and how few stations provide true HD.

328.11.2008 15:36

Hell my dad can't even tell the difference between a PS3 game and a PS1 game. He saw my brother playing the PS3 one day on our giant HDTV, and he comments like he always does every single time he walks by the tv "Wow, that game sure has good graphics!"

Yeah, my little bro was playing Castlevania, Symphony of the Night.

428.11.2008 15:58

haha, what a classic game. man when that came out back when? ps1? that game was amazing.

528.11.2008 16:15

There should defiantly be a standard when it comes to hd programming. Anything that isn't uncompressed 1080i should be labeled as enhanced instead of hd. Some channels even look worse in supposed hd. I can think of about 10 to 15 hd channels off the top of my head that actually look like they're in hd, the rest look altered at best.

You have to admit that standard def tv looks better on newer hd capable tv's. The built in enhancements alone can tweak the picture to create deeper/brighter more accurate colors. The truth is the majority of the general public doesn’t care enough to learn about this new technology. It won't be until they have no choice or they accidentally see/buy it that you'll hear ohhh and ahhh that’s what hd is. I’ve been asked several times by numerous people (mostly older) what exactly blu-ray is... when I tell them they get this deer in the headlights look and slowly nod their heads.

628.11.2008 16:51

first of all, i do understand the difference.
i'm not surprised some have no idea.



interestingly enough, i never wanted hd cable service since buying an hdtv.
however, my cable box recently stopped working. i hooked up the tv directly.

once i let it auto-program, i noticed some new "digital" cable channels.
i get all the hd versions of the major networks without a cable box.

why didn't anyone (on afterdawn) inform me of this!!

728.11.2008 18:31

Gaming has the biggest difference when comparing SD and HD. If you have component on an SDTV it looks OK, but the resolution decreases the visual crispness. Television programming is only best with true HD video, as mentioned in other comments.



828.11.2008 19:03

haha morons. its like saying "i have an hd tv and im getting hd content"... NOT!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Nov 2008 @ 19:46

928.11.2008 19:48

I'd have to say it's expected. Working in retail, at least 50% of the costumers that come into my store every single day are so hopelessly retarded (teens and adults alike) that they don't even know the alphabet. They can barely read. They can barely write. They can't do simple math. They can't string together even remotely coherent or understandable sentences. Etc etc. I wish I was joking, or at least exaggerating a little bit, but quite seriously I'm not.

To put it simply: Over the past decade or so, the average human being has become about as intelligent as a bar of soap.

1028.11.2008 20:13

Originally posted by IPRFenix:
I'd have to say it's expected. Working in retail, at least 50% of the costumers that come into my store every single day are so hopelessly retarded... They can't string together even remotely coherent or understandable sentences
and this comment comes from someone who works in retail with "costumers" ?
classic :)

1128.11.2008 20:26

Quote:
and this comment comes from someone who works in retail with "costumers" ?
classic :)

Well, I almost laughed.
Nice try.

1228.11.2008 23:14

Please refrain from flaming, thank you.

1329.11.2008 0:03
atomicxl
Inactive

I think its mostly cable users. You can get over the air HD for free and there's a drastic difference when you're watching a channel thats showing something in HD and something that isn't.

Those people may not know that its 720p or whatever technical name, but I bet they know a difference between the picture quality of most primetime shows on major networks and everything else.

1429.11.2008 6:04

Originally posted by IPRFenix:
I'd have to say it's expected. Working in retail, at least 50% of the costumers that come into my store every single day are so hopelessly retarded (teens and adults alike) that they don't even know the alphabet. They can barely read. They can barely write. They can't do simple math. They can't string together even remotely coherent or understandable sentences. Etc etc. I wish I was joking, or at least exaggerating a little bit, but quite seriously I'm not.

To put it simply: Over the past decade or so, the average human being has become about as intelligent as a bar of soap.
I have to say (working in audio visual retail myself) that is a strange attitude to have towards your customers. These are the people that pay your wages and keep the business alive. You really should change your perspective if you hope to be successful in your chosen work. Do you perform well on sales figures compared to others in your workplace?

I think you should take pride and responsibility in educating your customers. It is your job to take all this complicated technology and jargon, then by asking your customers the right questions, help them to find and understand the product that suits them the best. You say, quote...

"at least 50% of the costumers that come into my store every single day are so hopelessly retarded .... They can't string together even remotely coherent or understandable sentences".

