HD era not ready yet?


ps3hdtv

Mark Rein of Epic Games was interviewed by Eurogamer and dropped this interesting fact;

Over half the users who played Gears of War 2 so far do not have HDTVs.

Ok now i know this is an Xbox game, but its a good indication that PS3 owners are mostly in the same boat and with the size of the install base, that makes millions of gamers are not playing in high def. Digital Foundry has put together an intriguing analysis to compare the performance in game between high and standard definition and revealed some intriguing facts about the PS3, that the standard definitions have some serious issues. SD owners worldwide though should take note of this quote;

A US PS3 owner who buys a cheap game in the UK and takes it back to the US could well find it completely unplayable if he only has an SDTV. Two of the games I tested (GTAIV and Far Cry 2) wouldn’t work, whereas Killzone 2 and Call of Duty: World at War would. Euro PS3 owners buying games from the NTSC territories could be similarly inconvenienced.

To sum up, if you plan on importing games and you own a SD TV then don’t bother as you will encounter some serious performance issues but if you’re fortunate enough to own a HD TV then you should be fine.

But what about the readers here, how many of you own an HDTV?


Written by: Trev - Contributing Editor


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  1. #1 by teflon6678 on July 25th, 2009

    I started off on a SD TV, but I now play on my freshly bought 24″ computer screen, which does 1080p (though its a proper 16:10 resolution really).

    I expect that a larger proportion of PS3 owners play on HDTVs for the simple reason that the X360 is cheaper and more mainstream right now. Its cheaper price means that more people will buy it and not consider getting a bigger TV at the same time, whilst plenty PS3 purchasers will be considering it as a home entertainment hub of sorts.

    Though it would be quite interesting to see some proper stats on the PS3′s HDTV uptake.

  2. #2 by Glitch on July 25th, 2009

    I’ve played on both SD TV but is now playing on a 1080p HDTV.

  3. #3 by Pungyeon on July 25th, 2009

    I cry a little inside everytime I see a ps3 connected to an SD tv….

  4. #4 by JimmyMagnum on July 25th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    I think more PS3 owners use HDTVs because of the blu-ray. BTW, I use a 40″ Samsung 1080p LCD. Before that, I used a Sony 27″ HD CRT TV that only went up to 720p/1080i, but even that had an amazing picture quality (CRTs were always good with black levels, and the HD ones had amazing color contrast as well. too bad they dont make them anymore)

  5. #5 by Glitch on July 25th, 2009

    Mine is a 46″ Panasonic 1080p Plasma. I am really satisfied with the quaility of it.

  6. #6 by Darrin on July 25th, 2009

    I write on a ps3 blog and I still use an old SDTV. I’m about to buy a super nice new 50″+ 1080p TV and HDMI audio system, but I’ve been holding off until I move and for a few life events to settle down.

    Also, the longer you hold off on a TV purchase the better. TVs prices have dropped and the quality has risen quite dramatically. A $1000 HDTV in 2009 is better than a $2000 HDTV from 2007. In comparison the PS3 has dropped only $200, and the new units are actually worse than the older units in terms of BC and USB ports and card reader.

  7. #7 by Greg on July 25th, 2009

    I use a 1080p 60″ Sony HDTV. Can’t imagine playing in SD.

  8. #8 by Dan on July 25th, 2009

    Most 360 games (if not all, i’m not entirely sure) run only at 720p – 1080p is totally wasted on that system. So even a tv a few years old is better than nothing. The PS3 currently runs it’s games at 720p as well with only blu-ray using 1080p capabilities so again for gaming a brand new 1080p isn’t strictly needed – a cheaper HD tv (720p or 1080i) would suffice anyone wishing to go HD.

    Also are you sure these games didn’t work not because of HD/SD compatabilities but rather the fact that TVs in the USA and eu run at different Hz (50Hz or 60Hz). Could these problems be overcome by trying out the game on a tv running at different Hz or changing the console setting?

  9. #9 by Trev on July 25th, 2009 [ 26623 Points ]

    It is true that there are no games on either console at the moment that run at 60FPS in native 1080p resolution except maybe Wipeout HD and Ridge Racer 7? oh and Geometry Wars 2 but that’s not really running at the machine’s full capacity. So yes only a 720p tv is required at the moment and in the foreseeable future, in fact a 1080p set might not be necessary until the next generation of consoles. So yes it is not imperative to own an HD set yet.

