If You Get HDTV, Get An Eye Exam, Says Totally Unbiased Study

from the biased?-us? dept

A new study says that people who are getting high-definition TV gear need to get an eye exam, too, so they can be certain they're getting the maximum benefit out of their new equipment. The recommendation comes from a study commissioned by -- wait for it -- a chain of opticians, which in no way calls into question the veracity of their argument. A spokesman for the chain says that even a tiny bit of shortsightedness can effect the quality of the picture a person sees. That's probably true, but won't the HD picture still look much better than the SD image regardless?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    modestone, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    By the way, plastic surgeons all over the country are recommending buyers of new cars should have all the fat sucked from their bodies, otherwise they may loose out on some horsepower.


    Gimme a break.

     

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  2.  
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    modestone, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    actually

    I have a friend that has eye problems, and wears glasses. When she came over to watch "Planet Earth" on bluray (1080p), she complained that the image "hurt her eyes".

    I thought this article might have been referring to some useful bit of info on that topic, but of course, they are just pimping for money.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Myth Buster, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    I saw a "myth buster" type show asking the question...

    "When you shave, does the hair grow back thicker?".

    Believe it or not the expert, a representative from Gilette, said absolutely not!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:17am

    ???!!!!

    so in short it didn't matter that your going blind before but now it will in order to enjoy your new HDTV.

    great logic.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    Because it doesn't grow back thicker or else we would have giant freaking hairs on our faces with pores the size of quarters with regular shaving! wait... are you being sarcastic? I fail.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    Um, but the representative gave a true statement, so I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say here. =

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Re:

    That's because it DOESN'T grow back any thicker. It just LOOKS fuller because all the hairs have a flat end, as opposed to a more natural tapered strand. After a week or three of normal wear and tear, the ends of the hairs have gotten tapered again.

    It's an old wives' tale. The Gilette rep is right.

     

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  8.  
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    John Hampton, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    HDTV and eyestrain?

    Since correct viewing distances for most HDTV is 1/2 to 1/4 the distance most people are used to sitting from their old SDTV, nearsightedness might be a problem.

    In addition, the picture is larger (covers more of the retina) and badly fitted glasses - especially bifocals or tri-focals - could cause discomfort.

    Of course, none of this applies if people are viewing their 32" HDTV from 15 feet away.

     

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  9.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Take it from me

    "but won't the HD picture still look much better than the SD image regardless?"

    Take it from a guy who has fairly bad eyes. Yes it douse. I have to sit at least 3' away from the TV just to see it clearly (2' for perfect), but even from the couch (aprox 8') it's better.

     

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  10.  
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    aston techno, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    eyes for hd

    i just clean my glasses and sit 20 feet from the screen

     

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  11.  
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    Moose, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:37am

    Sure they're trying to drum up some business, but they do have a point. You have to be sitting pretty close to a TV to fully appreciate the difference between 1080p and 720p. In setting up my home theater, I did a bit of research to find an "optimum viewing distance." For example, my 110 inch screen (projector) has a recommended viewing distance of 15 ft. and the recommended distance for a 40 inch TV is 5 ft. The point is, if you have to sit that close to really appreciate bluray, even a slight vision impairment could hinder you too.

    http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/

     

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  12.  
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    Jonathan, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    I have a very low perscription. (+1.25) And it does make a big difference. Especially with any kind of text on the screen. Honestly theres no point in watching HD without clear vision. You might as well be watching regular TV.

     

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  13.  
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    Jesse, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    I don't know, it seemed like a fairly reasonable conclusion to me..if a dentist says you should come in for cleaning twice annually, does that mean they are just saying it to make money? What's the point in spending lots of money on an expensive tv if you can't really see it that well.

     

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  14.  
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    Nathania, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:52am

    My husband recently got "computer glasses" for work (basically a light prescription) and his headaches and extreme case of eye watering went away.

    So, the opticians probably have a point, but they maybe need some PR people to get their message across.

