Why 1080p has no merit, apart from maybe reducing SDE. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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A lot of people talk about the amount of advantage that 1080p projectors have over 720p projectors.

The following experiment led me to the name of this thread, and I find it hard to believe that after reading what I say below, anyone will be able to argue against my conclusion, which seems to elude so many members in this forum.

I have a 22" CRT monitor. When I set this CRT monitor to a resolution of 1280x960, and watch still images taken by a good quality camera (from a distance of 1.5X the screen width), the quality I see on the screen, is no less than light years better than any HDTV transfer I ever saw on this CRT monitor, using the same resolution. The still images look so much alive, the color is superb, there is not even a slightest degree of digital noise, they simply look life-like. The personal feeling I'm getting is that if the HDTV movie is 1280x720, then the still images from the camera must be 1,280,000x720,000, even though I see both on the same screen using the same 1280x960 resolution.

Just to put more emphasis, the still images from the camera look almost 100% life-like, to the point it's hard for me to comprehend how a better visual representation of reality can be achieved (without going to 3D), while the HDTV transfer looks light years worse. And this difference, which is the difference between a life-like reproduction of visual informantion, and between fake reproduction of visual information, has nothing to do with more resoultion !!! (since in both cases I'm at 1.5X from a resulotion 1280x960).

When I take my CRT monitor to 1920x1440, still watching from 1.5X the screen width, I can't say I see any difference with a 1080p movie, in comparison to when my screen was at 1280x960. I admit the same about the still images (which are taken at higher resolution than 1920x1440).

It seems to me that 720p is more than enough resolution to give a life-like presentation of an image, even from a distance of 1.5X the screen width, and that 1080p is largely a hoax/snake oil (choose your better term). It seems that we are totally limited by the quality of the HDTV transfer, and possibly by the quality of the color reproduction of the projector.

*Maybe* the only merit that 1080p projectors have, is that they might reduce SDE by some point, but even this is debatable, because 720p DLPs using Darkchip3 already have ~95% fill factor, which take away screen door from normal viewing distances, and regarding LCD pj's, D6 panels have a lower fill factor than D5 panels (It stands on ~45%).
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post #2 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 10:58 AM
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Here is a 'Why we need 1080p projectors!' thread in the over $3k forum.
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post #3 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks TomJones, I too was under the impression that from a distance of 1.5X the screen width, 1080p projectors will cause me to use more of my visual acuity potential, and hence they have big merit.

But, what I think I proved above is that this gain is negligible.

Our holy grail is to watch the projected movie on the screen, and get a 100% life-like reproduction of reality (in 2D).

What I said above, is that when I set my CRT monitor to 1280x960, the still images from a good quality camera, indeed look life-like from a distance of 1.5X the screen width, this is the holy grail I'm waiting for, but on the other hand watching a good 1080p HDTV movie (under the same conditions), gives what appears to be a fake reproduction of reality (and this doesn't improve when I set the screen to 1920x1440). I.e this difference has got nothing to do with resolution. Any of you can make this test for himself. I dare you to come to a different conclusion than the one I came too.

Again, to be clear, I'm saying that the move to 1080p projectors will not get us any closer to our holy grail, at least not by their higher resolution per se. For those who have 720p projectors, the route to the holy grail does not go through the move to a higher resolution projector (even though this is a route which is offered to us now), not by a long shot, what you're looking for doesn't hide in higher resolution. The only route to the holy grail is by using a much higher quality HDTV transfers, light years higher than anything we get today from the studios, and apart from this using a projector with better color reproduction and less image noise.

As a further support to what I said here, I can add that the best HDTV movie I ever saw, by a long shot, was a home made movie of someone who used his own high quality HDTV video camera, on its best setting (which gives an insanely high bitrate, not something you'll find in HDTV broadcasting for sure).
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post #4 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:04 PM
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I recently got a Mitsubishi HC3100, a DC3 projector. While I'm very happy with it, I still have the desire to go to 1080p (once prices drop below $2000). You see, I'm not a conventional person. I like to sit at 1 screen width. I know, I'm a heretic and should be killed on sight for this, but I just like to sit closer than what all the techno-snobs say is "proper". At one screen width, I can still see the screen door, even on this DC3 projector. Not nearly as noticeable as with my old projector, but it is there, especially on solid colors.

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post #5 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomJones View Post

Here is a 'Why we need 1080p projectors!' thread in the over $3k forum.

Not to be too cynical, but Tryg does sell for AVS now, not sure if he did back when he started that thread though.

