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A best friend of mine is purchasing a TV. He wants the best, and I want what's best for him. I am not a huge fan of 1080p. I appreciate the added pixels, but hate the lack of a broadcast standard and the fact that it costs a lot more for theatre buffs on a budget.

And then I came across an excellent article on 1080p that made me think of TVs in the way I've normally reserved for projectors.


Hit the jump for the excerpt and my advice to a friend.

The ideal viewing distance for a 42" 720p display, for example, is 7.7 feet. If you view it closer than 7.7 feet, most people will be able to see individual pixels, but at distances further than 7.7 feet, you can't see them. In the case of a 42" 1080p display, the ideal viewing distance is only 5.5 feet—beyond that, you can't see the pixels and you can't really appreciate the full resolution of the display. In other words, it would be virtually impossible to distinguish between a 42" 720p display and 42" 1080p at distances of about six feet or more. Given that many people view their televisions from 8-10 feet away (if not even more), you would have to have a 65" or larger screen to really notice the difference between 720p and 1080p.

It's not easy admitting our own sensory limitations. You've got a house to fix up, a future wife to shower in gifts, a stolen car to replace and probably a bunch of little ones on the way. Gizmodo readers - help me talk this guy out of the 1080p. And then, tell him if you've had a sub $1,600 set that's worked out well, how much it cost and why it's been great.


1080p and HDTV Resolution Explained [ecoustics]