Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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Cronozilla
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Cronozilla Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:16 am

TV panels are almost entirely limited by their controller boards. TVs don't support various things because they're not built for it. They usually have a "PC Mode" which will lower the resolution to gain monitor like pixel density (doesn't use most of the screen in most cases)

Something to consider, in the 720p vs 1080p display discussion is that most manufacturers don't actually put different model panels in different model sets that are in the same model line.

So even though you look at Samsung 7 LCD series (or whatever), and you say, I'm going to get the 720p 42" TV instead of the 1080p 42" TV because it's $300 less ... keep in mind those TVs both have the exact same panel model, the only difference is the controller board chipset and firmware that drives it. That also means that both panels actually have a native resolution of 1080p, even though one of them has a chipset that doesn't process at that resolution.

In terms of looking at 720p vs 1080p source material ... yeah you can see a difference. It's mostly less blurry. It's most easily noticeable on a PC monitor, since you can directly compare. Though some of that can also be due to scaling since the monitor likely has a higher native resolution.

But it is noticeable, especially if you know what you're looking for. If you're just kinda ignorant about the differences, then you'd likely be happy with whatever.

But, I stopped wearing glasses while using my TV, because I can see compression artifacts and signal degradation otherwise. :\
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by GSZX1337 Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:25 am

Ah, the joys of buying a TV. Well, the bulk of my thoughts have already been mentioned, so this'll be a bit slim.

I'd consider going 1080p as that's how current content will look best. While retro stuff may not look as nice, its visual quality doesn't degrade too much. I think the slight downgrade for retro stuff would be worth it for the upgrade modern content gains.

Purkeynator wrote:I am already getting the itch for 4k. Must....scratch.....itchy....tastey

I can only imagine how much worse this conundrum will be when 4K becomes the norm.
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by casterofdreams Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:11 am

I don't know maybe I'm looking at this through the eyes of an idiot but I don't see the 4k TVs being the norm anytime soon considering not all broadcasts even output the 1080P. counting the ps3 and the Xbox 360 most of those games output either 720P or 760P or something weird but rarely do the output 1080p so how does its scale on the 4k TV?
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Jamisonia
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Jamisonia Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:14 am

BoringSupreez wrote: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?


You can't do this with an LCD Monitor either. When you're switching resolutions all you're doing is switching inputs and its still upscaling to the panels native resolution. Plasma and LCD are fixed resolution displays. They can only display in their native resolution.

Now high end CRT monitors and professional TVs were true multisync, meaning they could display multiple resolutions perfectly. However our modern technologies are not capable of this. Consumer CRTs were never capable of multi-sync.
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by RyaNtheSlayA Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:23 am

casterofdreams wrote:I don't know maybe I'm looking at this through the eyes of an idiot but I don't see the 4k TVs being the norm anytime soon considering not all broadcasts even output the 1080P. counting the ps3 and the Xbox 360 most of those games output either 720P or 760P or something weird but rarely do the output 1080p so how does its scale on the 4k TV?


It should scale very well since the consumer standard is exactly 4x as many pixels as 1920x1080. There shouldn't be any interpolation. It should just be 4 pixels in a square on a 4k display = 1 1080p pixel.
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Ziggy587
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Ziggy587 Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:53 pm

Cronozilla wrote:In terms of looking at 720p vs 1080p source material ... yeah you can see a difference. It's mostly less blurry.


I'm not saying I don't notice a difference between 720 and 1080p. I do indeed. 1080p looks great. What I'm saying is, since I have a lack of 1080p material then maybe a 720p TV would be a better choice since SD content would look better.
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Re: 720p vs 1080p TV discussion

by Cronozilla Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:30 pm

It was really collective comments about many thoughts in the thread, not necessarily everything is directed at one person (or anyone in particular).

I know you're initial thought is ... lets discuss how to make non HD source material look best on an HD TV. Does 720p give a higher likelihood that the image will look nice vs 1080p?

The main issues are:
TV isn't the same resolution as the source material (nor is it some factor)
TV's aren't good at scaling images ... let alone non-film images
The source isn't a good source - The signal from a composite game console isn't the best signal to start with and you can see artifacts even on an SD CRT.

What I was saying before is that, just because a TV says it's some resolution, doesn't mean it is and that's something to keep in mind (what does a 720p vs 1080p set argument mean if both sets are actually 1080p and one is artificially limited to 720p? That means that set is scaling everything)

TVs have to scale quickly, which means they use the simplest scaling methods that still use some interpolation. Those interpolation techniques are the ones that are fast, but benefit film images, since that's usually what TVs are used for.

In the case of older games it would actually look best if there was NO interpolation at all. It would just scale the image using the simplest possible method, which is just taking pixels and duplicating them. (As opposed to some logic for a better population technique)
TVs don't do that (even for "Game Mode")

720p set vs 1080p set for retro games ... it really doesn't matter, it'll look like shit in either case. Some sets are better than others, but its something that changes annually and it isn't inherit to the panel technology used.

Your best options are then this:

HD CRT
Looks good for most everything ... but you're sacrificing HD quality. It can only go to 1080i (in which case you should use 720p anyway, because interlacing looks like shit), all content is inherently blurry, because it's a CRT. No CRT TV really has the pixel density that a CRT monitor would have, you can't really get crisp images. There's a lot of bleed too. And you have the problem of screen geometry, since it'd be using a digital flat tube. They warp very easily. They're also very expensive. Brand new 8 years ago they were $500 ... used now they're $500. Service fees: $500. Not a cheap option! BUT if you find one that works well and is a good price, go for it, its definitely a nice looking compromise. However, games still don't look quite as nice as on an SD CRT. At least they didn't on mine.


Multiple TVs
A very nice SD CRT for your retro games
A very nice HD TV for your modern games


Single TV
Get a very nice hardware upscaler. Do research about the type of scaling it uses.


Best Option (a.k.a. crazy enthusiast option)
Mod the consoles.
This can be expensive and time consuming, and really difficult ... but if you know someone who can do it, or you can do it yourself, it'll result in the best possible picture quality.

I have seen RGB to HDMI (internal) mods for NES, for example, that properly take the highest quality signal possible and upscale properly, outputting a 1080p signal, and it is the best looking I've ever seen the system.

It's, frankly, amazing looking.


I think the most-best options, are either ... get a quality TV that isn't so slow games are unplayable and then just suck it up that they don't look great. Or, get a hardware upscaler so the image gets properly scaled the way you want AND the TV doesn't have to do as much work.

We really want the TV to be as dumb as possible, it'll make them faster. They're already ludicrously slow. However, people (and service providers) not putting out sources in that comply to what the TV wants makes that harder.

Also, apparently TV engineers are OK with the ridiculous amount of latency in their systems.
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