plasma 720P = 1080P?

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plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:59 pm

A techy guy told me that unless your like a plasma tv technician, you can't tell the difference between a 720p plasma TV and a 1080p plasma tv. His reason was that there is no refresh rate (to speak of) on a plasma TV. Now I thought that the 720 in 720P stood for high def resolution, line per screen. So if I got 720 lines in a scan, vs 1080 lines in a scan, isn't the 1080 better? Is it true that if you have a really fast refresh (approx 2 ms for plasma right?) then you can't really tell the difference?

THanks guys, I gotta read up on this stuff i guess. I was ready to drop like 3K on a plasma when this guy started talkin, and he worked there so I doubt he was doin it for more money, 720p plasma would have been half the price.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:02 am

the 720 in 720p does indeed indicate the vertical resolution of the picture, as does the 1080 in 1080p. The P stands for progressive, as opposed to interlaces, as in 1080i.

It really depends more on the media being displayed, but at this point I would aim for a 1080p display, especially if you're looking at a larger screen.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:20 am

according to what I am reading, I can play a blue ray disc on a 58 inch plasma that is EITHER 720P, or 1080P, either way it looks the same. This is what my friend is saying. And he doesn't have a 720P, it's not like he's biased or anything. He's just tryin to save me money
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:15 am

I'm pretty sure your friend is full of it. Resolution is resolution, an image with less pixels is going to look worse. Unless the pixels are already so small the eye can't tell the difference. TV technology is not yet there. I mean I can even tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on my mom's smallish 36" TV, although it's hard. I would bet you can easily spot the difference on a 58" tv. Response time has nothing to do with it.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:44 am

But there is one point to it all. Viewing distance. You might be able to tell a 36" 720p from a 1080p on a close distance. But back off, to about 3-4 meters. And you wouldnt see jack, Unless the scaler does a piss pore job. But start out with two equal sources with different res.

I mean, unless you actually do have a comparison handy, even DVD will look nice on a 92" screen at the THX-recommended distance.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:53 am

There *is* a refresh rate on all displays - refresh rate literally refers to the number of times the picture is displayed (refreshed) per second (rate). I'd find a new friend; he's an idiot.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:19 am

Aphasia wrote:But there is one point to it all. Viewing distance. You might be able to tell a 36" 720p from a 1080p on a close distance. But back off, to about 3-4 meters. And you wouldnt see jack, Unless the scaler does a piss pore job. But start out with two equal sources with different res.

I can tell from about 5' away, like I said it's hard, but not impossible. I'm sure that from a reasonable distance the average person can tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on a 58" TV.
I mean, unless you actually do have a comparison handy, even DVD will look nice on a 92" screen at the THX-recommended distance.

Just because a DVD looks doesn't mean Blu-Ray doesn't look better.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:44 pm

Never said a Blueray didnt look better, but as long as the images is moving, resolution isnt everything. I rather have a DVD with a good soundtrack than a Blueray/hD with a bad soundtrack for instance. But yeah, im also moving up to HD in a bit since the formats slowly seem to stabilize. But a good quality 720P will actually look almost as good as a normal 1080p.

For instance. Projectorcentral reviewed the new Panasonic AX200, and even though its a 720p projector, they sometimes had a hard time differeing from a 1080p. Their final judgement was that it was a poor-mans 1080p.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:51 pm

His reason was that there is no refresh rate (to speak of) on a plasma TV.

this is interesting. it has a lot to do with progressive versus interlaced but little to do with resolution.

there has to be a refresh rate for any motion picture display technology and my understanding is that plasma can support a quite high refresh or picture update cycle rate. This does diverge off to another interesting artifact about modern digital codecs having vertical and horizontal blanking intervals and overscan and such.

As noted, for viewing distances of 5 to 10 feet, you'll need a 60" screen for nominal human vision to theoretically be able to see the difference between 720 and 1080 resolutions.

Even with the high def DVD formats that support 1080 and 720 the content they provide may or may not take advantage of the full available resolution and the process to get that content to the media may also limit the quality of what you get.

But back to refresh, that gets into the 24 fps typical for movies vs the 30 fps for NTSC (US TV) the the 2,3 pulldown and other techniques to convert between the two. This also gets into flicker rates, human perception of motion, and the issues of persistence of vision versus the display technology. There is some very interesting engineering here.

While I find that many folks are quite happy with standard DVD (480p) on a good quality screen, DVD, and cabling for their home viewing, it is probably a good idea to think about a 1080p TV or monitor if you are going for a 40" or bigger display for future compatibility reasons if no other. The truth is, though, that a 720p display will probably be able to offer as high a quality a picture as you can detect for screen sizes up to 60" or so, especially considering most of the currently available source material.

