Question about blu rays on 720p 51" - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Just bought a 51" 720p samsung at a steal of a price but now I'm worried after hearing multiple people saying that blu ray movies wont look so good on it because the tv is 51 inches and not 1080p. Anyone care to shed any light on this? The model is a Samsung PN51d450 btw. Thanks!
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jumpman23j View Post

Just bought a 51" 720p samsung at a steal of a price but now I'm worried after hearing multiple people saying that blu ray movies wont look so good on it because the tv is 51 inches and not 1080p. Anyone care to shed any light on this? The model is a Samsung PN51d450 btw. Thanks!


Got my aunt a 50 inch 720p Panasonic and avatar on blu ray looked great, I believe your set is even has a little more resolution then the panasonic. I wouldent worry about it as long as your sitting back around 8 feet it will look good.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 11:29 AM
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At that screen size, 1080p will provide some additional sharpness especially at close range. If you're sitting a good distance away, maybe 8 feet or so, there's less of a difference between 720 and 1080 and you'll still enjoy a nice sharp picture.

For bluray, ideally you want a 1080p display because that's what's recorded on the disc. Your TV must downconvert that to 720p, which could negatively affect image quality. However, a good video processor will scale without any serious artifacts (my Samsung seems very good at upconverting 720 to 1080, FWIW). You may want to compare the scaling quality between your bluray player (if it has an option to output 720p) and the TV to see which does a better job, but I wouldn't worry much about having the TV do it.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 11:42 AM
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Nonsense! Bluray movies will look great on that display. Will it look better on a 51" 1080p display? Absolutely-- but that doesn't mean they all of a sudden look bad on a 720p display!

I could be wrong but, I think what those people MAY have been trying to communicate to you is that with a 720p display you won't be able to take full advantage of what bluray has to offer-- but bluray will still be the best signal you can feed your display!

One of the nice things about 720p sets is they tend to mask shortcomings of your source better than a 1080p display would. Cable TV, upconverted DVD and streaming VOD tend to look very nice whereas on a 1080p the increased resolution will betray subtle picture flaws like noise, compression artifacts and general 'softness'. On the flip side, while bluray will look fantastic on your display you will not be able take full advantage of it's potential as there is a loss of resolution from the source to your display-- a 1080p set will be able to display bluray at it's maximum potential.

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AvidHiker View Post

At that screen size, 1080p will provide some additional sharpness especially at close range. If you're sitting a good distance away, maybe 8 feet or so, there's less of a difference between 720 and 1080 and you'll still enjoy a nice sharp picture.

For bluray, ideally you want a 1080p display because that's what's recorded on the disc. Your TV must downconvert that to 720p, which could negatively affect image quality. However, a good video processor will scale without any serious artifacts (my Samsung seems very good at upconverting 720 to 1080, FWIW). You may want to compare the scaling quality between your bluray player (if it has an option to output 720p) and the TV to see which does a better job, but I wouldn't worry much about having the TV do it.

I would actually recommend you let your set do the down conversion. Reason is your display isn't actually 720p (1280 by 720) it's either 1366 by 768 or, more likely, 1024 by 768. This means that if you set your player to 720p your display will then have to re-size the image again to fit. I would set the player to 1080p and let the tv do the rest. Personally, I wouldn't be worried about any loss of picture quality outside of the obvious drop to a lower resolution. Scaling down is rarely an issue and I've yet to hear of any situation where a flaw has been created by the move to a lower res on a modern display.

The one and ONLY exception I'll make to this recommendation is if you hook up an Xbox 360. The Xbox has a 'display discovery' option that most player lack. This option will detect your display and offer a 1:1 output. Generally this is preferred for the fastest response times and the cleanest image for things like text.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 12:15 PM
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Agreed, I had forgotten about the non-standardized (non-native) nature of 720p displays. I have seen poor scaling on various systems over the years, but these days it seems to be a non-issue.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

I would actually recommend you let your set do the down conversion. Reason is your display isn't actually 720p (1280 by 720) it's either 1366 by 768 or, more likely, 1024 by 768. This means that if you set your player to 720p your display will then have to re-size the image again to fit. I would set the player to 1080p and let the tv do the rest. Personally, I wouldn't be worried about any loss of picture quality outside of the obvious drop to a lower resolution. Scaling down is rarely an issue and I've yet to hear of any situation where a flaw has been created by the move to a lower res on a modern display.

The one and ONLY exception I'll make to this recommendation is if you hook up an Xbox 360. The Xbox has a 'display discovery' option that most player lack. This option will detect your display and offer a 1:1 output. Generally this is preferred for the fastest response times and the cleanest image for things like text.


