Originally Posted by Zapablast05
So what you're saying is that 480p is better than a 1080i, and 1080i is better than 1080p, therefore 480p is better than 1080p??
Not at all.
When we bought our plasma several years ago, there were EDTV 480p and HDTV "768p" plasmas on the market. We had a choice to make based on budget; get a lower quality 768p panel or get a higher quality 480p panel. At our viewing distance, it was difficult to see the difference on a 42" screen between a 480p and 768p panel. The kicker was that the higher quality 480p panel used the same scaler (processor that resizes images to fit a panels native resolution) as the highest quality 768p panels out of our budget.
The result was that the cheaper 768p panels had noticeable banding and micro-blocking when displaying any interlaced source media and odd aliasing effects in 720p source material. The 480p panel, as it either line-doubled 480i content or downscaled 1080i or 720p, consistently had better image quality ***from our viewing distance***. I have several friends that are AV freaks and none of them would believe that our 480p panel was such a "low" resolution, prior to getting close enough to it to perceive the screen door effect (~8').
When it came time to get a new TV, we went up a size notch to 46", so 720p would be about the minimum for our living room. None of the manufacturers make 720p panel with the latest tech, so we went with a 1080p 120Hz panel from Sharp as it does such a great job with 480i DVD source material, keeping pace with sports motion and upscaling 720p. A local shop put them on sale after black Friday and we made Best Buy price match. They lost about three hundred.
The Sharp is a better TV, but we do not see as huge a difference in final picture quality between the 42" 480p plasma and the 46" 1080p LCD as most would expect. The comments you quoted were a bit confusing in retrospect, but I was highlighting the advantages of the LCD over the plasma, not the source material.
So the moral to the story is, scalers are as important the panels specs. You can have the highest resolution panel on the market, but if the engine driving the panel sucks, it will look horrible.