1024 horizontal resolution "HD Ready" plasmas?

ectoplasm

Novice Member
I've been looking at getting a 42" plasma as a TV viewing complement to my projector.

However, almost all the reasonably priced (i.e. under £2000) "HD Ready" models available at the moment are either 1024x720 or 1024x1024 resolution.

Now, as far as I'm aware, in order to be HD Ready, a device has to be able to display 720p NATIVELY, i.e. 1280x720 actual pixels. Seeing as the two resolutions in question fall quite a bit short of this, how can they be described as HD Ready?

Even if the definition of the term is loose and manufacturers can get away with only the 720 horizontal lines, this must introduce some terrible scaling artefacts due to the oblong pixels and a fifth of the horizontal resolution missing?

What's the score with this? At the moment I'm thinking of dispensing with the idea of a plasma and going for a smaller LCD with sufficient resolution to display a full 720p signal...
 

lunddal

Standard Member
ectoplasm said:
I've been looking at getting a 42" plasma as a TV viewing complement to my projector.

However, almost all the reasonably priced (i.e. under £2000) "HD Ready" models available at the moment are either 1024x720 or 1024x1024 resolution.

Now, as far as I'm aware, in order to be HD Ready, a device has to be able to display 720p NATIVELY, i.e. 1280x720 actual pixels. Seeing as the two resolutions in question fall quite a bit short of this, how can they be described as HD Ready?

No, to be HD Ready they have to have at least 720 lines among other things.


ectoplasm said:
IEven if the definition of the term is loose and manufacturers can get away with only the 720 horizontal lines, this must introduce some terrible scaling artefacts due to the oblong pixels and a fifth of the horizontal resolution missing?

The Pioneer 436 seems to do a fine job and I haven't heard of others that looked awful.

Even SDTV looks great scaled to 768p depending on your source (but that's not a scaling problem).
 

ectoplasm

Novice Member
lunddal said:
No, to be HD Ready they have to have at least 720 lines among other things.

So even if a device only has 1024x720 physical pixels and can't show a full pixel mapped 720p image it can still be called HD Ready? Seems a bit of a cop out by the standards body to me...

Oh well, LCD it is then.
 

rickyb1974

Standard Member
Is there any reason why you NEED to display 720p natively?

If not, then rather than buying based on tech specs, why don't you get some decent demos arranged to compare various plasmas and LCDs?
 
S

Seek

Guest
ectoplasm said:
So even if a device only has 1024x720 physical pixels and can't show a full pixel mapped 720p image it can still be called HD Ready? Seems a bit of a cop out by the standards body to me...

Oh well, LCD it is then.


if you can see the difference from 1024x768 plasma and a LCD 1280x720 i will give you my tv.

that is what the diffrence is like not noticable.
 

ectoplasm

Novice Member
Believe me, I'm anything but a tech spec whore ;)

I'd like to have native 720p for use with an Xbox 360, but that's not so important.

What I really need it for is to achieve a true 16:9 aspect ratio for use with an HTPC. 1024x720 and 1024x1024 screens use rectangular pixels making it impossible to output pixel mapped images in their correct aspect ratio from an HTPC. Looking for a suitable screen and only finding 1024-wide panels confused me as to the whole 720p/HD Ready thing, as I was sure native 720p was a requirement.

Anyway, I've decided to go for a smaller 1366x768 LCD to save myself the hassle :)
 
S

Seek

Guest
ectoplasm said:
Believe me, I'm anything but a tech spec whore ;)

I'd like to have native 720p for use with an Xbox 360, but that's not so important.

What I really need it for is to achieve a true 16:9 aspect ratio for use with an HTPC. 1024x720 and 1024x1024 screens use rectangular pixels making it impossible to output pixel mapped images in their correct aspect ratio from an HTPC. Looking for a suitable screen and only finding 1024-wide panels confused me as to the whole 720p/HD Ready thing, as I was sure native 720p was a requirement.

Anyway, I've decided to go for a smaller 1366x768 LCD to save myself the hassle :)


there is not hassle the plasma will do a better picture as the lcd in both SD and HD.

do not confuse yourself with res
 

Orwella

Active Member
Seek said:
if you can see the difference from 1024x768 plasma and a LCD 1280x720 i will give you my tv.

that is what the diffrence is like not noticable.
You will loose atleast 20% of the fine detail going from 1280x720 to 1024x768. Depending on the quality of the descaler you could loose even more than that.

Just because you cannot see the difference, doesn't mean it's not there. For me, a Panny SD scrren running an HD feed looks just as nice as a Panny HD screen when I sit more than 2metres away (my normal viewing distance).
 
