1080p an issue for now?

Just did a side by side comparison of lcd, plasma, and rear projection technologies at best buy. LCD definitely had the best picture, followed closely by plasma. DLP and lcd rear projection weren't as sharp, and being even a little off angle was a problem. LCD doens't go big enough for my room (12.5 x 21.5, sitting 12-14 feet from the set), so I guess it's plasma. There are great deals on 50-inch plasmas right now, if I decide that's big enough, but of course it's not 1080p. The salespeople all say we won't see 1080p broadcast for at least 5 years. Is that actually true, or do I put up with all the problems of rear projetion and go that way? Front projection not an option in the room. Thanks. -Dave
We probably won't see 1080P TV broadcasts for a long time but you can see 1080P HD-dvd and Blueray.

From what I understand 1080P looks better if you sit close to a big screen but from a distance the benefits of 1080P over 720P are not huge.

I have a 61" 720P DLP and the picture from broadcast HDTV and HD-DVD is great. I would like 1080P and if I were buying today I would get it but I am verry happy with 720 for right now.

Hope this helps.
Dbwl - Get the 1080p plasma. Yes, 1080p won't be broadcasted for a while, but HD DVD and other 1080p sources are available, if you need 1080p to ease your fears. Also keep in mind, 1080i or 720p is HD. If you have plasma that can hanlde 1080p very well, you can only imagine how 720p will look.
Well, my perception is that a 1080p screen is worth the extra money but NOT because of BluRay or HDDVD.
BluRay and HDDVD are just like DVD-A and SACD.
Formats that the corp. giants brought out ONLY BECAUSE the 'other' one threatened to bring it out.. maybe.. so they BOTH rushed them into the retail market, even though they offered no real advantage to the normal consumer. BluRay and HDDVD will die the same slow death as the failed 'hi-res' sound formats. Five years from now 4X higher resolution than 1080p stuff will be coming.
Liz - I'm a little lost here. What Hi Rez format has died...even a slow death? "Five years from now 4X higher resolution than 1080p stuff will be coming."

This scenario is the same as the evolution of the computer. I can guarentee you're not using the same 386 you used 15 years ago. Or even the 2.5 Ghz Pentium D computer from 3 years ago. Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since then. Computers have becuase amazingly faster then the 386. And even remarkable faster and better within the last 3 years. So did the computer die a slow death? Of course not. As technology advanced, so did the computer. Same thing here. BluRay and HDDVD are just advancements of the video formats. Video didn't die, it just got better as research and technology allowed it to.

"my perception is that a 1080p screen is worth the extra money but NOT because of BluRay or HDDVD."

These are the only available mediums that offer 1080p information. Outside of BluRay and HDDVD, there isn't anything else offering 1080p, other than a video scaler. Thats a whole nother topic and forum to itself.

Believe it or not, techonology does have some bearing on the market...every now and again. ; )
If you are a bit confused by all of this try going over to AVSFORUM.com
I would get 1080p because: it's the best that's out there, the premium is low, software is available for it, and scaled material may benefit. But at 12-14' I think 50" is just too small, I'm the same distance and wouldn't have less than the 73" I'm now using. You don't have to go that big but 57-65's are reasonably priced and looking very good (assuming you have HD OTA or Sat. material also available.) The 50" plasma may give you a better picture but might not give you a better "experience".
hang on...the premium for 1080p is actually quite high for plasma. i didn't really like rear projection, which can be had with 1080p relatively cheaply. you can't get it in plasma for under 5 or 6k at least.

i have been wondering if 50 inches isn't going to be big enough. the panasonic 58 inch is at least 3500, and the hitachi 55 inch is around 3k. but, neither has 1080p. does anyone know of a plasma with 1080p that's not going to cost upwards of 5k? thanks. -dave
You mentioned that you like the LCD picure best (It should look good, especially on HD since the pixels are a lot smaller than plasma pixels). However, you also mentioned that the LCD's may be a bit small; therefore, you're looking at plasmas in the 50 plus inch range. Are you aware that the new LCD's starting to appear for the Christmas shopping season are over 50 inches? If you want an LCD over 50 inches, you should be able to find one now. It will also be 1080p of course.

I cannot agree with the comment above that HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are like DVD-A and SACD. It's apples and oranges. The music formats are fringe products for a fringe market. The video formats are mainstream products directed towards the mass market. And it's not just the TV market. They will also appear in computers as a "new upgrade" to disc drives in order to get consumers to upgrade computers. They will also be directed towards gamers, such as the PS3, which has a Blu-Ray drive. I believe that the X-Box comes with an optional HD-DVD drive. The high rez video formats are going to be mainstream video, computer and gaming products. That's way, way beyond what high rez audio was directed at. The fact that there is room on the discs for high rez/multi-channel audio is a nice benefit that we audiophiles can ride along with if they are used for that purpose.
mark, any idea on what we can expect for lcd prices in the 50+ inch range?
Dbw1 - I found these on the net @ vanns.com. No tax or shipping. Both are 50" or over full 1080p LCD. I'll post again if I stumble across any more.