I agree. Set your player to 1080p and let your TV do the scaling. Also, keep in mind that Blu-Ray is the only available HD replicated format, and due to it's generous bandwidth, and visual resolution (the measurement of the smallest detail) it provides the best video quality period, regardless of the resolution limits of your HDTV. Enjoy!


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Thanks for your input guys! I just got a little worried because I currently own a 42 inch 1080p Sharp and blu rays look amazing on it and I just want them to look similar on the samsung. So basically I have nothing to worry about as long as I let the TV Set do the scaling? Also, must I be sitting a minimum or 8 feet back or further from the tv to get the best picture quality and minimize the difference of the 720/1080p diff? So basically If I sit a foot closer I wont get as good of a picture? The tv has a 1,360 x 768 native resolution btw.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jumpman23j View Post

Thanks for your input guys! I just got a little worried because I currently own a 42 inch 1080p Sharp and blu rays look amazing on it and I just want them to look similar on the samsung. So basically I have nothing to worry about as long as I let the TV Set do the scaling? Also, must I be sitting a minimum or 8 feet back or further from the tv to get the best picture quality and minimize the difference of the 720/1080p diff? So basically If I sit a foot closer I wont get as good of a picture? The tv has a 1,360 x 768 native resolution btw.

It's not going to look as sharp as your-- er... Sharp. Not only are you going from 1080p to 720p but you're also going from 42" to 50" AND you're going from LCD to plasma! Not to imply that plasma isn't sharp but there is an unnatural sharpness to LCD which makes it great for computing but, IMO, lousy for movie/TV watching. Plasma has a more natural image with better saturation and superior motion handling.

So yes, your display will look great (especially as it's 1366 instead of 1024 like the entry Panasonic) but no, it won't look as sharp as your... Sharp. Lol! If you're sitting a ways back it likely won't matter anyway as your eyes will have difficulty resolving the extra resolution and, honestly, you'll be so amazed by the motion and color and contrast of plasma (at least I was) that you likely won't care about the missing lines. That's not to say I'm down playing the importance of 1080p (both my plasmas are 1080p)-- just that there are other aspects to good picture quality beyond resolution.

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post #10 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

It's not going to look as sharp as your-- er... Sharp. Not only are you going from 1080p to 720p but you're also going from 42" to 50" AND you're going from LCD to plasma! Not to imply that plasma isn't sharp but there is an unnatural sharpness to LCD which makes it great for computing but, IMO, lousy for movie/TV watching. Plasma has a more natural image with better saturation and superior motion handling.

So yes, your display will look great (especially as it's 1366 instead of 1024 like the entry Panasonic) but no, it won't look as sharp as your... Sharp. Lol! If you're sitting a ways back it likely won't matter anyway as your eyes will have difficulty resolving the extra resolution and, honestly, you'll be so amazed by the motion and color and contrast of plasma (at least I was) that you likely won't care about the missing lines. That's not to say I'm down playing the importance of 1080p (both my plasmas are 1080p)-- just that there are other aspects to good picture quality beyond resolution.


I really beginning to like this guy! Good post!


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Our Panny Plasma is a 720p, but will show BD in 1080p. Set it for 1080p and see if the Sammy will work. If not, it will still look good in 720p. Unless you are sitting within four feet of the set, I would not worry about it. Anything over 8 feet you really can not tell the difference, unless you really concentrate on one point on the screen.
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

It's not going to look as sharp as your-- er... Sharp. Not only are you going from 1080p to 720p but you're also going from 42" to 50" AND you're going from LCD to plasma! Not to imply that plasma isn't sharp but there is an unnatural sharpness to LCD which makes it great for computing but, IMO, lousy for movie/TV watching. Plasma has a more natural image with better saturation and superior motion handling.

So yes, your display will look great (especially as it's 1366 instead of 1024 like the entry Panasonic) but no, it won't look as sharp as your... Sharp. Lol! If you're sitting a ways back it likely won't matter anyway as your eyes will have difficulty resolving the extra resolution and, honestly, you'll be so amazed by the motion and color and contrast of plasma (at least I was) that you likely won't care about the missing lines. That's not to say I'm down playing the importance of 1080p (both my plasmas are 1080p)-- just that there are other aspects to good picture quality beyond resolution.

Great post, this helps a lot! I plan on sitting far back anyway and am sure the color and contrast of the plasma should be great. Although, I have a question. You mention the motion of the plasma being great so will the plasma be miles better with sports than my 60 hz sharp lcd? And thanks for everyone's opinions and insight as I really do appreciate it!
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 05:54 PM
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Great post, this helps a lot! I plan on sitting far back anyway and am sure the color and contrast of the plasma should be great. Although, I have a question. You mention the motion of the plasma being great so will the plasma be miles better with sports than my 60 hz sharp lcd? And thanks for everyone's opinions and insight as I really do appreciate it!

