Is "Full-HD" HD Enough?

Not yet.

Full HD is 1080p, which has been known over the past few years as the best definition. When I bought a 1080p TV I felt like my eyes had been opened for the first time. I could no longer be satisfied with DVD or VHS video. This low quality media seemed like I was looking at the world without prescription glasses. 1080p made the video so clear for me. I knew technology would keep advancing, but I thought this was the best quality of video.

Television has become a part of everyone’s lives. Why would we not work to make it better? Our track record shows that we always have tried to make it better. TV started out as a luxury in a small box that emitted black and white images in the late 1920’s. The first color TVs in America were sold in 1953. By 1981, HDTVs were being shown off to investors. It took a while for the size of televisions to catch up to the HDTV resolution. In 1997, 42” 480p were available to consumers. By 2006, Blu-rays, HDMI cable, and 1080p televisions were released for everyone to enjoy. Ever since, we have increased the size of TVs and “Full HD” has seemed to be the limit. While we enjoyed growing TVs, all video attempts to catch up to quality of 1080p.

Not so surprisingly, advancements in technology are what brought video quality to the amazing detail it has today. But what more could we do to make video more lifelike? There are quite a few things actually. The solutions vary from increasing the frames per second, increasing the pixels in the display, to enhancing the video signal with a video purifier.

You may have heard about 48fps because of the controversy in showings of “The Hobbit”. Standard video is recorded at 24fps (frames per second). The human eye can perceive more than this. 48fps makes the video smoother and closer to what our eyes naturally perceive. It makes it too similar to real life motion that many people do not like it. However, it still enhances the video to be lifelike, thus making it overall better.

1080p refers to the amount of pixels in the height of a display. The amount of pixels is actually 1920 x1080. To get more detail, technology has tried to shrink the size required per pixel and shove more into one display. Electronic shows are now showing off 4k and 8k televisions (4k references width of display). 4k has four times as many pixels as 1080p displays, 8k contains SIXTEEN TIMES as many pixels as our current “Full HD” displays. It is astonishing how much more detail will be available when these “Ultravision” televisions are released for retail. This is a little misleading however. Blu-rays currently only have 1080p burned onto them. We will need to have 4K media in order to play it. Also, the human eye can only perceive so much detail at a distance. The iPhone retina display is supposed to have more pixels than the eye can perceive from a distance greater than 10.5” (face to phone distance). A 42” 1080p TV will be “retina” if the viewer is about 10’ away. But who wants to be that far away? To get a better view and more detail at a closer range, manufacturers have increased the amount of pixels in commercial televisions.

Manufacturers have also created video purifiers, such as the Darblet by Darbeevision. These units take an already high-definition video signal, run their algorithms on it, and clean up the picture. To me, there does seem to be a difference in most videos. It increases the contrast and sharpens the image even more. A video purifier attempts to add “depth-cues” that are lost when recording a film. Depth-cues are what tell the eye how far things are in relation to each other. It tricks the eye into thinking it isn’t on a 2D display. It does not add more detail to the video signal, like adding more pixels on a Blu-ray disc would. However, it does clean up the picture to make it look even better on an HDTV.

Whether you have the latest technology, are waiting for the release of the best TV, or simply are content with what you have in your house, television quality is going to increase. “Full HD” is not the best by itself right now, and will be obsolete in the near future. Make sure you are ready for the high-definition you want.