Why are 32" displays mostly 720p?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Mike Frezon, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I hope this isn't too dumb of a question...but I don't know the answer.

    I currently have a 26" Samsung CRT HD display (TXN2668WHF). This display can output 1080i. FWIW, I've had this display for nearly five years and am quite pleased with it's picture quality.

    My current room/decor situation forces me to have a smaller display right now. But on the outside chance I ever get to upgrade (if something disastrous every happens to the current set) I know I could move up to a 32" display.

    The reason I ask this question is that it seems every 32" display I look at only goes to a 720p image. Am I wrong? Why does that seem to be a limitation?

    On the other hand, most 32" displays I've seen have VERY nice images--even for store displays.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Probably not all that cost-effective to pack 2 megapixels into that screen size from a manufacturing standpoint, and 720p is probably good enough for 32" (and smaller) 16x9 screen sizes in terms of viewing quality (where 1080p resolution doesn't produce significantly better picture quality over 720p).
     
  3. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    I've read that you won't notice the difference between 720p and 1080p, until you get to a screen size of 60" or larger.
     
  4. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    Perceived resolution depends entirely upon viewing distance. Even 24" 1080P computer displays are widely used, but users sit very close to computer monitors. Most purchasers of 32" LCD TVs use them as televisions at seating distances that don't warrant higher resolutions they couldn't detect at such distances.
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks, everyone. I've heard that, too, about the resolution difference not being noticeable on such small screens.

    I just thought ti was odd that my little 26" screen was capable of 1080i while the 32" LCDs were all at 720p.

    But I guess 720p is just as good as 1080i (better, maybe?) in sets that small, eh?
     
  6. CoolCatbro

    CoolCatbro Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't noticed any huge picture difference between my 1080i and 480p, and would suspect 720p even less difference to 1080i or p.

    the large differences I noticed was HDMI from component and s-video...and also the regular TV channels to HDTV channels. that was really cool.

    this thread kind of makes sense to what I heard too, in that the 1080 offers the best impact on the larger screens.

    i'm a noob to HDTV and just posting what I see.
     
  7. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    That's just a difference in technology. It doesn't cost anything to increase the resolution of a CRT set. With LCD the same can't be said. It was only 3-4 years ago that 1080p LCD's and plasmas even came out on the market.

    Even your average 10 year old CRT computer monitors are capable of greater resolutions than most of the LCD screens sold today.
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I guarantee a 26" CRT isn't capable of resolving the full resolution of 1080i. You'd be surprised at how much of the 1080i is thrown away by the limits of a direct-view CRT. It's probably closer to 800i.
     
  9. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    That's correct if you're talking about consumer televisions, like Mike's. Graphics grade CRT computer monitors are another story. They have featured very high resolutions for many years prior to HDTV, and even back then could outperform most consumer HDTVs today in overall picture quality and resolution. Their primary limitations were size and light output.
     
  10. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    The thing is - you'll never sit close enough to a 26" or 32" TV to see the higher resolution. It has nothing to do with the size of the screen ,but rather the usual distance people sit to watch TV.

    You sit two feet or closer to your PC screen, but nobody would sit that close to a TV.

    So, they don't bother with the expense of making the smaller sets Full HD. The 720p sets look just fine on HD TV, though.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This TV can display a 1080i signal, but that doesn't mean it actually has 1920x1080 display resolution. I did some searching out of curiosity and I couldn't find its resolution specified anywhere. Neither Samsung's users manual nor the info sheet you linked to actually stated what its screen resolution is.

    I've got an HDTV a few years older, a Sony WEGA, that will display a 1080i source, but I've since learned that the TV is nowhere near having an actual 1080 resolution.
     
  12. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    One of the major limiting factors for resolution in direct view CRT TVs is the shadow mask or aperture grill (Sony). The later Sony CRT direct view tubes used a super fine aperture grill that maxed out at about 1400 x 1080. To my knowledge, those were the highest resolution consumer TVs of this type ever made.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Very very interesting.

    The info sheet says there is a "Maximum 800 lines horizontal resolution." Does that provide a clue or answer the question?
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    1080i is 1920 (h) x 1080 (v) (interlaced); 720p is 1280(h) x 720(v) (progressive). If I read correctly, your TV can display . I think that means your TV can physically produce about 40% of the maximum 1080 horizontal resolution, or about 62% of the 720p resolution.

    This is not uncommon. For years there have been rear-projection LCD sets sold that could "display" a 1080i signal, but with LCD resolutions of about 1366x768, a shade above 720p. And I think my 2002 WEGA only goes to 800x600 physically, though it will "display" a 1080i signal as your set does.

    By any measure, a 720p LCD should be a substantial improvement to you. [​IMG]
     
  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    All digital TVs sold in the U.S. can accept a 1080i signal. They are required to by law. But that doesn't mean they can display a 1080i image.

    This is one of those meaningless specs that manufacturers like to list to make their sets sound more capable. All it really means is that you don't need an external convertor box to rescale that 1080i signal to something the TV's screen can actually display.

    Even EDTVs with a maximum resolution of 480p will accept a broadcast or other signal of 1080i - which it will then immediately convert into 480p. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Well...that's great info...for whenever I eventually get to upgrade the display! Something to look forward to! [​IMG] Thanks, Joe & Dave (and everyone else, too!).
     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Guess what?
    Still feel that this set (besides the 6" size difference) would be an improvement over that 26" CRT HDTV linked-to in the OP?
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It's always amusing seeing these old threads pop up. I upgraded from a 36" HD WEGA (circa 2002) to a 50" 1080 Plasma. I am nothing but happy to have that monstrous CRT out of my house and replaced by a far superior flat panel. My WEGA would "display" 1080i, in that it would process the signal and display what it could on its actually 800x600 screen. It beat the stuffing out of other, SD CRTs in its day. But it is a joke compared to current flat panels.* 36" 4:3 CRT is really only about 26" 16:9; even a 32" widescreen would have been a real jump for me. And after size and real resolution improvements, getting undistorted geometry is awesome! (suck it, CRT distortion!)

    So will a base model 720p 32" LCD best a 6 year old 26" CRT? If your CRT is widescreen, has no geometry problems, is modestly calibrated for color (even if by eye), and has a real resolution close to 720p, it might not be a big upgrade. I don't honestly know. But in my experience, from my dad's 32" LCD, I think I would consider it an upgrade, were it my choice.

    And at $250, it's a cheap experiment and you can return it if you don't like it.


    *To be a precise engineer, I'll concede that the CRT may have better absolute black and perhaps color uniformity.
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Aw, c'mon Dave... It's only a year-old thread! I've been known to have a fear of commitment.

    Yep. My current set is a 16:9 26" CRT. I think the 6" increase in viewing area is enough of a reason to take the plunge. But I guess I'm wondering if I should see any other improvements going from CRT to LCD.

    One thing for sure. My cabinet will be much easier to move whenever that becomes necessary (wife decides to change out the carpet again, etc.).
     
  20. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    I like when I read an old thread unknowingly and come across a sharp comment that I like, only to find I made it. (I never read the names of who's talking unless they've pissed me off or said something I agree with)
     

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