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What is the deal with these really high-end TVs?

slash000slash000 Registered User regular
OK, this is going to be a strange question, so I'll try to explain it as well as I can..

My friend recently got a brand new TV. Top of the line Samsung. Probably 60 some odd inches, 1080p, 120hz. I think it's LCD.

Anyway, so we're watching a movie on TNT HD, and.. well, everything is sharp and clear (i'm guessing that the TNT HD channel is 1080i) as you would expect. So the weird part is this: The movie looks weird. I want to say, fake. As if we were watching actors on a set or something. It wasn't believable like it usually is when you watch movies in the theater, or even on other less high-end TVs.

I've never noticed this on other televisions, like various plasma tvs and LCDs and DLPs. Even on 1080i and other resolutions.

I recently went to CircuitCity and checked out a few televisions. Some of the nicer sets on they had set up had this same issue; others didn't.


My suspicion is that it has something to do with the refresh rate. Has anyone noticed this with the really high-end TVs? I'm not sure I'd quite want to invest in a new TV if watching movies makes them look so.. odd for some hard-to-describe-reason.


Hard to describe, I know. Has anyone else ever noticed something odd about how movies look on the really, really high-end TVs as compared to others, or even less cutting-edge ones?

If you've noticed this sort of thing, any idea what could possibly be causing this? The resolution, the framerate of the movie/show/etc, the refresh rate, some kind of color setting, any idea?

slash000 on
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    noobertnoobert Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    slash000 wrote: »
    So the weird part is this: The movie looks weird. I want to say, fake. As if we were watching actors on a set or something.

    I have felt exactly the same thing!

    noobert on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    noobert wrote: »
    slash000 wrote: »
    So the weird part is this: The movie looks weird. I want to say, fake. As if we were watching actors on a set or something.

    I have felt exactly the same thing!


    It's so odd. I've shown this effect to some of my friends when we happen to be in a store like Best Buy with a display set, and they notice it too.

    Can't figure out the reason though. Any idea?

    I have to say I don't really like it. Even though, yeah, I can tell that the TV is obviously extremely nice, high-end, supporting top of the line features and whatnot, but... I don't want my movies to look so weird and fake

    slash000 on
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    NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I think it might be the fact that a lot of that stuff was shot/made for lower resolution. Even when its upscaled it can still look bad. I can't watch things like the Back to the Future movies(blue screens and double shots) or other older movies without noticing all the digital effects that stand out.

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    ObsObs __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    If it looks fake that's because it is.

    Obs on
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    That and some people really don't like the way 120Hz looks. I saw some demo TV's at Best Buy and decided I don't think I'd ever want that feature.

    Burtletoy on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    It's probably a combination of things.
    120hz has been known to make things look ultra-realistic
    We're used to what TV used to be
    Filming and broadcasting in HD is still relativly new, even if it was an HD channel running an HD program, things might have been funky
    The could stand to be calibrated.

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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Hm. Well thanks for all the input from everyone. I guess it's just a matter of things, like movies, looking so realistic that you can kind of tell that it's.. just a movie.

    Which is weird, though, because I (and others that see the same thing) don't get that feeling while watching movies. Maybe it's because they're on huge screens or running at slower framerates or something, dunno.


    But whatever the case my best guess is that it's the 120hz thing.

    slash000 on
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    just chiming in that I get the same feeling.

    and movies are blurry as fuck, of course you won't get that feeling with them.

    PikaPuff on
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    MarlorMarlor Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    That and some people really don't like the way 120Hz looks.

    I'm the same. It just looks wrong somehow.

    Perhaps it has something to do with how they upconvert the lower frame-rate video to 120Hz. I don't know... but I don't like it.

    Marlor on
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    UltimanecatUltimanecat Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, high end HDTV's typically have an option which will "add" missing frames to smooth things out. Usually the option is called "Motion Enhancement" or something to that effect. Generally it will make film look like video, which I personally think is a bit jarring.

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    EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I noticed this on a couple 120hz sets when I was hunting up HDTVs. Some other 120hz sets looked really good, but maybe it's just what they were playing.

    Ego on
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    grrarggrrarg Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, high end HDTV's typically have an option which will "add" missing frames to smooth things out. Usually the option is called "Motion Enhancement" or something to that effect. Generally it will make film look like video, which I personally think is a bit jarring.

    Yep, those 120hz Samsung HDTVs have a feature called "Auto Motion Plus."
    Auto Motion Plus 120Hz technology virtually eliminates any motion blur and creates smooth transitions between frames, making action-packed sports and movies look clearer and more real than ever before.

    I recently set up a new Samsung for my parents and had to turn that feature off. It made some movies and sports programs look really fake.

    grrarg on
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    ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm just glad other people have noticed it, because when we were in MediaMarkt looking at big TVs I thought I was going crazy.

