Regarding the 720p vs. 1080p discussion, I’ve actually had some time to test it a bit more thoroughly, and I have to reverse my previous assertion. I don’t perceive a lick of difference between the two. In playing around with it, I realized two factors were working together, and affecting my perception and after circumventing them, more or less, I found there was no difference.
The two things were:
1) The very act of “pushing a button” while changing resolutions.
2) The discontinuity of light and sound in my room for several seconds, while resolutions changed, along with the fall and rise of light and sound accompanying the change.
We are trained from the time we’re toddlers that pushing a button will exact some kind of effect. Thus, we have a practically hardwired response of suspending our other perceptions at the moment of a button push, where we become focused expectantly on waiting for that “thing” to happen, to the exclusion of all else, especially when that push is the only thing happening in our environment.
I found myself listening to some music, then shifting my attention to my monitor screen (I use a small TV to see my OPPO menus when I don’t want to turn on my projector and burn up its bulb) as I navigated through the resolution menus, then found the one I wanted, then selected it. That was several seconds of *not* attentively listening to the music anymore.
Then, once the resolution selection was underway, the lights in my room would dim as my display changed, and the sound would cut out. Then a second or two later, both light and sound levels would crescendo back to their previous levels. This—the discontinuity of perception, followed by a crescendoing rise in light and sound in my room—affected my perception enough to fool me into thinking the 720p was “brighter” and more dynamic. I also found that fluctuating dynamics within a piece of music added to the confusion.
Once I had switched to 720p and found it was a “brighter” sound, switching back to 1080p was reinterpreted in my mind as being duller—the expected converse.
How I got around this was fairly simple.
1) I memorized the steps for changing resolution on the remote. Bottom left button, click, down or up 2, click.
2) I simplified the process of changing by removing the final click, which made a huge difference. If you move your selection down from 1080 to 720 and just let it hover there for a few seconds, it will switch on its own. This allowed me several seconds to turn my attention back from the remote control, to the music at hand. It allowed me to reintegrate my attention fully with the music. It took away that moment of, “click…expect something…”, which was affecting my concentration on the music.
3) I turned off my monitor and the lights in the room.
4) I focused on my music utterly in the dark, set the OPPO to change resolutions without having to turn my head or shift my attention too much, then returned to the music and allowed the player to change on its own.
There’s no difference.