- 1080p - 1920×1080p: 2,073,600 pixels (approximately 2.1 megapixels) per frame
- 1080i - typically either:
- 720p - 1280×720p: 921,600 pixels (approximately 0.9 megapixels) per frame
When transmitted at two megapixels per frame, HDTV provides about five times as many pixels as SD (standard-definition television).
Using 1920 X 1080 as an example, this typically means that 1,920 lines of pixels on the X-axis and 1,080 pixels on the Y-axis for a grand total of 2,073,600 pixel count. As opposed to standard Television resolution of 640 X 480 (307,200 pixels).
So screen resolution matters. Also, so does the difference between interlaced and progressive scan. Progressive scan clearly being superior.
This not withstanding; what most folks don't realize is that these numbers don't change regardless of screen size. A 62" 1080p television/monitor will have the exact same number of pixels that a 24" monitor would have. The difference, then, is in perception and distance. For computer monitors, many users agree that the magic number falls between 23" and 27". After that, the distance between the pixels becomes clearly visible, while sizes below 23" experience color bleeding in the image display (meaning the pixels are so close together and so small that the color differences become muddy or otherwise unclear).
If you're going to be selecting a television, then consider the average distance you will be sitting from the screen when selecting the appropriate size; the further away you'll be sitting, the larger the screen you will want to purchase; the closer you'll be sitting, the smaller the screen you'll want in order to maximize your viewing experience.
Choose wisely, young grasshopper.
Dynamic Contrast Ratio
Screen A has a DCR of 3000:1
Screen B has a DCR of 1000000:1
Screen A can only display 3,000 different colors per pixel. This sounds pretty good; it means the color combinations and permutations can be ridiculously high, given a High Definition screen (1920 X 1080).
Screen B on the other hand, can display 1 Million differentiating colors per pixel for an even greater color range per frame being displayed. Obviously, the color combinations/permutations become even more grandiose.
It should be fairly obvious who, in this example, would have the more rich visual experience. Given that HDR - or "High Dynamic Range" - cannot even be truly experienced without at least a 1,000,000:1 DCR on a plasma screen or a 60,000,000:1 on an LED backlit LCD screen; and given that the vast majority of games being released in this day and age (for PC, at least) have full HDR image rendering - as do Blu-Ray movies - it should become very apparent very quickly what choices you should make regarding monitor selection.
The DCR also calls back to Screen Resolution. While companies like Apple take great pride in their extremely high resolution screens (2560 X 1440), they often fail to mention the DCR on said screens is dismally low (with Macintosh computers - the desktops only, it currently tops out at 3,000:1; it's even lower on other Apple products).
Remember when we talked earlier about screen resolution and screen size? DCR plays into that as well.
So which is better? High Resolution, or high DCR? Go full HD with a good DCR and let the super-nerds have their insane resolutions and low DCR's. Your "low-res" display will have the better picture overall and your experience with your multi-media will be all the richer for it.
HDMI or DVI?
I could bring up the fact that standard HDMI only transmits - at a maximum - of 1080i. While DVI-I (Dual Link) can transmit up to 5X that amount of resolution data.
Or, conversely, I could mention the fact that HDMI only transmits 16-bit per pixel color - maximum. 8-bit per pixel color on the standard. While DVI-I (Dual Link) transmits a full 48-bit per pixel color. Most mid to high range graphics cards these days offer at least 32-bit per pixel color.
Or I could make you aware that HDMI tops out @ 60Hz on refresh rate. While DVI-I (Dual Link) supports a full 240Hz in full digital.
But why mention all of that? It's not like you want the most maximized viewing experience available to you, is it? I mean, certainly the added bonus of being able to transmit audio up to 192KHz (high speed HDMI only, which most devices don't support) with your 1080i picture on a single cable is certainly more important than the absolute best quality image you can possibly muster is, isn't it? Wait a minute...
Plasma or LED?
I'll take my significantly lower power consumption, if you please... and even if you don't. But my wallet isn't fat enough to pay the ridiculous power bill; if yours is, get yourself a nice big Plasma screen. I'll be quietly and courteously jealous of your opulence... and your better picture.
Many, the choices are. Wise decisions you should make.
Go now, you must. Spend your monies wisely, you should.
May the Force be with you.