    My GF couldn't see it, but in fairness she runs her PC at 1024*768 on a 26" display and claims to not notice any blurriness.

    ben0207 on
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    DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You can force the TV to run at a lower refresh rate. The super smothness I always thought was meant for sports and video games. There should be a setting for force the refresh down. noticed this too when started to use a higher end LCD.

    It was really odd at first, I'm used to it now though as I've gotten too lazy to change it :P

    Dixon on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Well, it's not so much the refresh rate as the engine that does the interpolation. You can't really turn the refresh rate down, at least in the Samsungs, but you can limit the 'fake' frames being produced by the TV.

    I'm still not completely sold on 120Hz sets, but the prices have been dropping so I might just go for it.

    Malkor on
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    VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Hell, this is like Deja Vu to the time I watched Hook on a HDTV at a relative's house.. Suddenly it was just painfully obvious that it was just some kids running around on what seemed like a cardboard set.

    Visti on
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    Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, high end HDTV's typically have an option which will "add" missing frames to smooth things out. Usually the option is called "Motion Enhancement" or something to that effect. Generally it will make film look like video, which I personally think is a bit jarring.


    This is exactly what it is. My 47" Visio did the same thing until I turned off that setting.

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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    +1 to the "fake frames" thing causing it. Leave 120Hz on, so that you eliminate judder in 24fps sources (24x5 = 120) and reduce ghosting/blur, but turn off "MotionPlus" or whatever your TV calls it.

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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, high end HDTV's typically have an option which will "add" missing frames to smooth things out. Usually the option is called "Motion Enhancement" or something to that effect. Generally it will make film look like video, which I personally think is a bit jarring.


    This is exactly what it is. My 47" Visio did the same thing until I turned off that setting.

    Lime+1

    It has nothing to do with the frame rate and everything to do with the interpolation. That said, it doesn't make it look "more fake", it makes it look "more video-like", which is to say "more realistic". It looks like you're there, watching it in person. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you're watching. For sports broadcasts, being right there is a good thing. Cuz, like, you're right at the game. For films, being right there means you're right on the set watching a bunch of actors pretend to do shit. It really does look like you're on the set rather than watching it in a theater, and this can ruin the film-like feel, as well as make digital effects more noticeable (CG tends to look more painted on, even when it's really well done).

    That said, if you use it at all, within a month or two you'll be so used to it you won't really notice.

    ElJeffe on
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    TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I had this for the first week or so that I had my 6 series Samsung 46". I really had buyers remorse because I couldn't get over the 'actors on a set' feeling i got while I watched it, but after a couple of months now I cant watch it any other way. I guess it's all in what youre used to.

    TK-42-1 on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Yeah, high end HDTV's typically have an option which will "add" missing frames to smooth things out. Usually the option is called "Motion Enhancement" or something to that effect. Generally it will make film look like video, which I personally think is a bit jarring.


    This is exactly what it is. My 47" Visio did the same thing until I turned off that setting.

    Lime+1

    It has nothing to do with the frame rate and everything to do with the interpolation. That said, it doesn't make it look "more fake", it makes it look "more video-like", which is to say "more realistic". It looks like you're there, watching it in person. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you're watching. For sports broadcasts, being right there is a good thing. Cuz, like, you're right at the game. For films, being right there means you're right on the set watching a bunch of actors pretend to do shit. It really does look like you're on the set rather than watching it in a theater, and this can ruin the film-like feel, as well as make digital effects more noticeable (CG tends to look more painted on, even when it's really well done).

    That said, if you use it at all, within a month or two you'll be so used to it you won't really notice.

    YES

    THAT'S IT!


    Thank you! That explains it! That's definitely the cause!

    Oh man it makes so much sense now! It's not the 120hz, it's this video interpolation whatever!

    slash000 on
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    ObsObs __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Try watching porn on that TV

    Obs on
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    ApostateApostate Prince SpaceRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I first noticed this effect on my Dad's new Sony LCD. We were watching "Wanted" (surprisingly good btw) and I kept wondering if they were trying to be "arty" by shooting some of it on video until I eventually realized it was the TV. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and went through the options until I found the Motion Enhancement feature and turned it off. As usual no one else in my family noticed it. But it drove me crazy. I would be surprised if I ever got used it.

    Apostate on
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    xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    So the question is.. what does this feature do for soaps? Because they already look like you're watching actors on a set.

    Does the TV turn you into a lousy actor and make you recite lines?

    xzzy on
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    MarvellousMMarvellousM United StatesRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I had noticed this at Best Buy too and didn't like it, its especially odd when you consider a lot of films shot in digital have that look added in afterwards to make it appear it was shot on film and then these TVs take that back out! It makes things look so cheesy, what is the rationale behind using this other than because its fancy-smancy new tech?

    MarvellousM on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The real explanation involves math.

