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Panasonic 50" 1080 vs. 768 -- saw them side by side at CES

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
As the title says I was fortunate enough to see these side by side at CES. They were both in a light controlled area. Here are a few of my thoughts. Sorry they will not be very technically detailed but hopefully they will be of use to those deciding between the two, or thinking of holding off until the price of the 1080p drops.

They were set up to display the same set of still images. On each image they would draw a circle around the area that was supposed to show a difference between the two images. For example, there would be a picture of a book opened and then a circle would be drawn around the characters/letters (if memory serves me right they where Chinese characters, but I could be totally off).

So was there a difference? Yes there was. Was it significant? IMHO it was not. The most significant (and thus the one I remember) was the letter/characters in the book. This one I did see a difference the was beyond slight. But truthfully the 768 image was more the good for the writing in the book. The 1080 was clearer and I guess if I was reading a book on a plasma I would choose that one. But I have no immediate plans to read a book on a plasma. On all the other images the differences were so slight that unless it was side by side with a red circle around it you would not really notice a difference unless you were looking for it.

On other aspects of the image, I found the image on the 768 to have much better contrast and colors. The image as a whole looked better then the 1080. This I did notice and found to be a much bigger factor then the number of pixels the panel has.

So to conclude, if you are considering a 50" Panasonic and think the 768 is a much better choice even if you have the money to burn. You give up a bit of image clarity, but I fell you get better colors and contrast. Color and contrast, to me, are better indicators of image quality then clarity (is clarity the right word?) gained by more pixels.

Just to be up front. I do not own either plasma currently. Planning to get the 768 50 Panasonic in the next few weeks. This is purely my opinion based on what I saw, so YMMV.
post #2 of 33
Nice job on the mini review! 720p vs. 1080p reminds of the difference between an 80 watt x 7 channel receiver vs. a 100 watt x 7 channel receiver. You are exactly right. Unless you A and B them together within the same room, lighting, and source material you will never notice the difference. Great job indeed!

It may be beneficial to wait for lower priced 1080p plasma to hit the market before deciding on a 720p plasma. The reason behind this is because the pricing will be virtually identical to the 720p flat panels within the next 6-8 months. Is it worth the wait, some will say 'yes' and others will say 'no'.

But the most intriguing plasma is the 63" Philips for under $3500....I believe for a small amount detail it may be worth the wait. Well see...!

By the way, which 50" model numbers did you evalute? Were they the new Panasonic models?

Cree
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
creemail, I'm not sure what the model numbers were. But it was at CES so it was the new models for sure.
post #4 of 33
So does the same apply to a 65" PDP? Because a 50" FP is too small for me.
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Sorry optivity, there was not a 65" side by side. In fact I think they only 65" Panasonics on display where 1080p (I'm not 100% of this). If I'm right then it may be indicative that they are moving away from the lower resolution 65" displays. But that is just conjecture on my part.

65" is a lot bigger then 50" so I'd imagine the differences in resolution are more noticeable. But so is the price
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafka_c View Post

creemail, I'm not sure what the model numbers were. But it was at CES so it was the new models for sure.

I would say most likely the 50PZ700U (1080p) and the 50PX77U (720p) is what you compared.

Cree
post #7 of 33
Your viewing indicates what seems to be the general trend - that the 1080p models add $$ and slightly more detail while falling behind on black levels and color punch (though I'm not sure why the latter is so unless the 1080p units are set up so to minimize their black level deficiency at the cost of color accuracy). Very helpful - thank you.

How did the new 768p units look compare to the current ones re picture quality and black levels (I realize this is hard to say without a side by side)?
post #8 of 33
The reason may simply light. One of the bigger problems during development of 1080p plasma was that the smaller pixel just are not bright enough. And even if they get bright enough it was very hard to get the decharging stable. It was though to solve these problems but from what I was told from a Pioneer spokeman at the IFA a way is to keep the idle decharging higher.
This may the reason why the Pio 50" 1080p and also the new Pana's have little "greyer" blacks. And so the lower contrast ratio or just that the colors are not so bright may result in what he described in his review.
!Just my 2 cents!
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafka_c View Post

Panasonic 50" 1080 vs. 768 -- saw them side by side at CES

So was there a difference? Yes there was. Was it significant? IMHO it was not.