S

Seek

Guest
Orwella said:
You will loose atleast 20% of the fine detail going from 1280x720 to 1024x768. Depending on the quality of the descaler you could loose even more than that.

Just because you cannot see the difference, doesn't mean it's not there. For me, a Panny SD scrren running an HD feed looks just as nice as a Panny HD screen when I sit more than 2metres away (my normal viewing distance).

really? that is strange!

you still can not notice it tho and that was my point if you could notice it would be a problem.

but it is not!
 

ectoplasm

Novice Member
Seek said:
really? that is strange!

Not when you consider that 1024x768 is nigh on 20% less pixels than 1280x720...


The resolution isn't the main problem, rather the shape of the pixels and the resulting dodgy aspect ratio when outputting pixel mapped images from an HTPC ;)

.
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
ectoplasm said:
Anyway, I've decided to go for a smaller 1366x768 LCD to save myself the hassle :)
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: Saved a lot of PQ as well..........Whats wrong with a PC monitor? Why use a TV do a monitor job results are rarely acceptle same goes vice versa 43" and smaller HD plasmas are a stop gap but the picture is far better than LCD. I hope you enjoy your new TV

LCD is the BEST dont you know Power House sales assintant mode off
 

ectoplasm

Novice Member
Not sure that you understand what I need the screen for. It's going in the cinema room to complement a projector for normal TV viewing etc, and will be used with an HTPC, on which are stored programs, films etc. It's not going to be used as "a monitor for a PC".

As long a it's set up correctly, running a PC through any display is the same as running from any other source, so not sure what you mean by the "rarely acceptable" bit either...


Now here's another conundrum: are there any plasmas out there that have a native 16:9 resolution (1280x720, 1366x768 etc)?

.
 

DFL

Active Member
I think HD is right.

"As long a it's set up correctly, running a PC through any display is the same as running from any other source, so not sure what you mean by the "rarely acceptable" bit either..."

What he was saying that better resolution does not beget better picture quality. A PC monitor has always had better resolution than tv, but would you really want to watch tv on a PC monitor -no matter how large. The picture quality just isn't great.

taking into account parameters which one can lay out:
1. The size of the Screen (42 inches)
2. The picture quality
3. The Price
4. The resolution

1. If you want large - plasma is much cheaper than LCD. e.g. The Sharp 45 inch beast is/was £6000. A Panasonic PHD8 is half the price if not less.

2. Plasma has the edge on Picture quality, pure watchability. more 3 dimensional, more colour gradients, faster refresh rates (IMHO)

3. Price - well LCD will be available at cheaper prices in smaller sizes, but all you are gettig is a large PC monitor. Poor refresh rates and blurring.

4. Resolution. I don't think anyone is missing the point here (if I am, I really am stepping in it). In fact it is has been hotly disputed and debated here on the forum. The 720p and the 1080 i/p are the 2 most important numbers you need to know. And no, there are no plasma panels that are just X x 720. (the whole ALIS 1024x1024 is another headache -just forget them!)

But this is the biggest problem of all and there is no tv out there or monitor which will give you the best of all worlds. It essentially all down to scaling. Because you can lose quality by having to scale. Ideally, you want native resolution which means being able to display whatever the material is filmed in.

If you have an SD panel you will get the best out of SD material
for example NTSC SD films will be 480 interlaced or progressive
PAL 560 interlaced or progressive
But the NTSC (US) stuff will have the panaromic black lines
The tv will have to scale HD stuff down to SD resolution

If you have an HD tv, you will always have to scale the tv stuff up. With or without an external scaler which could set you back upwards £500-2000

If you only used your panel for watching HTPC stuff, you wouldn't want it in 1024x1024. You want it in what the original filmed material was made in. Just because your pc can scale it to a higher resolution doesn't make it better. If it is in 720p you want to output at 720p for 1:1 pixel mapping. If its in 1080i/p you want the screen to be able to accept 1080.

Take my monitor the PHD8 (yes of course I'm biased, but l spent hours here researching)
It has a resolution of 1024 x 768 (this is a throw back to the computer monitor) It's a computer resolution not a tv one. There is no tv filmed at 768. ONLY 480, 560, 720, 1080. We haven't even got into the 50Hz, 60Hz etc issue!

My tv will be great for 720p material, but I will have black lines top and bottom. 1080 stuff will have to be scaled down. 480 and 560 stuff scaled up.

On the other hand, if your HTPC is going to have a static screen and sometimes be used as a large PC monitor, LCD may have the advantage that it doesn't have the same screen retention issues


Hmmmm, I've almost confused myself!
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
Darren Lui said:
I think HD is right.