It's funny that they mention in that thread going from a 480p to 720p projector being a big deal. I actually did a side by side comparison when I went from my Panasonic 300 to 500 (960x540 to 1280x720), almost double the pixels, and I honestly could not see any difference in detail between the two. And believe me, I was hoping and looking for it since I had just spent another $2k for the "upgrade".

I think we're going to see even less of a difference between 720p and 1080p simply because we're reaching the limits of our ability to see more resolution.

I'm going to compare an Epson 700 (720p) to an Epson 1000 (1080p) hopefully next week. I'll put them side by side on a 106" screen and see if there's a difference. I will tell you honestly what I see with broadcast HD, BluRay and HD-DVD. Should be very interesting.

I think the biggest things for new projector owners/future owners to remember is that this forum has many different types of members. But there is a significant contingent of folks that are what I call "golden eyes". They think a 0.5% increase in overall pq is "dramatic", or worse yet, they imagine differences based on the math and science that says something should be better. Basically, they are suffering from placebo effect. Just keep that in mind. I've been a victim of it myself, so now I don't believe it until I see them side by side with my own eyes.
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post #6 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


I recently got a Mitsubishi HC3100, a DC3 projector. While I'm very happy with it, I still have the desire to go to 1080p (once prices drop below $2000). You see, I'm not a conventional person. I like to sit at 1 screen width. I know, I'm a heretic and should be killed on sight for this, but I just like to sit closer than what all the techno-snobs say is "proper". At one screen width, I can still see the screen door, even on this DC3 projector. Not nearly as noticeable as with my old projector, but it is there, especially on solid colors.

In this case, as I said in the title of the thread, 1080p projector has merit.

It's good that you know that by sitting 1 screen widths, you are violating THX regulation, and exposed to penalty. By this I'm not saying people should take the law to their own hand and kill you on sight. Your case should be dealt by law officials only.
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post #7 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:20 PM
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most people will agree a tv under 50 inches u wont notice the difference between 720 and 1080 ............ but once u go big esp 100 inches plus 1080 shows its strength ......... get a 106 inch screen sit 1.5 times away and tell me then u cant notice the difference between 720 and 1080 ........ but i do agree the signal source in most cases is more important then resolution ...........
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post #8 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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get a 106 inch screen sit 1.5 times away and tell me then u cant notice the difference between 720 and 1080 ........

Well, some 30 greek fellows seem to tell you exactly that.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9&page=1&pp=30
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post #9 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:25 PM
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Another merit for the 720p is the interest over 40yrs on the difference in price!


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post #10 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muggsy View Post

most people will agree a tv under 50 inches u wont notice the difference between 720 and 1080 ............ but once u go big esp 100 inches plus 1080 shows its strength ......... get a 106 inch screen sit 1.5 times away and tell me then u cant notice the difference between 720 and 1080 ....

That's exactly what I'm going to do. I will tell it like it is, but if it doesn't turn out the way you suggest, will you believe?
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post #11 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:33 PM
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post #12 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:38 PM
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Specs and graphs, specs and graphs, specs and graphs...

If I can't SEE it, then it doesn't matter! You guys always counter with specs and graphs, we get it. If those graphs make you enjoy your picture more, have at it. But I don't read graphs, I just watch movies. And if I can't tell a difference when I'm watching a movie, then it doesn't matter to me.

Remember what I posted above, guys. "Golden Eyes" show you graphs and tell you that you should see a difference. Pragmatists put them side by side and do blinded A/B tests and tell you what they see.
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post #13 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:49 PM
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u miss the point ...... we need higher resolution because tvs are getting bigger not because we want a 22 inch crt to look sharper ........ if we use a 22 inch tv for the tests then u would be hard pressed to tell the difference between 720 and 480 then u could say 720 is snake oil .......... i have a 106 inch screen with a mits 3000u and i can see each pixel ...... so are u telling me a higher res screen wouldnt look better to me ..........
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post #14 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanLW View Post

I recently got a Mitsubishi HC3100, a DC3 projector. While I'm very happy with it, I still have the desire to go to 1080p (once prices drop below $2000). You see, I'm not a conventional person. I like to sit at 1 screen width. I know, I'm a heretic and should be killed on sight for this, but I just like to sit closer than what all the techno-snobs say is "proper". At one screen width, I can still see the screen door, even on this DC3 projector. Not nearly as noticeable as with my old projector, but it is there, especially on solid colors.

What's the typical viewing distance at a present day cinema? Not arguing against you, but actually I would guess it's closer to 1x. So if a person is interested in duplicating what we see at a movie theater, then 1080p might be worthwhile.

