Remember your New Year's Resolution? No? It's not surprising that you don't. It's not the type of thing you want to remember anyways. Well, today is your lucky day and I'm here to remind you what it was. It was to lose 10 pounds, right? Well, no wonder you let that one slip. Losing weight is no fun. Except if you do it right, there is no need to sacrifice flavor. Drinking juice is certainly a delicious and healthy way to help you to get back in shape in the coming months--if done in moderation.… Read more
Eventually, of course, manufacturers will completely phase out 720p TVs. But it may take a few years. While the number of new 720p models is dwindling, several manufacturers, including Sony, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic, are putting out entry-level lines in 2009 that feature 720p TVs and we're getting a lot of readers asking whether they should save some dough and buy them. With that in mind, here's the word on 720p vs. 1080p, updated for this year.
1. What's so great about 1080p?
1080p resolution--which equates to 1,920x1080 pixels--is the current Holy Grail of HDTV resolution. That's because most 1080p HDTVs are capable of displaying every pixel of the highest-resolution HD broadcasts. They offer more than twice the resolution of step-down models, which are typically 1,366x768, 1,280x720, or 1,024x768. These days, HDTVs with any of those three of lower resolutions are typically called "720p." Nobody wants to remember all those numbers, and "768p" doesn't really roll off the tongue.
2. How much extra does a 1080p TV cost?
When I wrote my original article a few years ago, you had to pay a premium of about $1,000 to get a 1080p model at the same screen size as a "720p" set. While the gap has certainly narrowed, there's still a notable difference. In the case of a 32-inch LCD, for instance, you're looking at around a $200-$250 price bump. For example, the Samsung LN32B360 goes for $549.99, while the step-up 1080p version, the LN32B530, goes for $799.99. Sony has a similar price delta when it comes to its 32-inch LCDs.
As you move up the LCD-size chain, your 720p options basically disappear. Samsung and Sony, the two biggest names in LCD, don't even produce 720p LCDs larger than 32 inches anymore. You can still find older big-screen 720p models, like the 40-inch Samsung LN40A450, but they're becoming a rare breed.
When it comes to plasma, Panasonic's entry-level 42-inch TC-P42X1 720p carries a price of around $899.99, while the step-up 1080p version, the TC-P42S1, come in at $1,199.99 (street prices will vary, of course). Move up to Panasonic's 50-inch models and you're looking at more like a $700 delta, with the 720p TC-P50X1 coming in around $1,000 and the TC-P50S1 selling for $1,700--though Panasonic's S1 series does feature more-efficient, higher-contrast NEO-PDP panels. (Note: We do expect prices to drop slightly on all these models as the year progresses).
3. Why is 1080p theoretically better than 1080i?
1080i, the former king of the HDTV hill, actually boasts an identical 1,920x1,080 resolution, but conveys the images in an interlaced format (the i in 1080i). In a tube-based television, otherwise known as a CRT, 1080i sources get "painted" on the screen sequentially: the odd-numbered lines of resolution appear on your screen first, followed by the even-numbered lines--all within 1/30 of a second. Progressive-scan formats such as 480p, 720p, and 1080p convey all of the lines of resolution sequentially in a single pass, which makes for a smoother, cleaner image, especially with sports and other motion-intensive content.
I am jealous of people who have a kitchen space where every last thing is organized. It's not as easy to accomplish as it seems. I'm not talking about the obvious things, like where to store the food processor when not using it. Rather, I am thinking of a small, seemingly minor thing that can lead to clean, efficient kitchens: the flatware drawer.
My flatware drawer houses my forks, knives and spoons, but in a haphazard manner. Yes, I have a utensil separator, but really it's more bother than it is worth. Besides the fact that it … Read more
Sharing photos is what we all want to do, but the number of ways to get it done can be overwhelming. For users who want to keep their photos in a small, private circle, don't always want to access a Web site to get their sharing on, or for those who want or need to keep their Web use to a minimum, Memeo Share might be your solution.
Driven by a user-friendly setup wizard, Memeo Share lets you sync files from a designated folder on your computer to the computer of one or more contacts. File-sharing becomes a breeze, … Read more
HDGuru.com has published a survey of the resolution capabilities of 125 high-definition televisions.
The survey was conducted by HDGuru's sole proprietor, Gary Merson, who subjected the sets to a variety of test patterns and recorded the results in a handy PDF table. The patterns tested for 1080i de-interlacing performance of both video and film-based sources, still resolution (bandwidth) and motion resolution.
The results of the tests make interesting reading for people who follow the evolution of HDTV technology.… Read more
In the course of testing for HDTV reviews here at CNET, I always compare displays directly against one another side-by-side using both normal program material--typically Blu-ray movies, HDTV, and standard-definition material--and test patterns from special discs. I'm always on the lookout for new test patterns, so earlier this summer when I spoke with another TV reviewer, Gary Merson of hdguru.com, about his tests for motion resolution, he was kind enough to pass along a Blu-ray Disc called "FPD Benchmark Software for Professional." It contains a variety of test patterns, most of which I've seen and used before, with one notable exception. A suite of patterns and program material is devoted to testing and demonstrating motion resolution, and I'm considering incorporating it into CNET's regular HDTV tests.… Read more
A new type of binoculars developed by DARPA not only penetrates heat haze, it uses the shimmering distortion to magnify distant objects behind it, significantly extending target recognition and identification.
The Super-Resolution Vision System (SRVS) exploits an "atmospheric turbulence-generated micro-lensing phenomena", which acts as a lens, sporadically generating a better view of what is going on behind the haze.
The one disadvantage is that since the technique relies on a combination of images, you can't see what's going on in real time. Best case viewing from the approximately 4 lbs., 14 inch prototype will be one … Read more
NHK has developed a prototype system capable of displaying 32 megapixels, or 16 times more details than any consumer panel.
The theater on demonstration at CommunicAsia comprises two LCoS projectors with a combined 8,000 lumens brightness and a towering 6.6 x 3.7 meter 300-inch projection screen. If you think that's impressive, wait till you have a go at its triple-tier 22.2-channel cinema sound system. We're talking dual subwoofers and speakers at the bottom, screen level, and overhead.
To reproduce the brilliant image clarity, the Japanese broadcaster has also developed a matching 8K studio camera, … Read more
Sony wasn't kidding when it said the next PS3 system update was coming in mid-April. Just in time to take the edge off tax day, the version 2.30 of the PlayStation 3 system software is now available for download. As revealed last week, the software update adds DTS Master Audio decoding (to deliver the best audio from compatible Blu-ray movies), as well as a major overhaul of the interface for the PlayStation Store (as explained in the Sony video walkthrough shown above).
The question is: what do you think? Does the DTS upgrade make the PS3 an even … Read more
Sony has announced the details on the next PS3 firmware update--version 2.30, coming mid-April--and the big news for home theater fans is that the PS3 is getting onboard DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding for Blu-ray movies. Home theater fans have long lamented that the PS3 could not decode the new DTS soundtracks at their highest resolution, especially since movie studios like Fox have opted for DTS-HD Master Audio on many Blu-ray releases. Without getting too technical, DTS-HD Master Audio offers 7-channels of lossless audio at 96K sampling frequency and 24-bit depths--which means that the sound sent … Read more