This is somewhat like megapixels in cameras. That is an easy measure but the internal camera processing and the glass and the intended use can be much more important. For a home TV, such things as the sound system and proper cabling can be very important, too.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:00 pm

The source is very important here. After watching a properly produced 1080p source on a 1080p display - DVD looks horrible.

Hooking your PC up to the display will give you much testing flexibility. You can feed it all many different formats and resolutions. I would be shocked if in the end you decided 720p was 'very similar' to 1080p. (Of course you would need a PC that can properly output a 1080p signal - Blu Ray of course supports 1080p...)

If I were putting a few HD projectors in my bar I would probably use 720p just to save money since picture quality isn't the 'most' important aspect.

In my home, 1080p everywhere - well, until the 2160 line parts cost less than a trip to the moon...

Edit: With proper 'content' 1080p is clearly better than 720p on screens much smaller than 60 inch. I've heard that myth before but countless tests have disproved it long ago. (Just read any review of a 30" LCD.)
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:27 pm

Since everyone has explained so much, I am just gonna tell you straight up:

720P is NOT = 1080P

1080P has twice the number of pixels as 720P so, you will get double the resolution. There is no question about it, 720P != 1080P. Refresh rate has absolutely nothing to do with it.

The tech guy is either an idiot or he is trying to make more money by pushing an old/obsolete product or trying to push a product with more profit margins.

Also, did you hear the tech guy right? Cause, I have heard most tech guys say that 1080i = 1080P on plasma, which is kind of reasonable.

Which store is this BTW?
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:31 pm

The original question was not about 720p resolutsion material vs. 1080p resolution material, but 720p plasma screen vs. 1080p plasma screen.

Important thing here is that THERE IS NO 720p plasma in existence. With 50" screens the choice is between 1920x1080 FullHD plasma and 1360x768 "HD Ready" plasma. Notice that the plasma screen resolution is actually higher than 1280x720. And if we account for the overscanning of video material, then 1360x768 is not that far of being midway between 1280x720 and 1920x1080.

The other important thing is that the compression algorithms that we have, MPEG2 and especially H.264 and VC1 are generally NOT able to use all the sharpness that the resolution numbers can theoretically offer. I.e. if you produce an image (especially a moving image) that is as sharp as a 1920x1080 image can be - and then compress it using a H.264 or VC1 (or even MPEG2), then the image will lose quite a bit of its sharpness. It will become noticeably softer. The point being that as the compressed image contains a lot less of the fine detail than the source material, it can actually be shown on a noticeably lower resolution panel than 1920x1080 without considerable loss of detail.

The first result is that even on a 1360x768 resolution screen, the 1920x1080 material can look a LOT better than 1280x720 material. In other words, you can see most of the quality advances of 1920x1080 material has over 1280x720 material even on a 1360x768 plasma screen. ASSUMING the screen has good scaling algorithms. Cheap LG or Samsung screens probably aren't as good in that regard. Pioneed Kuro is impressively good.

Oh, and one thing that hasn't been that much discussed is that not all 1920x1080 movies are as sharp as they can be. Seriously, a lot of the 1920x1080 movies aren't really that much sharper than what could be shown in 1280x720. That is certainly true for a lot of the classic stuff, but to a lesser degree that is true for modern movies too. I.e. not all movies are digitized/produced to the same level.

Of course other important points have already been discussed: that we won't actually see a lot of the resolution edge 1920x1080 has over 1280x720 if we sit on a couch, reasonable distance away from screen. Yes, 1920x1080 is visibly sharper than 1280x720 even from such a distance. but the difference is MUCH less than what you see when you are pixel-peeping with your nose against the screen. I generally watch a 50" screen (Pioneer Kuro) 8' away from it. In other words slightly closer than twice the screen diagonal. Yes, good 1920x1080 material still looks noticeably better than 1280x720 material.

But I bought a 1360x768 resolution screen instead of 1920x1080 screen, although both were available to me. I actually got to look at them side by side: both Pioneer Kuro screens. With the same material. My opinion is, that FullHD screen does give a better image if you are so close to the screen that you can actually see the pixels. Especially with plasma screens, when the digital PWM noise is visible in pixels, the higher resolution panel looks better. But if I back away to 8' in front of a 50" screen (it still looks mighty large to my eyes), the difference is... really neglible.

What is NOT neglible, is the difference between different makes and models, different manufacturers, different technologies. I find that the colours and contrast and general "feel" of the image is BY FAR better on Pioneer Kuro screens (yes, they cost A LOT more than the competition too), than for example Sony LCD, or Samsung or LG or Panasonic plasma or LCD. The difference between them is VERY visible. Even 8' away. Yes, it is a taste thing. I do believe that there are people that will choose LCD over plasma. Who would choose Sony LCD over Pioneer Plasma or something like that.

