I just finished reading an article over a CNET in which the writer was comparing the difference between 720p and 1080p. But before I cite the article itself, let me share with you what I believe the real difference is. About $200! LOL

First of all there are other aspects of a HDTV that are actually more important. Here are a few:

How important is resolution?

Although resolution separates HDTV from standard-definition TV, it’s not as important to overall picture quality as other factors. According to the Imaging Science Foundation, a group that consults for home-theater manufacturers and trains professional video calibrators, the most important aspect of picture quality is contrast ratio the second most important is color saturation, and the third is color accuracy. Resolution comes in fourth, despite being the most-cited HDTV specification.

I am a plasma person and own two plasma TVs in our home. Both are Panasonic Plasma sets at 42″ and both are 720p sets. The reason I bought 720p was because I knew that the picture quality of this size screen would rival a 1080p set. Also there was one other important point. Cost. At the time I bought the 720p sets the price for a 1080p for the same Panasonic Plasma 42″ was $400 more.

Despite the obvious difference in pixel count, 720p and 1080i both look great. In fact, unless you have a very large television and excellent source material, you’ll have a hard time telling the difference between any of the HDTV resolutions. It’s especially difficult to tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p sources. The difference between DVD and HDTV should be visible on most HDTVs, but especially on smaller sets, it’s not nearly as drastic as the difference between standard TV and HDTV.

Currently HDTV is only broadcast in 720p over Dish Network which is our main source for TV watching in our home. About 5% of the TV use is for DVD movies also at 720p. For those who opt to go with Blu-ray players and watch a lot of Blu-ray movies, my all means go with the 1080p. Just my two cents.

The article I am citing also states this:

The truth about 1080p

In the last couple of years, HDTVs with 1080p native resolution have taken over the market at nearly every price and size point. But as we’ve been saying all along, once you get to high-definition, the difference between resolutions becomes much more difficult to appreciate.

So why is resolution cited most often? I haven’t a clue. If you do, please share your opinion with us.

Comments welcome.

CNET HDTV article is here.

FWIW – I just went over to the Best Buy site and you can buy a Panasonic Plasma 42″ 720p for $599. The same set at 1080p is $799. The bottom line for any shopper is it worth $200 more for a 1080p HDTV? You decide.