How good/bad IS 720p @ 100"? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the market for my first PJ. I'd like to keep the cost down and I'm seeing some tremendous deals on 720p PJs. How much difference is there between a budget 1080p (~$2,000) and a good 720p (~$1,000). Is it worth twice the price to go up, or is something like the Mitsubishi HC1600 or Panasonic PT-AX200U going to be "good enough?" I know it's subjective, but does 720p with 100-120" screens give a decent HD experience?

(Source will be an up-converting DVD player for the time being.) Thanks!

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ~ B. B.
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post #2 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 09:46 AM
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My first projector was a sony aw10 and it is a 720p projector. I'm watching it on a 110' screen and it looks beautiful with bluray movies. For regular dvd movies I'm using a toshiba a3 hd dvd player for upconverting my dvds and it still looks good. It all depends on how far you seat from the screen. If you don't have the money right now for a 1080p projector a 720p is not a bad deal at all. Once you start watching movies on a big screen you just can't go back to a reg tv. Hope this helps. Take care, man.
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post #3 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 10:01 AM
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wasn't for me and my pic with the sharp dt510 looks great. I'm waiting out till this bulb blows then probably jumping to 1080p
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post #4 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 12:47 PM
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I have a Sanyo Z5 on 106" and feel I have a great picture. With Pan. BD55 and BR movies, I don't even think 1080p could be noticably better. With DirecTV HD coming in at 1080i or 720p (ESPN), I'm covered 90% of the time for the foreseeable future. Once I have the majority of viewing material in 1080p or the Z5 breaks, I'll switch.
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post #5 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 01:49 PM
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My advice is to get a good 720p projector and use the difference to buy a good screen Then in a couple years when the time comes to replace the bulb, you can upgrade to 1080p.

I bought a 96" Carada 5 yrs ago and its amazing. I'm on my 3rd projector with it.
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post #6 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmanky View Post

My advice is to get a good 720p projector and use the difference to buy a good screen Then in a couple years when the time comes to replace the bulb, you can upgrade to 1080p.

I bought a 96" Carada 5 yrs ago and its amazing. I'm on my 3rd projector with it.

I second that. Last year I purchased my first projector, Mits HD1000 and a 106" Carada BW screen. I could not be happier. I have a Dish 622 HD receiver/DVR and an OPPO upconverting DVD player - all hooked into an Onkyo 605 via HDMI and in turn, via HDMI to the projector. Since the projector is 720p and the OPPO upconverts to 720p, I leave the Dish receiver also set to 720p and find everything is at least as good this way as if I set things to 1080i.

I now have a Panny BD35 and the blu-ray picture is also set at 720p, again, I could not be happier but then again I have not seen the 1080p projectors with blu-ray. The fast advances in projector technology along with falling prices and the high cost of lamp replacements makes me think that when it comes time to replace the bulb I will upgrade but I find no reason to do so now.

One thing I do wonder about though is how much better blu-ray would be on a 1080p projector. I say that because I get all the HD movie channels through dish and although they are compressed a little more and sometimes they are stretched out of aspect to fill the screen, I don't see a whole lot of difference between a movie I've saved on my DVR and blu-ray. I wait for movies to come to channels like Showtime or HBO then record them and save the ones I want to archive on my external hard drives. The higher cost of blu-ray disks and the excellence of the picture I get through my Dish receiver makes me think twice before shelling out the bucks to buy a new blu-ray movie. Of course, they are usually available long before HBO gets them but there are not really that many movies that I have to have right away.

The point of all this is that if you have a tight budget and will remain for the time being with an upconverting dvd player only, there is no reason to get an expensive 1080p projector when a good (and cheap) 720p will do everything you want with little difference in quality, especially if you sit far enough back from the screen.

shortspark
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post #7 of 46 Old 12-27-2008, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the input. I've pretty much decided to go 720p. My biggest concern is that the PJ needs to be 22' away from the screen if ceiling mounted. With a vaulted ceiling and two ceiling fans, I have limited possibilities.

The Panasonic PT-AX200U seems to be one of the only PJs that will do even 120" at that distance.