Yes, 100% absolutely, sports will look better on your plasma.

Understand that the issue really isn't that LCD is somehow inferior to plasma it's how the two technologies produce moving images on their displays. Without getting too in-depth, the way a plasma creates moving images is not dissimilar to how a CRT does: by flashing each of it's pixels at a very high frequency for each frame being displayed. LCD pixels, on the other hand, stay lit for the whole frame-- your eyes interpret this as blur.

To fix this, LCD manufacturers bumped the refresh rate up to 120hz and began to oscillate between dark and light images which simulated the way plasma and CRTs produce motion. Unfortunately this diminished one of LCDs chief selling features: their ability to outshine plasmas on brightly lit warehouse floors. So LCD manufacturers moved on to 'frame-interpolation' which essentially splices frames in between the actual frames from the source. Where do these extra frames come from, you ask? Out of the manufacturers butt, that's where! They're generated using the actual frames as a map to chart where the display 'thinks' things will be in-between. Much to chagrin of enthusiasts everywhere people actually LIKED this! There are even some fans of the soap-opera effect on this very forum! Lol!

Kidding aside, the technology has gotten better (and less noticeable) to the point that even plasmas now incorporate it as a way to appease their customer base. Honestly, this speaks more to the source than to the displays themselves. If the producers of content would move to higher frame rates then there would be no need for this wizardry-- and it looks like it might happen! Currently the new film The Hobbit is being produced at 48fps (a doubling of the traditional 24fps). Another good example of the power of a high fps: games. Play a 60fps game (like Call of Duty) on a plasma OR an LCD and the image is fantastic. My blurry old LCD suddenly looks crisp and clear when pwning teh noobs online... Just not as crisp as my plasma.

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post #14 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 06:11 PM
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I have seen Blurays look very good on the Samsung 720p plasmas, and they generally give good reviews on the D450 thread. And good move getting a D450, as the E450 series has lowered the resolution from 1366x768 to 1024x768 on the 51", and I believe you can tell the difference.
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-20-2012, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

Yes, 100% absolutely, sports will look better on your plasma.

Understand that the issue really isn't that LCD is somehow inferior to plasma it's how the two technologies produce moving images on their displays. Without getting too in-depth, the way a plasma creates moving images is not dissimilar to how a CRT does: by flashing each of it's pixels at a very high frequency for each frame being displayed. LCD pixels, on the other hand, stay lit for the whole frame-- your eyes interpret this as blur.

To fix this, LCD manufacturers bumped the refresh rate up to 120hz and began to oscillate between dark and light images which simulated the way plasma and CRTs produce motion. Unfortunately this diminished one of LCDs chief selling features: their ability to outshine plasmas on brightly lit warehouse floors. So LCD manufacturers moved on to 'frame-interpolation' which essentially splices frames in between the actual frames from the source. Where do these extra frames come from, you ask? Out of the manufacturers butt, that's where! They're generated using the actual frames as a map to chart where the display 'thinks' things will be in-between. Much to chagrin of enthusiasts everywhere people actually LIKED this! There are even some fans of the soap-opera effect on this very forum! Lol!

Kidding aside, the technology has gotten better (and less noticeable) to the point that even plasmas now incorporate it as a way to appease their customer base. Honestly, this speaks more to the source than to the displays themselves. If the producers of content would move to higher frame rates then there would be no need for this wizardry-- and it looks like it might happen! Currently the new film The Hobbit is being produced at 48fps (a doubling of the traditional 24fps). Another good example of the power of a high fps: games. Play a 60fps game (like Call of Duty) on a plasma OR an LCD and the image is fantastic. My blurry old LCD suddenly looks crisp and clear when pwning teh noobs online... Just not as crisp as my plasma.

Haha if you play Call of Duty on xbox you have to pm me and give me your gamertag although I am a noob at MW3, I played COD4 religiously everyday after it came out for years.
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-21-2012, 05:13 AM
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Haha if you play Call of Duty on xbox you have to pm me and give me your gamertag although I am a noob at MW3, I played COD4 religiously everyday after it came out for years.

It's the same as my avs handle.

Mostly play black ops these days.

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post #17 of 19 Old 05-21-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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It's the same as my avs handle.

Mostly play black ops these days.

Cool, you don't play any modern warfare 3?
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-21-2012, 04:01 PM
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Cool, you don't play any modern warfare 3?

Hey Sage, take a look at your visitor messages when you have a chance - the system won't met me PM you.

Thanks!
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post #19 of 19 Old 05-22-2012, 11:15 AM
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Hey Sage, take a look at your visitor messages when you have a chance - the system won't met me PM you.

Thanks!

Just turned my PM back on.

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