Not me though, I admit to being a through-and-through fan of Pioneer Plasma screen - ESPECIALLY after all the useless image processing, especially noise reduction, is turned COMPLETELY off. Once all the noise reduction and excessive sharpening and contrast boosting is turned off, then I prefer any plasma to any LCD and those differences are HUGE. Compared to the *neglible* visible difference between a 1920x1080 screen vs a 1360x768 screen when viewed at 8' distance.

And I don't agree that DVD looks horrible on Pioneer plasma screens (either of them). Come to think again, US DVD-s do look a lot closer of horrible, them being only 720x480 in resolution. But my being in Europe and all of my own DVD-s being 720x576 resolution DVD-s, they do look noticeably better than the Region 1 DVD-s I have borrowed from friends and I wouldn't call them horrible by any stretch of the imagination. Of course Pioneer Kuro probably has one of the best, if not the best, upscaling engines under the hood, which don't produce *any* jaggedness at all around curves, no matter how close you look at them. DVD is just softer than HD. Yes, quite a lot softer than Full HD. And most noticeable of all, there are visible sharpening "halos" around sharp edges. Which are not there with 1920x1080 material (1280x720 material is somewhere in-between).

But still, frankly, I rather watch better films that are available on DVD than a bad movie in HD. And given my taste in movies, that generally means watching 98% of DVD-s and 2% of HD movies. I am not into action and feelgood and comedy genres that Hollywood produces (and releases on HD). And for me it is much more important that the screen is capable of displaying SD content beautifully than the really neglibly small quality edge (when viewed at a reasonable distance) that FullHD screens have over HD ready screens.

In other words, by concentrating on resolution above all other differences, is stupid imho. There are A LOT MORE differences between screens, besides resolution. Especially colour rendition, scaling engine (sharpening artefacts, SD image jaggedness, deinterlacing artefacts), noise reduction (or better yet, the lack thereof)... The list is long. And IMHO all of these other differences are actually much more visible than the resolution difference. When viewed from a reasonable distance (which in my case is 50" screen at 8' distance which is actually rather close given the screen size, I would think).

I think that was pretty much the idea that the original posters' friend was trying to convey, but concentrated into mindlessly black-and-white "720p = 1080p" claim, it of course loses all of its point.

Oh, and plasmas do have a refresh rate almost just as the CRT screens have. Pioneer Kuros appear to have four refresh rates: 60Hz, 72Hz, 75Hz and 100Hz. The choose a refresh rate based on the source material (60Hz is only used for PC sources - and the flicker is definitely visible). With video it uses one of the other three.

No, 1080p does NOT equal 720p in terms of quality. But IMHO, non-FullHD large-screen TV-s can be better than FullHD large-screen TV-s. In other words, they CAN be better at things that are more important than resolution. Of course cheapo LG 1360x768 plasma is nowhere near the image quality of 1920x1080 Pioneer Kuro, but also, IMHO, 1360x768 Kuro *IS* better than the best Sony 1920x1080 LCD they have. Of course 1920x1080 Kuro is better still, but one would have to decide themselves if it's worth the price difference.

And notice to the ones who are going to compare themselves: don't do it in a brightly lit showroom. You would NOT, not in a million lifetimes, enjoy the movies in a room lit the way that showrooms are generally lit. And that lighting difference WILL skew the perception towards always preferring the screens that are brighter. No matter what contrast they provide. In reality, people like to enjoy movies in a rather dimly lit rooms, where contrast is much more important than brightness. Compare the screens in a similar environment. Imho it is: 1. much more realistic way to compare stuff, and 2. will take away all of the appeal that LCD screens appear to have over plasmas in showrooms.
Last edited by skallas on Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:39 pm

While 1080p > 720p with everything else equal, the problem is that depending on your budget, you might be choosing between a really top notch 720p set, and a poor quality 1080p set. There's a lot more to image quality than just resolution, and as others have said resolution is perhaps a less important factor with smaller screens. The only way to approach this is to set your budget, then try to get to see as many screens as you can that match the features you're looking for. Let your eyes be the judge, and don't read too much into paper specifications.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:41 pm

Couldn't agree more with MrJP.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:46 pm

BobbinThreadbare wrote:I'm pretty sure your friend is full of it. Resolution is resolution, an image with less pixels is going to look worse. Unless the pixels are already so small the eye can't tell the difference. TV technology is not yet there. I mean I can even tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on my mom's smallish 36" TV, although it's hard. I would bet you can easily spot the difference on a 58" tv. Response time has nothing to do with it.


