High Def Forum
Thank you for visiting. This is our website archive. Please visit our main website by clicking the logo above.

Help! Should I buy a 720p TV? or go 1080?

teckdude99
06-08-2008, 03:56 PM
Hello.. i need some informative advice..

I have a chance to get a 50" Samsung Plasma, with 720p resolution for $700. But with technology changing so fast I am wondering if that resolution is already obsolete?

Also had my eye on a 46" 1080p LCD model at Walmart, open box, Vizio, about $1000.

Now I am not sure where my money is better spend, Obviously Samsung is better than Vizio, right? But is it worth the extra $300-500 to get 1080p?

I will use the TV for cable HDTV and some movies on an upconvert dvd player. Not sure I want to do Blue Ray for $50 a disc. For gaming, I only have a PS2..

Can someone help me with these questions?

What signal do most cable tv channels broadcast at? Isnt it only 720p?

How long before cable companies broadcast channels at 1080p?

Is it true that plasma models use a lot more electrocity than LCD?

Should I get the 720p or spend the extra for a 1080p model?

Would appreciate any advice on this purchase..
thanks so much!

rbinck
06-08-2008, 04:16 PM
What signal do most cable tv channels broadcast at? Isnt it only 720p? - No most HD channels are going to be 1080i. ABC, FOX, ESPN, and ESPN2 are the major 720p channels. Most all others are 1080i.

How long before cable companies broadcast channels at 1080p? - That's probably not going to happen in our lifetimes even if you are a baby.

Is it true that plasma models use a lot more electrocity than LCD? - Not really. It is true that plasmas potentially can draw more power than LCDs when showing a white 100 IRE screen, but in normal use they are about the same.

Should I get the 720p or spend the extra for a 1080p model? - Nothing wrong with getting a 720p HDTV at all. When I evaluated what I was going to use my HDTV for, I looked at reflectivy more than the pixels. I settled on a 1080p set because I was going to use it as a computer monitor as well. I can't stand the reflections of plasma screens during dark scenes. I hate to watch myself watch TV. If you have a light controlled room and are going to only use the TV as you described, that price for a 50" is very sweet.

teckdude99
06-08-2008, 06:04 PM
What signal do most cable tv channels broadcast at? Isnt it only 720p? - No most HD channels are going to be 1080i. ABC, FOX, ESPN, and ESPN2 are the major 720p channels. Most all others are 1080i.


Thanks for the quick and detailed reply.

Wonderin... if the stations broadcast 1080i, wouldnt a 1080p look better since the resolution is at least 1080?

rbinck
06-08-2008, 06:28 PM
On a 50" or smaller at 10' or so I don't think you will notice any difference.

You also may want to read this thread: ****Do I really need a1080p set (http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=73002)

DarkOwnagePeac
06-08-2008, 06:50 PM
What signal do most cable tv channels broadcast at? Isnt it only 720p? - No most HD channels are going to be 1080i. ABC, FOX, ESPN, and ESPN2 are the major 720p channels. Most all others are 1080i.

How long before cable companies broadcast channels at 1080p? - That's probably not going to happen in our lifetimes even if you are a baby.

Is it true that plasma models use a lot more electrocity than LCD? - Not really. It is true that plasmas potentially can draw more power than LCDs when showing a white 100 IRE screen, but in normal use they are about the same.

Should I get the 720p or spend the extra for a 1080p model? - Nothing wrong with getting a 720p HDTV at all. When I evaluated what I was going to use my HDTV for, I looked at reflectivy more than the pixels. I settled on a 1080p set because I was going to use it as a computer monitor as well. I can't stand the reflections of plasma screens during dark scenes. I hate to watch myself watch TV. If you have a light controlled room and are going to only use the TV as you described, that price for a 50" is very sweet.


Cable companies never going 1080P!?! in our lifetimes.... thats a very strong statement you made lets make a bet on it.

rbinck
06-08-2008, 06:55 PM
Cable companies never going 1080P!?! in our lifetimes.... thats a very strong statement you made lets make a bet on it.
Ok, what?

But you gotta be alive to pay.

GoDJ416
06-08-2008, 08:22 PM
LMAO at $50 blu-rays...

mshulman
06-08-2008, 08:25 PM
If I was buying a TV today, I'd simply buy a 1080P TV unless it was very small and in a place like the kithen or somewhere I wouldn't be viewing it frequently.

A TV is something most people keep around for a long time, so I think getting the best you can afford makes sense.

riffjaff
06-08-2008, 09:03 PM
If I was buying a TV today, I'd simply buy a 1080P TV unless it was very small and in a place like the kithen or somewhere I wouldn't be viewing it frequently.

