Happy with 720p?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Ed O'Brien, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Auditioning

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    I've read many discussions (that usually turn into angry arguments) why 720p is better than 1080i and arguments why 1080i is better than 720p. I've read that 720p is better for fast motion, and 1080i is better to show more detail if there isn't fast motion. Some people think it's a life and death argument...others feel that but resolutions look great. I've also read that black levels, color vividness, contrast ratios are more important than the difference between 720p and 1080i because at the average distance, most people don't really benefit from the resolution increase.

    Anyway, I'm looking to buy a 50 inch flat TV sometime witin the next few months. I'm just looking for something that will be a good value and something flat that I can hang on my wall. At that size, I think plasma is more reasonably priced than LCD. (I'm eyeing up the 50 inch Panasonic plasma models) Most of the "affordable" (obviously subject to opinion) plasma displays out have the approximate number of pixels to display 720p, but not 1080i natively. There really aren't any options for plasmas that natively displays 1080 lines.

    So here's my question to those of you who have 720p TVs...Are you happy with them?...or do you wish you waited for 1080? Can you even really tell the difference when you walk into a store and watch something in 1080?...or does 720p just look great to you?

    There's always the "wait for something better" mentality...but you could wait your whole life! At some point you have to dive in. So let us all know...are you happy with your 720p TV?...or do you wish you had waited?
     
  2. Bill Cowmeadow

    Bill Cowmeadow Second Unit

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    If you actually purchase a 50" or bigger screen, get the HD version. Personally, at 42" or less, the impact or difference between 480P and 720-1080 is negligible.

    I have a 42" EDTV.

    Bill
     
  3. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    I agree with Bill, 42" at normal viewing distance is going to look about the same in EDTV and HDTV. If plasma is what you want then get 720p. You can find reasonably priced DLP's that do 1080p though.
     
  4. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    I've had my plasma display for over two years and have seen nothing in that type of display that makes me wish I'd waited. They've improved a little and cost less now, but I've enjoyed the heck out of mine. My unit converts all incoming signals to 768p (1024X768) and though it's subtle, I think it looks best when fed a 1080i signal vs a 720p signal from my cable box and the display converts it to its native rate.

    Good hunting

    Mort
     
  5. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Auditioning

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    Sounds like maybe 1080 makes a bigger deal for a 65 inch or bigger screen. If EDTV looks great on a 42 inch, than I guess 720p would look similarly good on a 50 inch.

    Mort...which model of TV do you have?
     
  6. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Sam's Club had AKAI 768p 50" plasmas for about $2k IIRC. Great price and they looked pretty good considering the surroundings. Not sure about reliability as I vaguely remember people warning about AKAI's.
     
  7. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Well Ed, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that you could wait your whole life before taking an equipment plunge if you always wanted to make sure that you had the "latest/greatest." No sooner than you get it home and set up that something new is out there (same as with computers - which most displays have become!)

    I feel qualified to speak on this subject because I have a 720p/1080i Plasma (Panasonic 37"), a 720p DLP front projector (Runco CL-710 with HD2+ chip) and my latest (and greatest) display - a 58" HP MD5880n 1080p DLP set that accepts native 1080p input. That set coupled with a DVDO iScan VP30 HD 1080p scaler produces the finest images I've ever seen - and I've seen a lot of them. I've even used some 1080p source material with this set and it's jaw dropping! Yes, despite what some people say there is 1080p content out there right now in the form of WMVHD discs - just check 'em out on Amazon. (WMVHD = Windows Media High Definition Video. O.K. They got the letter sequence wrong. [​IMG] ) You just need an HTPC (or a powerful laptop like mine) to provide the output via digital connection.

    A lot has been said (including a bit here) about the relative merits of 1080p displays versus 720p at certain distances. There is no doubt that 1080p looks better than 720p on my 58" set and the 1080p HP blows away the 720p Runco (as it should because it has much more resolution and it's not a fair comparison). I never thought I'd be saying that about my Runco so soon (after 4 years).

    That said, without a doubt 720p Plasmas, thanks to 1080p plasmas coming shortly, are a great buy right now as the prices have lowered substantially over the past year - and this trend will continue. The Panasonic 42" or 50" HD unit is a fine product and the price/performance can't be beat (for now).

    Without a doubt the 1080p sets are the current "hot" sets but one caveat - to really utilize 1080p with source material that will be a reality this year (Blu-ray and HD DVD) the 1080p set should really accept 1080p input. Surprisingly only a few do over HDMI (my HP and a Brillian LCOS set) as well as a $10,000 Sony projector. At CES all the major manufacturers promised that 1080p inputs are "coming" but nothing has been firmed up yet. The good news is, however, that when this happens the 720p sets will become even more affordable.


