Friday, October 20, 2006

Is a 1080p Flat Panel TV Worth it?

In short, yes, definitely. The level of detail at 1920 x 1080 is quite impressive. Don't be fooled by the fact that lesser panels accept 1080i. These models most commonly have a native resolution of 1366 x 768. They call this "native" 720p even though broadcast hd (720p) is 1280 x 720. This means you'll basically be scaling ALL HD content whether its 720p or 1080i. (Yes, I do realize that 1366->1280 scaling is probably not noticable). Even so, the majority of HD content is of the 1080i flavor. There is clearly a noticable difference between watching 1080i on a 1080p screen vs. that same signal on a 720p monitor. The difference by the numbers is quite staggering. Working out the multiplication, 720p offers roughly 1 million pixels where 1080i/p provides a resolution of approx. 2 million pixels. Thats quite a difference despite many claiming there really "isn't" one. Don't fall into the "accepts" 1080i trap , you're missing out on quite a bit of resolution. While I won't discount that 720p looks great compared to standard def, it can be quite a bit better.

Currently there are a number of 1080p LCDs on the market, however, there are very few plasmas. Expect more of both varieties this holiday as prices will continue to drop. When it comes time to take the plunge, be sure to check out the TV in person. The specs the manufacturers supply these days are a joke and should be taken worth a grain of salt. The best judge is of course, your own eyes. Just make sure you've seen 1080i on a native 1920 x 1080 screen before you buy a 720p version. You may not think the extra money is worth the difference but you should definitely see it for yourself.

Let me know what you think!

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Posted by TheTech @ 3:48 AM

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