    Its actually not a TV issue Dan as its more the console’s output which is only in 50hz through the SD port. to quote the Digital foundry article;
    “PAL50 is mandatory for SD gameplay on all games on all European PS3s. You can’t avoid running at a sub-optimal 50Hz unless you splash out on high-def screen.[...]
    the same issue will be apparent in any 360 game running at PAL50, but the difference is obvious: to the best of my knowledge, all 360 games support PAL60, and the vast majority of SDTVs support it too, making it far less of an issue.”

    If that doesn’t fully answer your questions then i fully recommend reading http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-standard-def-article as it explains it all.

  10. #10 by JimmyMagnum on July 25th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    with most games running 720p natively, that’s still technically a high definition resolution, just not full HD. Even then, 720p is a HUGE jump from SDTV’s 480i, So, IMO, the HD era is technically here, just not 100% full HD. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gran Turismo hit the 1080P 60FPS benchmark though

  11. #11 by Tosh on July 25th, 2009 [ 1102 Points ]

    When I first got my PS3, I started out on a SD set for quite a while. Then I got a 26″ HDTV LCD that did 720P/1080i (which I still have).

    Then about a year ago I got my 50″ 1080P set :)

  12. #12 by Thepreppymonk on July 25th, 2009 [ 1865 Points ]

    I go between a SD and HD, there are huge differences,yes. But, it never occurred to me that it helped my ability to play games.

  13. #13 by P5ycH0 on July 26th, 2009

    What exactly is this ‘SD’ thing people talk about ???? ;)

  14. #14 by Glitch on July 26th, 2009

    Standard Definition.

  15. #15 by Paranoimia on July 26th, 2009

    “Also are you sure these games didn’t work not because of HD/SD compatabilities but rather the fact that TVs in the USA and eu run at different Hz (50Hz or 60Hz).”

    I’d agree that this is the most likely culprit.

    Most recent SDTVs in the UK will support both 50Hz PAL and 60Hz NTSC standards. We can run US software because we have more horizontal scanlines on an SDTV screen – 576 as opposed to (I think) 480.

    We can play NTSC games and just get black bars top and bottom as there isn’t enough to fill the screen. But I’ve never been sure how this works in reverse – i.e. whether you can fit a PAL 576-line image into an NTSC 480-line display.

    And for the record, I started out with my PS3 on a Sony WEGA 28-inch SDTV, which I had from my PS2 days, but now have a 32-inch Sony Bravia KDL-32V4500. Only 720p, but it does for me.

  16. #16 by Trev on July 26th, 2009 [ 26623 Points ]

    to answer your question paranoimia;
    “what is holding back developers from supporting both the “classic” PAL 50 and the far more preferable 60Hz mode? From peering at the data structure on several game discs, a lot of the time it comes down to those pesky pre-rendered cinematics. 60Hz-compatible movie streams are mandatory in order to support the high-definition modes, but for PAL50 that means that additional movies need to be rendered that don’t judder horribly. That eats up disc space – something that isn’t in great supply on the Xbox 360. It shouldn’t be a problem at all for PS3, however, where most of the releases I’ve looked at would fit onto a dual-layer DVD, leaving the majority of the Blu-ray’s space empty.”
    from the same article; http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-standard-def-article?page=2

  17. #17 by Fleakitten on July 26th, 2009

    So basically the PS3′s the only one true HD system out there? Is that correct?

  18. #18 by matt on July 26th, 2009

    Anything above 480p is HD. 720p and 1080p are both HD. I hate this topic as most who talk about it have no clue about it. Currently the only “Full HD” content is Blu-Ray. There is no need for 1080p for almost all of your viewing/playing. Most sports heavy channels are 720p (Espn, Fox, etc.). 1080p will not be possible for broadcast television for a VERY long time. Direct TV has “1080p Movies” but this is over-compressed crap that looks like upscaled DVD.

    If you are buying an HDTV soon please do yourself a favor and look at the distance to screen size charts out there. If you are 12′ from a 50″ HDTV you could not tell the difference between a 720p or 1080p. It is impossible as the human eye cannot resolve the detail between the two from that difference. You would be wasting money buying a 1080p. Do your research and you will be fine.

  19. #19 by JimmyMagnum on July 26th, 2009 [ 83111 Points ]

    im about 5 feet from a 40″ 1080p lol

  20. #20 by giz on July 27th, 2009

    ntsc games on my sd tv are black&white ^^

    so i bought a hd tv (was relative cheap, only 369Euro 28” FullHD :P )

  21. #21 by bunnyhero on July 27th, 2009 [ 1850 Points ]

    i still don’t have an HDTV. someday though…


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