Do I need 720p?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Andy Stocker, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Andy Stocker

    Andy Stocker Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey everyone, I posted a thread about getting a new tv in the display/projector site and I haven't gotten a response yet, so I decided to ask one simple "newbie" question here. I've noticed that most of the widescreen rpt's I've been looking at don't seem to be 720p capable but there are a few that do. I'm wondering if this is something that most people consider a necessity? I'm eyeballing a Toshiba 42" that is 720p capable (at best buy for $1500). I have an Xbox, plan on getting a Samsung 720p-1080i dvd player(the one that is supposed to be twice the resolution of progressive scan) and I have high def capable thru my local cable, and I like watching baseball and HBO...so am I prime to make sure that my tv is 720p compatible or is 1080i better in all aspects?? I've been doing a lot of research on this site and I seem to get some people saying that there is no difference in picture, and some that say there is.

    Thanks for any input

    Andy Stocker
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Most will tell you that 720p is better for fast motion video like sports. However, you will be hard pressed to find a TV that will display 720p natively (most sets will just upconvert it to 1080i).

     
  3. Andy Stocker

    Andy Stocker Stunt Coordinator

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    I was checking out the 42" Toshiba at Best Buy and they advertised it in the store with being 720p capable, now I went to the Best Buy website and it says nothing of the matter...however when I went to the Toshiba site it did say 720p capable...does this mean only upconverted to 1080i?? IF so, that is very misleading! If you get time, check this out and see what you think.

    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/televisi...sp?model=42H83

    P.S. Take a look at the detailed specs and you will see what I am talking about.
    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    That is confusing. I read on another site that the 42H83 has a user selectable resolution between 540p & 1080i. So, what I think they're trying to tell you is that it will handle a 720p signal... it'll just be up or downconverted based on your resolution setting.

    Here's the new features on the '03 Toshibas compared to the '02's:

    New features on all models:
    * DVI/HDCP input
    * 57" and 65" are both 2-piece cabinet designs
    * Multi-Format HD Double Window POP
    * User selectable 540p or 1080i display
    * Auto 16:9 Mode (480i input only)
    * SRS WOW
    * CableClear Optimal Digital Video Noise Reduction
    * TheaterFine HD .52mm Pitch Lenticular
    * Faster tuner speed

    New/better features on Cinema Series (HX series)
    * Pegasus IV CRTs
    * 40 Watt audio output (versus 30W) with seperate tweeters
    * 56 key remote (versus 41)
    * Super wide band video amplifer
    * I/R link icon (??)
    * I/R passthrough (??)
    * I/R Blaster
    * TheaterShield AR (anti-reflective)
     
  5. Andy Stocker

    Andy Stocker Stunt Coordinator

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    So really in other words, their claim of being 720p capable is based on the upconversion that any 1080i tv does, right?

    Thanks,

    Andy
     
  6. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  7. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    What Dave said is right. Always read manufacturers statements VERY CRITICALLY and MOST SKEPTICALLY. That saves you grief later. If they say '720p capable', it either means 'with a hardware upgrade' (the usual meaning of FEATURE_X CAPABLE) or as in this case, it undestands 720p but converts it to 1080i for displaying.

    The problem with the current batch of HDTV displays is that they love to produce stuff at the minumum requirement to be able to say they are HD - which is 540p or (2x 540) 1080i. Thats all swell and good, but what I and many people feel is truely HD is 720p or 1080i. I personally prefer 720p, but 1080i is easier for the folks to build as a display, since its really 2x 540 in a standard interlaced pattern.

    Beauty of 720p is it does 1280x720 or 921,600 pixels, every 1/60th of a second - it paints the WHOLE FRAME in one go, and does that 60 times per seccond. Much better for things moving fast. Digital flatpanels tend to be in this ballpark, doing 1280x768 or some similar resolutions.

    1080i, on the other hand, does 1920x1080, or just over 2 million pixels, in an interlaced fashion every 1/30th of a second. Now its got twice the pixels, but its interlaced and it draws them at 1/2 the frame rate for complete frames. So high-speed objects are rendered at 1/2 of an interlaced image every 1/60th of a second. Also, by the time that 1/2 frame gets drawn again, a while 1/30th second has elapsed.

    Now the real kicker, other than 720p is converted to 1080i (which is not a integer multiple conversion, so the image is filtered to get it to 1080 - hence some artifacts), is that sets that do the 1080i don't even do THAT properly it seems.
    1080i is supposed to be 1920x1080. Now look at the specs for the set and see - do they really do 1920 accross the screen? Someone correct me here, and I'm not quickly able to find the info, but I recall a while back reading specks on 1080i sets and finding they are not doing 1920 but more around 1300-1500 accross the screen as effective resolutions.

    Its all related to what it costs to build and what they can sell.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I think there is some confusion here.

    You need to look at 2 different things:

    A) What Internal format the television uses
    B) What signals the television accepts

    Most of you are talking about the internal format.

    But Andy, make sure the television you pick accepts:

    480 p/i
    720p
    1080i

    Example: Mitsubishi HDTV's DO NOT accept a 720p signal. If you read over in the Computer fourms you will hear laments by people who bought Mitsubishi then discovered you get a blank-screen when the XBox tries to push 720.

    I went to Fry's electronics and had several salespeople tell me that Mitsubishi DID take 720. Then they pulled out a catalog and we looked at the specifications. 480p/i, 1080i were all the inputs would accept.

    So dont get the "Internal format" confused with "what signals the television accepts".
     
  9. Thomas Smailus

    Thomas Smailus Stunt Coordinator

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    Agreed. Good point to underscore that.

    Key is that I think ABC and other Disney stations will be broadcasting HDTV in 720p mode. So, the poor owners of Mitsu boxes will not be able to watch ABC HD unless they run it through a set top box that converts it to 1080i.

    Effectively, the Mitsu boxes only display things in the form they came in - and does not munge the signal into another form. Problem is - what does one do with the 720p signal then, Mitsubishi?

    What HD monitors SHOULD do is to behave like a computer monitor and display ALL HD formats in thier natural form. Problem is, building 720p displays is still a problem for tube set guys - panel displays, of course, only have one native format.
     
  10. Andy Stocker

    Andy Stocker Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I just got my Panasonic 47" today and I found out that it doesn't support 720p apparently because I said yes to 720p in the Xbox dashboard and on Soul Calibur 2(720p game) it went blank...BUT my cable box I think upconverts to 1080i so hopefully I'll be ok there (I haven't gotten it yet, but my cable company told me it would). The Xbox I could care less about, I mean there is only a handfull of games for either 720p or 1080i but the ABC and Disney thing could really tick me off...To me it didn't seem many TV's offered 720p at below $2000 (my highest price)

    Anyway, thanks for the input (and any other input) I love my new Panny!

    Andy Stocker
     

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