While the Carada's look nice, it seems that they don't make pull-down screens, so I'm thinking either Elite or Da-Lite.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ~ B. B.
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post #8 of 46 Old 12-28-2008, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know of any 720p PJs, other than the Panasonic PT-AX200U, that will do 120" at 22'?

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ~ B. B.
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post #9 of 46 Old 12-28-2008, 07:40 PM
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Epson HC720
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post #10 of 46 Old 12-28-2008, 11:04 PM
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I had an Optoma HD70 and have had an AE200 both projecting at over 100" sitting 12' away. They didn't look as good as my AE2000 but they still looked really nice. I liked how bright the 200 was so if you aren't in a totally dark room that is something to consider.
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post #11 of 46 Old 12-28-2008, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKreutzer View Post

I don't even think 1080p could be noticably better.

While I am sure it is better, I always say the same thing. When watching a Blu-ray on my Mitsubishi HD1000 I am still blown away by how beautiful some of the images look.
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post #12 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milacqua View Post

I second that. Last year I purchased my first projector, Mits HD1000 and a 106" Carada BW screen. I could not be happier. I have a Dish 622 HD receiver/DVR and an OPPO upconverting DVD player - all hooked into an Onkyo 605 via HDMI and in turn, via HDMI to the projector. Since the projector is 720p and the OPPO upconverts to 720p, I leave the Dish receiver also set to 720p and find everything is at least as good this way as if I set things to 1080i.

sorry to be the one to break this to you, but 720P is BETTER than 1080i. with 720p you are seeign all 720 lines of resolution in every frame, with 1080i you are only seeing 1/2 at 540 lines per frame.
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post #13 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 04:52 AM
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I would personally go with the Epson over the panny..but that's cause i HATE the panny SDE softening that makes the image look out of focus. not good for me. as for the HD1000 it is an awesome projector, better than the hc1600 that has replaced it IMHO as the colour wheel is faster reducing rainbows.

maudioguy....if you go 720 you will definitely be selling it when you burn up the first bulb. if you decide to invest in a 1080p it will be much more worth it to replace the bulb at least once. technology is changing so fast it's hard to keep up. i went with a 1080p cause i got a hell of a deal on it....and i have a PS3 for bluray.

to my eyes, 1080p looks (in a dark room) as good as ANY plasma or LCD i have seen to date on a regular tv. in the light not so much, but that's just a drawback for front projectors.

also, why can't you ceiling mount the projector where ever it needs to be? why does it HAVE to be 22ft away?

either decision you make i'm sure you'll be thrilled. i have said this many times, but watching anything on even a BIG tv is still just a tv. nothing compares to a 120" or bigger screen IMHO
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post #14 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 05:19 AM
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Depends on how close you sit, but with a 720p LCD projector, screen door effect can be a problem up close... except with the Panasonic PT-AX200U. Effectively no screen door effect with any reasonable seating distance. Some people think it blurs things a bit much, but I think it's fine.

I think the bigger issue is the Panasonic doesn't have great black levels, but it's better than average for a relatively inexpensive LCD-based projector, and of course it doesn't suffer the rainbow effect seen in some DLPs.

The zoom lens on the Panny is 2:1, and given its cost it's not surprising that it has corner softness (esp. when viewing text say from a computer), and even incompletely planar focusing. However, this is common in this class of projector, and it doesn't generally affect movie watching.
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post #15 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 07:14 AM
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I can only do 92" in my room and sit about 10 feet away with my AE900, but I am amazed every time I turn it on. Even SD DVD looks spectacular. It's odd how the some people who were awed by 720p and SD DVD are now saying it's unwatchable now that 1080p is out.

1080p will be even cheaper in a few years if you decide to upgrade when the bulb burns out. Right now I would get a high-quality 720p projector than a 1080p with a lower-quality lens, parts.
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post #16 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondaycurse View Post

1080p will be even cheaper in a few years if you decide to upgrade when the bulb burns out. Right now I would get a high-quality 720p projector than a 1080p with a lower-quality lens, parts.

