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1080p vs. 720p What's the Difference?

23 Votes
  • Start Date:
    12-13-2007
  • Last Vote:
    6-6-2009

Issue:

There is such a fuss about what high definition tv to buy.  720p or 1080p.....the fact of the matter is that nothing is broadcasted in 1080p yet.  The only way you can view 1080p is if you own a high def DVD player.

Belief:

People should save some cash and buy a 720p TV.  The picture on the 720p TV’s are great and is the highest resolution being broadcasted at this time.

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you have a good point but you can buy an upconverter to 1080P for your dvd's and you can play ps3 on 1080P. regular cable programming will probably never go 1080P intill 20 years from now.

GO 1080P WITH 60in TV PICTURE IS UNREAL

whether you are going to see a difference is going to depend on the size of your HDTV. 

i just want to add my 2-cents here. i have a 720p tv that upscales to 1080i. i have yet to see a 1080p {in my price range} that is any better... end of story...  i suppose i better add that my tv is 37".

i own a 42'' 720p panny plasma for my bedroom and a 50'' 1080p panny plasma in living room and if you have an eye for these thing you can clearly see the difference between 720 and 1080p. although unless ur a true tv finatic its tough to justify the price difference. 1080p is not output via most cable companies and i only notice the difference when watching bluray.

From my perspective there are 4 major factors in perceived picture quality:

1) Source material quality (low resolution source material will usually always look worse)

2) Display conversion quality (the ability of the display engine to enhance the source material and convert it to it's display native resolution) Note: Not all displays are created equal! ...even if they are 1080p!

3) Ratio of size of the display to the viewing distance from the display (essentially, the ability of the human eye to perceive picture detail in a given situation)

4) Native Resolution of the display (how many picture elements make up each frame)

So, given that the first three are maximized and #4 is 720p vs. 1080p, there will be an obvious difference in picture quality in favor of the 1080p display. The problem is that more often than not we can't maximize the first three. So, if your "viewing situation" dictates that you normally view SD content, or your viewing space, or space for a display is limited, then you may not be able to justify spending the money on a 1080p display because you won't benefit from the added resolution. Conversely, if you're looking for a projector to throw a 120" picture onto your dedicted home theatre screen, you'd be a fool to consider a 720p model, as the price performance of the higher resolution models is rapidly improving and you will definitely see a difference.

 My $0.02....

I agree with Mark M. that difference is proportional to the screen size and I will add the viewing distance factor which is also very important! For instance there is indeed no visible difference between 720p and 1080p on a 32'' at a distance of 4 meters (13ft) but if u go to 2m (6ft) or less then you can see the difference cause no matter what the pixels size on 1080p screen are smaller. We do have many years now "HD" screens at our PCs because we seat only at 2feet or less far from them! Bulky pixels do the difference objectively as long as u can see them. Thus if you have a small room but you like the big picture you have to go for a 1080p screen!

 

I have a 2 yr old 42" Hitachi EDTV ('Enhanced') plasma.  Its resolution is 852x480.  When I bought it, I found that it showed non-HDTV channels better than the 1080i HDTVs of comparable size head 2 head in the store.

I don't have a strong opinion about 720 v 1080

It makes sense that if nothing is being broadcast in 1080 the 720 should be sufficient. The only difference could be when you watch a DVD with a high def box. I for one hardly watch DVDs so it makes sense to save some money and go with the 720, which I have, and I must say am very happy with it. Just remember every TV is different and some may just be sharper by virtue of the brand and not the 1080 or 720.

The difference is important with respect to the size of the screen. For example, I've seen 32" TVs where there is no difference between 720p and 1080p. While I have seen 54"+ TVs where there was a difference. The bottom line is, the bigger the TV the more important the higher resolution becomes.

I saw the two side by side and thought the 1080 was so much better.  But I hear that the stores sometimes rig it that way.

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