In my case though, 1.5x is more than close enough and I tend to sit toward the rear of the theaters, so 720p is probably sufficient. There are 2 factors here:

1. Viewing distance
2. True resolution of the source being viewed

and maybe,

3. Actual visual acuity of each person. Some can just see better than others.
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post #15 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muggsy View Post

u miss the point ...... we need higher resolution because tvs are getting bigger not because we want a 22 inch crt to look sharper ........ if we use a 22 inch tv for the tests then u would be hard pressed to tell the difference between 720 and 480 then u could say 720 is snake oil .......... i have a 106 inch screen with a mits 3000u and i can see each pixel ...... so are u telling me a higher res screen wouldnt look better to me ..........

No, I'm not missing the point. I have a 106" screen as well, and I sit 12 feet away. If you have screen door on your projector, then yes, a 1080p pj will help that because the pixels are smaller. But you *may* not see any more resolution. And JonesRush made that very clear in the original post. SDE will be imporved, but that may be about all. I will tell you what I see when I compare them.
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post #16 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 01:21 PM
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well isnt that the whole point of higher res to eliminate sde and give a smooth looking pic with larger sizes ....... when u say resolution i assume u mean detail and detail will have alot to do with how the program was recorded and how it was compressed and what your watching to begin with ........ as i said in my first post i belive the source material is the most important factor in how the final image will look .......... a 720 p signal upconverted to 1080 wouldnt give u any more detail then it projected at its native 720 in fact might not look as sharp as the native 720 becasue of the scaling involved i could be wrong though .............. but i cant see someone using a 22 inch crt to test these theories out that just does not make sense to me
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post #17 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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u miss the point ...... we need higher resolution because tvs are getting bigger not because we want a 22 inch crt to look sharper ........ if we use a 22 inch tv for the tests then u would be hard pressed to tell the difference between 720 and 480 then u could say 720 is snake oil ..........

I think it is you who missed the point of my entire 22" CRT monitor analogy.

In my test, my eyes were at a distance of 1.5 screen widths away from my 22" CRT monitor. The width of my 22" monitor screen is 16", so I sat with my eyes 24" from the screen. This puts me at the same ratio like sitting 11.8 feet from a 106" screen (diagonal, 16:9). In both cases (24" from a 16" wide screen, and 11.8 feet from 106" diagonal screen), the image from the screen, takes up the same area on the viewer's retina, hence on both cases the viewer will have the same ability to observe detail and spot flaws in the picture.

Not to mention I used a 22" CRT computer monitor, which is more accurate than a projector, hence my ability to tell differences in the source image is even greater.
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post #18 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 01:52 PM
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but like u said in your original post your source material differs and the movies in 1080p are compressed altered in some way ........... if u hooked up a noncompressed source in 1080p do u think then u will resolve more detail ?????
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post #19 of 144 Old 12-16-2006, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that once HDTV transfers will become this good (watch in full screen. btw I have no affiliation with this guy), then the holy grail will be achieved, and it is not related to resolution, because if you are watching this image using a 19" monitor with 1280x1024, and sit 1.5X from its width, that's the same amount of pixels per inch you'll get while sitting 1.5X from 720p projector.

The image in the link look life-like because the "transfer" is close to flawless, and not because the pixels per inch are higher than 720p transfer, because they are not. Sit 1.5 times the width of your screen and imagine this image is part of a movie, and this guy is talking, now that's the holy grail.
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post #20 of 144 Old 12-17-2006, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know if HD-DVD or Blu-ray have in their potential to encode a movie, in which every frame has the quality of a good quality still image taken by a camera ?.

This is more of guess than fact, but if a good 1280x720 JPEG image, weigh about 500 kilobyte, then a 100 minute movie composed of such JPEG images, will weigh 500KB * 30 (fps) * 60 (sec) * 100 (min) = 90 gigabyte.

HD-DVD can store about 30GB per DVD, which is only 1/3 of what is needed for the quality transfer I'm talking about here, but using high quality compression algorithms that know how to use key frames for each scene, and save only the changes they go through, it is logical to assume that 30GB might suffice for the task...
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post #21 of 144 Old 12-20-2006, 12:50 PM
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Aww forget the high quality compression. Just store the movie on the disk using a series of .raw images. That's what, about 10MB per frame? Let's store it at 60fps. That's about 108GB per 3 hour movie? Now we'll put a lossless 96/24 7.1 audio track on there.

I suppose this is accomplishable with Blu-Ray if they can deliver on their claim of being able to have disks with more than two layers. A while ago I heard of actually having up to 8 layers. Of course, current Blu-Ray players may not be capable of reading such disks. In which case I suppose we can span this across three disks.


