Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The highest High Def resolution that HDTV channels will broadcast in right now is 1080i, but there are numerous examples of other devices that can display their video in 1080p. For example, high definition DVD players of both the HD-DVD and Blu-ray variety can play movies in 1080p. The major video gaming systems- Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Play Station 3- do so as well, both with the graphics from their computer games as well as with their ability to play HD-DVD's and Blu-ray discs, respectively. Even a variety of the media center computers can display their graphics in 1080p.
Another good argument for looking into 1080p when shopping for a new HDTV set is that it opens up a number of possibilities for watching HDTV from the dedicated HDTV channels. For example, even though all of the current HDTV channels only provide programming in either 720p or 1080i, that doesn't mean that they won't provide programming in 1080p at some point in the future. Regardless of whether or not the broadcast HDTV programming of the future is in 1080p or not, there's always the possibility of getting an upconverter that will convert 1080i or even possibly resolutions as low as 480i all the way up to 1080p. While upconverted HDTV programming isn't as good at the real thing, it's often much better than the programming that it originated from.
If you get a 1080p HDTV set, especially if it's a higher end model, there's a good chance that the device will have an upconverter built in. After all, that makes having a 1080p screen worthwhile even if you don't have a source of anything to watch on it that's any better than 1080i.
There are actually plenty of 1080p HDTV sets on the market right now and many of them are very affordable. For example, there are a variety of large 1080p LCD HDTV sets being made by Westinghouse for the lower priced end of the market. In fact, it's entirely possible to get one for around fifteen hundred dollars. The odd thing is that even with relatively affordable 1080p HDTV sets on the market, there's still apparently demand for 720p HDTV sets. While the 720p sets are obviously cheaper, it's difficult to understand why anyone would buy a piece of electronics that has no built in protection against obsolescence.
In general a 1080p HDTV set is a good buy for anyone who will use their TV with computer or gaming equipment, and anyone who wants to make sure that their equipment is future compatible.