Heh. Same here. I had just posted a thread on this actually, because it seems so many people are so infatuated with the holy grail of 1080p, even at the expense of lens quality and black levels, etc.
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post #17 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

sorry to be the one to break this to you, but 720P is BETTER than 1080i. with 720p you are seeign all 720 lines of resolution in every frame, with 1080i you are only seeing 1/2 at 540 lines per frame.

This is a falacy that keeps getting spread month after month.

1080i is still better than 720p. More pixels equals more real data.
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post #18 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

also, why can't you ceiling mount the projector where ever it needs to be? why does it HAVE to be 22ft away?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post

the PJ needs to be 22' away from the screen if ceiling mounted. With a vaulted ceiling and two ceiling fans, I have limited possibilities.



The Panasonic PT-AX200U seems to be one of the only PJs that will do even 120" at that distance.



I could post a pic, but suffice it to say, it's not a dedicated theater room, and I don't want to muck it up with a PJ hanging in the middle. It seems that I'll probably go with the Pannasonic, since most other PJs project an image that's too large (>120") once you get out to a 22' throw.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ~ B. B.
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post #19 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reconlabtech View Post

This is a falacy that keeps getting spread month after month.

1080i is still better than 720p. More pixels equals more real data.

BULLSH*T sorry buddy, but that is dead wrong

that MIGHT be true on a 1080p projector when comparing 1080i vs 720p image as it would be pixel for pixel...then MAYBE, but..on a native 720p projector not a chance
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post #20 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 12:31 PM
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He's absolutely correct.

In order of data requirements:

1080p60 > 1080i60 > 720p.

As you can see, 720p is the lowest on the list.
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post #21 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 01:16 PM
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I have a AX200 12 feet from a 100" screen and I sit about 11 feet away. My screen is a 1.1 gain Elite EZ Frame. I have been struggling with your question as well. The picture from Bluray/HDDVD is amazing! My SD DVD is upconverted to 1080i at my Onkyo 606 receiver. Picture is acceptable. A 1080p projector won't change any of that.

I read on these forums that 1080p is much better but when I see it I'm not that impressed. I've been fantasizing about the AE3000, but is it $1500 better than my AX200? Nope.

My advice? Buy a good 720p projector and wait until you have some extra money that you don't know what to do with and upgrade to 1080p then for bragging rights. (If that sort of thing is important to you.)

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post #22 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeez, it's like half you guys have ADD.... What I'm asking (now that I'm further into this) is if anyone knows of any PJ similar to the AX200 that will project a 100"-120" image @ 22?

My initial question was answered - people seem to be mostly happy with 720p, and usually much happier with 1080p. At this point in time I'm going to go with 720.

Again, it seems most PJs I've run across can't go as SMALL as 120" @ 22'. Oh yeah, and the AX200 seems to be fairly bright, which I will need.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ~ B. B.
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post #23 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil View Post

BULLSH*T sorry buddy, but that is dead wrong

that MIGHT be true on a 1080p projector when comparing 1080i vs 720p image as it would be pixel for pixel...then MAYBE, but..on a native 720p projector not a chance

Like I said, there's lots of you guys who have been tricked into believing 720p is a higher rez than 1080i.

This is wrong, regardless of the profanity you think is necessary to "prove" your point.
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post #24 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 07:10 PM
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On all but the cheapest 720p PJs, the video processing circuitry reassembles the 1080i signal into 1080p and then downrezzes the frames to 720.

Oh, and lines of resolution is not the same as pixels.
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post #25 of 46 Old 12-29-2008, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah... ADD,ADHD, something like that...
I fairly well understand resolution, pixels,etc...
What this thread asks is if 720p looks good on 100" (or 120" now) with seating around 13'-16', btw.
AND, what PJ can throw an image this size ~22'.
TIA!

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." ~ B. B.
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post #26 of 46 Old 12-30-2008, 05:06 AM
 
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The Panny would be my choice for a 720P at 120". The only other one might be a Marantz 12S4 with long throw lens option if you can find one but 120" would be pushing that PJs brightness but 100" would be fine. The smoothscreen will help you at 120".

