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720p Vs. 1080p programming


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31 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   dstorm

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:38 AM

Need some help here and hoping I can gain some insight. Purchasing first HDTV set - Opting for Plasma 46" or 50" - Trying to decide whether to save the $300-$400 with a 720p vs. a 1080p.

I had been set on a 1080p - going for highest quality out there - but after doing a bit of research it appears most programming is transmitted in 720P and I've read several articles that say for a 50" set or less from the correct viewing distance there is little to no difference between the 2 even when the program is transmitted in 1080p.

I'm also curious about the up-conversion for non-HD programming. some claim it looks better on a 720p vs. 1080p -

I also wonder about how much specific Direct TV programming will even be transmitted in 1080p over the next 5 years (I realize some VOD is there already, but what about some of the major sports providers? ESPN, etc) - And back to my earlier point, does it even matter if I have a screen 50" or less watching from approx 10 feet?

Any opinions / expertise would be greatly appreciated - I'm making the plunge specifically with SuperBowl, Olympics, World Cup on the horizon - so Sports and satellite programming is my primary focus rather than blue ray movies. Don't necessarily want to replace my current DVD collection.

Thanks.

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#2 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:48 AM

This is gonna have a whole lot of opinions.

I would recommend getting the 1080p set. DirecTV has 1080p content now and alot of channels are broadcasting in 1080i...not to mention that the amount of content for 1080i/p will just increase as time goes on.

Heck, my current TV is a 50"/1080p/THX Certified plasma and it going for <$1400.

You should be able to find both LCD and plasma, in 1080p, for a decent price. IMHO, it will be well worth it.

My 2¢ FWIW. :D

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#3 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:53 AM

does it even matter if I have a screen 50" or less watching from approx 10 feet?


1080p starts to become noticeable on a 50" set at about the 9' mark. So, you're right at the cut off point. That being said, if I were buying a 50" display, I'd certainly opt for 1080p. You may decide on Blu Ray in the future and you may decide at some point to move a bit closer to your display. Either way, you still might see the difference on 720p and 1080i TV when it's upconverted to 1080p via your display.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#4 OFFLINE   ffemtreed

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:55 AM

i would get the 1080P. While now it might not that be as big as an advantage you might be happy in a couple years that you spent the extra money.

#5 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:23 AM

If you go for 1080p, make sure that it is capable of 24 frames/second. Some of them (mostly older models) only do 60 fps and aren't compatible with Directv (they will work at 1080i or 720p). Directv uses 24 fps because that is the native frame rate of movies (which is the only 1080p programming they currently furnish).

Most HD channels are 1080i, but ABC (including ESPN) and Fox use 720p.

#6 OFFLINE   HarleyD

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:28 AM

How good is your eyesight? Is your vision acute enough to notice, let alone appreciate or benefit from the slight difference between the two resolutions?

I wear corrective lenses and every year I need a new prescription because my eyesight changes over those 12 months. So a few months after I get my glasses they are not providing me with 100% correction, i.e. my vision is not being corrected to 20/20 and the difference between 720p and 1080i or 1080p is wasted on me. I am not equipped to notice the difference let alone be profoundly affected by it. I'm not walking around in a blur but I know my visual acuity while correccted and acceptable is still less than perfect.

And as you stated, much HD content is being delivered in 720p in the first place (Fox, ABC, ESPN). Very little content is even delivered in 1080p at present and by the time it becomes mainstream the cost of a1080p set will have fallen. You may very well be ready for your second HDTV by then as well.

Go to a store and look at 720p, 1080i and 1080p side by side and decide if you see a pronounced difference (or any difference) that is worth a few hundred dollars to you. If you do see a difference then spend the money. Otherwise I wouldn't bother. Don't be intimidated into not enjoying something merely because it does not have the latest and greatest numbers.

Why spend a few hundred dollars extra for something that would very likely make no difference to you? If you cannot physically discern the difference then numbers are meaningless and 1080p is just a number. A lot of people are slaves to those kinds of numbers for no other reason than to say they have the "best".

