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What is the future of 720p projectors?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
There is not doubt that a 720p projector is just an absolute bargain today. For many, the upgrade to a 1080p projector is just not worth it. In fact, in some instances, a 720p projector is superior to a 1080p projector. When it comes to console gaming, 720p is the sweet spot. Even if you play pc games, running a game at native 1920x1080 is very costly. I just don't see future consoles running games at native 1080p, while keeping the cost reasonable. When playing a 720p native game on a 1080p projector, the scaling will result in a picture that is less sharp.

The problem is, though, have 720p projectors seen the last of it's real improvements? It seems like for the most part, contrast ratio hasn't made much of any improvement for quite some time. The real innovations are only being developed in 1080p units.

So what does the future hold for 720p projectors. Will they be around for a little while longer, but only as an entry level unit, much the same that 480p units hung around during the first years of the 720p units?

The sad thing is, how many of you would love to buy a 720p version of the JVC HD1 or the Sony Pearl, but for significantly less money? If the only difference was resolution, wouldn't that be a great unit?

Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely that 720p will be receiving any type of treatment like that. So whether you want 1080p or not, it soon will be the only option to upgrade from your 720p projectors of today.
post #2 of 38
A year from now 720p will probably be $450 closeouts and a year after that it will be all 1080p.
post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlaw99 View Post

A year from now 720p will probably be $450 closeouts and a year after that it will be all 1080p.

Don't know of anyone broadcasting 1080P so the only source for the HD 1080P are DVD's and maybe some games which I have no use for.
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith808 View Post

There is not doubt that a 720p projector is just an absolute bargain today. For many, the upgrade to a 1080p projector is just not worth it. In fact, in some instances, a 720p projector is superior to a 1080p projector. When it comes to console gaming, 720p is the sweet spot. Even if you play pc games, running a game at native 1920x1080 is very costly. I just don't see future consoles running games at native 1080p, while keeping the cost reasonable. When playing a 720p native game on a 1080p projector, the scaling will result in a picture that is less sharp.

The problem is, though, have 720p projectors seen the last of it's real improvements? It seems like for the most part, contrast ratio hasn't made much of any improvement for quite some time. The real innovations are only being developed in 1080p units.

So what does the future hold for 720p projectors. Will they be around for a little while longer, but only as an entry level unit, much the same that 480p units hung around during the first years of the 720p units?

The sad thing is, how many of you would love to buy a 720p version of the JVC HD1 or the Sony Pearl, but for significantly less money? If the only difference was resolution, wouldn't that be a great unit?

Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely that 720p will be receiving any type of treatment like that. So whether you want 1080p or not, it soon will be the only option to upgrade from your 720p projectors of today.


I'm sorry but that is far from being a fact. Hardcore PC users game on CRT where you can go waaaaaaaaaaay past litle ole 1080p..
post #5 of 38
What makes anyone think it stops at 1080p? Like the last poster pointed out, my 6 yr old CRT monitor exceeds that.
As far as 720...entry level pretty soon.
post #6 of 38
Are you kidding? A CRT is an analog device. But its resolution is still determined by its dot pitch, the video processor, and the content. Yesterday's CRT is simply not as sharp as today's flat panel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMRA View Post

What makes anyone think it stops at 1080p? Like the last poster pointed out, my 6 yr old CRT monitor exceeds that.
As far as 720...entry level pretty soon.
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiaxie88 View Post

Are you kidding? A CRT is an analog device. But its resolution is still determined by its dot pitch, the video processor, and the content. Yesterday's CRT is simply not as sharp as today's flat panel.

It displays 1440x1920 of those 'dots'. Many higher end monitors exceeded that. If my memory serves me well some video cards support resolutions as high as 2400x3200.
Anyway, the focus here is not on yesterday's technology, rather what digital offers for the future.
Consumers LOVE big numbers. I predict it doesn't stop at 1080.

An after thought. 1920x1080 is a mere 2.1 million dots/pixels. 2 megapixel cameras are considered ancient now or 'better' cell phone quality.
post #8 of 38
There will still be a place for 720p projectors, but I agree that we probably won't see any real innovations in non-1080p sets.

