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post #1 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I walked into Best Buy today after a few days research sold on the Panasonic tcp42u2. I was convinced for the best picture quality we needed a 1080p plasma. However, after both my wife saw it in person we reconsidered. It seemed the 1080p plasmas all had very blurry pictures. The 720p plasmas also had blurry pictures, but not as bad as the 1080p. My wife also complained the picture looked blurry on the 240 Hz LED, and 120 Hz LCD. In the past the split screen comparison, the 120 Hz looked sharper. So we went to Wendy's for lunch and discussed it.

It occurred to me, virtually all raw video source is 30 Hz. If you are watching video on a 600 Hz plasma, software will need to extrapolate to generate the in between frames. That will make the picture more blurry, but it will also make motion, action, and sports smoother. The cost of a smoother motion is a blurry picture. In the past the split screen comparisons I saw with 120 Hz and 60 Hz LCD was very little motion, just a slow panning. So my past observation was consistent with the hypothesis.

After lunch we went to Costco. Sure enough, that is exactly what we observed. 60Hz LCD's look crystal sharp, but motion looks jumpy... Now since all the video source used to demo at Costco as 720P, we could not fairly compare the 720P to the 1080P. However, our observations at Best Buy lead us to conclude upping the resolution required even more software extrapolations, making the picture even blurrier. Since virtually all our video source is 480P or 720P, we decided we the only difference we would ever see between the two is the additional extrapolation blur in the higher resolution TV. Neither of us have good enough eyes to see 720P pixels from the couch, so we decided on the tc-42px24 from Costco.
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post #2 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 08:58 PM
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A 42" HDTV is a great size for a 720p set. At that size the quality of the panel is more important than the resolution.

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post #3 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docbillnet View Post

I walked into Best Buy today after a few days research sold on the Panasonic tcp42u2. I was convinced for the best picture quality we needed a 1080p plasma. However, after both my wife saw it in person we reconsidered. It seemed the 1080p plasmas all had very blurry pictures. The 720p plasmas also had blurry pictures, but not as bad as the 1080p. My wife also complained the picture looked blurry on the 240 Hz LED, and 120 Hz LCD. In the past the split screen comparison, the 120 Hz looked sharper. So we went to Wendy's for lunch and discussed it.

It occurred to me, virtually all raw video source is 30 Hz. If you are watching video on a 600 Hz plasma, software will need to extrapolate to generate the in between frames. That will make the picture more blurry, but it will also make motion, action, and sports smoother. The cost of a smoother motion is a blurry picture. In the past the split screen comparisons I saw with 120 Hz and 60 Hz LCD was very little motion, just a slow panning. So my past observation was consistent with the hypothesis.

After lunch we went to Costco. Sure enough, that is exactly what we observed. 60Hz LCD's look crystal sharp, but motion looks jumpy... Now since all the video source used to demo at Costco as 720P, we could not fairly compare the 720P to the 1080P. However, our observations at Best Buy lead us to conclude upping the resolution required even more software extrapolations, making the picture even blurrier. Since virtually all our video source is 480P or 720P, we decided we the only difference we would ever see between the two is the additional extrapolation blur in the higher resolution TV. Neither of us have good enough eyes to see 720P pixels from the couch, so we decided on the tc-42px24 from Costco.

if you arent doing bluray then there is no reason for 1080p.. i doubt cable will ever be beyond 720p...

but a blu ray disc will look much better on a 1080p tv.
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post #4 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hdtv47lg70 View Post

if you arent doing bluray then there is no reason for 1080p.. i doubt cable will ever be beyond 720p...

Except for the stations currently broadcasting in 1080i like CBS and NBC...
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post #5 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 10:00 PM
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I don't think I would buy a 720p set unless it was all I could afford. One of the main reasons is a 720p display is not 1280x720. They are either 1024x720 or 1366x768 which means no matter what resolution you watch, the TV will always rescale it, which means another chance to lose quality. 1080p is always 1080p.
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post #6 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docbillnet View Post

I walked into Best Buy today after a few days research sold on the Panasonic tcp42u2. I was convinced for the best picture quality we needed a 1080p plasma. However, after both my wife saw it in person we reconsidered. It seemed the 1080p plasmas all had very blurry pictures. The 720p plasmas also had blurry pictures, but not as bad as the 1080p. My wife also complained the picture looked blurry on the 240 Hz LED, and 120 Hz LCD. In the past the split screen comparison, the 120 Hz looked sharper. So we went to Wendy's for lunch and discussed it.