Funny, this is the same argument the ED crowd made when comparing 480p to 720p.

some people just don't have the "fine eye" for detail
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by optivity View Post

Funny, this is the same argument the ED crowd made when comparing 480p to 720p.

some people just don't have the "fine eye" for detail

If 480p > 720p

and 720p > 1080p

THEN

480p > 1080P!
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by optivity View Post

Funny, this is the same argument the ED crowd made when comparing 480p to 720p.

And that crowd was right, for the most part (meaning when they talked about a 42" ED vs HD set viewed at approx 9ft).

However, there is always a certain percentage of people that believes more in the specs than what their eyes actually see.

Finally, there always will be certain people who can actually see a difference.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Trackman, I'm not sure what the models numbers were for these plasmas. So for all I know they are the current models in the stores. But all I can say is the 768p models picture was absolutely beautiful and I am (even more) eagerly awaiting my purchase.

Quote:
Funny, this is the same argument the ED crowd made when comparing 480p to 720p.

some people just don't have the "fine eye" for detail

optivity, I know you are being semi tongue in cheek. But you are aware of what IMHO means correct? All I can say is there was a difference in color and contrast. To each his/her own to decide on which is more important, detail or color and contrast. I pick color and contrast, others may prefer detail. For me the amount of detail improvement in the 50" was not significant enough.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafka_c View Post

optivity, I know you are being semi tongue in cheek. But you are aware of what IMHO means correct? All I can say is there was a difference in color and contrast. To each his/her own to decide on which is more important, detail or color and contrast. I pick color and contrast, others may prefer detail. For me the amount of detail improvement in the 50" was not significant enough.

True enough, hey... 480p done right looks pretty darn good on my PDP.
post #14 of 33
I'd take the color/contrast over the added resolution any day. There's a much bigger difference when you are talking 480p vs. 768p than 768p vs. 1080p. My SXRD is 1080p and it's not been used much since I got my Panny 58PX600U and I can tell the differences between the two but the resolution is hardly noticable.
post #15 of 33
post #16 of 33
It may not have seemed it at CES but the panels comparing 1080P versus 720P (768 actually) in Panasonic's booth were 58". Due to the smaller pixel size the 1080P will likely be a little bit dimmer than the 768P version and is rated at a lower contrast ratio. I have often said that 1080P only makes sense monetarily on a very large set OR if you set really close to a small one. This demo pretty much solidified that for me as well.

1) At first glance the 768P set looked a bit more dynamic due to its brighter image.

2) The 1080P version did look a bit duller BUT the image was slightly more refined/smoother.

3)In the area they showed the 2 sets there might have been 9-10 feet from the sets to the opposite wall. The recommended viewing distance for a 768P set is 11 feet, thus you really couldn't get far enough away to compare whether 1080P makes a visible difference compared to the recommended viewing distance for 768P. However when pressed up to the wall only static text even hinted at more resolution on the 1080P set. If a consumer were to take either resolution set home they would have been perfectly happy with either.

4) When the video had motion on the sets it was basically impossible to see any difference in resolution between the sets, even if you got much closer to the sets.

5) Remember these sets at 58" were "huge" compared to many of LCD sets that people have purchased solely on the fact that they were 1080p and "future proof". This is not to flame LCDs or their owners and prospective buyers, but it does indicate that if you want to see the benefit of 1080P you are better served by going bigger... much bigger! In fact a larger screened 720-768p set will often have more dramatic impact than a smaller screened 1080p set. As long as the resolution is adequate the larger screen will be more involving just beacase of size alone. No wonder many HD buyers wish they would have gone "bigger" once they get their sets home.

