Link of the Month: Why You Want 1080p

This Link of the Month delivers probably more than you ever wanted to know about 1080p, the current high water mark for quality of digital media presentation on flat-panel HDTVs and Blu-ray and HD DVD players. But a number of Scot’s Newsletter readers have written to ask me why I felt it was important to pay extra for 1080p with 1,920-by-1,024-pixel resolution when I made My Panasonic Plasma Purchase back in June.

This article, High Definition 1080p TV: Why You Should Be Concerned, authored by Brian Florian and Colin Miller from the March 2007 edition of the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, explains and shows why 1080p is better than 1080i and lesser-resolution HDTV formats. If you’re buying a large flat-panel HDTV that’s 50 inches or larger in size and you’re into watching movies, the 1080p format delivers noticeably better quality with a Blu-ray or HD DVD player.

While I’m revisiting this subject, it’s probably worth pointing out that Consumer Reports just picked the Panasonic’s 50-inch 1080p HDTV model TH-50PZ700U as it’s best rated plasma. That’s the model I purchased. The same Consumer Reports article (in the November 2007 issue) provides some insights into the advantages of 1080p. CR makes the point that there are 720p sets that provide at least as good picture quality as some 1080p sets. That’s especially the case with HDTVs that are smaller than 50 inches, where the quality improvement is harder to discern. If you’re not a movie lover or if you’re buying a second widescreen TV, 720p is probably just fine for, say, a 42-inch set.

7 Responses to “Link of the Month: Why You Want 1080p”

  1. amf1932 Says:

    I was just getting ready to buy the 50″ Panasonic plasma, but after I found out the electrical requirements(over 700+ watts)
    I decided to sacrifice a little shadow detail for a much more efficient 50″ Sony XBR4. Since my TV sets are turned on for many hours during the day & night, my electrical bill would be extremely high.

  2. Scot Says:

    Understood. I wrote about the power requirements a few months back. I agree it’s a lot. It’s worth it in my book, though. But, then, I don’t have my set on all the time. If I were in your shoes, I might have done exactly what you did.

    I recommended a 1080p Bravia model Sony LCD in Computerworld’s holiday 2006 gift guide. The 50″ XBR4 is part of a set of nine new Bravia models introduced in June with advanced features. Great choice!

  3. HumanJHawkins Says:

    Do LCD TVs have a lower electrical requirement? I know there are currently no huge ones in affordable price ranges, but this is a pretty important long term issue.

    Thanks in advance for any comments addressing this.

  4. GlenH Says:

    Well, I read the entire article, and I agree with it completely. Except… I just bought a 50″ 720p plasma from SAMS Club for $1300. It replaced a 36″ legacy (CRT) TV. So far the comments have been, “it’s so bright!,” “what an amazing picture!,” “Wow!,” etc. We have been watching all of our action movies over again. 🙂 The only thing that looks fuzzy to me are some of the low quality channels from my cable provider.

    The real beauty is, NEXT year I can spend the $1700 I saved over the Sony XBR4 and get a 72″ 1080p model (which will undoubtedly be below $2000 by this time next year), and give the 50″ 720p to the kids for their console games.

  5. TMI Says:

    I my self have looked very seriously into the Plasma and LCD digital TVs especially the 1080p with a forty or fifty inch screen and a ton of specs,the price for these are rather high in the UK which could cost around £2000 or more for a good brand.
    What interests me are the laser TVs that the Australians have conceived or are about to swamp the market with in November,this was noted on a news flash about six months back,hope its not another Microsoft blog.

  6. TMI Says:

    Should have left a link here goes,Laser TVs.
    http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/10/laser-tvs-launching-christmas-2007/

  7. CRuybal Says:

    Great choice. I just bought the same tv in September. Originally wanted LCD due to power consumption, but once I saw LCD and Plasma side by side for a true comparison, the plasma’s picture quality is much better.

    I was able to get the tv for under $2400 by watching sales and using local store’s price match.

    My Monster power center reports that at full draw, including my stereo receiver and Directv DVR, my entertainment center draws about 6.5 amps, or 780 watts. That’s peak power though, the average looks to be around 5 amps (600 watts). Darker scenes take less power obviously, and I’ve seen it as low as 4.0 in a space-type of scene.

    The receiver and dvr pull about 1 amp, so the tv is using 3-5 amps. Since it’s only on in the evenings, I don’t think it’s that bad of a draw. No worse than leaving a pc on 24×7.

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