God help those folks when 2160p hits the market. That's right...2160p. A few sets whith that resolution already exist although the cost is prohibitive. So far the only selling point I've heard to justify it is that you can split it into 4 screens of 1080p resolution...yippee. Chasing the latest, greatest "spec" is a fools folly. Specs change and improve constantly. It's like buying a computer. Pick your poison, buy it today and accept the idea that it will be surpassed in short order.

Me personally, I'd get the 720p. I have a 58" Panasonic Plasma 720p (TH-58PX60U) and I am completely satsified with it.

Obviously I can't speak for anyone else. This is just my opinion. I cannot say what is "worth it" to you. Only what is worth it to me.
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#7 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:45 AM

One word, 1080p. ;)

#8 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:46 AM

Need some help here and hoping I can gain some insight. Purchasing first HDTV set - Opting for Plasma 46" or 50" - Trying to decide whether to save the $300-$400 with a 720p vs. a 1080p.

I had been set on a 1080p - going for highest quality out there - but after doing a bit of research it appears most programming is transmitted in 720P and I've read several articles that say for a 50" set or less from the correct viewing distance there is little to no difference between the 2 even when the program is transmitted in 1080p.

I'm also curious about the up-conversion for non-HD programming. some claim it looks better on a 720p vs. 1080p -

I also wonder about how much specific Direct TV programming will even be transmitted in 1080p over the next 5 years (I realize some VOD is there already, but what about some of the major sports providers? ESPN, etc) - And back to my earlier point, does it even matter if I have a screen 50" or less watching from approx 10 feet?

Any opinions / expertise would be greatly appreciated - I'm making the plunge specifically with SuperBowl, Olympics, World Cup on the horizon - so Sports and satellite programming is my primary focus rather than blue ray movies. Don't necessarily want to replace my current DVD collection.

Thanks.


Get the 1080p set. And I'd give some real consideration to the plasma sets. I've got $3000 to spend on a new TV and I wouldn't buy a 720p set.

I have five 720p Panny plasmas and one 1080p Panny plasma and the 1080p has the better picture. Not by much, compared to my 50" 720p plasma, but enough to be considered worth the price. Which isn't really much more than the 720p sets.

The one major thing to consider is that all your current DVDs (if they are wide screen) will upgrade on a BD player or a good (Sony) upscaler to 1080/60p which is so much better than 1080i or 720p that I haven't been watching much D* lately. I'm getting my content from NetFlix and usually get the standard DVDs so that my son can watch them on his XBox. After a day of watching DVDs in 1080/60p, I can really see the difference when the wife comes home and I have to switch to D*.

I was out looking at TVs yesterday, went to Costco, and the Sony LCDs actually caught my attention. The 120 hertz sets are clear from all angles. The Sonys were the only ones that I can say that about. I did see a Vizio with 240 hertz that was viewable from all angles (think of a CRT TV). They were playing a BD disc on the Vizio so I still have to see one with a regular broadband source to believe it.

I still have a lot more looking to do, but I'd be surprised if I didn't get another Panny plasma. Or two. :)

Rich

#9 OFFLINE   hilmar2k

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:49 AM

The one major thing to consider is that all your current DVDs (if they are wide screen) will upgrade on a BD player or a good (Sony) upscaler to 1080/60p which is so much better than 1080i or 720p that I haven't been watching much D* lately. I'm getting my content from NetFlix and usually get the standard DVDs so that my son can watch them on his XBox. After a day of watching DVDs in 1080/60p, I can really see the difference when the wife comes home and I have to switch to D*.


Rich


Definitely agree. I have two inexpensive Sony upconverting DVD players, one on my 1080p Vizio LCD, and one on my 720p JVC LCoS. The difference is readily apparent. One the Vizio, the PQ is so good I have decided against going BluRay. It is very close to HD. On the 720p JVC, the PQ is very good, but not in the same league as on the 1080p set.

#10 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:23 AM

I'm moving this to the HD displays forum.
Opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect
those of DBSTalk.com, DIRECTV, DISH, The Signal Group, or any other company.

#11 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 11:40 AM

There is one and only one way to make this judgement: view examples of your favorite content on your candidate televisions.

Don't make the mistake of assuming that you need to use only the best examples. Not all TV sources are good and the best TV for you may be the one that handles the worst content (old VHS tapes, You Tube) the best.