It occurred to me, virtually all raw video source is 30 Hz. If you are watching video on a 600 Hz plasma, software will need to extrapolate to generate the in between frames. That will make the picture more blurry, but it will also make motion, action, and sports smoother. The cost of a smoother motion is a blurry picture. In the past the split screen comparisons I saw with 120 Hz and 60 Hz LCD was very little motion, just a slow panning. So my past observation was consistent with the hypothesis.

After lunch we went to Costco. Sure enough, that is exactly what we observed. 60Hz LCD's look crystal sharp, but motion looks jumpy... Now since all the video source used to demo at Costco as 720P, we could not fairly compare the 720P to the 1080P. However, our observations at Best Buy lead us to conclude upping the resolution required even more software extrapolations, making the picture even blurrier. Since virtually all our video source is 480P or 720P, we decided we the only difference we would ever see between the two is the additional extrapolation blur in the higher resolution TV. Neither of us have good enough eyes to see 720P pixels from the couch, so we decided on the tc-42px24 from Costco.

You either need a new Best Buy or new glsses.
600 Hz has nothing to do with frame interpolation.
You're mixing and matching resolutions and technologies to make an argument supporting your purchase decision. I'm not buying it. It's clear, not blurry, lowest price was the highest priority.

Scotty
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post #7 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 10:55 PM
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Yes, there is noting 'blurry" about 720, or 1080 displays. If there was it was due to a very poor setup in the store. I have no issue with a 720p 42" set, I have one in the mix and it preforms VERY well. And cost was not a real issue in that buying decision. It just made it more attractive.
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post #8 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoddee View Post


You either need a new Best Buy or new glsses.
600 Hz has nothing to do with frame interpolation.
You're mixing and matching resolutions and technologies to make an argument supporting your purchase decision. I'm not buying it. It's clear, not blurry, lowest price was the highest priority.

Scotty

The OP obviously is not too techie about technology as like u said he mixed up a few concepts including 30fps and not 30Hz

But still bottomline I think the OP just need to trust his own eyes. Funny why we should be dissuaded by figures rather than our own eyes. Even in ancient china we have a story where this guy measured his feet and went to a store to buy shoes. When his friend asked him why he do that rather than try the shoe, he said because measurement is more accurate

To the OP, if like what u said most of what u watch is 480i or 720p then just go for 720p TV. scaling it to 768 is better than 1080 anyway. As a final test before u buy, just ask them to play 480i content, live content and 1080p blu Ray content and see which one YOUR (& more importantly your wife's) eyes like best.
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post #9 of 81 Old 09-12-2010, 11:44 PM
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For a few hundred more dollars you should just go ahead and get a Plasma with THX certification.

If you know where to look you can get 42 inch plasma with THX certification without exceeding $999.

Why am I emphasizing THX?
It's the accuracy man!

a THX cert on your display means you get a very good picture quality out of the box (initially most TVs are set in torch Vivid mode, just select THX mode and that's it!). With it you'll get (almost) the same video quality as $30,000 Sony broadcast/critical evaluation monitors that directors and engineers use to ensure that their finished product is top notch A+++


To OP: Just ignore the meaningless gimmicky marketing specs (such as 1,000,000,000,000 contrast ratio), just look if the plasma has THX certification, and trust me, if you know where to look you can get a 42 inch Plasma with THX under $999.
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post #10 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by specuvestor View Post

......But still bottomline I think the OP just need to trust his own eyes....

I totally agree !

Scotty
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post #11 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by 34HFX83 View Post

....To OP: Just ignore the meaningless gimmicky marketing specs (such as 1,000,000,000,000 contrast ratio), just look if the plasma has THX certification...

Oxymoronic, hypocritical ? I don't know where to start, I'm at a loss on this one.

Scotty
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post #12 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by -Kevin- View Post

Except for the stations currently broadcasting in 1080i like CBS and NBC...

The truth is, with the current multicasting practices of the majority of local brodcast stations, 1080p for "regular" TV watching is serious overkill. In fact, a 720p display may even help hide the effects of bitrate-starvation. ... YMMV
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post #13 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 12:53 AM
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The truth is, with the current multicasting practices of the majority of local brodcast stations, 1080p for "regular" TV watching is serious overkill. In fact, a 720p display may even help hide the effects of bitrate-starvation. ... YMMV

Why stop there, drag out the old CRT. That way you'll never again be disappointed by poor signals.

Scotty
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post #14 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 01:50 AM
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Why stop there, drag out the old CRT. That way you'll never again be disappointed by poor signals.

