1080p vs 720p Difference?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fssykes44, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. fssykes44 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2013
    Pittsboro, NC
    I have a macbook pro from 2009 and i was wondering if it is worth downloading 1080p movies if I have the option from 720p. I know 1080p is much more crisp on my TV, but does the macbook pro have enough resolution to even see the difference. My main concern is if im waisting space by downloading the 1080p version if i cant even see a difference. let me know what yall think.

    thanks a lot,

  2. Stetrain, Aug 20, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013

    Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    13" or 15"? If it's 15" does it have the custom order high-res screen option?

    The 13" MBP has a screen resolution of 1280x800.

    The 15" MBP normally has a resolution of 1440x900, and with the high-res option has a resolution of 1680x1050.

    720p video is 1280x720, and 1080p is 1920x1200.

    I don't think you would really notice the difference between the two unless you had the 15" high res (Edit: or the 17", which has a 1920x1200 screen resolution)
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Which size of a MBP do you have.
    The 13" has 1280x720 so anything other than 720p is pointless if you watch it on that screen.
    17" definitely worth an improvement with 1080p at the distance one sits in front of a notebook display.
    15" 2009 I think didn't have any HR version so at 1440x900 1080p is pretty much no discernible difference to 720p. Just too much downscaling. On the 1680x1050 HR 15" 1080p downscaled is still quite a bit better than 720p upscaled.

    On a TV it also depends on how far away you sit. Most people have their TVs at a distance that 1080p actually doesn't make any difference. If you sit any further than the width of the screen times TWO away 720p is fine and not much different from 1080p. You either need a huge TV or sit very close.
  4. dylin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2010
    To keep things simple, 720 would be a safe choice due to the amount of space its takes on your harddrive.

    unless you have the Hi-res 15" model, then its not really worth downloading 1080p movies.
  5. OrangeInc macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    If you are just watching a movie on your laptop then 720P looks just as good as 1080P. And if you are on a 13" MBP from 2009 then even if you want to watch 1080P the integrated graphics will probably cause the video to stutter. If you want to play the movies on your laptop with a larger external screen then you'll be able to see the difference between the two but if not I'd stick with 720P.
  6. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Even if you don't need it now, I'd still suggest downloading the 1080p version and storing it on a backup/archive drive. Apple occasionally removes movies from iTunes so personally I'd want a copy of the "best available" version, just in case.
  7. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    I go for 1080p always. be warned that some content may not play without stuttering, given the age of your notebook.

    as usual BD content is not created the same for all products. I have a series that lags heavily on any pc I have here at home, while I can play tons of others without a problem
  8. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    What's the best quality video for a 15" rMBP?

    What's better, 1080p or a Blu-Ray rip or is there not a difference?
  9. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    720 v 1080 depends on your viewing distance. Certain details can only be observed after certain distances.

    In TV's it makes sense not to buy a 1080p 32" since the distance between you and the TV will be too small to notice a detail difference in image quality between 720 and 1080. Same with laptops.
  10. dylin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2010
    This is a better way to look at it. If you are further enough away, then don't bother getting the 1080 versions, unless you absolutely just want to have it.
  11. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    1080p is BD quality, then you move to the quality of the encoding, for example a package of 10bit encoded in flac UTW is going to give you no loss of quality from your BD disc, which is what I use, since disks tend to get scratched easily, I just rip them and save them on the NAS
  12. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    You can always download both versions of a movie and compare.
  13. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    I'd recommend this as well. The resolution alone doesn't always mean much. You can have a 720p movie that is encoded at a very high bit rate which will look much better than a 1080p movie encoded at a very low bit rate. So at the end of the day it will depend on the quality at which it was encoded. If you are getting everything from a single source, then you will learn over trial and error what is best, if your sources are all over the place, I guess you will have to start learning what codec/sizes tend to have the quality range you are looking for. A lot of people still use very old/low quality codecs, so even though they say 1080p, and even though the file size is large, the video still looks like crap. Try to get h264 source material and then the size will typically be indicative.
  14. fssykes44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2013
    Pittsboro, NC

    I appreciate all the help. Sorry it took me so long to get back on here. Very helpful.
  15. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2012

    In fact over at AVS (the video nuts forum) the merits of 1080P vs. 720P iTunes videos are frequently discussed (OP didn't say iTunes but it's a good example). In some cases the 1080P versions look better, but in others the 720P versions look as good or even slightly better (though this is subjective obviously). The cause is simple: the file sizes are not significantly different, but the pixel count is doubled in 1080P. The more aggressive compression on the 1080P versions required to hit that file size can sometimes destroy fine detail. In general the two versions end up being extremely similar in quality.

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