720p probably isn't going away. It would appear to be the only way to cram two HD streams on a single broadcast channel.

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#12 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:04 PM

It's 2010. There is simply no reason to settle for a 768p native resolution for any TV 40" or above (most "720p" TVs actually have an oddball native resolution of 1366x768).

In the future, you may do a number of things with this TV, incluing Blu-Ray movies, computer games, "PC" applications (web browsing, etc.), using a home theater PC (HTPC) or even something we don't know about yet, and having to scale these things to a lower resolution can have a very negative effect; more than you'd have for just watching TV. Considering that most folks keep a TV for 10-20 years, and use it many hours every day, it doesn't make sense not to plan ahead.

#13 OFFLINE   erosroadie

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 12:13 PM

I have a 32" 720P SONY LCD and a 40" 1080P SONY LCD in two different rooms. I purchased the latter (to replace the former) before Christmas (got a great deal at the SONY Outlet Store for NEW Unit) and compared them side by side. With the proper program material, the 1080 set is a better, sharper picture with more detail.

My experience in the past with different size TVs, from the same manufacturer/series, is that the larger the screen, the less the detail. Not in this case. I don't see any significant difference with programs on FOX, ESPN and other stations who transmit in 720P. But on HDNEt, HD Theatre and others who do transmit in 1080, the difference is significant (at least to me).

YMMV...

#14 OFFLINE   Grentz

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 01:26 PM

Get 1080p, especially if going plasma. I cannot stand 720p plasmas unless I am really far away since I really can see the screen door type effect they have (you see the pixels).

There is no reason not to go 1080p at this point IMO.
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#15 OFFLINE   jess2008

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 03:14 AM

We purchased this stand on Amazon with a little trepidation, having had bad experiences with DIY assembly furniture in the past... especially items made in China. We were very very pleased however with this unit.

#16 OFFLINE   Mike Bertelson

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 04:17 AM

Get 1080p, especially if going plasma. I cannot stand 720p plasmas unless I am really far away since I really can see the screen door type effect they have (you see the pixels).

There is no reason not to go 1080p at this point IMO.

I couldn't agree more. I had a 720p plasma, actually 786p, and it down resed 1080i very well but didn't do 720p/480i very well.

1080p is the way to go.

Mike

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#17 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:36 AM

Definitely agree. I have two inexpensive Sony upconverting DVD players, one on my 1080p Vizio LCD, and one on my 720p JVC LCoS. The difference is readily apparent. One the Vizio, the PQ is so good I have decided against going BluRay. It is very close to HD. On the 720p JVC, the PQ is very good, but not in the same league as on the 1080p set.


I agree. I have one BD player and the BD discs do give a better picture, but I find the upscaled standard DVDs to be really good too. Costco is selling the BX2 model right now for $109 and that's less than I paid for my two Sony upscalers a year or two ago. I expect that price to go up next week and might buy one in anticipation of buying that new TV. For that price, I don't see how you can go wrong even if you just use it to upscale standard DVDs. You do really need a 1080p TV to appreciate the 1080/60p (which is HD) upscaling.

Rich

#18 OFFLINE   dstorm

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:46 AM

Thanks all for your advice and recommendations.

I decided to go with a lower end 1080p and yesterday found a 46" Panasonic Viera for less than $700. That was the best price I could find on similar 720P plasmas so am very happy with the final purchase for what I could afford.

Next on the list is to upgrade from SD to HD :)

#19 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 09:57 AM

Thanks all for your advice and recommendations.

I decided to go with a lower end 1080p and yesterday found a 46" Panasonic Viera for less than $700. That was the best price I could find on similar 720P plasmas so am very happy with the final purchase for what I could afford.

Next on the list is to upgrade from SD to HD :)


You'll find that upgrade very rewarding. Buying a 720p at this time is kind of a waste of money. I've gotta unload five of them. Craigslist, here I come. :lol:

Rich

#20 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 04:32 AM

Even on my 42" 1080i is far more detailed and sharper than 720p. Especially in terms of background detail. 720p football and NASCAR looked positively blurry compared to 1080i, no comparison. 32" and smaller you can get by with 720p. Anything larger get true HD: a 1080p set. And don't forget resale value: a 1080p will get you far more down the road on CL.




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