Actually ... I might do that ... BBCA (in SD) is painful to watch on the 50"'er.
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post #15 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 02:24 AM
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I have to agree the 720p is a better deal for sure. I've been running my Panasonic p42c1 in near 1080p resolution anyway though via my PC (it's all in my other posting if you want to read up) so even though it says it's only 720p it can display more with an outside tuner. I run mine all day long in 1824 x 1016 @ 60hz (custom computer resolution). Games and HD blow away by far most setups anywhere. I guess only the built in tv tuner is 720p. I use my HD cable box with hdmi out for TV anyway so screw that.
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post #16 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docbillnet View Post

I walked into Best Buy today after a few days research sold on the Panasonic tcp42u2. I was convinced for the best picture quality we needed a 1080p plasma. However, after both my wife saw it in person we reconsidered. It seemed the 1080p plasmas all had very blurry pictures. The 720p plasmas also had blurry pictures, but not as bad as the 1080p. My wife also complained the picture looked blurry on the 240 Hz LED, and 120 Hz LCD. In the past the split screen comparison, the 120 Hz looked sharper. So we went to Wendy's for lunch and discussed it.

It occurred to me, virtually all raw video source is 30 Hz. If you are watching video on a 600 Hz plasma, software will need to extrapolate to generate the in between frames. That will make the picture more blurry, but it will also make motion, action, and sports smoother. The cost of a smoother motion is a blurry picture. In the past the split screen comparisons I saw with 120 Hz and 60 Hz LCD was very little motion, just a slow panning. So my past observation was consistent with the hypothesis.

After lunch we went to Costco. Sure enough, that is exactly what we observed. 60Hz LCD's look crystal sharp, but motion looks jumpy... Now since all the video source used to demo at Costco as 720P, we could not fairly compare the 720P to the 1080P. However, our observations at Best Buy lead us to conclude upping the resolution required even more software extrapolations, making the picture even blurrier. Since virtually all our video source is 480P or 720P, we decided we the only difference we would ever see between the two is the additional extrapolation blur in the higher resolution TV. Neither of us have good enough eyes to see 720P pixels from the couch, so we decided on the tc-42px24 from Costco.

OP, you only did what ppl here on AVS always say to do - trust your own eyes/ears. And then, get bashed for it. Just one of the problems of this forum.

That said, I can see how you could interpret lower-res material as appearing "sharper." A smooth, gently curved line in 1080 can appear more jagged when scaled down to 720 - and the jagged edges can appear as being less blurry. Sort of like turning up the sharpness on a 1080P TV - it's somewhat artificial. If you were watching anything less than 1080P material, then the effect could be even more exaggerated.

There's really no reason not to go with 1080P unless you can't afford it. If you're willing, buy the 1080 model from Best Buy, knowing that you're protected by their return policy. Compare the 2 TVs using the best source you'd possibly use - prob blu-ray. who cares if you compromise on lower-res stuff because eventually you'll be watching 1080 material.

Then, take advantage of Costco's return policy.

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post #17 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Blacklac View Post

I don't think I would buy a 720p set unless it was all I could afford. One of the main reasons is a 720p display is not 1280x720. They are either 1024x720 or 1366x768 which means no matter what resolution you watch, the TV will always rescale it, which means another chance to lose quality. 1080p is always 1080p.

Unless you turn on 1:1 pixel mapping (off by default, most people leave it this way) on the 1080p will also scale all images.
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post #18 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PlasmaBenPC View Post

I have to agree the 720p is a better deal for sure. I've been running my Panasonic p42c1 in near 1080p resolution anyway though via my PC (it's all in my other posting if you want to read up) so even though it says it's only 720p it can display more with an outside tuner. I run mine all day long in 1824 x 1016 @ 60hz (custom computer resolution). Games and HD blow away by far most setups anywhere. I guess only the built in tv tuner is 720p. I use my HD cable box with hdmi out for TV anyway so screw that.

720p set should be set at 1360 x 768 or 1024 x 768 for best image quality. Try it and look at how sharp the text gets.
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post #19 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 07:52 AM
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I have Samsung 42" (720p), 50" (768), and 63" (1080p) plasmas. If the 42 or 50 inch broke tomorrow, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to purchase another 42"/720 or 50"/768p tv. Digital OTA 720p or 1080i looks fantastic on both tv's. I haven't run blu-ray on the 42" but it looks excellent on the 50"/768p. At 9' away, I don't feel like I'm losing anything in the viewing experience.

Now of course the 63"/1080p is my favorite...but that's because it's the biggest, newest, a few extra features due to model year.
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post #20 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 08:02 AM
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One reason not to buy a new 720p TV of any kind in 2010 is because manufacturers no longer make premium (or "better") 720p setsif picture quality is truly a goal as the OP seems to want.

The better panels and electronics (to say nothing of IPTV features, # of extra inputs and so on) are all gonna come with 1080p TVs.