That doesn't sound like a fair comparison. A 1080p TV will always look a little bad when displaying 720p content. I've found that 480p content looks better on a 480p tv than a similarly sized 1080p TV.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:07 pm

1) There's no such thing as "FullHD". It's a marketing term. There are two ATSC approved HD resolutions: 1280x720 and 1920x1080. Neither one is called "FullHD".

2) "HDReady" is not another term for 1280x720 displays. "HDReady" displays are those which satisify the ATSC resolution requirement but don't have an integrated tuner to pick up/decode HD signals.

3) 1366x768 displays are bastards, and they are not all created equal. Many 1366x768 displays add in an extra scaling operation when dealing with 1080i/p material that makes for degraded quality. Instead of going from 1080i/p to 768p, these displays go from 1080i/p to 720p back up to 768p. Not ideal. Unfortunately, true 1280x720 displays are all but extinct.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:38 pm

Ok. Sorry I used those terms. In my post, everyone can replace FullHD with 1920x1080. I certainly thought the term means as much.

I did *not* refer to "HD ready" as a term referring to TV-s with 1280x720. I have so far seen the (marketing) term being used for this 1360x768 "bastard". IMHO TV manufacturers use this term for TV-s that have higher resolution than standard TV-s, but lower resolution than 1920x1080 (in which case they use a marketing term Full HD instead).

The resolution that most often both LCD and Plasma TV-s generally have when they are higher res than SD and lower res than 1920x1080, is 1360x768. Yes, it's a bastard, but I don't agree it's worse than having a 1280x720.

The reason is, that TV-s don't show you a non-scaled, every image pixel equals one screen pixel anyway. And that is because of overscanning. All TV-s I have seen, cut off about 5% of screen area on all sides when they think source material is "video". In effect, they "enlarge" the image so that about 5% of all sides is "left behind a plastic border" of a TV set. Yes, it can generally be turned off, but by default it's usually there.

So, even if a TV would have 1280x720 pixels, the 1280x720 material is often scaled anyway. To something bigger than 1280x720, then the "leftover" borders are cut off and the result is shown on 1280x720.

But I am certain of one thing: at least Pioneer Kuro does *NOT* scale down a 1920x1080 image to a 1280x720 and then upscale that again to 1360x768. My TV is connected with a HDMI/DVI cable to an ATI video card, which fortunately can do a 1920x1080 24Hz, 25Hz and 60Hz output besides 1280x720 at 50Hz and 60Hz and I can see how desktop fonts and graphics look on TV. 1920x1080 looks far sharper than 1280x720 does.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:53 pm

skallas wrote:I did *not* refer to "HD ready" as a term referring to TV-s with 1280x720. I have so far seen the (marketing) term being used for this 1360x768 "bastard". IMHO TV manufacturers use this term for TV-s that have higher resolution than standard TV-s, but lower resolution than 1920x1080 (in which case they use a marketing term Full HD instead).
I've not seen that with the "HDready" thing. If that's true, it's a damn shame.

skallas wrote:Yes, it's a bastard, but I don't agree it's worse than having a 1280x720.
Oh, it's definitely worse. Especially with 720p content, like sports.

skallas wrote:The reason is, that TV-s don't show you a non-scaled, every image pixel equals one screen pixel anyway.
False. Fixed pixel displays like plasma, LCD, LCOS, and DLP support 1:1, and there's an option just about every one of those TVs menus to display 1:1.

skallas wrote:And that is because of overscanning. All TV-s I have seen, cut off about 5% of screen area on all sides when they think source material is "video".
Nope, you can have overscan with 1:1 pixel mapping. My SXRD set is a prime example: it's a RPTV, it's displaying 1:1, but some of the pixels are hidden by the framing of the TV.

skallas wrote:In effect, they "enlarge" the image so that about 5% of all sides is "left behind a plastic border" of a TV set. Yes, it can generally be turned off, but by default it's usually there.
Yeah, it's a setting in the menu. You know why it's there? To prevent seeing garbage with NTSC sources that would be visible if you did 1:1. And watching NTSC on a fixed pixel, HDTV is not a good idea anyway, because it's ugly.

skallas wrote:So, even if a TV would have 1280x720 pixels, the 1280x720 material is often scaled anyway.
Only if you let the TV do it. And if you do, you're wrong.

skallas wrote:But I am certain of one thing: at least Pioneer Kuro does *NOT* scale down a 1920x1080 image to a 1280x720 and then upscale that again to 1360x768. My TV is connected with a HDMI/DVI cable to an ATI video card, which fortunately can do a 1920x1080 24Hz, 25Hz and 60Hz output besides 1280x720 at 50Hz and 60Hz and I can see how desktop fonts and graphics look on TV. 1920x1080 looks far sharper than 1280x720 does.
Yes, the Pioneer Kuros aren't cheap sets, and they do the scaling properly. I know, I used to own one.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:57 pm