Again, I would like to reiterate, it is your job to take the information they are trying to relay and as a professional decipher that information and offer a solution. They are intimidated enough by the current market. We need to try to make them feel educated and savvy, not the other way around.

I will admit that this can often be very challenging. I am sometimes even faced with customers that will start off the conversation thinking that they know much more than I do, and when I try to add to the conversation it quickly gets turned into what feels like an argument. There is not a lot anyone can do in an awkward situation like this except continue trying to help. We must remember by working in retail we have chosen a customer oriented business.

No wonder 1 in 5 people are confused. Think about it from their perspective. With terms like Plasma, LCD, LED backlight, Blu-ray, HD, SD, 480i/p, 576i/p, 720i/p, 1080i/p, 100Hz, 120Hz, HDMI, HDCP, lossless/lossy audio, upscaling, multi-zone, RMS, impedance, TrueHD, DTS-HD, response time, contrast ratio, 16:9, 4:3, 24fps, streaming, BD-Live the list goes on and on... Of course they feel intimidated by all this strange new language. The average person doesn't love technology like most of us on here do.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Nov 2008 @ 7:59

1529.11.2008 9:42

I'm sure all of us know at least one person or family that doesn't have a HD TV yet. From my experience, hi-def is something that must be seen to be really understood. You can talk to the hi-def holdouts until you are blue in the face about how stunning hi-def is, but you will generally not have much impact. These people need to see it for themselves. At the same time, that great impression they get of hi-def needs to coincide with one of two things:(1) having the budget to go out and buy hi-def gear, or (2) Pain. As in the pain of having a standard TV that is obsolete or has a bad picture.
The ones that perplex me the most are the people that don't either notice the difference between SD and HD(typically visually impaired and/or old people) and the people who don't care(typically those who just hate TV and avoid it.
IMHO, if you can walk to your local Fry's and walk by a 60" HDTV playing a Blu-ray Discovery nature-type show, and not stop, and gawk, and be moved almost to tears, then you not only hate TV, but you have no soul.

1629.11.2008 22:29

I have to agree with Ryu77 on the retail thing. I used to work retail, and yes, people are clueless, but by no means are all of them stupid or unintelligent. They just have not been told. I lost count of how many side jobs I got mounting big screens and hooking up a home theater system. Those jobs gave me a chance to walk people through the differences in SD and HD in a language they could understand and how to take full advantage of the TV they paid for.

snowlock, I hear ya on the channels- funny story about that. I was programming a new LCD for a lady, and it picked up all of the unencrypted HD cable channels. She walked in as what looked like a shampoo commercial or something was on TV, but then the actress' robe... let's just say I finally noticed the bunny logo in the corner. My customer looked a little shocked, but told me to leave it because her husband would like having free P1ayb0y. Wow.

1730.11.2008 1:15

There is a difference and the easiest way to tell is get Cable. If you have a bigger screen like 40+ inches you WILL notice the difference cause cable has the worst quality unless you have digital channels, not just digital cable. My friend Jon has a 61in DLP HDTV and digital cable and normal channels just look god awful on it. Even Halo 2 looks better through the Xbox 1. People can't tell the difference cause they don't get a big enough size. Satellite TV, which is what I have on a 34 or 38in(don't remember) in Sony WEGA big tube TV(This TV is so nice, just fat as heck) I can barely tell the difference but when it comes down to it it IS noticeable, if you compare it. People aren't idiots, they just don't get big enough or have the right stuff and they don't look for it.

1830.11.2008 9:10

@IPRFenix
I also have worked retail in cameras (pre digital era) and I am quite astounded by your post. I was going to respond until I saw the reply from Ryu77, very well put. My customers back then fell into 2 categories, those that knew everything about the camera that they were going to buy, including the name of the guy who designed the screw which held the film guides in place, or those who knew they just wanted to take a picture. If all your customers knew everything about every component you sold, then what is the purpose of your job? To help them carry the TV to their car, no, you find out what their needs are and suggest the best solution. It's your duty and responsibility to be the teacher here, you must educate them in the ways of HDTV. Not to flame Circuit City, but did their employees have the same attitude of superiority? What happened to the idea of making friends and making your customers feel welcome? I'm stopping before this turns into an open flame.



