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#1
Old 06-17-2014, 01:09 AM
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720p vs 1080p projector -- noticeable difference?

I'm considering a digital projector (for movies and gaming) in the near future, but I'm finding it hard to choose between a 720p and a 1080p model. I understand the theoretical relationship between viewing distance and DPI, but it's hard to visualize just how big a difference that would make.

I have never seen a projector image higher than like 800x600, so even 720p will probably look better. I'd compare them myself, but I've never seen a place that demos projectors like they do HDTVs.

So, if you have personal experience with the difference, do you think it's a big deal? The 1080p models cost about 2x the 720p models.
#2
Old 06-17-2014, 01:41 AM
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There's a graph here that may help:


720p vs 1080p Digital Trends
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#3
Old 06-17-2014, 01:22 PM
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A lot of things will depend on your throw distance, and how wide you're projecting. You should also note that the resolution affects how effective your scaler will be: the more pixels you have, the easier it'll be to resize smaller material. Very important for things like DVDs and older game consoles. And if you're running a HTPC you'll want the extra res so text is cleaner.

I can tell you that with a throw distance of ~14 feet, at ~94" diagonal, I could see a significant difference in quality between my old 720p projector and my current 1080p.

My basic advice: go for 1080p.
#4
Old 06-17-2014, 01:38 PM
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If this is for home use, the most important aspect is the "lumens," which means something like how much light they put out. Some cheap projectors have very low lumens and you have to shut all the curtains to have a picture that is halfway visible, and even then it won't be very good. It's the projector equivalent of pixels, really.
#5
Old 06-17-2014, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
If this is for home use, the most important aspect is the "lumens," which means something like how much light they put out. Some cheap projectors have very low lumens and you have to shut all the curtains to have a picture that is halfway visible, and even then it won't be very good. It's the projector equivalent of pixels, really.
I wouldn't say it quite that way. It's not really the equivalent of pixels, but it is just as important, just different. If I were the buyer, I would be just as concerned about lumens as resolution. As someone who deals with projectors everyday as a part of my job, trust me on this.
#6
Old 06-17-2014, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
If this is for home use, the most important aspect is the "lumens," which means something like how much light they put out. Some cheap projectors have very low lumens and you have to shut all the curtains to have a picture that is halfway visible, and even then it won't be very good. It's the projector equivalent of pixels, really.
I would also seriously consider the cost of the bulbs versus buying one that doesn't use them.

I went through the same thing just for a regular projector. I settled for something shy of 720 and was happy with it for basic viewing and movies. I settled because I got it cheaper than the bulb it uses and I'm not using it daily.

The other thing on top of how bright it is is the refresh rate. If it can't keep up with motion then all the resolution in the world won't matter.

So that puts it back to actually seeing one demo'd which would be my quest if I was the op. That or search out websites that do good reviews and not infomercials. I'd focus on websites that are dedicated to gaming.
#7
Old 06-17-2014, 03:59 PM
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It depends on how big the picture is and how close you sit to it. As long as you don't see the individual pixels from where you're sitting, you won't notice a difference. If you want to sit 5 feet from a hundred inch screen, you'll see a difference, but if you're at 10 feet, the brighter one will probably look better to you.

I've got a 720p Optoma HD65 and my friend has a 1080p Optoma HD20. His is brighter, but they're both clear. Another friend has another 720p and has it blown up to cover the wall and it has a bad screen door effect. He doesn't care, because "the bigger, the better" to him.
#8
Old 06-17-2014, 09:11 PM
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I've got a projector.

I am playing Mario Kart 8 on my Wii U on a custom made 115" grey screen. The game is 720P and on a screen that big it really shows the lower resolution. If I was playing on a 48" television, I might not even notice the edginess of the graphics. Get the 1080P.

There are two major projector forums, projectorcental and projectorreviews. Both will steer you in the right direction.
#9
Old 06-18-2014, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claverhouse View Post
There's a graph here that may help:

720p vs 1080p Digital Trends
That's consistent with my limited experience.

Not sure how well this translates, but I have an LCD 1080i HDTV and a plasma 720 EDTV, both about 46". We watch them from nearly across the room, one in the family room and one in the bedroom, at least 12' away. I swapped them at one point (due to a connectivity issue with a DVD player or something), and recently tried to remember which was which. Just by viewing, I couldn't tell, but I did remember that the 1080 TV had sucky sound so it must be the one in the bedroom.

There's supposed to be a big contrast difference between the two technologies too, but I don't notice that.

The TV is actually 1080p but I don't think I have any 1080p sources. TWC is 1080i, right? Who knows. It's remarkably clear; the only time I notice pixellation is when I zoom a lower rez source up, and then it's blatantly obvious. I also notice some pixellation when playing DVR, which I believe is due to data compression, and it's pretty much the same on 720 vs 1080.
#10
Old 06-19-2014, 03:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofs View Post
I've got a projector.

I am playing Mario Kart 8 on my Wii U on a custom made 115" grey screen. The game is 720P and on a screen that big it really shows the lower resolution. If I was playing on a 48" television, I might not even notice the edginess of the graphics. Get the 1080P.

There are two major projector forums, projectorcental and projectorreviews. Both will steer you in the right direction.
MK8 is the one game that makes the issue worse, though, since it has absolutely no antialiasing. This means that, even at 720p, the edges will still appear blocky. Nintendo prioritized framerate instead. And, if you have to pick one or the other, I'd say that's the right choice for a racing game.

If you have any other Wii games that run at 720p, I'm sure they will look less jaggy.
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