Vrock wrote:
skallas wrote:I did *not* refer to "HD ready" as a term referring to TV-s with 1280x720. I have so far seen the (marketing) term being used for this 1360x768 "bastard". IMHO TV manufacturers use this term for TV-s that have higher resolution than standard TV-s, but lower resolution than 1920x1080 (in which case they use a marketing term Full HD instead).
I've not seen that with the "HDready" thing. If that's true, it's a damn shame.
Yep, it is, but marketing people like to come up with all sorts of weird names and then use them in all sorts of weird ways. "Netburst architecture" for example.

With hindsight it would probably have been better, less controversial if I wouldn't have used these marketing names at all. I knowingly tried to only use 1920x1080 and 1280x720. When I basically repeated some assertions, I sometimes replaced the numbers with marketingspeak - or what I thought would be a correct marketingspeak for those numbers. It should be noted that "marketingspeak" in Europe may differ from that in US.

Vrock wrote:
skallas wrote:Yes, it's a bastard, but I don't agree it's worse than having a 1280x720.
Oh, it's definitely worse. Especially with 720p content, like sports.
Ok, have to admit, I don't watch sports. I am a movie person all the way (don't even have a broadcast TV AT ALL, I despise broadcast TV, my antenna cable lays on the floor, safe distance (=2m) away from TV). The only 50/60Hz stuff I watch is art and music videos. Everything else is 24/25Hz. And I have had a pleasure of having a decent deinterlacing/scaling engine in my TV.

Vrock wrote:
skallas wrote:The reason is, that TV-s don't show you a non-scaled, every image pixel equals one screen pixel anyway.
False. Fixed pixel displays like plasma, LCD, LCOS, and DLP support 1:1, and there's an option just about every one of those TVs menus to display 1:1.
Yes, an option. How big a percentage of users actually use it? Home cinema people who buy expensive projectors, yes, they would. But an average plasma or LCD TV buyer? Hardly.

Vrock wrote:
skallas wrote:So, even if a TV would have 1280x720 pixels, the 1280x720 material is often scaled anyway.
Only if you let the TV do it. And if you do, you're wrong.
I think you wanted to say "stupid", instead on wrong, but yes, I probably agree. The only argument against that is probably that, most buyers actually are stupid and that most of the new material where quality really counts (BluRay, HDDVD) will come in 1920x1080 anyway and for a long time to come. I basically view 1280x720 as an interim format that will not stay with us for long. The only use for it that I see is H.264 HD movie rips floating around the net. 4.37G 1280x720 movies actually look real good. Surprisingly good actually. And I don't see scaling to 1360x768 hurt it at all, even when I view it at close distance. I can, after all watch them at 1:1 if I want to (when I tried it I set DVI out resolution to 1360x768 and turned off all scaling in MPlayerC (Video Frame -> Normal)), and I have compared the result to an image where this 1280x720 has been scaled to fit the screen (I set DVI out to 1280x720 and let the TV do the scaling)... And well, I don't see the scaled version being any worse than the original. Only slightly bigger.

Vrock wrote:Yes, the Pioneer Kuros aren't cheap sets, and they do the scaling properly. I know, I used to own one.
You used to own a Kuro, sold it and got a rear projection set? Can you tell what didn't you like about a Kuro and why did you opt for a rear projection set? As much as I have seen them, I have not really liked the colours and contrast of rear projection tellies. I think it would take a really big room that requires a really big screen to even consider such a change. Especially considering that Kuros have only been on the market for what? 3 quarters? 2 sets in three quarters? I have changed tellies once in 10 years. The last one was early, high quality Sony Super Trinitron 50Hz, before the quality and price started to drop dramatically. I hated 100Hz TV-s and I have hated almost all the flat panels built to date. All have had bleak colours and if you'd turn saturation up they have got uglier still. Compared to beautiful skin colours of the early Super Trinitrons. Only the latest projectors (some better LCD-s and especially the only LCOS I have seen - Canon) and a few select plasmas have I really liked. I can't stand DLP rainbows though.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:40 pm

skallas wrote:You used to own a Kuro, sold it and got a rear projection set? Can you tell what didn't you like about a Kuro and why did you opt for a rear projection set?
It was actually the 5070HD, last year's model before Pioneer started calling them Kuros. Essentially the same set as the 5080HD, which is in the new Kuro branding. Anyway, my main beef with it was that it turned out my eyes were susceptible to seeing phosphor decay on plasmas. This manifests itself as a blue and yellow smear in high contrast scenes. It gave me headaches and was pretty much intolerable for viewing in the dark. So it had to go. The other problem with the set (one that plagues Kuros today) was innaccurate color of green. Greens were so overpronounced I had to dial back the color quite a bit to get a normal looking image, and of course that desaturated red and blue in the process.