     

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  15.  
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    Murdock, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:53am

    Re: 1080p vs 720p

    I agree with in regards to 1080vs720. But they are talking about SDTV vs. HDTV so 480i vs 720P+ You don't have to be very close at all to notice that difference. And the jump from 480i to 1080p, well thats just wow!

     

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  16.  
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    MissingFrame, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Finally, a reason!

    Yep, never mind people are driving around their kids in a 3-ton truck at 60MPH because that's not a good enough reason to get your eyes checked.

     

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  17.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    But for the ladies, they are suggesting breast implants.

     

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  18.  
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    Haywood, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re:

    That would keep my mind of of TV.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    And if you're talking about the outlay for a 40" LCD and blue-ray player and new discs... then getting some new glasses is right in-line with the price you're spending for quality viewing.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 10:49am

    Re: Finally, a reason!

    Perhaps you missed it but the point was viewing something TOO CLOSE to you clearly. People driving 3-ton SUVs generally need to see a bit farther away than 'close'... I don't give a rats ass if they can see their windshield wipers clearly or not.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    You can't see it

    The eye is only capable of resolving so much resolution. Like a dog can hear better than we do, they have much better hearing resolution that we do.
    From my engineering classes, here's what you need to do to prove it to yourself. Go to a theater and sit in a seat that's the most comfortable for viewing the film. Hold your hand out and with your fingers, measure the height of the screen. Then go back and look at your TV. If the TV is smaller than this height, you are too far back.
    Or think of it this way. It's easy to prove that higher resolution isn't always better. Stand a foot away from the TV and look at the picture. If you are on a low res tube TV, you will easily see the lines. Keep moving back until you don't see the lines. That's the point when the resolution of the TV matches your seeing, any further back and you loose resolution.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re:

    That's terrible.. I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the program with all of the giant hooters in the room.

     

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  23.  
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    MissingFrame, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Finally, a reason!

    But do you give a rats ass if the ONLY reason to get an eye exam is because they bought a TV? I doubt people are getting eye exams saying "Only test far distances, I don't want to pay for the full test. Yes I know the test is free."

     

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  24.  
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    Bazza, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    sigh

    You mean "affect", not effect.

    Also, tl;dr

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac., Jan 16th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Eye Exercises for Vision Heatlh

    Our eyes and vision were designed for viewing distance as hunters and gatherers, and not for ongoing near work as required by regular computer use. As a result, Computer Eye Strain is becoming one of the major eye complaints heard by eye doctors today.

    Symptoms can include increased myopia, blurred vision, headaches, slow refocusing, difficulty concentrating, neck, shoulder and back pain

    Eye strain can be reduced significantly by taking regular breaks from the computer, resting your eyes, stretching and doing eye exercises.

    For a demo of 3 great eye exercises by Dr. Grossman, one of the Country's leading behavioral optometrists, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W10j2fL0hy0

    Dr. Grossman also offers his free eye exercise booklet at his website at Natural Eye Care Free Eye Exercises with his 11 favorite eye exercises and acupressure eye points to massage regularly.

    Finally, there is also an excellent section at his website on "Computer Eye Strain" under "Eye Diseases" that provides a Computer Eye Strain “Self-Help“ section with great tips of relieving eyestrain due to computer use.

    For more information, go to Natural Eye Care for Computer Eye Strain

     

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  26.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Many People Can't Tell

    Studies have shown that a lot of people can't even tell if they're watching HD or SD material. Probably why these so-called "upscaling" DVD players seem to be selling so well.

     

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  27.  
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    SteveD, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 5:09pm

    Thou shalt not quote the Daily Mail

    The Daily Mail is the Fox News of print. It really shouldn't count as journalism.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2009 @ 5:43pm

    I have glasses that I need to replace, and I can state that I can't tell the difference between my TV (No HD) and my friends TV (HD)

    Missing out on HD is the least of my problems. My wife telling me I need new glasses is way above the HD problem, but yes, if you have bad vision, HD doesn't really work all that well.

     

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  29.  
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    gene_cavanaugh, Jan 17th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Eye exams for HDTV

    As I see it, HDTV is supposed to make the TV look more like what you see in the real world by improving definition. True, if you can't see details in the real world, you can't with HDTV; but that simply says if you can't see you need an eye doctor, which is independent of HDTV.