I'm not saying that the 1080P version didn't have more resolution and detail than its lower resolution sibling. I am saying that if price is an object then there is a tremendous value in a 720/768P resolution set as long as you sit at a distance that suits that set. Stop worrying abou the numbers as they tell very little about the set's capability and look at all the performance factors as a whole.
post #17 of 33
In my experience, 1080p does make a significant difference even with smaller sets if you sit close enough. I have a 46" 1080p LCD (Sony 46XBR2), and there's a very noticeable difference between 1080p and 720p when viewing HD DVD on this set. I sit about 9ft away, and I can definitely tell the difference.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

In my experience, 1080p does make a significant difference even with smaller sets if you sit close enough. I have a 46" 1080p LCD (Sony 46XBR2), and there's a very noticeable difference between 1080p and 720p when viewing HD DVD on this set. I sit about 9ft away, and I can definitely tell the difference.

Of course theres a noticeable difference when viewing HD-DVD, but viewing HDTV the difference would be slight if any at 9ft.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by YTV View Post

Of course theres a noticible differnce when viewing HD-DVD, but viewing HDTV the difference would be slight if any at 9ft.

Better HD DVD and Blu-ray may be enough motivation for people to go with 1080p instead of 720p.

Also, I'm not sure if it's true that the difference is not noticeable for HDTV. I'll try setting my set top box to 720p and compare that to my normal 1080i.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

Better HD DVD and Blu-ray may be enough motivation for people to go with 1080p instead of 720p.

Also, I'm not sure if it's true that the difference is not noticeable for HDTV. I'll try setting my set top box to 720p and compare that to my normal 1080i.

Your comparisons are invalid. You are merely confirming that it is better to display an input that is at the set's native resolution.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by donstim View Post

Your comparisons are invalid. You are merely confirming that it is better to display an input that is at the set's native resolution.

That would be an even stronger reason to go with an 1080p display and not 720p since most HDTV is 1080i and most HD DVD and Blu-ray is 1080p.
post #22 of 33
One would think so, but downscaling an image is not usually a big deal. At least not as big a deal as trying to upconvert an image. In other words, it is easier to not display all of the image information present than it is to "make up" image information that is not present.

The way to really compare 1080p display capability with 720/768 display capability is to compare a 768 version of a given display with a 1080p version of the same display. Unfortunately, such displays don't exist to my knowledge (at least not commercially).

The closest we can come to that with plasmas is to compare the Pioneer PRO-FHD1 with their PRO-1140HD. But even that comparison is not just comparing 1080p to 768p. To be able to produce a 1080p panel, Pioneer had to make some trade-offs that affect picture quality. So, you are comparing not only the difference in the display's native resolution, but also the changes that Pioneer had to make to accommodate the 1080p native resolution.
post #23 of 33
I totally agree Kafka. The great TVs such as Panasonic and Pioneer do such a good job of scaling that to tell the difference between a 1080i/p feed w/ a 1080p and a 768p TV very challenging.

The number games. If you're playing videogames and you're sitting close... then MAAAYBE 1080p is a neccesity. For movie watching it's really worthless on something 42... and even 50 inches.
post #24 of 33
Although I am a big fan of matching the set size and resolution to your viewing distance, if you have the money and want to buy the 1080p version of a set versus its 720/768p brethren, then do so. If as a consumer you feel you must have 1080p to feel good about your purchase, then go right ahead and spend the premium price. We only live once right?

However if you are fretting over the purchase of a 720/768p set because you feel that the set is somehow inadequate because it doesn't have the "FULL HD" moniker attached to it. Stop worrying and purchase the set that fits your budget and enjoy.

1) Yes 1080p can show more resolution but you need to be much closer to realize it.

2) If you sit too far away your purchasing dollar would be better served in getting a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player for your High Definition set than opting for a 1080p set you can't fully appreciate.

3) Worry less about just resolution and worry more about overall picture quality. I've seen many posts where someone loves their 1080p 37-46" LCD, but say they wish the black levels, contrast and viewing angles were better but its great at 10 feet away (too far back to truly appreciate 1080p on those sets sizes).

