Why does HD TV look like 80's BBC sitcoms.

I can’t say I hate HD, but it’s almost too real. It’s so real everything looks fake and off somehow. I got the same feeling from poorly produced crap in the 80’s. Why?

It’s not what you’re used to perceiving as real so your brain perceives it as unusual/fake. Some people get the same “fake” impression when they watch movies displayed at more than 24fps even though 48/60/120/240fps is closer to how we see.
Also, perhaps getting closer to real puts it into the equivalent of the uncanny valley.

Are you talking about how it looks like everything has the quality of looking like it was filmed live with a digital hand camera or it has that soap opera look to it? I have an HD TV and I noticed this too when I first bought it, gives everything a cheap look to it, but I’ve discovered that most of those TV’s have a feature that kind of toggles this look on and off and the picture quality is still good it just doesn’t have that seamless live look to it, I think each manufacturer has a different term for what they call this feature, I always have it off.

I guess that at some point in the nineties started using color filters to make television look more “movie-like”? And HD kinda allows you to see through the glamour of the filters?

Turn off frame interpolation…it’s disturbing and stupid. Yet it looks good in the store so it is on by default. Different companies call it different things. But all it is is a higher frame rate than the source material.

Missed edit window:

My Sharp tv calls it “motion enhancement” and it very definitely makes everything look like an old taped soap opera.

And AND, I had to turn it off for each different inputs.

Are you talking about the Soap Opera Effect?

Exactly. And I swear it gives HD a bad name. Turn that setting off as soon as you can.

Presumably, once humanity gets used to it, the better image will be perceived as better. It’s just a historic quirk that is making us think that worse is better, due to a link to poorly scripted television.

But it’s not “better” any more than colourised films are “better”. Those extra frames are not in the original source.

Of course HD looks fake. In real life, things in the background are less clear than things in the foreground (moreso if you’re nearsighted). In HD, they’re clear and sharp. Years ago, I saw a demo of a system and surprised the demonstrator when I pointed this out.

Soap Opera Effect, awesome, that’s why I come to the dope. Thanks everyone, I’m glad I can turn it off.

A LOT of stuff in the U.S. on TV in the past has been “filmed”. And is a poorer quality.

Most BBC stuff is “video taped” which is a higher quality picture.

I always call it the Police Surgeon effect, after the 70s television show, which as “filmed” on video tape, IIRC. :slight_smile:

Video tape works great inside (like for sit coms and, of course, soap operas) but for some reasdon using it outside makes a poor quality image that looks fake. Must be something about the frame rate difference.

You’re going to love Ultra-high-definition television.

That’s depth of field and has nothing to do with HD.

When I got my first HD big screen, I got a Blu Ray player as well. The first thing we watched was the BBC Planet Earth on Blu Ray. It was a great introduction to HD. I think especially because it is nature, outdoors. Not fake indoor lighting on fake sets.
But then we watched a bunch of other stuff. The effect was quite varied. I do recall the difference in some programming before HD. A range of soft to crisp. I always sort of liked the crisper visual.
Overall it is the content that is most engaging.

My Panasonic Plasma TV has VIVID-STANDARD-CINEMA picture modes. Do I want “Standard”? Or is this not an issue for plasmas?

Yes, I was going to nitpick that. HD refers to the resolution (1080 for HDTV). The “Soap Opera Effect” is caused by the frame rate. For example, I have an older HDTV without the digital interpolation stuff. So movies look normal to me.

I shall nit pick your nit pick… It’s 1080i or 720p. Where “i” is interlaced and “p” is progressive. There is also 1080p.

Interlaced is just like the old time TVs did-- you scan the even lines on one pass and then the odd lines on the next pass. Progressive is you scan every line on every pass.