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Couldn't see difference 720p vs 1080P

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was a Frys today and was browsing the plasma TVs. They had 4 50" plasmas next to each other. They were playing a HD tv show feed (some animal show) I was standing about 6 to 8 feet away and I could not tell the difference between the 720p and 1080p TVs.

I'm assuming that was because the TV feed was 720p. Would I only notice the difference if the TVs were playing a blu-ray?

What should I do if I wanted to buy one? How would I get them to hook a higher quality feed so I could decide if I should buy a 720p or 1080p?
post #2 of 22
A bunch of the newer sets (as well as the blu-ray players) can read images off of SD cards and USB flashdrives. Load one up with some good 1920x1080 images or video if possible and see if they'll let you plug it in.
post #3 of 22
Given poor set-up, no calibration, and bright lights, it may be difficult to see much of a difference in stores.
post #4 of 22
Be careful of warranties and ability to have a set repaired once outside of warranty.

I understand that some of the 3rd tier sets are basically throwaways as nobody will fix them if they break outside of warranty.
post #5 of 22
I have 2 1080p sets and recently bought a 720p Samsung 50" plasma for a relative.

At the 50" or below screen sizes, I see no visible difference between the two resolutions other than what I see on the price stickers for the sets.

Read reviews of the C430 and C450 sets from Samsung and owners will tell you the same thing.

If you get to real large screen sizes - like front projection screens that are 100+ inches, you will see a difference. With medium screen sizes - 58-65" - it depends on how close you sit to the set. Normal viewing distances, no difference. Up close, you will notice a slight difference.

Most of this is marketing hype to justify a higher price point, as you've seen with your own eyes.
post #6 of 22
Also, I don't think any set over 50 inches is 720p. All the ones I have seen, Panny, Samsung and LG are 1080p.
post #7 of 22
Weird, I just upgraded from a 1366x768 plasma to 1080p, both 50", and it was obvious to me. 6-8" viewing distance.
post #8 of 22
Most people can't tell the difference at normal viewing distances w/standard source material. The processors on the 1080p sets are sometimes better, and the grade of panel is slightly better. Adjust for best picture in a light controlled environment and throw a Blu-Ray in, you might be able to tell a difference. If it's worth the price difference is another matter...
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimP View Post

Be careful of warranties and ability to have a set repaired once outside of warranty.

I understand that some of the 3rd tier sets are basically throwaways as nobody will fix them if they break outside of warranty.

These were all 1st tier sets. The price difference between 720p and 1080p was $350 to $450 at the 50" size.
post #10 of 22
I own a Samsung LN-T4071F. I agree that it is hard to tell the difference in a typical "big box" store. I am lucky and have a couple custom Audio/Video stores with very nice theater setups. I viewed several sets in low light conditions with SD and HD inputs before deciding that my set was the best price-for-quality at the time since I got an open box display unit (that was only missing the remote) for roughly $1000 off the retail price.

Let me say that once you get it home, 1080p vs 720p is a huge difference. Also, my set is a 40" LCD viewed from about 10' away.

However, if you don't have an expanding BR collection, and your local cable doesn't have much in the way of HD programming (two channels in my case), you may not use 1080p.

I even sold my wife on HD. We saw Serenity in 1080p (a movie we have seen many, many times on DVD) and she was awestruck. Later she remarked that Avatar didn't look quite right and lo-and-behold, we were watching it in 720p. I thought I was just being an HD snob until I knew she saw it as well.

Anyway, If you have 1080p media, I would recommend seeing if there are any custom A/V stores in your area with displays. It's worth it to me even at 40".
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocophone View Post

These were all 1st tier sets. The price difference between 720p and 1080p was $350 to $450 at the 50" size.

ALL plasma's are 1st tier these days. The panel/drive boards have always been 1st tier, the video/main/control boards were different when 3rd tier brands "made" plasmas.

FWIW a 50" 720p plasma will run circles around a 40" 1080p LCD that costs the same $$$ when viewed from 10'.
post #12 of 22
I've own a 50" Samsung 768p plasma and a 63" 1080p plasma. If my 50" broke, I would not hesitate to get another 768p plasma. The image quality looks great regardless of OTA tv, dvd, or blu-ray. But I wouldn't get an actual 720p 50" plasma like I believe Panasonic is now making.
post #13 of 22
It was due to the source limitation. The 1080p display should still scale to have a slightly less harsh image, but overall detail will be identical on 720p footage.