Outside of JVC and its LCOS implementation, there frankly has not been a lot of innovation in projectors. DLP tech in 1080p sets is plain old DC3, just like in many 720p projectors. LCDs have had some panel advancement in the move to non-organic c2fine, but, in my opinion, that has not resulted in a major leap forward for LCDs.

I think that I could live with what I have for a few years, at least. There will have to be something big to get me to upgrade. 1080p, in and of itself, is not that big a thing.
post #9 of 38
For HT 720 will be the thing of past in a few years. I remember in 2k when I bought my XG1352 CRT, I was told sweet spot was 720p. But it did not last long due to better graphic cards and so forth. My favorite was playing DVD with 1440x960p@72hz. It was smooth, dimensional and detailed. Now I only run 1080i since dumped the PC..
I would like to upgrade my HS51A with 1080p but frankly choices are not that great for what they ask IMO. Prices will be more reasonable next year but at $1K I think the wait it is going to be long. So enjoy the 720 while it lasts.
One advantage of 1080 is that it can support larger screen due to its pixel density but has got to be bright enough.
post #10 of 38
who cares? buy it today and enjoy it NOW. If you continue to wait around for the best to come down in price you will always be waiting. it won't stop at 1080p.
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post

I'm sorry but that is far from being a fact. Hardcore PC users game on CRT where you can go waaaaaaaaaaay past litle ole 1080p..

When I said 720p was the sweet spot for gaming, I wasn't saying it was the ultimate experience, but rather the resolution that most people can afford to play at. For most people, console gaming is as far as they can take it. Others, like myself, ventured into pc gaming, but couldn't afford to put together a rig that could run Farcry and Half-Life 2, etc @ 1080p or higher. Thus for most of us, 720p native is what we will game at. Trust me, if I could run a 9" LC in my living room, I'd be in heaven, but I already tried an 8" AC and it was just too big for my living room.

Sometimes when I look at how inexpensive 720p projectors are, I feel like buying another one just because. I saw the Mits 1000u and Optoma hd70 opened boxed specials at a forum sponser for around $700. You can only buy a little 32 inch lcd tv for that much! Now if you can't decide which you like better, lcd or dlp, you can buy them both!

I've actually never seen a 1080p projector in person, but from just about everything I've read in this forum, the extra resolution doesn't make a big difference most of the time. No one could say that when they compared 480p pj's to 720p's.

I guess I came to the realization that 720p pj's really haven't made much progress because I bought a Benq pe7700 back when it first came out. Since then, 720p pj's are just about the same, besides an iris or two.

As for the future of projectors, I hope they focus more on contrast ratio, black level, and a better light source instead of upping the resolution even more. 1080p will be the maximum native resolution for high definition movies and television, as well as for most gamers, for a while. On the other hand, there sure is a lot more contrast and black level to be displayed with those same sources.
post #12 of 38
for what its worth, both of the high end gaming cards from nvidia and ati max out at 2560x1600, and it's unlikely that they will get higher than that anytime soon.

AFAIK the pc would be the only commercially viable input source capable of breaking the 1920x1080 res any time soon, and the number of people wanting to do that has to be small at this point.

:edited for poor spelling

Is there an advantage to running a 720p source into and 1080p display and having it upscaled vs a 720 source in a 720 native display?

In my mind there has to be a commercially viable source on the horizon at least for them to even try to exceed 1080p, and I don't think that PC gaming is that source....

I do love to speculate on this kind of thing though.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith808 View Post

As for the future of projectors, I hope they focus more on contrast ratio, black level, and a better light source instead of upping the resolution even more. 1080p will be the maximum native resolution for high definition movies and television, as well as for most gamers, for a while. On the other hand, there sure is a lot more contrast and black level to be displayed with those same sources.