    [editorial comment] And don't worry about things turning into "ugly arguments." That's the trademark of some other forums. We moderators take our role very seriously here and if something is reported to us we investigate and take appropriate action. Everybody is generally here with the same goal in mind - great HT and all that accompanies it. Those who come with other agendas are quickly weeded out. We may not get threads that go for hundreds of pages (except some in the software sections) but generally you can feel free to ask for assistance without getting your head chopped off. Don't get me wrong. I find that there's a lot of good information on those other forums and I often point people there for some specific information, but sometimes things get so bogged down that it becomes a real chore to find what you are looking for in massive amounts of posts. [/editorial comment]

    So c'mon in, the water's fine!
     
  8. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    I've heard that the HP has a really great PQ and (at least in the past) they had great deals on them, like in the sub $2500 range for ~60". Or am I just dreaming?

    At 58" I'd definately start looking at 1080p DLP over 720p plasma, if you have the room for it.
     
  9. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Auditioning

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    Robert, thanks for that...it was very helpful.

    On a side note, as far as the suggestions of 1080i DLPs....I know that they are affordable, but don't plasmas have a better picture? I wasn't that impressed with the vividness of the color on the DLPs at the store when compared to the plasmas. (I want something that I can hang on my wall anyway, which rules out DLP for me.)
     
  10. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    1080p DLP's, not 1080i. I personally don't like plasma picture any better than DLP, both fall short of CRT but not that much anymore.
     
  11. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 50" Sony XBR plasma with native 720p resolution. While I like the picture on my PDP a lot, I would not recommend plasma display any more because of the following.

    - It's too power hungry.
    - It's not quiet. Some of them have buzzing noise. Some other have fan noise.
    - It does not last too long. All plasma displays are susceptible to burn-in's. I would imagine the current generation PDP would last at least five years. That may not be long enough for some people.

    Like others have said before, 1080p DLP, LCoS, or SXRD based rear projection TV would be much more cost effective.

    If you want to hang the TV on the wall, then plasma or LCD is probably the only choice.

    If you are going to use a pedestal or a stand, then it doesn't matter if you have plasma or rear projection TV.
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    True, you can't hang a DLP 1080p RPM on a wall. You'd need to go to a 1080p DLP front projector for that and I realize that's a whole different animal, not to mention being very expensive.

    And single chip DLP isn't for everyone. Some people claim to be bothered by the "Rainbow Effect" from the color wheel. I personally have never noticed this or I wouldn't own both a DLP FP and a DLP RPM. However, HP has just announced a new set (probably coming out in the fall) that promises some exciting things. The light source will be LEDs (therefore no bulb to burn out) and the new light engine will use red, green and blue LEDs so no color wheel and no "rainbow" effect! The only question is whether the contrast ratio will be as good as earlier models.

    Samsung also announced an LED-based DLP 1080p set which will probably be the first to market. Maybe as early as 2Q 2006. Some exciting new things coming down the pike.

    I've always said that if space is not a problem and you don't want to go much higher than a 34" screen a HD CRT set (like some of the SONYs) is still the best bang for the buck. But they are heavy and size limited and will soon go the way of the dinosaur IMHO. (Except as monitors in telecine work, etc.) And CRT projectors, as beautiful as their pictures are, have always been problematical in that they are heavy and need almost constant tweaking and attention. I used to say that other technologies are coming "close" to CRT (as Sami does) but now that I've seen my 1080p set displaying 1080p native source material (WMV-HD movies) or running other sources through an external 1080p scaler I've changed my position on this. To these 63 year old eyes (lasik enhanced) I've never seen a better picture than my HP5880n. I just wish that the support experience from HP (extensively chronicled in this thread if you want to sift through all the gory details) was a better one. Read my recommendations there.

    And yes, the list price of the HP5880n just dropped by $500 to $3499. I understand that hp (via hpshopping.com) offers educational discounts (almost anyone who's ever gone to school qualifies) of around 20%. I've also heard that TV Authority (a sponsor here) will do even better if you mention that you are a member of the Home Theater Forum. So yes, you can get a 1080p set for under $3000 if you want. Or you can wait for the LED 1080p sets, or the 1080p Plasmas.

    It never ends, does it?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Auditioning

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    Jongyoon, how old is your plasma? I don't think those comments are really applicable to the current models.



    The current Panasonic 50 inch plasmas consumes 440 watts. I don't consider that a huge amount of electricity.

    As far as a 5 year lifespan...the Panasonics are rated at 60,000 hours. Even if you cut that number in half and say 30,000 hours, that still gives you 16 years @ 5 hours per day, 7 days per week.
     
  14. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Ed,

    I have the last generation 50" Sony XBR plasma. I bought it two years ago. It was at the peak of the Plasma technology, and there wasn't anything comparable in terms of size and high contrast ratio. I was quite happy with the purchase, and I still am. Since then Sony introduced two other models, 55" and 60", then they discontinued XBR Plasma altogether. Mine consumes 500 some watts. In comparison 60" SXRD rear projection TV consumes 250 watts.
     

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