"As long a it's set up correctly, running a PC through any display is the same as running from any other source, so not sure what you mean by the "rarely acceptable" bit either..."

What he was saying that better resolution does not beget better picture quality. A PC monitor has always had better resolution than tv, but would you really want to watch tv on a PC monitor -no matter how large. The picture quality just isn't great.

taking into account parameters which one can lay out:
1. The size of the Screen (42 inches)
2. The picture quality
3. The Price
4. The resolution

1. If you want large - plasma is much cheaper than LCD. e.g. The Sharp 45 inch beast is/was £6000. A Panasonic PHD8 is half the price if not less.

2. Plasma has the edge on Picture quality, pure watchability. more 3 dimensional, more colour gradients, faster refresh rates (IMHO)

3. Price - well LCD will be available at cheaper prices in smaller sizes, but all you are gettig is a large PC monitor. Poor refresh rates and blurring.

4. Resolution. I don't think anyone is missing the point here (if I am, I really am stepping in it). In fact it is has been hotly disputed and debated here on the forum. The 720p and the 1080 i/p are the 2 most important numbers you need to know. And no, there are no plasma panels that are just X x 720. (the whole ALIS 1024x1024 is another headache -just forget them!)

But this is the biggest problem of all and there is no tv out there or monitor which will give you the best of all worlds. It essentially all down to scaling. Because you can lose quality by having to scale. Ideally, you want native resolution which means being able to display whatever the material is filmed in.

If you have an SD panel you will get the best out of SD material
for example NTSC SD films will be 480 interlaced or progressive
PAL 560 interlaced or progressive
But the NTSC (US) stuff will have the panaromic black lines
The tv will have to scale HD stuff down to SD resolution

If you have an HD tv, you will always have to scale the tv stuff up. With or without an external scaler which could set you back upwards £500-2000

If you only used your panel for watching HTPC stuff, you wouldn't want it in 1024x1024. You want it in what the original filmed material was made in. Just because your pc can scale it to a higher resolution doesn't make it better. If it is in 720p you want to output at 720p for 1:1 pixel mapping. If its in 1080i/p you want the screen to be able to accept 1080.

Take my monitor the PHD8 (yes of course I'm biased, but l spent hours here researching)
It has a resolution of 1024 x 768 (this is a throw back to the computer monitor) It's a computer resolution not a tv one. There is no tv filmed at 768. ONLY 480, 560, 720, 1080. We haven't even got into the 50Hz, 60Hz etc issue!

My tv will be great for 720p material, but I will have black lines top and bottom. 1080 stuff will have to be scaled down. 480 and 560 stuff scaled up.

On the other hand, if your HTPC is going to have a static screen and sometimes be used as a large PC monitor, LCD may have the advantage that it doesn't have the same screen retention issues


Hmmmm, I've almost confused myself!

Could not have said it better my self, If you want the best PQ forget resolution it is but one of many factors you like a lot of people seem hung up on printed specs it simply isnt the case that bigger numbers = better PQ, you say its to compliment a PJ under what circumstances are you not going to use the PJ? if you are using a computer to display film and video material that is very different to using a PC (IBM personal computer)
 

ectoplasm

Novice Member
Blimey, please don't take this the wrong way but I think both of you have got the wrong end of the stick.

Thanks for the resolution/scaling 101 Darren, but I am aware of how it all works ;)

An SD screen is out of the question for me, I already use HD sources and with the HD disc formats about to drop it's a moot point. As I have mentioned, all I need is a screen that can display 720p without downscaling and has a 16:9 H/V pixel ratio as well as physical aspect ratio. 1024x768 and 1024x1024 plasmas with rectangular pixels do not, making it impossible to achieve the correct pixel mapped aspect ratio with an HTPC.

The HTPC will be used for DVD output, scaling a Sky+ signal to the display's native resolution using a Sweetspot component capture card and DScaler, and watching my archives of video content that I've built up over the years. And the odd bit of gaming. Nothing like a bit of F.E.A.R. on a 7ft wide screen. Therefore it's essential to have a screen with the correct pixel aspect ratio, else the picture will be stretched, or will need to be downscaled by the display.

I don't think I ever mentioned using the HTPC (note the HT bit in bold) to actually do ordinary computer stuff with ;)


As to why I'm looking to get a panel; purely for daytime/casual viewing, basically when we haven't got the time, can't be bothered or just don't feel the need to close the blinds and wait for the projector to warm up.


