720 or 1080...whats enough?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wawathings, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #1
    I'm not sure what format to opt for on my home media.
    I have heard that 720 looks great on anything up to 42" (lcd-plasma) ?

    What do people think ?

    Is it worth backing up or storing 1080p considering the size, or is 720 suffice ?

    note: in the future i wont be getting a tv thats bigger than 42" more then likely will end up with a 32"
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Size? All of my 1080p files are 4 gigabytes. With that in mind, there's no excuse for doing it otherwise.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #3
    sounds like you'd be fine with 720. I have a 42" and I can't complain. BUT if I try to play 1080 files, it doesn't look very well.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #4
    why doesn't it look "look very well"if its a higher res ?:confused:
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #5
    The TV can't handle it. It's like putting 20" rims on a car that can only fit 18".
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    #6
    Only if the TV is a 720p TV...otherwise it could handle it and it would look better
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 25, 2008
    #7
    but if you have a 180 full high def tv and play 720 it works fine ?
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    May 20, 2009
    #8
    Yea it will work fine, just won't be the highest resolution...just like you can play standard def on a high def tv.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #9
    Right, you can play lower grade just fine but if you try higher then your TV can handle then forget about it. But you're getting a 32-42, right? You should be fine with 720 then
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

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  11. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

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    #11
    One more thing, I had buyers remorse in regards to size. I believe most people do. It was between 42 and 50 and I opted for the 42. I really wish I had gotten the 50. Get as big as you can (and as big as you can afford).

    Although I don't know where you're putting it, mine is in the living room.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    #12
    Keep in mind if you go with the 720p you are behind the curve in technology. Also if you want to watch blue-ray movies in full quality u will need 1080p. 720p is cheeper for a reason...it is older technology that is not in as high of demand. You may also start to see television being broadcast in 1080p in the near term future (right now it is either 720p or 1080i). My personal opinion is toward a 1080p although I would agree the bigger the better if you can afford it.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Unprocessed1

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    #13
    1080p looks noticeably better than 720p. 1080p is really amazing resolution especially with blu-rays and video games.
     
  14. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #14
    What's the bit rate and duration of these files? I've found that with Handbrake and h.264 encoding a video bit rate of 14 mbps is the minimum without getting pixelation.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    MowingDevil

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    Jul 30, 2008
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    #15
    My experience is standard def looks much much better on a high def tv. For some reason it just looks terrible on HD/flatscreen sets.

    In my research it only looks better on blu-ray discs or other material that is already at true HD. With digital cable that isn't true HD it doesn't sound like 1080 sets are any better than 720 ones.
     
  16. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #16
    14?! Really?

    They're only around 3.6 Mbps, but I don't think they're pixellated at all... :eek:

    Here, I'll show an old screenshot. The image quality had to be turned down to upload to the forums :p (so if you want to see it raw, I can do that, too), and it doesn't look pixellated to me... I don't know; you'd probably be a better judge.

    [​IMG]

    Okay, that DOES suck. It's all blurry and crap. I'll take another screenshot at full quality and post it somewhere.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #17
    It all has to do with viewing distance ... and in part on usage.

    If you sit up close ... like with a computer monitor, then you'd probably want 1080p. Even with a 32" TV. However, for a 32" tv, if you sit back 5 feet or more, you probably wouldn't notice the difference between 720p and 1080p ... unless you're using it as a computer monitor ... and even then, the text might be difficult to read.

    So my recommendation is that if you are only going up to 32", get a 720p display ... unless you plan on using it as a computer monitor as well.

    As for your files, hard drive space is cheap. Buy a couple 1 TB HDDs and encode your stuff at 1080p and you won't need to worry about it. Your playback device will downconvert to 720p anyways, but at least you'd be covered if you go 1080p in the future.

    ft
     
  18. macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I have a 32" Sony 1080p television. I recently got into blu ray ripping, the mac mini as media center, Plex, the whole shebang. In my initial testing I handbraked the same blu ray rip to both 720p and 1080p and played them back-to-back using Plex. I couldn't tell a difference in image quality sitting 9 feet from my TV. So I encode to 720p at an average bit rate of 6000. File size is typically between 5 and 7 gigs. I don't know how different my test results would have been with a 720p TV. And if I someday get a larger display, I might regret going with 720p. But for now, I'm pretty happy with my current system.
     
  19. macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Location:
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    #19
    At 9 feet, you might not be able to see much difference between 720p and 480p. But as you say ... you might go bigger in the future and with HDD space pricing out so cheap, it's almost a crime not to encode at 1080p.

    How about encoding your favorite stuff at 1080p and everything else at 720p?
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

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    May 20, 2009
    #20
    Not true...digital cable broadcast in both 720p and 1080i which means any of the 1080i stations would not look full quality.
     
  21. macrumors P6

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  22. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #22
    I'll give that a try. I just started QoS transcode from Blu-ray rip at 1080p with 4 mbps in an mkv container with DTS passthrough. My experience has been that 12 mbps has noticeable pixelation in scenes with lots of movement.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #23
    Sweet! That's a 3.6Mbps file????? Not too shabby.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    #24
    A previous thread covered this (and the math involved) to an enourmous degree, but the coles notes version is that the smaller the screen the closer you have to sit for the human eye to perceive the detail difference between 720 and 1080. For a 42" TV, I think it was around 6' and for 50" I think it was 8-9', IIRC.

    As for as the tangent of bit rate, the handbrake forums cover this constantly, but popular opinion is that 2000-2500 kbps is a good compromise between file size and image quality. If money is no object, go ahead and encode at whatever you want. Most people would be satisfied with 2500. Yes, for blueray too. I have about 300-400 movies of which about 10-20% are bluerays, and they look fine.

    YMMV.
     
  25. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #25
    It's hardly a tangent. Bit rate is often more important.

    I really doubt 2500 kbps is sufficient for a quality 1080p video experience.
     

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