I doubt you see CRT black or even close any time soon . It is all about rez now since it sells. Ask members here how many care about black level and willing to pay for it.. and you will be surprized as how not too many would care. It is all about rez and brightness for many and these two are actually rather easy to provide than on/off contrast by the manufacturers. Now if you go to the $3K+ forum, there are more people understanding the benefit of higher CR and willing to pay for that capability hence you will see more CR in higher end machines..
post #14 of 38
Should anyone forget necessity is the mother of all invention. The cat is now out of the bag.
There is no way to stop the juggernaut.
It's only a matter of time until digital goes for the holy grail of film, 70mm IMAX. Cameras will get better, hence playback displays will follow. Any doubts?
post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 
I guess this lack of signicant improvements in the 720p projector arena is a positive in one way. At least I'm not tempted to upgrade for a new 720p projector, and 1080p is out of my price range anyway. Kinda makes you happy with what you got when there's nothing in your price range that you really want.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith808 View Post

There is not doubt that a 720p projector is just an absolute bargain today. For many, the upgrade to a 1080p projector is just not worth it. In fact, in some instances, a 720p projector is superior to a 1080p projector. When it comes to console gaming, 720p is the sweet spot. Even if you play pc games, running a game at native 1920x1080 is very costly. I just don't see future consoles running games at native 1080p, while keeping the cost reasonable. When playing a 720p native game on a 1080p projector, the scaling will result in a picture that is less sharp.

I would disagree here. While I believe developers for PS3 and 360 should mostly target 720p for better frame rates this generation, there are some games that can be and are 1080p. Simpler games without massive environments/effects can run at 60fps and be rendered in 1080p. When the next generation is ready, 1080p should be the standard for most if not all games.
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMRA View Post

Should anyone forget necessity is the mother of all invention. The cat is now out of the bag.
There is no way to stop the juggernaut.
It's only a matter of time until digital goes for the holy grail of film, 70mm IMAX. Cameras will get better, hence playback displays will follow. Any doubts?

Well, standard digital cinema projectors run at over 1920x1080 (2080x1080) and a new Sony projector (the CineAlta 4K) runs at 4096x2160. Its only a matter of time till these are standard in all cinemas and eventually kick out film. Then the 2160p projector will be the new gold standard, 1080p will be a $400 black friday special, and Ultra High Def Video will be coming available 4320p (7680x4320). I can't wait!
post #18 of 38
I'll be staying at 720p for sometime. We ran an 800x600 Infocus X1 during the expensive 720p DLP era, but rather than buy a new bulb ($300-$400) I upgraded to the 720p HD72 ($827 AR). No more screendoor effect, less rainbows, and a little more rez.

720p is proving to be the gaming sweetspot for the 360 and PS3. Like last gen when 480p was the sweet spot. Yes there are a few games that chuck out 1080p but it is proving to be the minority. 720p is really proving to be the gaming rez for this gen.

I'm not interested in PC gaming on my projector really as it is too inconvenient to work out a workable mouse/keyboard setup on the couch. Besides, I have my 1920x1200 Sony FW900 24" widescreen CRT for that

What does that leave? Some 1080i HDTV (which we don't watch that much of) and HD-DVD / BD (which will stay niche formats for some time).

The only 1080p source I have in the house are the HD-DVDs of which we have less than 10. There's a little bit of 1080i via satellite HDTV but that looks fine at 720p for how much we care about it. I have a feeling we'll be staying at 720p for some years still.
post #19 of 38
Better Black Levels I hope. Otherwise 720p is current gen, and has its advantages (price to performance ratio) and disadvantages (isn't the best available).

I just bought my first projector, the HD1000U, I couldn't be happier with it. When the next generation of videogame systems start rolling out in a few years, then maybe it will be of concern.
post #20 of 38
the latest issue of 'wide screen review' mentions "4k cameras already on market"(i dont have page # handy), not much other info or details. sony has $100k 4k lcos pj, lowry digital images, now owned by dts, has been doing 4k scans since 03( indy jones, star wars tril., bond series all scanned at 4k, down rezzed to 480i for us.) 1080p is just another temporary (but good) marketing ploy. give it several years and then we'll see lots of ' consumerized ' 4k hard/software.
post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 
I find it hard to believe that 4k resolution will be common anytime soon. The only display that the majority of people might be able to tell a difference between 4k and 1080p is a huge projection screen from a relatively close distance. On a basic 30-50" tv, it will be very difficult to sell, as 1080p is only marginally better than 720p on a display of that size, which is what the majority of people will buy.

