Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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Ziggy587
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720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Ziggy587 Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:41 pm

No, there is no question. I just thought this would be fun to discuss.

I'm not a super hardcore elitist when it comes to quality, but I'm always after the best quality with out breaking the bank. However, I just had some thoughts that I don't ever see talk about. I bought my first HDTV in late 2004 or early 2005, a 720p. It was always the obvious idea that when I eventually get a new TV I would get a 1080p. Well, in December 2012 I finally got my new 1080p HDTV. But now I'm wondering, should I have stuck with a 720p? I feel like I can make some good arguments to why having a 720p TV is better.

For all the SD content... This is the biggest point to make. Let's face it, we're a retro gaming community. We're all gonna be using SD stuff as long as we can. It's no mystery, a 240 or 480 resolution is gonna look better on a 720p TV versus a 1080p TV because it doesn't have to be scaled as much. 480 only has to be scaled up 1.5x the original resolution for a 720p display, but it has to be scaled up 2.25x (over 2 times!) the original resolution for a 1080p display.

The rare exception would be a really old and low end 720p TV versus a newer and high end 1080p. In this case, perhaps the 1080 has so much better of an upscaler that SD content looks better on it versus the 720p TV. However, this is rarely the case. SD content is gonna look better on a 720p TV.

So keep around a CRT in addition to your 1080p HDTV... Well, many of us do, including myself. But I'm still feeling this void (also, many of us don't have this option due to limited space). I love having a CRT for 8-bit and 16-bit consoles. NES, SNES, Genesis, Saturn, PS1, etc. And hell, I need to bust out the light guns every once in a while. But what about 480p widescreen content? The PS2, Xbox, Wii, and DVDs. DVDs definitely look better on a 720p HDTV than they do on a CRT. I mean, you're also talking about the 16:9 and 4:3 difference now and progressive versus interlaced. No, HDTVs are way better for DVDs than CRTs. I have the same feelings for the Wii, since it's 480p 16:9 content. 720p TVs are so much more clear. For the PS2 and Xbox, I'm kinda torn. There's a limited amount of games that support widescreen. However, some times 4:3 480p looks better on a 720p TV than it does on a CRT.

Well, what about all the HD content? Wont we be missing out? Not on as much as you'd think. Most content isn't full 1080p anyway. Maybe I'm using "most" loosely?

Take TV broadcast for example, I find that MOST things are only 720p, while there's still a lot of 480p. Rarely do I see things broadcasted in 1080. And I know other services are different, but the TV service I have here allows for a maximum of 1080i, and doesn't have 1080p. So, the question becomes, since rarely things are broadcasted in 1080p, would I be better off setting my box to output 720p and use a 720p TV?

What about HD games? PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U are HD consoles. However, how many games are in 1080? A lot of them are actually only 720. I still have plenty of PS3 games on my "to get" list, but out of the 15 or so games that I currently have, only about half of them are full 1080p. The rest are 720p max resolution. Wii U games don't put this spec on the back of the box like PS3 games do, but from reading on the internet, it seems it's split down the middle being 720 or 1080. I have no idea about PS4 and Xbox One, whether they're continue this trend or if more games will be full HD.

You might be thinking, "Well, yeah, but there's still plenty of 1080p games." Yes, but, I'm thinking about it like this: All of the 720p games are going to look slightly better since they don't have to be upscaled. 1080p games will still look good because 720p doesn't look bad at all. No, 1080p games wont look as good on a 720p TV, but maybe that's the sacrifice you have to make to have all your SD content look better.

What about Blu Ray movies? Yes, that is the one thing. As far as I can tell, all BD movies are 1080p with the super rare exception of 1080i. You'll be missing out. However, like I said above, it's not like 720p looks bad.

I realize that the same things don't apply to every one. If you have a cable provider that gives you 1080p, a lot of the stuff you watch is broadcasted in 1080p, and you watch a lot of Blu Rays, then a 1080p TV is the way to go. Me, personally, that's not the case. And I don't think I'm unlike many here. I have dozens and dozens of DVDs but I own only two BDs. Most of the TV I watch is broadcasted in 720p, if not 480p. And I retro game, a lot.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is... I've always just blindly assumed that getting a 1080p TV is better. But maybe not. Maybe a 720p TV is a happy medium for your HD and SD content. 1080p content is still gonna look good, and SD content is gonna look a little better.
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dsheinem
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by dsheinem Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:45 pm

This doesn't answer all your questions, but 1080i or 1080p is really only noticeable for most people on TVs larger than ~40" or so. Below that, 720p should be fine.