    Malkor on
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    Nimble CatNimble Cat Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I was in Best Buy awhile back and they were showing something from Hancock in Blu Ray. It looked less like a movie and more like a television broadcast. It was offputting.

    Nimble Cat on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    So the question is.. what does this feature do for soaps? Because they already look like you're watching actors on a set.

    Does the TV turn you into a lousy actor and make you recite lines?

    On a good TV, it makes it look like there are little people living inside your television. The effect is pretty uncanny.

    The best candidate for this effect is situations where you want to simulate "being there". Nature shows, sports games, that sort of thing. Watching something like Blue Planet on Bluray on a 1080p 120Hz TV with frame interpolation activated is about the coolest thing ever.

    ElJeffe on
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    So what's the average price range on these types of TVs? I want my next TV to be of this quality or better, if better is widely available by the time I buy one.

    PikaPuff on
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    xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    A brief scan of a best buy advert when I was stranded at the in-laws for new years suggested prices for 120hz screens start around $1700 for a 40 inch screen.

    But I could be forgetting information already and this number is way off. Off to google with you!

    xzzy on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    A brief scan of a best buy advert when I was stranded at the in-laws for new years suggested prices for 120hz screens start around $1700 for a 40 inch screen.

    But I could be forgetting information already and this number is way off. Off to google with you!

    The Samsung LN46A650, which is what I've been considering is ~1400 on Amazon and anywhere from 1500-1800 in brick and mortar stores.

    Malkor on
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    gklha;rhahklre

    PikaPuff on
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    xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    gklha;rhahklre

    I read this on a 120hz screen and I felt like I was in the room with you.

    xzzy on
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    MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I think the Vizio prices at 1k even, and it looked just as good as any of the other sets in the store.

    Malkor on
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    PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    1k is more doable

    PikaPuff on
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    120hz makes things things shot at 24 or 30fps look like 60fps. It makes an episode of BSG look like an episode of 70's Dr. Who. I guess it's the smoothing/interpolation stuff, I think Sony calls it HDNA? Not sure, I just hate it because it messes with the director's intended presentation for a movie or a quality show.

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    Malkor wrote: »
    I think the Vizio prices at 1k even, and it looked just as good as any of the other sets in the store.

    Which means little, since every TV in the story was almost certainly miscalibrated.

    Not to knock Vizios per se, but a TV that's twice as expensive will actually be better.

    Shame that pretty much all non-plasma, non-LCD technologies are just about dead. :(

    ElJeffe on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    PikaPuff wrote: »
    gklha;rhahklre

    I read this on a 120hz screen and I felt like I was in the room with you.

    :lol:

    ElJeffe on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2009
    I had noticed this at Best Buy too and didn't like it, its especially odd when you consider a lot of films shot in digital have that look added in afterwards to make it appear it was shot on film and then these TVs take that back out! It makes things look so cheesy, what is the rationale behind using this other than because its fancy-smancy new tech?

    120Hz TVs were developed because they could eliminate the judder caused by 24fps film content. Since 24 doesn't divide evenly into 60, you can't easily display film content on a 60fps set (ie, all of the old ones) without either speeding it up or slowing it down. So they used 3:2 pull down, in which they showed the first frame 3 times, the second frame 2 times, the third frame 3 times, the fourth frame 2 times, and so on. This allowed 24fps content to display on 60fps sets without any weird interpolation, and without altering the overall speed of the content. Unfortunately, it effectively meant you were changing the playback speed repeatedly from a little too fast to a little too slow, several times per second. The upshot is that the picture was kind of jittery, which is what they call "judder".

    120Hz sets let them just play each frame of 24fps content five times each, and you get no judder.

    Except when they don't.

    WARNING: DON"T READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET CONFUSED BY TECHNICAL STUFF

    So some TVs - notably Sony's - don't always display 24fps at 120Hz. Sometimes they display it at 96Hz. This is because of a motion smoothing algorithm they use, which is different from frame interpolation. In order to eliminate motion blur, they intersperse the actual frames with frames that are either black, or darkened versions of the previous frame. So you get Frame1-Black-Frame2-Black-Frame3.... and so on. Some people like this, some don't. Point being, you can't do this if you're showing each frame an odd number of times. It needs to be even. So they configure their sets to run at either 120Hz or 96 Hz, and if you turn on their Motion Naturalizer (as they call it), it uses the latter. It shows a frame twice, then black twice, then the next frame twice, and so on. And if you use frame interpolation as well, you get a complicated mixture of these two effects that I won't even go into because it sort of hurts my head and I like this shit.

    ElJeffe on
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    MarlorMarlor Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    One thing: 120Hz TVs don't quite work for PAL.

    120/25=4.8

    Yet they are still sold here in PAL-land, where most people will be using them for watching PAL DVDs and digital TV that is mostly broadcast at 25Hz.

    Marlor on
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