4) In the end buy what makes YOU happy and enjoy.
post #25 of 33
my viewing distance is 8-9 feet, at the moment I have a 42" Alis panel 1024x1024, towards the end of this year will be looking for a bigger screen 60"-65", at my distance I will go for a 1080p 1920x1080 screen, reason is at that size with my distance a 768p screen, the SDE will be noticable, plus if I am going to fork down $5,000 plus on a PDP, I want to be future proof at least for another 5-10 years, and since Blu-Ray and HD-DVD is starting to become the norm, and by years end will be more main stream, is another reason for a 1080p set.
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
I agree that if I was looking to get a 60"- 65" then 1080p would probably be a requirement. But at 50" (or if one reply is correct 58") then I still think the 1080p is not necessary (from what I saw).

As for future proofing, well the prices on 50" 768p are so low now, compared to the 50" 1080p, that for me I'm comfortable buying the 768p now and if in 2+ years down the road I decide to upgrade to 1080p (maybe for a bigger screen or better picture) then the 768p plasma becomes a really big bedroom TV. The price difference between the 768p and 1080p 50" Panasonic plasma is quite large (you can by 2.4 768p plasmas for the price of one 1080p). In 2+ years, if the predictions are correct, there will be no 768p plasmas, but the price will likely be at least (if not lower) that of the current the 768p price. To me it's a win win now. Get a great picture that does not break the bank, with a reasonably assured upgrade in the near future if I decide I need to upgrade (which knowing me I will, like most on this forum I get the upgrade bug a lot). I figure a 768p now plus a 1080p in the near future will less expensive then one 1080p now. Even if you sell the 768p in 2 years for 40 cents on the dollar you spent then you will still be ahead. For these reasons I have never really bought the future proofing argument.

Well that's my reasoning, again YMMV.
post #27 of 33
I'm hoping that 1080p plasma prices become fairly reasonable already toward the end of this year.

It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison, but the amount of detail I see on my 46" 1080p LCD is noticeably higher than on my 50" 768p plasma. This is obvious in things like how natural people's eyes look on the screen, the pores on their skin, etc.

By the way, I like the picture on my plasma better overall (which is why I want to buy a 65" 1080p plasma and not LCD), but the detail is definitely better on my 1080p LCD, and it's noticeable even at 9ft.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post

I'm hoping that 1080p plasma prices become fairly reasonable already toward the end of this year.

It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison, but the amount of detail I see on my 46" 1080p LCD is noticeably higher than on my 50" 768p plasma. This is obvious in things like how natural people's eyes look on the screen, the pores on their skin, etc.

By the way, I like the picture on my plasma better overall (which is why I want to buy a 65" 1080p plasma and not LCD), but the detail is definitely better on my 1080p LCD, and it's noticeable even at 9ft.

I am intrigued but am doubting the claims of a more detailed picture via more pixel count.

At 9 feet, to resolve the difference between 1080p vs. 768p pixel screen is darn near impossible. I believe it has more to do with scaling rather than actual individual pixels. There's alot more PQ issues that affect detail... rather than whether you have 1080p vs. 768p.

Which two TVs are you referring to?
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybrulez View Post

I am intrigued but am doubting the claims of a more detailed picture via more pixel count.

At 9 feet, to resolve the difference between 1080p vs. 768p pixel screen is darn near impossible. I believe it has more to do with scaling rather than actual individual pixels. There's alot more PQ issues that affect detail... rather than whether you have 1080p vs. 768p.

Darn right. I'm amazed that people will accept a poorer overall picture and think they are "future proofing." Marketing works wonders.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybrulez View Post

I am intrigued but am doubting the claims of a more detailed picture via more pixel count.

At 9 feet, to resolve the difference between 1080p vs. 768p pixel screen is darn near impossible. I believe it has more to do with scaling rather than actual individual pixels. There's alot more PQ issues that affect detail... rather than whether you have 1080p vs. 768p.

Which two TVs are you referring to?

My plasma is Panasonic 50px50u and my LCD is Sony 46XBR2.

Some examples where I can see the difference in detail are:

1) The irises in people's eyes look much clearer on the 1080p display.
2) Small text (like shots of newspapers) is clearer and sharper.
3) Skin pores.
4) Grass. In general, nature shows (e.g. Discovery Channel) with a lot of complex natural scenes look better in 1080p.
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