TVs that are 1080i or 1080p downscale to 720p just fine.
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Hobie-wan
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Hobie-wan Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:49 pm

*hugs my ED plasma with 2 each of HDMI/Component/S-video/composite plus VGA*

What is this scaling of which you speak? You mean doubling? :P

But seriously, I'll be sad when this TV has issues as it's a nice middle compromise.
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by ninjainspandex Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:00 pm

I'm surprised with all the retro gaming craze going on now days that there isn't an HD TV out there aimed at retro gaming with good s-video upscalers and scart inputs.
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Purkeynator
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Purkeynator Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:38 pm

I have had 1080p since 2006. I am already getting the itch for 4k. Must....scratch.....itchy....tastey
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CRTGAMER
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by CRTGAMER Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:06 pm

No mention of a HD CRT that goes up to 1080i? I find it a good compromise as an all in one to handle Retro Consoles, SD TV channels as well as HD signals.

Niode wrote:CRT doesn't have a native resolution so you don't get the same issue you get with LCDs. CRTs just display the content in the resolution it was intended to be viewed in. No up scaling required.
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Ziggy587
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Ziggy587 Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:06 pm

dsheinem wrote:This doesn't answer all your questions, but 1080i or 1080p is really only noticeable for most people on TVs larger than ~40" or so. Below that, 720p should be fine.


I didn't have any questions, but yeah, I've never even seen a ~32" TV that was 1080p. The smallest 1080p I've seen is 40". But I'm not saying, "What's the point of getting 1080?" I'm saying, bigger isn't always better and we might consider getting a 720 over a 1080. Usually the budget is the factor, but I've thought of these other reasons to consider the lower resolution over the higher one.

dsheinem wrote:TVs that are 1080i or 1080p downscale to 720p just fine.


Wait, what? 1080p TVs don't downscale to display an image. They upscale everything to 1080p. A 720p source is gonna look better on a 720p display then it would on a 1080p display.

Hobie-wan wrote:*hugs my ED plasma with 2 each of HDMI/Component/S-video/composite plus VGA*

What is this scaling of which you speak? You mean doubling? :P

But seriously, I'll be sad when this TV has issues as it's a nice middle compromise.


Fuck you! That sounds like an awesome TV, I'd love to have one like it. Honestly, I know people go crazy for scanlines, but I prefer the digital display. A 480p 16:9 plasma would be awesome. Retro 240 resolutions would look fine, and it's *perfect* for 480p signals. However, they're not easy to find these days.

ninjainspandex wrote:I'm surprised with all the retro gaming craze going on now days that there isn't an HD TV out there aimed at retro gaming with good s-video upscalers and scart inputs.


I'm not surprised. As popular as retro gaming is, it's still a niche hobby. What I would like to see, and I think is more practical, is upscalers like the XRGB. I know we can import them from Japan, but the only other options seem to be pro-grade and expensive. With all the 480p DVDs out there, I guess people are just content using the crappy upscalers in their TVs. If we can't even get a decent and not super expensive scaler for 480p content, I doubt we'll see something for 240p retro consoles. Plus, SCART in America and a bunch of fine-tune settings? Americans are mostly to lazy to bother, especially when most of them are naive on the matter anyway.

CRTGAMER wrote:No mention of a HD CRT that goes up to 1080i? I find it a good compromise as an all in one to handle Retro Consoles, SD TV channels as well as HD signals.


Well I'm saying it like this: If you're going out to buy a TV today you have the option of 720 or 1080 and that's it. If you want an HD CRT, you'll have to hunt for one.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Jagosaurus Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:19 pm

I have a:
480p 4:3 27" CRT
720p/1080i 32" Vizio LCD
1080p 42" Sony LCD

Not a huge difference between 720p & 1080i at 32" but it is there.

My 42" is in the living room hooked to a cable box. Previously I'd say only 10% of Comcast video was 1080i (not progressive)... mostly big sports games or primetime only, 90% 720p. I've noticed lately much more has been in 1080i. On the 42" you can tell the difference versus on the 32". Yeah, the blu rays look nice in full 1080p.

I love DVDs via component on my CRT... man color contrast is awesome. Wish CRT HDs were still in production for video enthusiast... LCDs just don't render blacks as well IMO.
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by casterofdreams Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:30 pm

I have an LG 32" 1080p TV myself. It was on sale for $299 over the holidays.

I think it is a solid TV and although I don't have a retro console to try how the scaling works I can say that local channels through a digital box and composite cables it looks fine for me. I know it isn't the same. Maybe I should try playing emulators from the PC I have connected. I run a host of games through Steam though and they look fine. It is connected via HDMI but I lowered the resolution to match the screen from the host laptop: 900p.
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by BoringSupreez Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:08 am

One thing I find myself wondering about TVs and resolutions is why can't they change resolutions like a PC monitor? Why can't a 1080p TV switch to a 480i mode instead of upscaling?
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