As for resolution, if you're not noticing a difference between 854x480 and 720x1280, either your screen isn't big enough, or you're sitting 2+ screen widths away.

Here's a couple test pictures which compare 1920x1080, 1280x720, and 854x480. If you do not have PhotoShop, or a program capable of viewing the different layers in an image, view the first picture. If you do have some form of Photoshop or a program which can view layers, view the second image.

For this first one, ensure that your browser is not set to automatically resize the image. If it is, a small box should appear in the lower right corner of the picture allowing you to view the image at full size. This first image is 1920x3240, with 854x480 on top, 1920x1080 in the middle, and 1280x720 on the bottom. The 480 and 720 versions were scaled up to 1920x1080 with no filtering applied. So at a size of 100%, they should appear pixelated in comparison to the full resolution image in the center.

1080 Column (3.2MB)

This second image is a photoshop file. The background layer is the 1920x1080 image, and the other two layers carry the name of the resolution they represent. To view the difference directly, simply turn each layer on and off. And make sure the image size is 100%.

1080 stacked (18MB)

As for how far you should sit from your monitor, that's up to you. Depends on what resolution your monitor is set at, and how far you sit from your home theater screen. I'll do some of the math for you.

Resolution / / Monitor Widths / / equivalent 16x9 Screen Widths
800x600 / / 2.4 / / 1
800x600 / / 3.6 / / 1.5
800x600 / / 4.8 / / 2
1024x768 / / 1.9 / / 1
1024x768 / / 2.8 / / 1.5
1024x768 / / 3.8 / / 2
1280x720/960/1024 / / 1.5 / / 1
1280x720/960/1024 / / 2.25 / / 1.5
1280x720/960/1024 / / 3 / / 2
1600x1200 / / 1.2 / / 1
1600x1200 / / 1.8 / / 1.5
1600x1200 / / 2.4 / / 2
1920x1080 / / Duh
2048x1536 / / .93 / / 1
2048x1536 / / 1.4 / / 1.5
2048x1536 / / 1.86 / / 2

If you have a CRT monitor, I don't recommend going to the highest supported resolution to view these images as many monitors support ultra high resolutions, but suffer a loss of detail at these resolutions. For example, my monitor supports 1600x1200, but is blurry. I find the best and most detailed resolution to be 1280x920.

To test your resolution to see if you are getting full detail, view this picture:

Dots

This image has two 1-pixel dots placed one pixel apart. If you cannot discern the space between them, you are not getting full detail. On an LCD monitor they should be crystal clear. If they are not, you probably don't have your desktop resolution set to your monitor's native resolution.

So, all this should help you to determine which resolution is right for you. If you're like me, and sit about 1 screen width away, 1080 is the way to ultimately go. If George Lucas is your most high guru of visual presentation (1.5 screen widths), then 720 should be fine. If you have a phobia of any sort of screen and must be further away than 2.5screen widths, or you have an abject fear of your screen being damaged, therefore you have "Police Line" tape not allowing anybody closer than 2.5 screen widths, then you can get away with 480.

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post #22 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 10:17 AM
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My struggle is whether 1080p is worth the $3,000 premium (more like $2,000 premium given that I'm considering the Panasonic PT-AX100 vs. Pearl/HC5000).

Part of me says to just get the 1080p, enjoy de-interlaced 1080i content, and wait for a winner between Blu-ray and HD-DVD to present itself.

Another part of me follows the logic of many posters I've seen here: Buy your relatively inexpensive 720p projector now, wait a couple years, get new and improved 1080p projectors for the same price (and sell 720 projector).

I'm leaning towards 720 for now. I just hope 1080p projector prices drop as quickly as some of you say it will.
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post #23 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 10:34 AM
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Bottom line ... I've had both the AX100U and AE1000U in my livingroom. There is not one single person, no matter what they type, is going to convince me that the AE1000U wasn't a noticably better/sharper image with greater detail.

I'll keep it simple - if you have an image that you need to cut up, if you cut it up into 1000 pieces you are going to have better detail when re-assembling that picture than if you cut it into 700 pieces.
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post #24 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 12:28 PM
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This shootout seems to support Jones_Rush:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=767929
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post #25 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 01:07 PM
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I for one give a lot more credit to a post like this one, compared to the ones (including my own on domestic forums) that focus on the theoretical capabilities of the human eye. Most people that _think_ they have seen the difference between 720P and 1080P, have really seen the difference between two completely different products. For instance, I have heard people conclude that 1080P is THE way to go, after watching the difference between a Sony VPL-HS 60 and a VPL-VW 100. I'm willing to bet that less than 1% of the users of even this highly regarded forum has _really_ seen the actual difference of 720P vs. 1080P.