The transition from sddvd to hddvd or bluray has been slow. Introducing a higher resolution format will be overkill, as most haven't even ventured into 1080p yet. The technology is obviously there, but I just don't see the market being ready for it for a while. Besides, most people get a tv to watch cable tv, and that hasn't even hit 1080p yet. Can you even guess when digital cable will be in 4k?

What comes first, the sources or the displays? If ALL sources (tv, dvd, computers, video games) don't hit 4k, releasing such a display targeted at the masses will not fare very well.
Look how long we took to finally get past 480i tv's. Only now there are actually sources that are in HD. Sure pc's have run in resolutions far higher than 480i for quite some time, but pc's do not drive the tv market. Cable tv does. What is driving the sale of hd tv's? Not hddvd or bluray, but hd cable. When cable tv is ready for 4k, then and only then will such displays be widely demanded.

Also, would there be any reason a software company would want to push 4k from a profit standpoint. They need mass market hardware numbers, not just the enthusiast crowd. I don't think sales of hd movie discs are exactly booming, so why would they now want to push for an even higher resolution standard?

Upping the resolution standard is an extremely complicated endeavor. It's not simply the technology of the display and the ability for the hardware to run it.

I can see these ultra-high defintion projectors hitting the theater, but I wouldn't hold my breath to see these things coming home at anything but an insane price. As a previous poster mentioned, IMAX 70mm has been around for a while, but how many have these projectors at home?

While it's probably true that 720p's days are numbered, 1080p's days are just beginning. It's going to be near impossible to convince people that 1080p isn't good enough. Then again, they somehow convinced many people that 720p isn't good enough, so never say never.
post #22 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirDrexl View Post

I would disagree here. While I believe developers for PS3 and 360 should mostly target 720p for better frame rates this generation, there are some games that can be and are 1080p. Simpler games without massive environments/effects can run at 60fps and be rendered in 1080p. When the next generation is ready, 1080p should be the standard for most if not all games.

The problem with upping the resolution in console gaming is the price of the console. Now that we are in the 720p era of console gaming, look at how much the consoles cost? $400 to $600. If a 1080p console (not just one that's 1080p capable, but one with the power to render natively the latest games in 1080p) was made this generation, it would cost significantly more.

In reality, this generation's price point for a console is $400, as the PS3 is burdened with the price of bluray. Do you think next generation, $500 would be a wise price point, which wouldn't include the added benefit of a brand new hd movie format built into it, like the 20gig ps3?

Then again, I would love to be wrong, as gaming in 1080p on a console that comes out at $400 would great. Then I would make the jump to a 1080p pj for sure, if I didn't already.
post #23 of 38
To me I don't thing 1080P will ever be the cable standard for delivery, because most cable systems today would become greatly congested. If you follow broadband technology you know the current cable standard is pretty much maxed out. Cable today is based mostly on the SMPTE 259M standard, it uses multi-frequency's to transport HD signals because (SMPTE 259M = max 360 Mb/s) doesn't allocate the needed bandwidth that HD needs (SMPTE 292M = 1.485 Gbit/s).

So the demand for 1080P content will be limited to disc type sources for a very long time. DVD sales still beat HD-DVD 59 to 1, BR 67 to 1, so consumers are still not heavily buying into format upgrades. Some might say that's because of cost, which might be a good argument, but it still will not dictate market share, which for now DVD holds with dominance. The surprising part of all this, is the fact that HD via cable and satellite has become the driving force for HD televisions and HD projector sales. But those sources only support 720P or 1080i within the HD spectrum. So are native 720P or even non-HD 480P products passed their true usability, no, and they still won't be for every long time. So it makes good sense for companies and manufactures to keep there product lines filled with consumer goods that the market share demands. Which also will drive the need for those companies and manufactures to keep improving on those products that consumers buy.
post #24 of 38
720p will become the low end with 1080p being more of the mid end with really nicely featured 1080p with tons of CR and lens shift, etc being the top end.

Soon we'll have Pearl quality projectors for 1500 or less. 1080p IS the sweet spot, since thats what blu-ray is, and a lot of PS3 games are natively 1080p already. There were 3 retail PS3 games at launch that were native 1080p, and there will just be more. 720p is old news when it comes to technology, the bar is now set thanks to sony.

