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Author Topic: So, 1080 or 720 ?  (Read 5458 times)
fredjeang
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« on: September 29, 2010, 03:03:14 AM »
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Hi,

I'd like to have your thoughts on that:
I really can't see a significant difference between 720 and 1080 when watch the videos on screen. But editing yes.
Knowing that there are some tv, specially the sports, who decided to broadcast in 720, I asking myself what is the real advantage to embrasse the 1080,
I notice that I end most of the time choosing the 720 for flexibility, but there is this silly idea that maybe I'm loosing a lot of datas.

What do you thing?

Thank you.
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feppe
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 05:23:02 AM »
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I really can't see a significant difference between 720 and 1080 when watch the videos on screen. But editing yes.
Knowing that there are some tv, specially the sports, who decided to broadcast in 720, I asking myself what is the real advantage to embrasse the 1080,
I notice that I end most of the time choosing the 720 for flexibility, but there is this silly idea that maybe I'm loosing a lot of datas.

It's mainly about screen size and viewing distance, and knowing your audience. This page has the best explanation and chart to show when you should start moving up on resolution.

If your audience will be sitting in front of a computer with a modern large monitor, you can see that going even beyond 1080p would be beneficial. If they're using TVs, most people set their small (60" or smaller) TVs at way too far away, so there's no benefit from 1080p. I have an 86" (projector) screen for movies and TV, which would benefit from going to 1080p at the ~4 meters I'm viewing at. So I'm getting a 1080p projector to replace the 720p I have now when it dies.

There are other things to consider, though. Compressing 1080p too much can produce results inferior to 720p compressed less. 1080p produces much bigger files and higher bitrates. Most new computers can do 1080p without a problem from online sources, but computers just 1 year ago would have problems with stuttering and dropped frames - graphics card can help if it has hardware acceleration. Also, higher bitrates lead to problems with streaming or downloading for anyone on a capped or slow line.

Also, note that progressive and interlaced is another matter; raw 1080i vs 720p has almost the same bitrate, and some prefer 720p over 1080i.

FWIW, I like youtube's approach, which allows me to choose 480p, 720p and 1080p depending on my bandwidth and what I'm using to watch the video on.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 08:28:39 AM »
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Thanks for that usefull link Feppe.
I also like the Youtube features,
Strangely, I see (there must be a reason) than most image makers are choosing more the Vimeo platform.

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smthopr
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2010, 12:25:41 PM »
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720 vs 1080?

Well for broadcast, 1080 is presented interlaced at 480 pixels tall, 60 times per second.

720 is presented 720 pixels tall, 60 times per second.  720 in my mind wins this battle for image quality.

For movie making at 24fps progressive.  1080 certainly has more pixels and theoretically more detail.

But from my experience, 720p, from a professional camera can fill a movie theater screen with as much detail as a typical 35mm movie print at your local multiplex that has been scanned at 2K (a tiny bit bigger than 1080).  In fact a typical 720p digital projection looks better than a typical 35mm movie print.

There are other reasons 720 and 1080 look similar:  At 24fps, there is so much motion blur in each frame that it overwhelms any difference in the number of pixels recorded.  Also, some 1080 formats compress the color information more than 720 formats to come out to the same bit rate.  This is done by recording the color information at the same resolution as the 720p camera.

But another thing to consider is that some distribution channels require 1080 original (for no good reason in my mind) so this might become an issue for you.

I have done side by side tests of 1080 vs 720 professional 2/3inch sensor cameras and it's really hard to see any difference in detail, even with static subjects.  But larger sensor cameras (like super 35mm movie size sensors / aps c sensors) seem to show the difference more.

Hope this helps more than it confuses Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2010, 12:46:42 PM »
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From a purely viewer point of view who knows nothing about making videos..

I have a 1080p high quality plasma, profiled, about 12 feet from my eyes. 

With series shows on tv.. I see no difference between 1080i and 720p.  Maybe I'm not discerning.  Or maybe the satellite or cable is uprezzing.. hard to say.

Though.. when I download certain nature/science/travel shows from certain channels like PBS/NG/Discovery I enjoy them much more in 1080i.. I suspect they're filming for effect at 1080i.

So far I haven't experienced 1080p over broadcast, cable, or sat.

Though.. 1080p movies on Blue-ray.. are far superior to 720p.  I didn't notice a big difference with my old 1080p DLP set, but I see much more of a difference with my 1080p plasma.

So.. I tend to think subject matter and subject distance is a factor, viewing distance, and the viewers equipment is a big one.  And having the right tv isn't enough, it needs to be adjusted/profiled well to see all the detail.

If I was shooting video.. I'd probably go for 1080p  during capture just so I'd have it.. convert for the audience from there.

Someday I hope to know enough about video to have an opinion as other than a viewer..
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fredjeang
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2010, 03:33:34 PM »
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Thank you very much to all of you. That was very helpfull.

Cheers.
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peterurban
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2010, 11:03:47 PM »
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It can never hurt to capture in 1080p - that is if you don't care about saving disc space and processing resources i.e. while editing. There is really no one answer to what is going to look better. Having that said if your camera can capture 1080p with a bitrate that supports such a high resolution (I would say >30Mbit/sec) then you can definitely get better results under good viewing conditions. Of course when your scene/ subjects are fast moving things get literally blurred together and there might no difference.

Given that you have a camera that can support it properly it's alaways best to record big and down-sample from there for your given application / distribution / presentation.
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Peter Urban
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2010, 03:30:31 AM »
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720 vs 1080?

Well for broadcast, 1080 is presented interlaced at 480 pixels tall, 60 times per second.
Isnt it 540?
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720 is presented 720 pixels tall, 60 times per second.  720 in my mind wins this battle for image quality.
Video quality should not be judget on simple mental models, but by inspecting actual side-by-side perceived differences.

-h
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feppe
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2010, 06:53:54 AM »
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Video quality should not be judget on simple mental models, but by inspecting actual side-by-side perceived differences.

You got it. Digital video resolution is only one factor in image quality. 1080i vs 720p is often a wash in terms of IQ (and bitrate), and also comes to one's preferences and sensitivity to interlacing artifacts.

But compression is perhaps the most important factor. I've heard broadcast television is compressed extremely to fit more channels on each slot in the US, and in some cases 720p at low bitrates/high compression can look worse than SD. I don't watch broadcast TV, but it is possible that 1080i/p is overcompressed while 720p is kept at higher bitrates, which might result in better IQ for the lower-res show.

Also, compression algorithms play a big role. The latest h.264/AVC have much better IQ at similar bitrates as MPEG-2 (DVD).
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