skallas wrote:As much as I have seen them, I have not really liked the colours and contrast of rear projection tellies.
I purchased a Sony 50A3000 SXRD set. While it can't match the blacks of the the Pioneer plasma, its colors are spot on accurate, and the contrast is quite good for my needs. Cnet rated it just a hair under the 5080HD, and it costs about $1000 less. 120hz, motion enhancer, and 12 bit color capabilities were bonuses. http://reviews.cnet.com/projection-tvs/ ... prod.txt.1

skallas wrote:I think it would take a really big room that requires a really big screen to even consider such a change.
My SXRD rear projection set is a 50 inch set and is only 14 inches deep. It's not any larger than the Pioneer it replaced. It actually weighs about 15 pounds less than the Pioneer w/ integrated stand did.

skallas wrote:Especially considering that Kuros have only been on the market for what? 3 quarters? 2 sets in three quarters? I have changed tellies once in 10 years. The last one was early, high quality Sony Super Trinitron 50Hz, before the quality and price started to drop dramatically. I hated 100Hz TV-s and I have hated almost all the flat panels built to date. All have had bleak colours and if you'd turn saturation up they have got uglier still. Compared to beautiful skin colours of the early Super Trinitrons. Only the latest projectors (some better LCD-s and especially the only LCOS I have seen - Canon) and a few select plasmas have I really liked. I can't stand DLP rainbows though.
As far as color accuracy goes, I'd stack my 50A3000 up against any recent CRT, the colors are that good. I'm still waiting for a modern display that can match the black level of a good old CRT, though. Plasmas come close, but since the phosphor decay bothers me, they aren't an option. Oh well.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:25 pm

What about rear projection televisions? I was looking at this Sony unit and it seems decent. I do not see that it supports DLP but is DLP worth getting?

http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productD ... oid=184834
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:41 pm

dolemitecomputers wrote:What about rear projection televisions? I was looking at this Sony unit and it seems decent. I do not see that it supports DLP but is DLP worth getting?

http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productD ... oid=184834


I had a 42" Sony 3LCD take a dump on me a few months ago. I bought it two years ago and it had a decent picture. Black levels and SSE (silk screen effect) were the only real negatives. Screen uniformity varies a bit, meaning you may see faint blue or red blotches in the corners. Some misconvergence issues as well but not really noticeable.

DLPs have the rainbow effect problem.

If you do get a RPTV, be sure to get an extended warranty because they are known to have more problems than flat-panels.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:07 pm

Vrock wrote:It was actually the 5070HD, last year's model before Pioneer started calling them Kuros. Essentially the same set as the 5080HD, which is in the new Kuro branding.
That is not true. 8. generation Pioneer plasma is a completely new panel. It looks very different too. In a normally lit room, with power off, a 8. gen screen looks black, 7. gen screen looks grey. Even turned on, 8. gen screen contrast is way higher than 7. gen contrast. In specs, the numbers are 1:4000 for 7. gen and 1:20000 for 8. gen 1920x1080, 1:16000 for 8. gen 1360x768. I have 8. gen 1360x768 50" and with all the contrast enhancing software gimmicks turned off and brightness and contrast set so that a grayscale gradient 0..255 from a computer looks so that *all* patches are different when you look closely (even RGB 0,0,0 and RGB 1,1,1 are distinct) - something that not even the best computer monitors can usually match - then, measured using a digital SLR exposure meter, I measured the contrast range to be 1:8000. I am pretty sure that in the similar taxing situation, the 7.gen screen would have produced around 1:2000. Measured basically the same way (but without calibrating for perfect grayscale gradient) Canon XEED LCOS gave me 1:900 contrast. And a baby Sanyo PLC-XU73 with its tiny 0.6" LCDs gave 1:200 (so far one of the few "cheap" projectors I have liked - a lot of allowances made of course considering the price). And Sanyo PLV-Z4 with auto-iris turned off gave 1:400. I once measured an image on my CRT TV the same way, and got around 1:3000.