     

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  30.  
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    johnnyz86, Jan 18th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    this applies to mainly to 1080p vs 720p, depending on the distance. most people get 1080p when the viewing distance and their eyesight really limit its usefulness.

     

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  31.  
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    derekcfoley, Jan 19th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Its true... HD LCD is not brilliant on the eyes....

    My 52" LCD visibly "blurs" when there is a lot of fast movement. You'll see the same effect on so called "digital projectors" at cinemas too.

    When you get slow moving helicopter shots of scenery, it looks great, e.g. Travel programmes. You'll see that foreground objects blur and look jerky.

    I think this is something to do with "latency" on LCD displays (trails in other words). Some TVs, my Samsung included have a "Movie Plus" mode to help with this - try turning it on, but this looks very odd and artificial sometimes because its creating frames that don't exist. So as usual, we have something that looks great sometimes, but still isn't perfect as a technology.

    Watch something like Channel 4 (Uk's) "Dead Set" or another handheld camera nightmare and you'll see the problem.

    Regrettably some directors currently favour wonky cameras - e.g. Quantum of Solace springs to mind - few programme producers understand that jerking the camera around does not help the flawed technology and us poor saps at the other end watching, it doesn't make it more exciting either, just makes it impossible to see the poor production values e.g. AVP2 fight scenes, or in Bond's case - hides the expensive ones! Hey, the steadycam was invented for a reason fools!

    Rant aside about film-makers - I also agree with the comment about eyesight and HD displays. A smaller 28 inch 720P screen at 10 feet distance for someone with poor eyesight is hard to spot the difference from 1080P.

    The rule is bigger or nearer your screen is to you... always go 1080P. If you stick a screen in the corner of a room like your parents love doing - stick with 720P and don't bother with the extra cost.

    Please don't get me started on the "Progressive" versus "interlaced" debate either.

    Imagine, if blog comments were around when colour TV was introduced, it would be a similar conversations and bizarre news reports... "colourblind people expected to pay extra for colour TV". In all seriousness - Thankfully the impaired community havent held back technology for the rest of us, well until government bodies start laying down rules ;)

    PS. being 40 I might need glasses soon, so I reserve the right to recant this blog. And if I lose an eye, I too want to complain I don't want 3d display features in the next 5 years either

     

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  32.  
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    shuqin, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 12:49am

    Miss Manners: What's the Best Response to Compliments on Her Looks?

    Miss Manners: What's the Best UGG SnowpeakSnowpeak Response to Compliments on Her Looks? Dear Miss Manners, This is not exactly an earth-shattering problem to have, but I know there must be a better way to handle this particular situation. What should I say in response to a compliment about my looks? I'm not a super-model or anything and I don't have a great body, but I've had several people tell me I have a pretty face. A lady at church said it recently and I just went blank. Strangers even will say in passing how pretty I look. I feel terribly awkward when this happens. I want to say thank you, but that feels wrong because I didn't do anything to look this way. Do you have a suggestion for a kind way to acknowledge the compliment in a sincere manner without sounding like I'm getting a big head? Gentle Reader, No, you don't want a big head, Miss Manners agrees. That would be unbecoming. So you want to watch out for the danger signs, and one of them is taking compliments too seriously. That is what you are doing when you feel the need to explain that the work of art that has others enthralled is not actually of your creation. To be told that you have a pretty face is very nice, but a mere pleasantry. You need only reply, "Thank you." It is not necessary to point out that you did not make it on your potter's wheel.

     

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  33.  
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    Eye Exam, Long Island, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:26pm

    Eye Exam

    I believe too much exposure to a screen whether HDTV or any other screen in the long run will cause weak eye sight.

     

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  34.  
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    John, Nov 18th, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    LCD's use fluorescent lights. So your basically looking into a bright light. Fluorescent lights give off HEV and blue light. This is very bad for the eyes.

    I read an article saying HEV glasses and melanin glasses can help.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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