While 1080p (minimum 1920×1080 pixels) is currently the be-all and end-all of HDTV resolution, there isn’t actually a lot of benefit in owning one of these so-called “true HD” models at the moment. The problem is that no U.S. broadcasters are offering native 1080p content. Some TVs have processes that will “upscale” lower resolution signals to use all of the 2.07 million pixels. New video sources are on there way which promise to eventually provide native 1080p content – such as next generation high-definition DVD players and Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 3. In the meantime, consumers need to decide whether it’s worth the extra dollars to buy a “future-proof” 1080p TV now, or wait until they have access to source material that will really put those TVs through their paces.
In the final analysis, high resolution definitely sounds good on paper, but can your eyes really perceive the difference between a 1280×720 screen or a 1366×768 screen? The answer depends on the individual.
In future articles, we’ll discuss additional issues that define the high definition experience, including HD programming and multichannel audio.