General Knowledge: Why 1080p panel better for 720p content and source

Nielo TM

Distinguished Member
Before moving on, I must point out that this isn't an argument between 1080p and 720p nor to provoke one, but rather a factual information that might be useful to a minority (mainly console gamers). Some might say this information is rather too late, but it's better late than never.

Remember, these days comparing specs and display types will not produce accurate results. You must compare the individual models instead.


I've came across few people who've suggested that it's better to display 720p contents on an HD Ready set (usually with a 768p panel) than on a 1080p set. I myself have also suggested this in the past (a long time ago) for which I apologize.

The fact of the matter is, scaling 720p content onto a 1080p panel with over-scan correction (enabled) will yield better results than scaling the same content onto a 768p panel with 2.5% over-scan.

Some might say scaling matters and it does. But even if the scaling algorithms were to be average, it's far less corrosive to scale 720p to 1080p than to scale 720p to 768p. In addition, most of today's high-definition devices (source) are supplied with embedded HW scalers, which are usually of high-quality (e.g. the Xbox 360). So one could always output 1080p and enable 1:1 on the TV.

1280 x 1.5 = 1920
720 x 1.5 = 1080

1366/1280 = 1.068
768/720 = 1.067

Note: On a 768p display (even without over-scanning), it's not possible for the user to perceive the entire 720 lines. This true even when displaying 720p on a 1080p panel with over-scan correction enabled. This is due to scaling errors and filters.

To be fair, the lack of definition is only noticeable in games due to maximum pixel efficiency. In layman's, only computer generated content utilize all the pixels in a given resolution. So it's easier to spot the defects, especially when viewing at close range, which most gamers do.

So if you are an avid console gamer who prefer to sit close to the screen, factor 1080p into the equation when buying a TV.

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