DBW1 - Crutchfield.com

Do you think you might integrate a computer for a HTPC? That would be one more reason to consider 1080p. A 50" 720P DLP at 13' is what I have now. It works, but any larger display might have problems with resolution, especially text.
thanks for looking those up. it looks like 4 grand for a 52 inch lcd with 1080p and just over 2 grand for a good 50 inch plasma. that's a heck of a premium for 1080p and a slightly better picture. at 57 to 58 inches, it's also about 2 grand more for the lcd vs. plasma. i can't really spend 5500 (best price on 57 inch lcd). so back to my original question, is 1080p a real issue at the current time? is it worth an extra 2 grand? if we won't see 1080p broadcast for 5 years, then i'd rather get a new set in 5 years that will presumably be even better and not spend the 2 grand now. if the broadcast is coming soon, or if the bluray / hddvd war will end soon and movies will be broadly available in 1080p, then it might be worth having. a related question - if plasma has better picture quality than rear projection (to my eyes it does), will that continue to be true if the source is 1080p and the rear projection handles 1080p but the plasma doesn't?

thanks everyone for continuing to respond on this thread. it has already been very helpful and hopefully will continue to be. -dave
Dave...it seems as if its more of a budget issue than technology issue. If you're looking into getting a 1080p LCD along with some type of 1080p media, then yes its truely worth every dime. However, if you're only gonna feed the 1080p LCD 720p or 1080i, then it may not be worth it at this point. BluRay or HDDVD isn't going anyware for the time being. They will get better yes, but they are here for a while. Remember, they said the same thing about digital CD's. And don't forget, BetaMax was the thing of the future, not VHS.

IMO, your safe either way. If upgrading in 5 years or so is not an issue to contemplate, then spend the 2G's. This will more than likely be the very earliest you would have media available to upgrade to. If you wanna future proof, now isn't the best time. Also, keep in mind, 1080p may be broadcasted in 5 years or so. Maybe. But it will be probably another 5-7 years or so after that before a higher resolution than 1080p is broadcasted. That could easily be about 10 years before you would be "forced" to upgrade. Even then, you're not forced to do that.

Here's a suggestion for the "best bang for your buck". If you wanna get the 1080p but don't wanna chance HDDVD or BluRay, then take the money for the HD player and get a low priced video scaler. New or used, its your call. You may end up spending roughly the same price overall ($1000 vs. $15-1800). That way, every signal you feed the scaler can be processed to whatever your LCD can handle. If your LCD can handle 1080p, then everything the scaler processes with be output to 1080p. This includes, video games, dvd's, cable/satallite, etc. Same rules for 720p or 1080i, or any point in between.
"a related question - if plasma has better picture quality than rear projection (to my eyes it does), will that continue to be true if the source is 1080p and the rear projection handles 1080p but the plasma doesn't?"

Yes...unless the "foundation" of rear projection is further developed and upgraded. 1080p will remain 1080p; Plasma will just do a better job of showing it than RP, until RP is upgraded and developed. Meaning, since plasma does a better job at showing the media, be it 720p or 1080p, the plasma will produce a better picture than RP because it can do the job better...until RP is further developed. When this happens, RP can take the place of plasma because the "foundation" is stronger and development has taken place. Its a huge claim to say now, but it can happen; should RP be further developed and upgraded. Its actually taking place now; DLP is incorporated with RP. The more DLP is developed, the better RP gets, and so on.
An important question is do you want to buy now, or can you wait a little bit. The two grand spread between the new LCD's and the plasmas will narrow over the coming year. Last year, the 40 plus inch LCD's first appeared; they were premium priced, now they're quite a bit cheaper. This year it's the 50 plus inch LCD's coming out. Next year it will be 60 inches no doubt. If the past year is any indication, I fully expect that a $5500 50 inch LCD will be $1000 less by April. Further drops in price in the new year will depend upon when newer models come out.

I don't think that 1080p by itself is worth an extra two grand for until there is more source material. A year from now maybe with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD coming on stream, but not at this moment.

A 1080p projector, if its a good one like the Sony SXRD, would be an interesting comparison with a 720p direct view if you have 1080p material. But again, there is not a lot of source material. I don't know which would be the better picture, but the projector would still have the deficiencies that projectors have, such as dimness in off-axis viewing. And reliability. If you get an LCD projector, keep in mind that Consumer Reports have been noting a lot of problems with them. They are almost the only electronic product that they recommend purchasing an extended warranty for.

