Friday, October 31, 2008

1080p vs. 720p - Which is Better?

Home TheaterAs of right now, 1080p is all the rage for any type of home theater entertainment system. Whether its a 1080p projector or a 1080p Plasma TV, they are selling like hotcakes due to their ability to provide the best video processing method on the market as well as some of the best pictures. Despite all the hype and enthusiasm surrounding the 1080p format, many users are finding that 720p is still the way to go.

Probably the biggest factor in deciding between 1080p or 720p is of course price. Quality 720p projectors have been falling in price and can now be found for under $1,500 and as low as $1,000. Standard 1080p projectors generally go for about $2,000 and prices can go as high as $4,000. In todays economy, many buyers are sensitive to price and some buyers don't see a $600-$800 difference between 1080p and 720p.

In addition, unless you have upgraded to Blu-ray you will not be seeing the full effects of a 1080p projector. If your viewing material is primarily DVDs with HD sports broadcasting, a 1080p projector will give almost no visual advantage in image quality and will be nearly identical to a 720p projector. The additional resolution won't add to the image quality of an HD sports braodcast since the actual resolution of the signals is limited to 720 lines per frame.

The story is a bit different when dealing with prime time television programming such as seen on NBC or CBS which primarily broadcast in 1080i. While a 1080p projector has the potential to create a sharper and clearer image when compared to a 720p projector, the difference won't be very big. The reality is that a 1080p projector will only give a slight advantage when viewing standard definition DVD's, TV, and HD broadcasting. For price conscious consumers not necessarily looking into Blu-ray, 720p is the way to go.
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