Vrock wrote:Anyway, my main beef with it was that it turned out my eyes were susceptible to seeing phosphor decay on plasmas.
I know what you mean. I have seen them only when I specifically look for them, and even then mostly on B/W scenes only. And I watch movies exclusively in the dark. Then again, by far the most of my movies are NOT action. I have not really noticed them when I have not looked for them - unlike with single-DLP projectors, but I certainly do see them when I look for them. And as I know people who don't see them even if I tell them how to look, then it is sounds reasonable that some people might be more sensitive to it than me. :)

Vrock wrote:The other problem with the set (one that plagues Kuros today) was innaccurate color of green. Greens were so overpronounced I had to dial back the color quite a bit to get a normal looking image, and of course that desaturated red and blue in the process.
And you know why that is? It's because the phosphors Pioneer uses basically represent the AdobeRGB colourspace, which is has MUCH wider gamut toward greens than the usual sRGB colourspace DVD-s are targeted for. You should have checked out the ColourSpace option in the ProCinema -> ColourDetail menu, which can be set to 1 or 2. 1 (the default) is the one that represents the AdobeRGB colourspace (with oversaturated colours, especially greens and purplish skincolours). The colourspace "2" represents the classic sRGB though. Pioneer has the default setting as ColourSpace1 and negative colour saturation dialed in to counteract the otherwise oversaturated colours. But it all ends up looking quite wrong, I agree. Much better solution is to select ColourSpace2, and dial in an increased colour saturation (my default is +5). That way the problem you talk about isn't there and I couldn't be happier.

Vrock wrote:
skallas wrote:I think it would take a really big room that requires a really big screen to even consider such a change.
My SXRD rear projection set is a 50 inch set and is only 14 inches deep. It's not any larger than the Pioneer it replaced. It actually weighs about 15 pounds less than the Pioneer w/ integrated stand did.
No, I actually thought that you replaced a smaller plasma with a bigger rear projection set, a move which would have made sense to me only with a really big room.

Now, at least I understand your reasons. I may not agree with all of them, but I at least understand them. I haven't seen the particular rear projection set you have, but one of my workmates has a slightly older Sony rear projection set that I had learned to dislike. And I passionately dislike the look of current Sony LCD screens. Hence my surprise.

Vrock wrote:As far as color accuracy goes, I'd stack my 50A3000 up against any recent CRT, the colors are that good. I'm still waiting for a modern display that can match the black level of a good old CRT, though. Plasmas come close, but since the phosphor decay bothers me, they aren't an option. Oh well.
Have to check it out then. I am no way going to switch, but it would still be interesting to see what the other options are. If not for anything else, then just in case somebody asks my opinion. And that happens quite often, actually.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:02 am

skallas wrote:That is not true. 8. generation Pioneer plasma is a completely new panel. It looks very different too. In a normally lit room, with power off, a 8. gen screen looks black, 7. gen screen looks grey. Even turned on, 8. gen screen contrast is way higher than 7. gen contrast. In specs, the numbers are 1:4000 for 7. gen and 1:20000 for 8. gen 1920x1080, 1:16000 for 8. gen 1360x768. I have 8. gen 1360x768 50" and with all the contrast enhancing software gimmicks turned off and brightness and contrast set so that a grayscale gradient 0..255 from a computer looks so that *all* patches are different when you look closely (even RGB 0,0,0 and RGB 1,1,1 are distinct) - something that not even the best computer monitors can usually match - then, measured using a digital SLR exposure meter, I measured the contrast range to be 1:8000. I am pretty sure that in the similar taxing situation, the 7.gen screen would have produced around 1:2000. Measured basically the same way (but without calibrating for perfect grayscale gradient) Canon XEED LCOS gave me 1:900 contrast. And a baby Sanyo PLC-XU73 with its tiny 0.6" LCDs gave 1:200 (so far one of the few "cheap" projectors I have liked - a lot of allowances made of course considering the price). And Sanyo PLV-Z4 with auto-iris turned off gave 1:400. I once measured an image on my CRT TV the same way, and got around 1:3000.
Contrast ratios aside, the 5080HD and the 5070HD rated virtually identical on CNET. They both have the same problems with the color green, at any rate.

skallas wrote:And you know why that is? It's because the phosphors Pioneer uses basically represent the AdobeRGB colourspace, which is has MUCH wider gamut toward greens than the usual sRGB colourspace DVD-s are targeted for. You should have checked out the ColourSpace option in the ProCinema -> ColourDetail menu, which can be set to 1 or 2. 1 (the default) is the one that represents the AdobeRGB colourspace (with oversaturated colours, especially greens and purplish skincolours). The colourspace "2" represents the classic sRGB though. Pioneer has the default setting as ColourSpace1 and negative colour saturation dialed in to counteract the otherwise oversaturated colours. But it all ends up looking quite wrong, I agree. Much better solution is to select ColourSpace2, and dial in an increased colour saturation (my default is +5). That way the problem you talk about isn't there and I couldn't be happier.
Interesting. Those options are not present on the 5070HD, and Cnet wasn't able to dial in the green any better with their review of the 5080HD. Why Pioneer uses that color space is beyond me, it looks like crap to my eyes. Anything that's green screams at you, it's like the trees are all yelling "LOOK I'M A TREE!!!".