Fry's electronics sales are on commission, if you ask them to hook up a BD player, they will do it, because they make money off your sale.

Truthfully outside of the 768p Sammy C490, I wouldn't have interest in a 720p plasma unless it was used for children or a spare bedroom that was only used on occasion. For something as a main display, for critical viewing and movie watching mostly, it is hard to justify missing half the overall detail of BD image quality when so many titles are available on the market. Of course at larger sizes or very far viewing angles, human vision will blur the detail just on your own eye sights limitations, but 720p is indeed a low resolution.

As well as sense 720p display are in a budget segment, they usually also have lower quality panels. So besides resolution, contrast and black levels will probably be worse aswell compared to the 1080p model.

Even though it's moving images and not still images, something to think about in a comparable number that is not the 720p number would be the overall amount of pixels. 720p is .9Megapixel. 1080p is 2.1 megapixel. That is a very large difference, if it's your main display, spend the money on a 1080p display if you plan to watch BD movies at all, if not, then 720p is the way to go.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Superman I View Post

...snip...

.... but 720p is indeed a low resolution.

As well as sense 720p display are in a budget segment, they usually also have lower quality panels. So besides resolution, contrast and black levels will probably be worse as well compared to the 1080p model.

Sorry, but this is so far over the top, I have to say something.

Some set's 720p image look better than other sets 1080p. It just depends on what's being compared to what.
post #15 of 22
keep in mind also what you're using the set for. If you're mostly watching HDTV, its not the huge difference that some want it to be. Heck, the many 720p channels will look better.
post #16 of 22
Internal scaling/processing, calibration, and panel quality are what makes a picture look good. 720p vs 1080p isn't really noticeable at normal viewing distances.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocophone View Post

I'm assuming that was because the TV feed was 720p. Would I only notice the difference if the TVs were playing a blu-ray?

Or a 1080i TV source.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raizer View Post


Let me say that once you get it home, 1080p vs 720p is a huge difference. Also, my set is a 40" LCD viewed from about 10' away.

That far away from a 40" set and you are fooling yourself if you think you see a difference in resolution. You may see differences in sets compared side by side at that distance but it is not because of resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raizer View Post

Later she remarked that Avatar didn't look quite right and lo-and-behold, we were watching it in 720p. I thought I was just being an HD snob until I knew she saw it as well.

In addition to the same answer as above, your TV probably does not have a good scaler.


Of the qualities that make a good picture, resolution is like number 3 or 4 of the list, not number 1.
post #19 of 22
Other things to consider is in order for 1080p to "work" the internal scaler must be bypassed. This means feeding the TV a 1920 x 1080 signal and activating 1:1 pixel mapping. 1:1 pixel mapping is OFF by default on most displays, this effectively trashes the 1080p advantage. Most customers I see don't even know the 1:1 option exists, much less actually use it.
post #20 of 22
Yeah, first thing is to have your set in 1:1 mode. Second thing, if you buy a set that's worth more than a few hundred - get it calibrated - yourself if you've got the skills or via a calibrator like Dnice, Chadb, or other well-respected calibrators on this forum.

On my set, I notice a huge difference between ISF and standard modes in terms of punch and picture clarity. It just goes to prove that stores have absolutely no idea how to setup or sell plasmas and they basically just push LCD because they're too stupid to figure anything out that requires more than pressing the power button. And before someone flames me for saying that, if you're selling a product and you don't know anything about what you're selling you should either educate yourself or get a different job. Most retail employees do neither.
post #21 of 22
Out of sight, out of mind. If you're looking to just save money, sit at a reasonable distance (say beyond 6 feet), or just don't really care get the 720p set. You more than likely will never notice the difference. Most people don't have great vision anyway so it really becomes less of a difference maker. I went with another 720p set because it was much cheaper than the 1080p version and frankly I'm glad I did because honestly even with my better than 20/20 vision and critical eye I am constantly impressed with how razor sharp and detailed the picture is on my tv (Sammy 50C450). Even my fellow home theater friends have a hard time telling the difference and are always making comments on how good the image looks. Now, to be fair I will say that when I upgrade to a 58 or above I have no choice but to get a 1080p set and I'm fine with that because by then the differences will become more noticable (esp. 63"). For now though I'm cool with what I have and don't see a reason to upgrade for awhile.
post #22 of 22
That's what glasses are for... wear a device that allows you to strain your eyes to discern more detail.

But seriously, depends a lot on distance. <10ft I think you can def tell the difference. At 15 or 20 they might as well be the same.
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