HI-DEF VIDEO with the right tools is simply stunning.
For several months now, I've had a nice LG HDTV (42 inch screen, 1080p 60Hz). It was great to watch blu-rays on, (via my Sony PlayStation 3) and play video games with. But, even when watching Blu-Rays, I could tell something was amiss. The blu-ray movies really didn't look much better than DVD's, except maybe just a little sharper.
That all changed today, when I got my new HDTV from Samsung (46 inch screen, 1080p 120Hz). Amazing what a difference another 60Hz made.
Granted, right now, the top of the line TV's are 240Hz or better, so by some standards, I got another out-dated TV. However, since I'm not entirely sold on the whole "3D TV" hype yet, 120Hz would suit my needs. And it has served well.
I inaugurated my new purchase by watching the 2009 movie of Star Trek. I could IMMEDIATELY tell the difference as soon as the Paramount logo blazed on the screen at the start of the movie. The stars were sharper, and more vivid, the mountain looked less like a CG model, and more like a physical model. After going through the opening logos, my jaw dropped as the first actual footage from the movie came up. It was simply stunning. The contrast was razor sharp, the characters and foreground objects stood out. And the movie that I had been so used to seeing in a rather film-grain visual now looked like it was shot on videotape (and I say that in a good way). Shiny objects looked much more lifelike. I felt like I was there on the bridge of the Kelvin. And the spaceship shots.....WOW! They looked less and less like CGI models, and again, more like physical models...the way the hull reflected light. To some degree, the live character shots looked almost like something you'd see in the old PBS/BBC Doctor Who productions....but with better quality.
I actually had to pause the movie and step away a few times, I was so stunned with what I was seeing. (BTW, I gave my old HDTV to my roomie, since his HDTV had burned out....yeah, I'm a generous guy like that. He, in turn, is going to cover my Special Edition Halo Reach Xbox 360 purchase.)
Well, I finished watching the movie, and decided to see how my blu-ray of the Star Trek Original Series Season One would look. I popped on my favorite episode, "Balance of Terror". Again, I was blown away.
If anyone remembers the classic look of the older series "Dark Shadows", that's what the blu-ray presentation of Star Trek Season One reminded me of. Again, the contrast, the characters, and even the space shots just gave me pause. I could not believe I was watching a show from 1967. The grainy look was gone. It was as if, just with the Star Trek movie, the series had been shot with a completely different camera.
I'm anxious now to see how my video games will look.
I realize, again, I've bought relatively outdated tech, but for my purposes, there's no buyer's remorse here.