Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity
I instantly recognized the lower rez on the 60" pentile screen plasma as compared to 1080p on 60" LCDs and the 60" LG plasma nearby.
I also get the points that Mark and others are making about chroma subsampling, viewing distance, etc. I like the greater "transparency" of the pixels on the 51F5300 vs. the PenTile panels though.
In case anyone's still confused about the difference, here's a close up comparison of a standard 1920x1080p pixel array versus a PenTile array. The PenTile is on the right.
Based on what I've seen and read, PenTile panels have the same number of green subpixels as a standard 1920x1080 pixel array, but only half as many red and blue subpixels (ie 960x1080), arranged as shown above.
The PenTile panels can probably still pass a standard black & white 1920x1080p resolution test because the green subpixels have the greatest luminance, and hence the greatest impact on those tests. I'm pretty sure they would fail some of the red and blue 1920x1080p color resolution tests though. Just how significant an issue that is probably depends on the viewer, content, etc...
If the PenTile panels have coarser dithering due to the fewer red and blue subpixels, then that would be one reason to avoid them, if you can. There aren't many good plasma options left in certain size/price ranges though. So a PenTile may be the best (or only) way to go for some folks.
Some people might find this article on the 64H5000 (which also uses a PenTile array) of interest, esp. the sections on Subpixel Layout, and Motion Resolution where it discusses some of the dithering issues...
I believe all these panels also use subpixel addressing so what comes out of the source isn't necessarily exactly what you'll see on the screen. IOW, there's probably some interpolation going on in all three RGB color components, which will impact the detail that's visible on the screen.
The subpixel addressing can be disabled on the Panasonic panels via the 1080p Pixel Direct feature (though I noticed some green push on YCbCr HDMI sources with that feature on the S60). There didn't seem to be a way to disable it on the 51F5300 though. And it's probably not something you'd want
to disable on a PenTile display, even if you could.