Having said that, if the source isn't going to be stellar for the most part, a less expensive (read=720p) TV could very well be the smartest choice. What makes it a tougher decision is the realization that "next year" your sources may all improve. (That is to say, most of us do NOT buy new TVs every year )

Most of this is speculation and supposition, as places like Best Buy and other shops with TVs lining the walls can't (or won't) spend an hour dragging out a ladder and connecting a DVD, Blu-Ray or dedicated satellite box to each TV (and dim the lights while they're at it) we might be interested in.

On the other hand, there's nothing preventing anyone from coming in with a small, battery-operated DVD player like you'd use for the kids in the car, or an iPod with appropriate cabling, or camcorder etc. and simply ask if you can hook it up for a few minutes to gauge how a set does with a variety of sources, let you play with the remote etc.

I mean, if you're gonna buy locally, "trust your eyes" and use that advantage fully. Otherwise there's no reason to waste your time and gasthe stock displays don't tell the whole story, only relative differences (if you're lucky)you'd be better off just making an informed decision online and buy online and be done with it.

Many people will never buy a TV sight-unseen. But I submit that most people who buy locally, did just that without knowing it.
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post #21 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 08:10 AM
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In my opinion, the size of the television should be a deciding factor as to the resolution. Personally I have a hard time seeing any benefit of 1080p at 46" or less.
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post #22 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckeda View Post

One reason not to buy a new 720p TV of any kind in 2010 is because manufacturers no longer make premium (or "better") 720p sets—if picture quality is truly a goal as the OP seems to want.


I may be incorrect, but I believe Panasonic has lowered their resolution on their 50" low-end sets. So your statement would be true of that manufacturer. Samsung still makes 768p 50" panels.
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post #23 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by deckeda View Post

I mean, if you're gonna buy locally, "trust your eyes" and use that advantage fully. Otherwise there's no reason to waste your time and gasthe stock displays don't tell the whole story, only relative differences (if you're lucky)you'd be better off just making an informed decision online and buy online and be done with it.

Many people will never buy a TV sight-unseen. But I submit that most people who buy locally, did just that without knowing it.

Totally agree.
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post #24 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 09:56 AM
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All I'm saying is that I can easily see the effects of "bit-starvation" on my aging 50" CRT RPTV (which on a good day can resolve ~ 1100 x 900 on a static test pattern.)

So I submit that unless you're going to be watching a lot of BD (vs Cable/Sat/OTA sources,) 1080p is massive overkill. OTOH, It certainly increases the profits for CE companies and redistributes even more capital out of the country.
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post #25 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 02:14 PM
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All I'm saying is that I can easily see the effects of "bit-starvation" on my aging 50" CRT RPTV (which on a good day can resolve ~ 1100 x 900 on a static test pattern.)

So I submit that unless you're going to be watching a lot of BD (vs Cable/Sat/OTA sources,) 1080p is massive overkill. OTOH, It certainly increases the profits for CE companies and redistributes even more capital out of the country.

Suggesting the OP make his purchase decision based on your apparently pitiful sources is a non sequitur.

Scotty
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post #26 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 03:49 PM
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IMHO if you have under $700 to spend go with the 720p models, you get the biggest size for the money. If you have more to spend look into 1080p models. It's almost always better to spend the money on screen size instead of 1080p capability.
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post #27 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 04:04 PM
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I'm surprised no one else in this thread came to same conclusion, but I think the OP just doesn't like frame interpolation. It has nothing to do with 1080p vs 720p.

Most cheaper 720p sets don't have frame interpolation. Most 1080p TVs do, and the big box stores always enable FI on the demo models. So the OP was comparing 720p sets with no FI to 1080p sets with FI, and primarily deciding he didn't like the ones with FI.

FI=blurry?

Most people would probably come to the same conclusion.
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post #28 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 04:06 PM
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And some of us would like to consider spending on picture quality instead of 1080p, but that's not really an option these days.

I'd love a TC-PxxG25 that's only 720p and save the money, but it won't happen.
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post #29 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 04:07 PM
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This whole thread is just umm funny. docbillnet clearly doesn't know his left from right when it comes to Tv tech. It may have been better not to even start a thread and try to sell us on why 720p is better without knowing a lick about what he is talking about.
But honestly if he feels he made a good buy then let him have that, I don't have to watch his tv nor do you. Depending on tv size plus viewing distance 720p is fine. Once again I find this whole thread just plain entertainment.
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post #30 of 81 Old 09-13-2010, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoddee View Post

Suggesting the OP make his purchase decision based on your apparently pitiful sources is a non sequitur.

Scotty

Nice drive by.

The OP asked, 'Why buy 720p instead of 1080p.' I'm merely giving a few reasons why one might want to make that choice. If this somehow offends you ... well that says more about you than it does me.
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