1930.11.2008 11:57

Originally posted by snowlock:
first of all, i do understand the difference.
i'm not surprised some have no idea.



interestingly enough, i never wanted hd cable service since buying an hdtv.
however, my cable box recently stopped working. i hooked up the tv directly.

once i let it auto-program, i noticed some new "digital" cable channels.
i get all the hd versions of the major networks without a cable box.

why didn't anyone (on afterdawn) inform me of this!!
I was bored one day and plugged my coax from my internet comcast into my tv and voila, free basic cable with at least 5 local HD channels, great for HD football, hockey, baseball, and channel 11 HD. All I really need.

2030.11.2008 14:32
lynchGOP
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by snowlock:
first of all, i do understand the difference.
i'm not surprised some have no idea.



interestingly enough, i never wanted hd cable service since buying an hdtv.
however, my cable box recently stopped working. i hooked up the tv directly.

once i let it auto-program, i noticed some new "digital" cable channels.
i get all the hd versions of the major networks without a cable box.

why didn't anyone (on afterdawn) inform me of this!!
I was bored one day and plugged my coax from my internet comcast into my tv and voila, free basic cable with at least 5 local HD channels, great for HD football, hockey, baseball, and channel 11 HD. All I really need.


3 words regarding this article's title

What A Pity.




As for the Comcast video over coax, Yep, 99% of people have this same option as it is a standard that the video signals run on the same coax as internet. Usually a small filter is screwed on your line outside so if for some reason your video disappears then just find your little "green box" and open it and unscrew and remove the filter. That basically blocks the frequencies that deliver video channels. I used to work for at&t before Comcast took over their cable tv division.

2130.11.2008 14:35
lynchGOP
Inactive

Originally posted by Paladore:
lets face it, HD televisions are only usefull for ps3/xbox right now. i have some hd programming but still its sad that hd tvs been out this long and how few stations provide true HD.

Directv in Chicagoland has almost 80 HD channels. And not the crap that Comcast boasts via OnDemand which is B.S. that they are allowed to say "Most HD programming"

Directv has NGCHD, TBSHD, TNTHD, ANIMAL PLANET HD, SciFi HD, Movie channels HD, network channels HD. Lots and lots and lots. Move here for HD.

221.12.2008 12:49

I wouldn't call people morons for not knowing the difference. You're taking generations of people who never had to make a huge decision to buy a TV. Some have had a SD TV for 20 years and the biggest decision they had to make 20 years ago was the size for their living space. Now they are expected to do an enormous amount of research, on something they never had to care about,in order to get the most from their (very expensive) purchase.

Cable is the worst IMO. I just switched this weekend from Dish to Cable. I had an idea what I was getting into. I read that Cable uses the most compression. But the package included VOIP and internet speeds about 4X faster (and yes, fully tested speeds are 4X faster), and came out to $55/month cheaper. I made the sacrifice in video image quality. I didn't think it could be that bad. The difference in quality between Dish and Cable is huge even on a 26" 1080i television. And don't even get me started on my SD signal coming into my 36" SD TV. Holy crap. Talk about random pixelation. I need to do my own research now to see how I can tweak the image. Initial research has yielded that not even changing output cables will correct the image.

231.12.2008 16:15

Why do some people have to put others down for not being informed? Laughing and name-calling is despicable and shows lack of humanitarianism.

248.12.2008 9:44

When Directv came to install my HD recievers the installer did NOT
know he had to use the HDMI jack in order for it to be HD.

A lot of people cannot see the difference between SD & HD, even some younger people.

also, many people set the screen to "stretch" the picture to fit
no matter what. I cannot stand to watch a "Stretched" picture.

258.12.2008 10:42

Originally posted by ronraines:
When Directv came to install my HD recievers the installer did NOT
know he had to use the HDMI jack in order for it to be HD.

A lot of people cannot see the difference between SD & HD, even some younger people.

also, many people set the screen to "stretch" the picture to fit
no matter what. I cannot stand to watch a "Stretched" picture.
You don't need HDMI. Component is fine, as the HD signal is compressed anyway. In fact, when I had Dish, Composite was fine. The quality can be great compared to SD on an SD TV. There is a huge difference. There is an absolute difference between SD and HD on an HD TV. I watched the Jets game in HD on my HDTV this Sunday. Also in SD on my HDTV and also in SD on my SDTV. Huge difference. Those that cannot tell the difference probably don't have the right circumstances to be able to make an informed decision. Also, depending on your provider, some may need to speak to tech support to set-up/program their receiver to work with their TV in order to optimize the viewing experience.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Dec 2008 @ 10:45

268.12.2008 16:21

what do you mean by: Component input??

