Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

July 2, 2008

1080p or 720p? What’s the difference?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 11:56 am

I’m in the market for a new TV set. I’ve decided that I want a plasma, and that I want something around 48 or 50″ (no bigger than 50″ I don’t have the room)

Other than that, I know it has to be HD. What I don’t know about is 1080p and 720p. It’s obvious to me that 1080p is higher, but how much higher? The 720p seem to entail a lot of cost savings. Is it worth it for the 1080p?

I’ve heard that if you have an upscaling DVD player it doesn’t really matter. I’ve also heard that you really only get the benefits of 1080p if you have a blu-ray player. Is that true?

If anybody here has input, please help me decide on a TV. It’s all about picture quality (especially for hockey, baseball and football games). I have a BOSE system, so sound doesn’t really matter as I won’t be using it.


  1. oh boy – tough question to answer. i worked in advertising for 6 years, so my outlook on quality is a bit stricter than most.

    heres the best answer out there:

    if you dont want to read through those five pages though, the bottom line is to buy 1080p, and just make sure it really does display the full 1920×1080 lines of resolution. you would be surprised how many name brand sets out there actually display a lower resolution despite the “1080”claim.

    there are a few issues the article above doesnt cover- namely, source content and longevity.

    most broadcast and cable networks have their own preference of 1080p vs 720p. so if you want to watch something in it’s native format, do some research on that and pick the tv that matches you favorite networks. (most shows master at 1080, but broadcaster convert (or dont) and transmit in their preferred format)

    720p is best for watch high motion content (ie. sports). The p stands for progressive and typical runs at 60 full frames per second. 1080p is actually 1080p24.. which is converted into 60 fields per second. main difference between frames and fields are that frames are full frames, whereas fields are each half-frames- so the motion on a 720p60 doesnt quite look the same as the motion on a 1080p24. however, 1080 gives you more clarity. there is more resolution. so you get better detail in the picture.

    eventually, you’ll be buying a new tv set anyways, bc 1080p60 may become the new mastering format- and 60 full frames at 1080 lines of resolution is better than anything available right now.

    oh yea- one more thing. regardless of what you get, chances are you’ll be looking at a signal that was compressed to shit. as cable companies offer more HD channels, they have to fit more and more data down the same sized pipe. also cable companies are known for compressing, and recompressing content at various points in the chain. satellite and over-the-air hd look dramatically different because they don’t have to worry about that. if quality becomes an issue, they can just launch another satellite and get more channels without loosing quality.

    check here for the issue: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24238071/

    then again, if it rains and snows and weather is shit, you’ll be pissed you didnt stick with cable.

    all of these factors are why i have yet to buy a tv for my apt. im happy watching abc, nbc, fox and everything else online without paying a dime to more to brighthouse.

    Comment by john — July 3, 2008 @ 11:27 am

  2. Hey John. Thanks for the great feedback.

    Comment by Ryan — July 7, 2008 @ 2:23 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress