Blu-Ray on a 1080i TV

I have a Panasonic 1080i HDTV that I got about 2 years ago. Would I notice an increase in quality if I bought a Blu-Ray DVD player or is it only worth it if the TV was 1080p? The programs broadcast on the HD channels look stunning, much better than the standard channels or a regular DVD. Would the Blu-Ray look like the HD cable channels or no different than regular DVD?

Yes, you will definitely see a major improvement over standard DVDs. Even though 1080p is a “better” signal than 1080i, I think most people in a side-by-side test would be unable to tell the difference.

See it in the store first. My father cannot tell the difference. Everyone else I know can.

It also depends on the TV and how the TV is set up.

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These guys are really hardcore and you can read similar posts and what others experienced.

It’s really a great place to learn about TV and digital things

Yes. You will notice a HUGE difference. Most broadcast HD still only broadcasts at 720p. IIRC, bandwidth still isn’t there for full scale 1080p signals. Your Bluray will do 1080p.

I bought a Bluray player and my TV is only 720p. Most Bluray players will even “upconvert” your standard DVDs to a higher resolution. Mine tend to look much better in my new setup, though I’ve heard the quality increase is somewhat hit and miss depending on which unit you buy.

Blurays are also coming down in price. Still $18-$25 for new releases, but I’m starting to see $10-$12 bargain bins around town with some reasonable fare (if I didn’t own them already).

I say the real benefit is watching blu-rays on your 1080i using your blu-ray player. Sure there’s some upconverting of regular DVD but the blu-rays will jump out of the screen in its clarity. So IMO if you just want to watch your old DVDs using a blu-ray player it’s not that big a deal. If you watch real blu-rays, then you’re talking about a new viewing experience.

Lots of DVD players do a decent job of upconverting as well…

However, a DVD has a fraction of the image information that a Blu-ray disc has. Assuming that a decent transfer of a decent quality movie is made, a DVD, even up-converted by the most sophisticated DVD player sold today, will not match an average Blu-ray player.

>Would the Blu-Ray look like the HD cable channels or no different than regular DVD?

Bluray is a higher bitrate and uses less lossy compression than cable or satellite. It will blow away DVD and look noticeably better than HD cable. Sure, there’s a down convert from 1080p to 1080i on your tv, but so what? If anything a down convert from a high quality source sure beats what youre getting from cable which is an even worse down convert from a HD source and usually carried via a much, much lower bit codec than the native bluray.

And 1080i; if not, how do you watch CBS/NBC?

As noted, on any HDTV BluRay is a big step up from regular DVDs, but not as much as the switch from standard definition TV to HDTV.

The differences between 720p and 1080i can be imperceptible to many and may depend on your seating distance or eyes more than anything else.

The change from 1080i to 1080p is even more subtle.

Disclaimer: I am a guy with normal eyes, those with ‘Golden Eyes’ may well disagree with me.

I have a LCD tv. The display has 720 lines. The TV will accept 1080i 1080p signals and down convert them for the physical display.

The size of your TV will make a difference, along with how close you sit to it. BluRay will bring higher resolution, but for anything up through 37" or so (there is no hard and fast cutoff) the difference is not nearly as noticeable as say, a 65" HiDef. How close you are to the TV has sort of the same effect as a resolution change, of course. Think of a JumboTron monitor which looks OK from a distance and quite coarse if you are standing right next to it.

BluRay will let you sit closer to a big TV, get a bigger TV for the same distance, or see a sharper picture for the same size at the same distance even with interlaced sets.

At many TV stores such as Best Buy and Fry’s, where they sell BluRay, you can see a big-screen with BluRay on half the screen and an ordinary DVD resolution on the other, so you can decide for yourself how much of a difference it makes.

Please, never use those displays as any sort of reference point. There is nothing accurate about them. If you really want to see if you can tell the difference, go to a Crutchfield or other higher-end AV store and ask to see a side by side comparision between bluray and DVD, or have them hook up a DVD player and a bluray player to one display and switch between the inputs. They may be able to do the latter at Best Buy for you if the floor salesman is bored.

Are they really playing a DVD and Bluray side by each? I seriously doubt they distribute special players just for that. I always thought that was pre-recorded crap where they have a blu-ray split-screen picture that simulates worst case DVD output on one half.

I have 2 Sony HDTVs, one 48" 1080i/720p and the other 46" 1080p. The picture quality is comparatively similar except when there is alot of fast motion/action on the screen. i.e. sports such as Nascar, NFL, or NHL. The 1080i appears to blur slightly in these cases while the 1080p and even the 720p pictures remain sharp and clear.

Just to add…a DVD/BD player will only upconvert standard def DVDs in the digital domain - using an HDMI cable.

Hook it up via component cables and you will be watching 480i/p.

Blu Rays players will send 1080i down component wires only if playing a Blu Ray disc.

No, they’re not - that’s why I said it was a terrible reference to use. It’d be much better to use a side-by-side comparision (two televisions) or switch between 2 inputs on the same TV.

When I was in the market to get a big TV back in November, some stores were trying to show off the LCD refresh rate at 60 Hz vs. 120 Hz vs. 240 Hz, and they would have a slow-moving scene with a lot of detail, like a camera slowly panning across a view of a city, and half the screen would be simulated 60 Hz while the other was 120 of 240 Hz. Of course, the 60 Hz simulation would look crappy, but I was never sure how accurate the comparison was, since it wasn’t really a 60 Hz signal, being on the same screen.

Anyway, I ended up buying a plasma and am pretty happy with it.

I guess I’m unclear why a TV w/ a split-screen function is not a good comparison for two different inputs simply because it’s at a big box, as long as the source for each side is correct for what it purports to be inputting?

It’s my personal opinion that a split screen is a better comparison because it shows the difference for a given TV, versus two TVs side-by-side that have to be otherwise set up exactly the same; i.e. a splt screen eliminates all variables but the source., e.g. (I have no idea if the sources are honest; just pointing out the advantage of a split screen view)