278.12.2008 16:49

Originally posted by ronraines:
what do you mean by: Component input??
Component = video split into separate signals (red, blue and green ends of the cable) as opposed to a single yellow end - and the audio (red and white) comes in separately. So there are 3 connectors for video instead of a single one, and 2 more for standard audio.

Here's a picture of a typical component video cable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Component_video

A HD cable box should come standard with component out, in case the customer does not have HDMI. I happen to have HDMI, but I could not get it to work - HDCP error (although my TV is supposed to support HDCP).

288.12.2008 16:50

I tried that and it does not work, it gives me a "tinted" picture.

I am staying with the HDMI, it works great!!!!

298.12.2008 17:03
vudoo
Inactive

You'll be surprised how many retail stores are showing HD TV's but with standard content. Some are showing content through coax cable and a few are using VHS tapes of programming or just DvD's being transmitted to several sets through a composite video to RF modulator. No wonder why some people can't see a difference. It should be against the law for a store to show non HD content on an HD TV. However look around you and you'll see what I mean.

308.12.2008 17:06

you are 100% correct!!! the stores would get more sales if they showed actual HD!! I have also saw the poor quality on HD tv's without a HD source.

the store managers must not know that HD is better or that it is really any different.

318.12.2008 18:11

Originally posted by vudoo:
You'll be surprised how many retail stores are showing HD TV's but with standard content. Some are showing content through coax cable and a few are using VHS tapes of programming or just DvD's being transmitted to several sets through a composite video to RF modulator. No wonder why some people can't see a difference. It should be against the law for a store to show non HD content on an HD TV. However look around you and you'll see what I mean.
Very true. I remember 2 years ago asking people, "what's the deal with HD?" Mainly because every picture I saw was SD and it looked like crap.

328.12.2008 18:14

my aunt bought a 50 inch HD LCD, she does not have HD programming at all and she expands the picture to fill the entire screen, it looks like crap!!!

338.12.2008 20:15

you can definitely get hd content straight trough coax cable,
since that's the only way i have hd television stations.
a bar i was frequenting has the hd boxes, which hook up via component.
there is next to no visible difference in picture quality between the two;
maybe much of that can be attributed to cable's signal compression?




as for no "true hd" content on in-store demo's...what stores are you guys visiting?
it has been quite some time since i've seen something NOT in hd in a store,
unless you mean the ps2 and nintendo wii demo stations at some retailers.

if you're talking 1080p, then of course it's not. except blu-ray demo's.
hdtv services only have 720p programming content. we simply don't have 1080p tv shows yet.

349.12.2008 5:52

Originally posted by snowlock:
as for no "true hd" content on in-store demo's...what stores are you guys visiting?
it has been quite some time since i've seen something NOT in hd in a store,
unless you mean the ps2 and nintendo wii demo stations at some retailers.

Two years ago, it was all of them. It's improved drastically. I just remember not being able to tell the difference at all. It's a lot better, although in Best Buy, there a re a few out of their hundreds of TV's that I still see an SD signal.

359.12.2008 8:47

Sports fans know the difference.

High-def is driving up ratings for sports

Quote:
Nielsen reports at least 22% of U.S. households get HDTV — up from 10% in September 2007 — and its ratings for TV sports are 20% higher than in the USA overall. "Sports commentary," Nielsen says, is the most popular TV programming of any kind for HD viewers.

3617.4.2012 5:51
dsgfsgf
Unverified new user

Originally posted by atomicxl:
I think its mostly cable users. You can get over the air HD for free and there's a drastic difference when you're watching a channel thats showing something in HD and something that isn't.

Those people may not know that its 720p or whatever technical name, but I bet they know a difference between the picture quality of most primetime shows on major networks and everything else.


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3717.4.2012 7:37

i got a new hd tv a few months ago.I can see minor difference between the hd channels and sd channels.the hd channels look sharper but the picture is only 720p not 1080 (thats free to air tv for you) to me it looks like the pixels are blended better.the biggest difference i noticed was fifa 11 on ps3 on a crt tv with av cables and a sansui cheap 32inch lcd tv through hdmi.The games running at hd look a lot better.

the worst experience i had when looking for a new tv was in 1 store when i went in for a tv and the guy wanted me to buy the tv a ps3,new sound system,blu ray player and a bunch of other things i wasnt interested in and couldnt afford he even offered finance with a high interest rate.lucky im sensible or i'd be debt for the next few years.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

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