This is a follow up to my previous article on HDTV. Full HD is a buzz word with sales of HDTV right now. So what is Full HD and do you really need it?
A Full HD display means that the display has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and it can accept a progressive scan signal for this resolution(1080p).
Whether you really need a Full HD display when you are looking at buying a new HDTV depends on a few things. If you are a serious or hardcore videophile or money is no object to you and you simply want the best high resolution display, then of course you should get a Full HD display and you probably don’t need to read the rest of the article. But if you are the average person looking to buy a new HDTV, then perhaps you should read on.
In my previous article on HDTV I have talked about the different resolutions that can be considered as high definition. They can range from 1280×720(720p) to 1920×1080(1080p). Obviously, 1080p HDTV are in general more expensive than 720p HDTV, often quite a lot more expensive. The question is, can you really see the difference between 720p and 1080p and is the price premium really worth it?
There are many aspect to this question, but in my opinion, the most important thing to answer is that, will you see increase details with a higher resolution 1080p display compared to a 720p display? The answer to this question lies in how far you plan to sit in front of your new HDTV.
A lot of people are still not accustomed to the “large” sizes of present day flat panel LCD or plasma TV. Many people think that a 42″ plasma or LCD is a very big TV and a 50″ plasma or LCD is huge. Most people tend to sit rather far away from these “large” flat panel TV, often at least 8 to 12 feet away. However, at this distance, even if you have perfect 20/20 vision, the human eye simply cannot resolve the difference between a 720p and 1080p display.
For a 42″ display, you have to sit 5.5 feet or closer before you can see the difference in resolution between 720p and 1080p. Even with a 50″ display, you will have to sit 6.5 feet or closer before you will see any difference.
You may think 5.5 feet or 6.5 feet are far too close a distance to sit in front of a TV, but in this age of high definition TV, you really need to sit this close, or you will not be able to appreciate the full glory of high definition TV.
Of course your viewing distance could be affected by many factors including home decor and wife/husband acceptance factor. If you can sit at the recommended distances, then by all means, you should consider a Full HD display, provided you can afford the premium over a 720p display.
But if you cannot sit at the recommended viewing distances, next time you go into a audio-visual shop looking to buy a new HDTV and if the salesman is trying to push you into buying a Full HD display, then you can just tell him that you only want a 720p display and save yourself a lot of money at the same time. You will not be able to tell the difference if you are going to sit 8 to 12 feet or further away.