As for LCD quality, I build and install computers for a living and have used many fantastic LCD screens with almost zero perceptible ghosting and colour rendition not far off that of CRTs. Just the other day I installed two 19" widescreen TFTs that came to under £170 each (1440x900 res, 8ms response time) and the PQ blows all LCD TVs I've seen out of the water. The new Dell 30" 2560x1600 panel has to be seen to be believed. I still use an old 21" Sony CRT for design work as the colour looks better to my eyes than any panel I've seen, but LCDs are getting close.

Hope that clears everything up :)
 

DFL

Active Member
Didn't mean to come across as a teacher...

"However, almost all the reasonably priced (i.e. under £2000) "HD Ready" models available at the moment are either 1024x720 or 1024x1024 resolution.

Now, as far as I'm aware, in order to be HD Ready, a device has to be able to display 720p NATIVELY, i.e. 1280x720 actual pixels. Seeing as the two resolutions in question fall quite a bit short of this, how can they be described as HD Ready?"

I hook up my laptop to the PHD8 panel and set the resolution to match my panel which is 1024 x 768. This presumably makes your HTPC video output native to the screen. Is this not adequate?

When it comes to tv viewing I was not aware of how the horizontal pixel resolution comes into play, all I really know is that my Lumagen has to scale the picture upto 720p. The panel then rescales it again to 768. I know that I can only watch NTSC material at the native 1024 x 768 at 60Hz and that DVD material from PAL is only displayed at 720 when at 50hz.

You should definately audition the PHD8 as a panel for your movie viewing purposes. I think you might be surprised at the PQ compared to the LCD, which you seem to know about in depth.

cheers.
Darren
 

ectoplasm

Novice Member
Darren Lui said:
I hook up my laptop to the PHD8 panel and set the resolution to match my panel which is 1024 x 768. This presumably makes your HTPC video output native to the screen. Is this not adequate?

Hook up the laptop as you described. Now draw a square or perfect circle in Paint. Note how they look as they should on the laptop screen, but are horizontally stretched on the plasma. This is because the plasma panel has a physical aspect ratio of 16:9, but a H/V pixel ratio of 4:3, with rectangular pixels. This is the issue for me.


all I really know is that my Lumagen has to scale the picture upto 720p. The panel then rescales it again to 768.

Exactly. The panel scales a 1280x720 resoution input to 1024x768, losing 256 vertical lines of resolution in the process. I could of course go the same way and feed a 1280x720 image from the HTPC to the plasma, but then it'd be doing the same thing, with PQ determined by how good the scaling chip in the panel is. This is why 1:1 pixel mapping is important for me, as there's no scaling involved on the part of the screen.


I'll try and bring a laptop to a few demo rooms and see just how much of an issue HD plasmas rescaling a 720p signal is, but I suspect I'll just have to wait a while until large LCD TVs approach ~8ms response times.
 

MAW

Banned
Ecto, what you describe is a prob for conventional PC use, but all decent DVD/TV software can take care of the aspect ratio, the software folks are aware of the state of the flat panel market. Games might be a problem too, unless you like your monsters fat.... Of course the perfect solution is to go to a 50" plasma, that will be 13766/768 native, square pixels, 16:9
 

hornydragon

Well-known Member
ectoplasm said:
Exactly. The panel scales a 1280x720 resoution input to 1024x768, losing 256 vertical lines of resolution in the process.
Erm nope it doesnt it creates 8 lines of pixels and rescales the 256 columns across the whole 1024 columns 1280/1024 = 1.25 so for every 5 columns of pixel data you get 4 columns of information. Video res and PC res are very different beasts (you are assuming the panel has zero overscan when it will have a 10% safe area margin and a full screen aspect mode which for any film material is too wide to fill the screen so what do you loose vertical picture height or the info in the sides of each frame? try fitting a 2.35:1 film into any 16:9 monitor or 4:3 it will not fill the screen and therefore will use less pixels than the display has available ie full width 2.35:1 media on a 1366x768 panel will only use approx 580 rows of pixels giving you about 94 pixel rows of black border top and bottom.
 

MAW

Banned
Good point well made. Anamorphic films make a mockery of supposed native res panels, assuming they were't mocked by overscan in the 1st place.
 

DFL

Active Member
Hi Ecto.

Don't be afraid to audition the plasma panels. As you say it will be some time before price drops on LCD and IMHO, you will not be disappointed with PQ. Especially if watching video from HTPC. Unless you are a graphic designer and need the perfect circles... in which case you might have to make do with not filling the whole panel.

When budget becomes a non issue I too would like PJ for HD film, an SD panel for SD tv, a HD panel for my upscaled dvd and HD tv material and an LCD for my laptop and HTPC!
 

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