A TV is something most people keep around for a long time, so I think getting the best you can afford makes sense.

Yeah but they don't make TVs like they used to. Sure those CRTS are pretty guaranteed to run for 10+ years, some even 30 years, but these techs are much more advanced that there is a greater chance of failure. You would be lucky to hold on to the same set for the next 10 years. I figure it will be at least another 3 generations before the new TVs get as reliable as CRTs.

To the OP:

Unfortunately, 1080p takes way, way, way too much bandwidth for the networks to broadcast content at 1080p. While I doubt it will take the rest of our lives for the networks to get there, I don't see them doing it for another 7-10 years.

720p is not obsolete. Resolution is not the only thing or even the most important thing that determines picture quality. I would say take the deal because it is killer. For a 50'', I figure you'd be sitting 8-10 feet back in which case, 1080p or 720p would work. However at that distance, being able to tell the difference between the two is hard, not impossible, but very hard to the average user. My roommate and I can, but my other two roommates can't, so it's really up to you.

rbinck
06-09-2008, 11:26 AM
To the OP:
Unfortunately, 1080p takes way, way, way too much bandwidth for the networks to broadcast content at 1080p. While I doubt it will take the rest of our lives for the networks to get there, I don't see them doing it for another 7-10 years.

The reason I don't think there will be 1080p in our lifetimes is not really related to bandwidth, although it probably plays a part. It is because there is no need to do it.

What would drive the issue, imo, is the ATSC standard. It does allow for 1080p/24 and 1080p/30, but what people really mean when they ask when are they going to broadcast 1080p is the 1080p they are talking about is 1080p/60. The NTSC standard for broadcasting has been around for decades and you can expect the ATSC standard to be around for decades and there is no 1080p/60 in the standard.

1080p/24 would be suitable for films like is used with Blu-ray, but the probability that a network would adopt that format is zero, imo. It would take a network that only showed film based material, that would mean absolutely no video material. Therefore I would place the adoption of 1080p/24 as zero probability.

1080p/30 could be used except for the fact that motion response would be actually worse than 1080i/30. With proper interlacers and deinterlacers there is no difference between 1080p/30 and 1080i/30, just the manner in which the frames are transmitted is different. It would also mean video cameras would need to capture 1080p at 30 fps, which would be a departure from cameras today. Therefore, I would place the adoption of 1080p/30 as zero probability.

That bring us to 1080p/60 which is what technogeeks have started telling people is what they really want. But why? The bulk of what is shown on broadcast television, both OTA and cable, is film based sources. The exception of any merit is live events and sporting events. 720p/60 is already available for sports and the increased resolution of 1080p/60 would not be noticed on most 1080p TV sets, again no need. Film based material is shot at 24 frames per second. What good does it do to broadcast 24 frames per second at 60 frames per second over 30 frames per second? None. The temporal resolution is still 24 frames per second no matter how many time you repeat frames to make 24 into 60. In fact fewer frames are needing to be repeated to make 24 into 30. That is a lot of wasted bandwidth, something no matter how many magazine authors, bloggers and forum posters write about needing 1080p/60 will change.

Truth is, most people asking about when will 1080p be broadcast don't really know what they are asking. They have just read somewhere or heard something from a salesman that someone wants it or thinks it is necessary and repeats the question.

I don't mean to be confrontational here, so if you have some reason why you think it will be necessary for broadcasters to broadcast 1080p in any form, tell us what it is and which format that would be.

maximus1284
06-09-2008, 06:34 PM
depends on your needs, and when you plan to buy your NEXT tv...my next will probably be a couple years down the road, and will be 1080p

Scottnot
06-09-2008, 08:06 PM
Just my :2cents , but if you are a "normal" viewer and watch a mix of HD content and SD content as well as use an upconverting DVD player, 720 might actually be the better choice at the 10' or greater viewing distance and with screen sizes at least up to 42" (and perhaps as large as 50").

The reason is interpolation; SD content (broadcast and DVD) upscaled to 720p only needs to interpolate about 70% of the pixels displayed on a 720 screen, but upscaling to 1080 requires that 85% of the pixels displayed be interpolated.
Or, looking at it another way, the fact is that on a 720 display 30% of the pixels are "original" content, whereas on a 1080 disploay only 15% are "original". At similar screen size and viewing distance the 720 set may often appear to present the better quality result.

