Super Bowl, check.

February 8th, 2008 · No Comments

It’s clearly taken me a few days to get around to writing this. And that’s probably because I wasn’t that impressed with my Super Bowl watching experience. While the game was clearly in HD, it just wasn’t as impressive as I had hoped.

The underwhelming experience may be because I had forgotten that we were trying out the Tivo’s ‘fixed resolution’ setting at 1080i (it doesn’t do 1080p since no one broadcasts that sort of bandwidth.) That setting means the Tivo scales all input to that resolution on its output so that your TV doesn’t have to sync to different resolutions/formats, which for most people means less interruption while changing channels. Our flat panel 42″ LCD takes a second or two to change sync for example. Anyway, given that we had the Tivo set that way, and since Fox actually broadcasts their HD at 720p (which is actually higher bandwidth than 1080i!) that meant that the Tivo was scaling the signal before passing it on to our Panasonic PTAE2000U projector. However, since the projector’s native resolution is 1920×1080, if the Tivo hadn’t scaled it the projector would have.

I’m not sure which device would have done a better job scaling, only that it had to happen somewhere. I didn’t remember the Tivo setting, and change it back to ‘native’ output, until about the last 3 minutes of the game. At which point I got more into the game then evaluating the quality of the picture. Anyway, I’m guessing the resolution mismatch was the reason things weren’t as impressive as I had hoped.

I also noticed that there seemed to be a number of times where Fox would cut to a different camera and things suddenly seemed slightly out of focus. I had noticed the same trend in the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl. I don’t remember this sort of thing happening in the past. I’m worried that perhaps it is indicative of a problem with the active lens system of the PTAE2000U instead of something in the actual broadcast? Can anyone else confirm this out-of-focus-on-scene-change thing was happening as they watched the games? I guess if it was just the projector than I’d start noticing it on other channels / movie scene transitions. I’ll need to look out for it.

Tags: Home Theater

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