skallas wrote:I haven't seen the particular rear projection set you have, but one of my workmates has a slightly older Sony rear projection set that I had learned to dislike.
The older SXRD sets can't match the 3000 series. It's a shame Sony isn't going to make any more. My only dislike with the set is occasional SSE, but I find that less objectionable than the blue/yellow smears I see with plasmas. Watching Casablanca in HD-DVD on my old 5070HD was painful.

skallas wrote:And I passionately dislike the look of current Sony LCD screens.
I demoed a Sony 46XBR4 in my house for 30 days and wound up returning it. The colors were nice and the contrast decent, but sitting one seat out of the sweet spot resulted in a washed out picture. Also, the set has issues with backlight bleeding and banding. I expect more out of a $3000 TV.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:21 am

VRock wrote:Interesting. Those options are not present on the 5070HD, and Cnet wasn't able to dial in the green any better with their review of the 5080HD. Why Pioneer uses that color space is beyond me, it looks like crap to my eyes. Anything that's green screams at you, it's like the trees are all yelling "LOOK I'M A TREE!!!".
And it has to... as long as it is in colourspace1. I don't know about menus on american models, but in European models, the most important item is in: [Home Menu] -> Picture -> Pro Adjust -> Colour Detail -> Colour Space. And it was there, basically in the same place on 7. gen screens too, only the menu name in Pro Adjust was different if my memory serves (a friend has 60" 7. gen Pioneer). And no, I have absolutely no respect for Cnet type reviews.

The problem you encountered has basically everything to do with what is wrong with electronics industry nowadays. You can't just make good gear and expect it to sell. You have to devise all kinds of gimmicks so that marketing people can put up large slogans that look, our device has a feature X, and the numbers on feature Y are better than the next guy. Few people actually make a choice based on what their eyes can see.

No, I am not saying you are one of those.

But for the general public, they basically have to have lots of features. And for the features to sell, their effects has to be visible. From marketing standpoint it is better to screw something up about a picture and have a very handsome and knowledgeable-looking salesperson explain that it is the latest and greatest feature on earth and it makes your love life better. All current electronics has boatloads of that kind of useless junk in them.

Fortunately, on better gear you can turn this stuff off.

This Colourspace thing is one of those items. For everybody and their dog it would be better if the TV would be set at the standard sRGB colourspace so the colours would look as meant by the directors etc. But marketing persons and salespersons know, that on a sales floor your screen has to be brighter, more colourful and sharper than the next guy. Hence the colourspace 1 default, with overblown colours, especially greens.

There actually are situations where having AdobeRGB available as a display colourspace is very beneficial, but it definitely is NOT a good idea for ordinary people watching DVD-s and broadcast TV.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:51 am

Maybe it is a European thing then, but the non-Elite Pioneer plasmas don't have the colorspace adjustment..at least the 7th gen models didn't. I am with you about how TVs are marketed, though. An accurate picture doesn't sell.

Why the distaste for Cnet? I find their reviews to be pretty good. Especially when they're substantiated by other independent sites and ISF calibrators.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:43 am

How would you guys rate the Westinghouse TX-42F430S? I just noticed that the price dropped to just $1000. With 4 HDMI ports I think it's a really good deal. I have a friend who has the previous model 42" Westinghouse and am quite impressed by it for the price.
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:53 am

Taddeusz wrote:How would you guys rate the Westinghouse TX-42F430S? I just noticed that the price dropped to just $1000. With 4 HDMI ports I think it's a really good deal. I have a friend who has the previous model 42" Westinghouse and am quite impressed by it for the price.
Westys are cheap LCDs. As such, you should expect to encounter all the issues you'd see with cheap LCDs, the most noticeable of which are poor blacks, backlight bleeding, and uniformity issues. They're probably fine for non-picky types who'll watch full screen stuff in daylight, but I wouldn't want to watch a 'scope aspect ratio movie in the dark with one. Here's Cnet's review of the 47" model in that line for reference: http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-tvs/ ... ml?tag=txt
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:12 am

Well, my financial situation isn't as such that I could afford the caliber of TV you guys have been discussing. Is there a TV that you could recommend in that price range that would have a better picture?
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Re: plasma 720P = 1080P?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:32 am

Taddeusz wrote:Well, my financial situation isn't as such that I could afford the caliber of TV you guys have been discussing. Is there a TV that you could recommend in that price range that would have a better picture?
My 50A3000 can be had for $1500 if you look. Of course, it's a projection TV, and it comes with its own tradeoffs. What are you going to use the TV for?
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