Joe Las Vegas
06-09-2008, 11:23 PM
I have 2 things to say:
1) why get a 720p when 1080p is getting more resonably priced?
2) don't buy open-box, it was most likely on the store display shelves, running the same picture 12 hrs a day 7 day a week, do you want a tv that's been abused?
Check Costco, they have good large TV's with great warranties.

alik
06-10-2008, 08:31 AM
If your budget allows 1080p, go for it. Why not get the best? If money is an important part of your decision (which I'm guessing it is if you're looking at open-box TVs, risky that) then it comes down to what you want more: screen size, 1080p vs. 720p, TV type, TV brand, and other features. The price gap between 720p and 1080p is shrinking, but it's still at least a couple hundred dollars.

I'm by no means an expert, but I couldn't tell a difference between 720p and 1080p on ~50" TVs unless I got much closer than my seating distance. Going with 720p (actually 768 hehe) allowed me to get a bigger screen size + better brand than I would have been able to afford if I had gone for a 1080 set. Since I couldn't see a difference, I considered size and brand to be more important than some number on the spec sheet.

I read the thread linked in a post above and this one before buying:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6449_7-6810011-1.html

But the bottom line, IMO, is trust what you see and not what you read or hear. Get out and look at all the TVs you can before buying. With any luck, you'll be watching it for many years to come.

Rick-F
06-10-2008, 09:02 AM
If you buy the 720P TV, less than 50" (more than likely it will be 768, not 720)-- make sure the HORIZONTAL resolution is not less than 1280 (most likly it would be 1366). Lots of 720P plasmas are only 768X1024, and there are some big name brand "bargin/value" model 1080P plasmas that are NOT 1080X1920 either. . . even though they are labeled 1080P

Scottnot
06-10-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm by no means an expert, but I couldn't tell a difference between 720p and 1080p on ~50" TVs unless I got much closer than my seating distance. Going with 720p (actually 768 hehe) allowed me to get a bigger screen size + better brand than I would have been able to afford if I had gone for a 1080 set. Since I couldn't see a difference, I considered size and brand to be more important than some number on the spec sheet.

But the bottom line, IMO, is trust what you see and not what you read or hear. Get out and look at all the TVs you can before buying.

AMEN ! ! !

teckdude99
06-11-2008, 03:29 PM
Just my :2cents , but if you are a "normal" viewer and watch a mix of HD content and SD content as well as use an upconverting DVD player, 720 might actually be the better choice at the 10' or greater viewing distance and with screen sizes at least up to 42" (and perhaps as large as 50").

The reason is interpolation; SD content (broadcast and DVD) upscaled to 720p only needs to interpolate about 70% of the pixels displayed on a 720 screen, but upscaling to 1080 requires that 85% of the pixels displayed be interpolated.
Or, looking at it another way, the fact is that on a 720 display 30% of the pixels are "original" content, whereas on a 1080 disploay only 15% are "original". At similar screen size and viewing distance the 720 set may often appear to present the better quality result.

that makes good sense. Good information.

I have 2 things to say:
1) why get a 720p when 1080p is getting more resonably priced?
2) don't buy open-box, it was most likely on the store display shelves, running the same picture 12 hrs a day 7 day a week, do you want a tv that's been abused?
Check Costco, they have good large TV's with great warranties.

I was hard pressed to find a 1080p model new or like new anywhere near $1200. I got the 50" 720p for $700. I was told it was a customer return to store. But its like new condition, not a scratch on it. And Samsung too. The picture is amazing!

One more thing,... lots of talk here (or posts) about how at 8-10' viewing distance it would be difficult to notice the difference between 720p and 1080p. I'll have to go with that. But I am happy with my purchase decision at least for the money I paid. Will probably upgrade to 1080p set within a year though. Got my eyes on blue ray dvds, there are only so many HD cable channels.

DarkOwnagePeac
07-01-2008, 04:49 PM
Ok, what?

But you gotta be alive to pay.

I'll give you a 1080p tv when the price drops ridiculously and televison is broadcasting in 2160p. Should only take about 11-20 years.

Joe_news
07-01-2008, 11:42 PM
Better resolution doesn't mean better picture quality. Get the Samsung Plasma, it will not only be a more reliable product but also look better. I own a 50" Pioneer and its 720p and I have no issues with the screen looking bad because of its resolution..and I'm sitting 8 feet from my baby.

sigill
07-03-2008, 11:49 AM
Depending on how close you sit to your tv should determine whether you really need 1080p. IMO you can get outstanding PQ out of 720p so it basically depends on what you really want. Whatever you choose just remember that if you are going to watch any amount of normal tv the chances are it will look worse on the full HD set.