Originally Posted by ADU
^ A lot of good advice above from Josh128.
The F4500 is going to do some scaling/resampling regardless of what signal you send it, because it's native 1024x768 resolution is not a precise match to either 720p or 1080p. My guess is that the Blu-rays would look best at 1080p, like Josh said, since that's the native rez of most Blu-ray content. The cable box is harder to guess on. You could set it to output native signal rez, 720p or 1080i/p, and see which looks best. It just depends on the type of content you watch, and which device does a better job deinterlacing and scaling to your eyes.
According to the manual, it supports Cinema Smooth, which only works with 24Hz inputs. So my guess is it does. That's another thing you'd probably want to experiment with though. Some prefer to leave everything at 60Hz for various reasons.
I disagree a little with Josh re the SDE on the F4500 series btw. SDE, dithering and color contouring*
are all more pronounced to my eyes on the F4500 than on the 51F5300. It's sort of a moot point though, since you don't have space for a 51" TV, and will probably be watching a lot of SD and 720p. My main concern with the 43F4500 would be poor ventilation in such a tight space. (Maybe Josh could comment on that as well, since he's owned an F4500 for awhile.)
My 34" Sony 1080i CRT paid a visit to the CRT recycling center yesterday btw, and decided to stay there. Gonna miss all those nice dither-free colors, deep blacks and lagging Sony phosphors.
I'm not exactly "CRT-free" though, since I still own 2 CRT monitors (one B&W), and a 24" SD CRT which still has a very good picture.
The Panasonic CRTs had a really nice picture. So I'd recommend keeping the TAU, until you're sure you've found a suitable replacement. I often wish I'd waited a bit and picked up one of the Panny 30" HD models, instead of the Sony 34XBR800. Water under the bridge though.
It's probably also worth noting that most decent 40-42" 1080p LCDs/LEDs would have none of these issues,... though they would have worse angle of view, motion and other PQ weaknesses compared to the plasma TVs. And a 1080p display would also be less forgiving to the SD content.)
Originally Posted by RandyWalters
But that TV is not a 720p TV, it's native resolution is actually 768p so whether you set your cable box to output 1080i or 720p the TV will scale the signal to 768p anyway. It's been my experience on a number of 768p Plasmas and LCDs that setting the Cable Box/Sat Receiver/Tivo to 1080i fixed makes the picture noticeably more crisp and detailed than when using the 720p setting on both 1080i channels and 720p channels (i've actually tested both back to back). Most others here have seen the same thing.
If you can get basic cable straight from the wall, you can test how the 1080i Fixed setting affects 720p channels by tuning the TV's internal tuner to a 720p channel (like ABC and FOX) then switching back and forth with the same channel on your cable box via HDMI.
The Square Trade warranty is pretty good - i bought mine from Costco (5yrs/$99 IIRC) even though i bought my 55ST60 at Amazon, and if i'm not mistaken the one you buy at Amazon is allowed on TVs bought elsewhere.
Here's the way it is set up now....
Motorola DCX3400M box.
For watching SD channels, I use a RCA Composite Cable, and for HD I use Component.
This way I can change inputs on the Panasonic TAU between SD 480p and HD 1080i.
The Mits SVHS VCR is connected from the cabke box with S-Video and to the Panasonic using S-Video cable. I only use this if I tape record or play at tape, which is rare. I don't use S-Video for watching SD Cable channels from the cable box since there is some dot-craw that is eliminated when using Composite input, since the Panasonic has a 3D Y/C Comb Filter for Composite only.
For BluRay it uses Component at 1080i.
Two years ago in replaced both bedroom's 1992 27" Sony Trinitron with a Toshiba 32TL515U LED/LCD since it was the best 32" unit on the market. It has a nice image when viewed straight on, and the edge-lit local dimming is OK for a bedroom set.
It is connected with HDMI to a Motorola DCX3200M (it's part of the AnyRoom DVR that can access recordings on the main DCX3400M box in the living room).
The settings on these Motorola boxes are:
HDMI Output: 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i, and Native.
4:3 Override: Stretch, Off, 480p, 480i.
Native Mode settings (only is Native is selective above) : 1080p 30fps, 1080p 24 fps, 1080i, 720p, 480p, 480i.
I have tried all those different settings with the Toshiba and found the best to for the Motorola box to be set on HDMI Output of 1080i and 4:3 Override of Stretch. That way all sampling is done by the box to 1080i for all SD and HD, and it will horizontally stretch 4:3 SD to fill the screen.
I did try using Native, which didn't make a difference for HD channels, but for SD sending it to the TV at 480p, then having the TV upsample it to 1080 and stretch it didn't look as good as if the cable box did it.
So chances are, if I get a 43F4500 for the living room, I may start with it the same way, have the Motorola box do all the HD and SD upsampling to 1080i and have it stretch the SD 4:3. But if it doesn't look good, then can try setting it to 720p, or use the Native settings. Too bad you can't force these boxes to output at 1080p.