I personally use the Epson Cinema 400 (720p) and absolutely LOVE it. I know it is just a stepping stone to the 1080p goodness that will be forthcoming soon. I think we have 1 more gen of 720p and a LOT more 1080p pj's, then the gen after that will be 500 dollar or less 720p projectors + the majority of pj's being 1080p.

My main want is 1080p24 to become commonplace for pj's. That is very important!!! Lens Shift has become my favorite projector feature by far tho, dlp's are a huge PITA in that regard.
post #25 of 38
I think manufacturers have to always innovate in order to stay competitive in electronics.
1080p is a target to reach and yet ironically the eye can't see the difference between the two with a FP.
Contrast can always be improved and the eye sees that difference.
A step forward in resolution doesn't mean for the better but the perception still exists.
Buzz or hype of a product makes a product popular not the features.
Just look at the way films are marketed today. You see merchandizing, movie trailers on TV, a book release, a video game.... It's all created for hype.
post #26 of 38
Let me ask you guys a question. I'm still using an optoma HD30, it's worked great and I only have about 300 hours on the bulb so you can see I don't use it a whole lot. But I recently bought a Toshiba HDA2 HD DVD Player so I've been mulling something I can use to display with it. As 1080p become more affordable the 720p projectors like the HD70 will continue to drop I would be interested in getting one. My questions would be Could I swap out the projector with my currently mounted HD30, are the offsets similar, and what's your opinion of the picture difference I should get between the two?
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Fleet View Post

1080p is a target to reach and yet ironically the eye can't see the difference between the two with a FP.
Contrast can always be improved and the eye sees that difference.

This is where I'm at, I have a 4 year old Infocus X1 that has work well for the most part. I'm ready to step up to HD, but I don't really know/feel that a 1080 FP is worth the extra thousands more than a 720. Do I spend 1k now on a 720, waiting for the 1080 to come down from the 3-6k range. And yes contrast (pop) seems to be what I notice the most. ie. JVC RS1.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarpad View Post

Let me ask you guys a question. I'm still using an optoma HD30, it's worked great and I only have about 300 hours on the bulb so you can see I don't use it a whole lot. But I recently bought a Toshiba HDA2 HD DVD Player so I've been mulling something I can use to display with it. As 1080p become more affordable the 720p projectors like the HD70 will continue to drop I would be interested in getting one. My questions would be Could I swap out the projector with my currently mounted HD30, are the offsets similar, and what's your opinion of the picture difference I should get between the two?

IMO a Mits HC3000 would be a better performer for HT than the HD70. The HC3000 has a similar offset to the H31, but probably not as much as the H30. The H30 has a lot of offset due to its 4:3 screen...and when you run 16:9 ratio at the bottom of the 4:3 screen, you will have an offset that no 16:9 projector match (that I know of).

Fleaman
post #29 of 38
Thread Starter 
My goal will be to never buy a projector (or tv) for much more than $1,000 again. That way, I can afford to buy a new projector more often and have that excitement that comes from the anticipation and finally the purchase and enjoyment of a new projector. Now that prices have come down to this level for a very good projector, one that costed me almost $3,000 just a couple of years ago, I just want to stay in this price bracket. As discussed, it's just a few years away when 1080p will be at the price of today's 720p's, and then I'll be ready to say good-bye to 720p.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by printf View Post

To me I don't thing 1080P will ever be the cable standard for delivery, because most cable systems today would become greatly congested. If you follow broadband technology you know the current cable standard is pretty much maxed out. Cable today is based mostly on the SMPTE 259M standard, it uses multi-frequency's to transport HD signals because (SMPTE 259M = max 360 Mb/s) doesn't allocate the needed bandwidth that HD needs (SMPTE 292M = 1.485 Gbit/s).

Never say never.
I just received an email from Directv that there is going to be 70 HD channels added by Fall. 1080 will be the standard if not sooner later. With hidef DVD already here and nearly 100 TV station broadcasting HD, 720 takes the back seat hence the low prices now. Prices for 1080 units are the only obstacle.
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