It should be fairly easy: You take a 1080P source, feed it to a 1080P display (that's actually able to display 1080P accurately), and switch the output of the source (or an external scaler) between 1080P and 720P. What you will see is a reasonable demonstration of the actual difference - at least within the limitations of the sources that will be available in the near future. My bet is that most people will say the difference is subtle at best. Compared to a _lot_ of other potential differences between two projectors, resolution becomes much less important after a demonstration like that. And you'll find out why 1080P FPD's just don't make sense.

What people tend to forget about the theory of the human eye acuity, is that this acuity is under _perfect conditions_. High contrast Black vs. white, in full daylight, with non-moving pictures. Throw in colours, less actual pixel-to-pixel contrast, and not least movement, and the actual percieved resolution with most material is _much_ less that the charts are saying.

In short: In 99,9% of all installations, resolution is quite a bit down the list of things to consider. WHY is it that full HD resolution is so damn important, while gamma and colour gamut is so underrated? Why focus on getting the full resolution of HD content, instead of getting the actual picture quality that HD content has to offer - including correct gamma and correct colour? Most people say that "one doesn't exclude the other", and that's quite true - but why _start_ with the one thing that really isn't important, even to the point of excluding anything without full HD resolution from the shortlist, instead of starting with a "simple" thing like getting the colours right?

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post #26 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 03:28 PM
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Bottom line ... I've had both the AX100U and AE1000U in my livingroom. There is not one single person, no matter what they type, is going to convince me that the AE1000U wasn't a noticably better/sharper image with greater detail.

Really? Side by side, same time, same screen? I just did it with the Epson TW700 and TW1000 and posted tons of screenshots. I could NOT see any difference at all in detail between the two. There were other differences, but detail was not one.

Honestly, if you haven't seen them side by side on the same screen, you really can't say.

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I'll keep it simple - if you have an image that you need to cut up, if you cut it up into 1000 pieces you are going to have better detail when re-assembling that picture than if you cut it into 700 pieces.

Not necessarily. You're going to have smaller pieces, but not necessarily more detail. Your analogy is a gross over simplification that simply isn't true.
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post #27 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 03:34 PM
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Otto J ,

Well said and I have to agree , the world is now resolution crazed .

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post #28 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Regarding the AX100 vs AE1000, I don't think that's a good way to compare 720 to 1080, since the AX100 suffers from a deficiency in sharpness, which is readily seen when compared to other 720p projectors (like the TW700, Z5, etc.).
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post #29 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 04:16 PM
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I routinely have chance to demo to customers the difference between 1080p and 720p at about 1.8x to 1.6x screen width distance

Their difference is very obvious if source is a high resolution static image such as a digital photo (using PS3 HDMI output)

Their difference is obvious (at least to users who are observative) if source is HD DVDs or Blu-DVDs.

Their difference is less obvious if source is HDTV broadcast.

Their difference is minimal if source is DVD - but for certain test patterns such 6.75Mhz pattern - 1080p is still obviously better. Reason is DVD resolution is 720 x 480 - so a 6.75Mhz pattern cannot be displayed correctly by any 480p, 720p nor 1080p fixed pixel device.
(some display device has native mode that displays true 1:1 pixel mapping, unfortunately the aspect ratio is no longer 4:3 nor 16:9, but 3:2 which in my opinion is much worse than a slightly softer image with correct aspect ratio)

By the way, many 480p devices which claimed 1:1 pixel mapping, are actually doing 1:1 line mapping only. Their 6.75Mhz performance is actually much inferior to 720p and 1080p.

If some of you wonder what famous DVD scene has image close to 6.75Mhz test pattern resolution, I suggest try the tunnel scene of The 5th Element (superbit version)



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Really? Side by side, same time, same screen? I just did it with the Epson TW700 and TW1000 and posted tons of screenshots. I could NOT see any difference at all in detail between the two. There were other differences, but detail was not one.

Honestly, if you haven't seen them side by side on the same screen, you really can't say.


Not necessarily. You're going to have smaller pieces, but not necessarily more detail. Your analogy is a gross over simplification that simply isn't true.

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post #30 of 144 Old 12-21-2006, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Their difference is very obvious if source is a high resolution static image such as a digital photo (using PS3 HDMI output)

Their difference is obvious (at least to users who are observative) if source is HD DVDs or Blu-DVDs.

Why is there a difference between these two situations ?, is it because the eye can not discern details in motion picture, as well as in a static image, or rather because the digital photo was of higher quality than the HD-DVD transfer ?.
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