Saving money for the future might be a good idea. We're very close to the market introduction of SED TV's.
i've never even heard of a video scaler (i'm mostly an audio guy, totally new to video stuff). what exactly does it do? can you actually 'upscale' a 720p or 480p signal to 1080p? or is for the reverse (i.e. taking a 1080p signal and making it viewable on a monitor with lower resolution by 'downscaling it')?
Scalers actually take the 480p, 720p, 1080i or whathaveyou signal, processes it (de-interlace for XXXi signals and progressively scans the signal), then outputs it to the specified resolution. You are correct, they upscale the signal.

Check out DVDO.com. They offer scalers in the $1200 to 2K range. I was thinking of the iScale HD+ in particular, which scales up to 1080p. The MSRP from DVDO.com is $1500. Play your cards right and shop around, you probably can find it a little cheaper. Plus they have liturature for scalers in general and how DVDO scalers work too.

The VP20/30/50 are a little more expensive the higher you progress but they also offer 1080p and are better processors. IMO, they have a scaler that might fit your budget and offer the performance you're looking for.
True 1080P displays can accept a native 1920 x 1080 deinterlaced signal. The only widely available content that is 1920 x 1080 are Hi Def DVDs, which have nothing to do with SACD or DVD-A by analogy, and are here to stay as a resolution. Cable/Sat HD is 1240 x 1080 and so the display will upscale the signal to fit the fixed pixel display- not desirable even with the best quality video scaler.

So the choice on what to buy could be matched to a buyers viewing material-- if Hi Def DVDs are not a part of the current landscape-- perhaps another less expensive resolution display makes more sense. Over the next two years, the 1080Ps will come down in price and maybe there will be more content out there with equipment that even allows us to hear the " lossless" hi def audio on the high def DVDs!

LCD is not as good as plasma becuase contrast ratios are lower; so shadow detail is lost in darker movies and scenes such as " Sin City". This makes an LCD display unacceptable for me on this basis alone. IMMV
thanks folks for the info on scalers. looks like a 1080p plasma and a video scaler are not in the budget right now. i'll probably just go with either the panasonic 50 inch (60u) or the hitachi 55hds69. i seem to be getting a new tv every 7 to 8 years anyway, so i guess that'll be the plan. i think the panasonic is supposed to have a slightly better picture quality, but the hitachi is probably a better size for me (12 to 14 feet from the screen). thoughts?
If you can get due without the 1080p then you are in luck as there will soon be many 1080p units available and dealers will have to get rid of the old. I think December and January will be good times to go for the deal. I bought my plasma over the internet and the savings are really good. I got my choices down to Panasonic, LG and NEC. I bought the commercial NEC unit from Cleveland Plasma and I ordered it on Monday and it was installed on Friday. For videophile comparisons between these units go to AVSFORUM.com, paying special attention to the NEW NEC (50XM5 and 50XR5) thread. Over four thousands posts and hardly a single regret.

Oh, my 50XM5 will input 1080p over DVI and I got mine for roughly $3,800.00, including shipping.

I second the comment by Bmcleod that a 50" display at 12' - 14' is too small. I have been using a 61" display sitting about 10' feet away, and I just orderd a 71" display to replace the 61". Just my own perspective, but I would quickly become disenchanted and want a larger display than 50" at that distance.

To touch on the original post - 1080p is a "nice to have" but far and away not the most important thing. For a screen in the 50" or 55", a solid 720p image is going to look outstanding. Even 1080p Blue ray scaled down to 720p is going to look really, really good.

Could you tell the difference 6-7 feet away between 720p and 1080p on a 50" plasma?

Maybe - But it's going to be subtle. But given the fact that right now there is hardly any 1080p content in existance, and that it's unlikely that more will be showing up any time soon... it makes the choice clear for a plasma.

720p is just fine, especially when $$ is a factor
I have last years Pioneer elite 50" plasma which is 1080i

I'm using a sony dvd player with upsampling and get a very nice picture. I recently saw a blue ray display and it looked great - maybe slightly more resolving

how much am I missing out? I wouldn't rebuy HD or BlueRay dvds but might rent them via something like netflicks

any suggestions
Read why you cannot trsut a big box retailer for PQ:

Read the SECRETS section

Best regards.

Bob Wood
Dbwl- A very good thread but IMHO the only thing that will be of significance to you is screen size. At twelve to fourteen feet you're wasting your money on 1080P. The benefits of 1080P are wasted unless you move (much) closer to the screen, or purchase a much larger screen (70+ inches).

I'm an early adoptor with a three year old Samsung 50-inch 720P DLP ($3499). When no one is home (yeah the wife) I rearrange the seating in the den to move within 8 feet of the set. Gloriosky!!! Just get the biggest screen you can afford. I'm going 70-inches plus before the next Olympics.

The Sony SXRD's (LCD) have come dramaticly down in price. You can get a 60" with 1080p for a really good price. The SXRD's are excellent TVs. I have the original 50" one. We love ours. If I would have waited for the prices to come down, I could easily have the 60" with 1080p.