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?

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Comments on “If You Get HDTV, Get An Eye Exam, Says Totally Unbiased Study”

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modestone says:


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.

derekcfoley (user link) says:

Re: 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

John Hampton says:

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.

Moose says:

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.


Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac. (user link) says:

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

shuqin (user link) says:

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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