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What Size Tv Does 1080p really matter with?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by funkdoktor, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. funkdoktor

    funkdoktor Active Member

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    Can someone clarify to me the whole 1080i / 1080p description on flat panels?
    One question i have about it is does the tv need to be of a certain size to utilize it? (or enjoy it) or am i totally off track?
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    First of all, there are no 1080i flat panels, aside from some old Hitachi plasmas. Current LCD/plasma flat panels are 720p or 1080p only.

    Second, the question of whether 1080p "matters" isn't just related to the size of the screen, it really depends on the size of your screen vs. how close you sit.

    Take a look at this chart:
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there is an optimum seating distance for each resolution, given a particular size screen. For instance, say you wish to purchase a 50" screen and your main seating area is at 10 ft. from the screen. Purchasing a 50" 1080p set for viewing at 10 ft. would be a waste, because your eye can only resolve 720p at that distance.

    Now if you moved the seating distance forward 3 feet, so now you are viewing at 7 ft., then the 1080p screen makes more sense because at 7 feet your eye can resolve the higher resolution of 1080p.

    Note that all these figures assume normal vision at fairly close distances.

    Also notice that the optimum distances start to converge as the screen size gets below 32", which is why you won't find very many 1080p sets below that size. There just isn't that much of a benefit to a
     
  3. funkdoktor

    funkdoktor Active Member

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    so higher resolution will only be noticeable from closer distances?

    and correct me if im wrong but from the graph all resolution after 10 feet will be viewed to the eye as the same?
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    No, you aren't matching the distance with the screen size (on the bottom of the graph). With any screen smaller than ~32", all resolutions will look the same at 10+ feet. If your seating distance is 10', then you would choose a 720p for any screen up to 50", and the benefit of 1080p would be seen in any screen over 50". Note that with a bigger screen, you get a more immersive experience.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

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    given a static screen size. The further away from the TV you are, the bigger the screen needs to be for the increase in resolution to make a difference. Of course, the bigger the screen, the crappier the picture is going to look up close. So it's important to match your screen size to your viewing distance.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

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    Cool chart, Jeff. Where did you find it?
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    I belive it was originally in an article about HDTV in USA Today or some other national paper.
     
  8. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Well-Known Member

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    Actually, at least in my personal opinion, the threshold for where 1080p becomes useful is a 40" (diagonal) widescreen display. For anything larger, 1080p is definitely desirable, and for anything smaller, you can get by with a 720p display in most cases.
     
  9. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    When I bought my plasma, I was looking for something in the 50" range. My seating distance is close to 10'. Based on seating distance, size and (most important to me) price, I looked at 720p models because while 1080p was nice, from 10' I could not really tell the difference on a 50" screen.

    All three factors led me to an incredible deal on a Panasonic TH-50PX80U and it hasn't disappointed. [​IMG]
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I don't want to take away from the value of that chart, as I find it interesting and helpful, but to note that it's just a simple rule of thumb, not the final word.

    It's based wholly on a simple geometric argument and on general seeing ability (1 arc-minute angular resolution for foveal vision). If your eyesight is not 20/20, this chart is not quite right. It also ignores the influence of color on our vision. Contrast affects resolving ability; color effects can dramatically influence perception. I've seen reviews noting that (a few years back) a 720p Plasma with excellent grayscale looked better -- seemingly better resolution -- than true 1080 displays. Human vision is a complicated thing [​IMG]
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Right, typically resolution is number 3 or 4 on the importance chart when looking for a TV, when viewed from reasonable distances. Black levels, contrast ratio/performance are more important, but seem to get short-shrift in the marketing numbers game of today's display landscape.
     
  12. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    greetings

    5 things to better image quality in order of importance.

    1. Black Levels.
    2. Dynamic range (Good contrast ratios)
    3. Color saturation and accuracy
    4. Resolution
    5. Good Source material. (Although this one can move around)

    Regards
     
  13. funkdoktor

    funkdoktor Active Member

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    so when shopping for a tv. what do i look for in terms of specs?
     
  14. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Well-Known Member

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    subscribed.
     
  15. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    When looking for a TV ... look for good black levels first. Of course it also depends on what your wallet lets you look at too.

    Funny thing is that with ambient show room lighting, black levels on all TV sets will appear better than in a room with total light control. This actually gives the sets with slightly lesser black levels a leg up on the top level ones.

    You can't really trust the so called Contrast ratio specs the manufacturers dole out anyway. Over inflated.

    regards
     
  16. funkdoktor

    funkdoktor Active Member

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    so there is no "quality assurance team" going around checking manufacturers contrast ratio claims? lol [​IMG]

    So there's no real way of evaluating a tvs contrast ratio performance in a typical big box store then huh?
     
  17. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    The only way to figure out the real CR is to calibrate the TV in the showroom for black levels and contrast and them take your measurements.

    The emphasis is on setting the contrast and brightness correctly ... on each TV or else there is no point to the CR numbers you get.

    giving you a super high CR number that represents a picture that is unwatchable is not exactly useful.
     

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