The 720P vs 1080P has been a long debate. I evaluate and calibrate a lot of PJs and I wouldn't take a lower cost 1080P over a higher end 720P. Because contrast (ON/OFF and ANSI), color, saturation, etc. are bigger factors than resolution for picture quality unless you are sitting close enough for screen door to be a problem. A lower end 1080 display will usually beat a lower end 720 one, and a higher end 1080 will usually beat a higher end 720. The only time that 720 beats the 1080 is when the higher end ones have been discounted to the price range of the lower end 1080s.

As far as broadcast signals go there are tradeoffs between 720P and 1080i. 720P has an advantage for sports and fast moving action because it is 60 frames per second and is one of the reasons networks like ESPN, Fox, ABC chose to use this format. 1080i has better resolution but only 30 frames per second (60 fields ie odd/even lines) and is beneficial for non fast moving material. Now, which type of camera is used is a different issue

The native signal will usually look best if the display matches it as no scaling is invloved. Again this assumes all other factors are equal which they RARELY if ever are!

1080P/60 with 60 frames per second would be best! But, there is no one broadcasting 1080P/60! You can get 1080P/60 on blu-ray but most movies are 1080P/24 since film use 24 frames per second. Film rarely has fast motion. By motion I don't mean action but fast camera pans, films usually have cameras mounted on tracks or other devices that follow the action scenes and don't just pan the camera.

Hope this helps

Bob
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post #27 of 46 Old 12-30-2008, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post

I'm in the market for my first PJ. I'd like to keep the cost down and I'm seeing some tremendous deals on 720p PJs. How much difference is there between a budget 1080p (~$2,000) and a good 720p (~$1,000). Is it worth twice the price to go up, or is something like the Mitsubishi HC1600 or Panasonic PT-AX200U going to be "good enough?" I know it's subjective, but does 720p with 100-120" screens give a decent HD experience?

(Source will be an up-converting DVD player for the time being.) Thanks!

I have a 720p projector with a 114 inch screen. It looks great, with blu-rays and everything. But I bought my projector almost 2 years ago. If I were buying now, I would buy 1080p no matter what.
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post #28 of 46 Old 12-30-2008, 05:39 AM
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i'm viewing 720p on 100" at 12.5 feet and it is simply incredible. If I get close enough (6ft) I can seen screen door but it is amazing enough. For what I paid, I would have a hard time justifying 1080P. Now, if 1080P was 750-1000 it is a no brainer. It will be before long.

Thanks.
- Jay
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post #29 of 46 Old 12-30-2008, 05:48 AM
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For what it's worth, I'm sitting around 14 feet from a 110" screen with a 720p projector running Blu Ray and I see no problems with it whatsoever. I do my "daily watching" in the bedroom on a couch about 10 feet from a Samsung 650 series 50" plasma, so I have a rather decent quality 1080p display to compare it to. Also, I watched the plasma for 2-3 months before I got the projector up, so I was fairly used to the picture.

Ummmmm........it's not Blue Ray, it's Blu-Ray. Please stop the madness.
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post #30 of 46 Old 12-30-2008, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdaudioguy View Post

Again, it seems most PJs I've run across can't go as SMALL as 120" @ 22'. Oh yeah, and the AX200 seems to be fairly bright, which I will need.

I can't say for sure about whether this is feasible. I do know that throwing an image 22 feet for a 120" image is a very long throw for a consumer PJ. There are online calculators that help you determine the minimum and maximum ranges for a given image size and throw distance. It is PJ specific.

By way of contrast, I have a short throw PJ. It is a Marantz VP-4001. It is presently throwing a 102" image from about 11.5 feet away. That is close to the middle of its range for that size image. I think from memory the outer distance for that size image is about 13 feet.

Bottom line: Is a 120" image from 22' feasible? I don't know, but I suspect that is the very outer limits of most consumer PJs, if not downright outside them. Look hard and maybe you'll find one, but I suspect it would be unusual.
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