Misguided customers have been paying a premium for a technology that may or not benefit them.

There has been a lot of hype generated by the big box stores recently. This has driven quite a few customers into a HDTV frenzy!  This inadvertently has pushed these stores earnings due to the additional margins  over standard 720P HDTVs.

1080P resolution is a  fantastic picture but make sure before you pay extra for that HDTV you know the facts.

As of March 2007 there is only a handful of 1080P material even available.
Sony's Play station 3 and other Blue Ray players can output 1080P but only an assortment of  DVD's available for them are in true 1080P format.
HD DVD is available but outputs in 720P or 1080i. (this is still considerably better than standard DVD 480P)
Most Satellite boxes and Cable boxes only output in 720P or 1080i

Bottom line: 1080P will become a standard in the future and the prices for 1080P prices will stabilize , most customers do not have to be pressured in paying extra for a technology that may not benefit them.


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With 20/20 vision it is possible for the human eye to resolve 1/60th of a degree of an arc.  With this information it is possible to estimate when the differences between resolutions will become apparent.

On a 50-inch screen, the benefits of 720p vs. 480p start to become apparent at viewing distances closer than 14.6 feet and become fully apparent at 9.8 feet. For the same screen size, the benefits of 1080p vs. 720p start to become apparent when closer than 9.8 feet and become full apparent at 6.5 feet. In my opinion, 6.5 feet is closer than most people will sit to their 50" plasma TV (even through the THX recommended viewing distance for a 50" screen is 5.6 ft). So, most consumers will not be able to see the full benefit of their 1080p TV.

However, front projectors and rear projection displays are a different story. They make it very easy to obtain large screen sizes. Plus, LCD and Plasma displays are constantly getting larger and less expensive.

In conclusion: If you are a videophile with a properly setup viewing room, you should definitely be able to notice the resolution enhancement that 1080p brings. However, if you are an average consumer with a plasma on the far wall of your family room, you are not likely to be sitting close enough to notice any advantage. Check the chart above and use that to make your decision. Also, the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) states the most important aspects of picture quality are (in order): 1) contrast ratio, 2) color saturation, 3) color accuracy, 4) resolution. Resolution is 4th on the list and plasma is generally superior to LCD in all of the other areas. So choose the HDTV with the best picture based on contrast, color saturation, color accuracy and resolution if you are close enough.