Why HDTV specs are nothing but cobblers

Most of the flannel you'll next to an HDTV on display in a shop is complete twaddle according to a bloke who should know.

Founder of leading display-calibration company DisplayMate Technologies, Raymond Soneira, suggests that trying to compare TVs based on the specs advertised is not much better than buying shampoo on the basis it is scientifically enhanced to make your hair look like glowing star dust.

"All of the manufacturer specifications that consumers use to decide on which model to buy are being exaggerated by tremendous factors - some exceeding 1000 (thousand!) per cent. More than snow balling... it’s an accelerating runaway train that has to be stopped, writes Soneira, in an illuminating article in Maximum PC magazine.

"Competition between display and HDTV manufacturers has gotten so brutal that marketing gimmicks and misleading or fraudulent specs that take advantage of most consumer's lack of technical knowledge and understanding is playing a large role in driving sales and market share," he writes.

It's got to the stage that so much meaningless twaddle is spouted by manufacturers' marketing departments, we've ended up in a situation in which the biggest liar wins.

"It’s both shocking and sad that display specs have been exaggerated to the point of meaninglessness. And you’re not the only one who suffers. Innovative manufacturers that develop new and better display technologies can’t trumpet their hard work with superior performance specs. Instead, they’re forced to play the game or lose significant business."

Soneira might have an axe to grind but that certainly doesn't detract from the truth of his argument. He says an independent body should be set up to monitor the cobblers peddled by display makers masquerading as science

"I proposed this back in 2003, but it went nowhere because too many manufacturers resisted the idea," he writes, "But it’s high time for this solution to finally be implemented... or just imposed. It’s in everyone’s interest except for the subset of manufacturers that can only compete using fraud."