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1080p Meaningless? |

This Ozymandias dude has been getting a lot of airplay recently because of his statement about 1080p being useless in this generation. Let’s take a look.

Let’s take games first. The PS3 has roughly the same pixel-pushing capabilities as the Xbox 360. Don’t need to take my word for it, it’ll be obvious soon enough over the next year.

What’s he saying here? He’s not even making an argument about 1080p.

Even if this wasn’t the case, consider we now live in a multi-platform development world, and that the current sweet spot developers are targeting is 720p due to the extremely similar system specifications. Simply put, a developer who is planning to release their game for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 will aim for a common attainable ground.

Okay, I’ll give him that. But it’s not actually an argument against 1080p. It’s just an argument against 1080p for games that will be cross-platform.

In fact, I’ll stick my neck out and predict that that you won’t see any 1080″x” games for the PS3 this year.

Oooh. He’s predicting that there won’t be any 1080 “x” games for the PS3 in the first 1.5 months of its life! He’s behaving somewhat like a turtle here with that neck.

Next he goes on to talk about movies. He quotes someone from Home Theater Magazine who says:

In this case, the only difference between 1080i and 1080p is where the de-interlacing is done. If you send 1080i, the TV de-interlaces it to 1080p. If you send your TV the 1080p signal, the player is de-interlacing the signal. As long as your TV is de-interlacing the 1080i correctly, then there is no difference.

Yup. True enough. But again, this only applies to movies, not games. Then Ozymandias says the same thing all over again in his next paragraph. Next, he goes on to say:

This is why I get hung up on the image encoding quality of HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray. That’s where you’re going to see a perceivable difference. As to games, 99% of PS3 titles will natively render at 720p; the few that come out with 1080″x” support are either going to be simple classic arcade ports that don’t need to render complex scenes (think the original Battlezone), or will give up a lot of in-game visual effects and simply won’t look very good (hence the poor showing of Gran Turismo “HD” at this past E3).

Does he know for a fact that no games are coming out in 1080p or 1080i on the PS3? Has he interviewed all the PS3 developers to see what they’re up to? As well, who’s to say that 1080p/i games won’t come out sometime in the future? We can see the obvious difference in graphics for PS2 titles shipping now versus those shipping when the PS2 was released. Who’s to say developers won’t make the same kind of progress with the PS3 over the course of its lifetime?

Okay, that’s the Ozymandias article. I just wanted to address one more thing. While 1080i and 720p might not be a lot different when it comes to the number of pixels pushed per second (720p = 1280 x 720 pixel 60 times persecond, 1080i = 1920 x 540 pixels 60 times a second). [Corrected – see comments.] But 1080p for games is a whole lot more than that. 1920 x 1080 pixels 60 times a second is considerably more. The kind of experience you get with a 1080p is going to be so much more than a 720p game or 1080i game. The only problem is that you’ll need a 1080p set that supports 1080p on its inputs and doesn’t suffer from gaming lag.

Ozymandias : 1080p Meaningless this Generation

  • I dont want to be rude or so, but there are several errors in your (and ozys) articles!

    First of all, compare 720P to 1080i (921600 to 1,06×10^6 pixels). There’s a negelctable difference in resolution (12% less pixels in 720P to 1080i). That won’t be ANY problem for either the 360 or the PS3 to render.

    I think now, that nearly ALL games will be able to be rendered in 1080i if done right.

    Then again, I dont exactly know what the devels said, but I think MANY of the first tier games will be either 1080i or even p!!

    And then again… deinterlacing!

    Yes, if you send 1080i signals, they need to be deinterlaced to be displayed properly (espacially when sent to 720P LCDs and stuff, with a “rigid” resolution). CRTs dont have that problem due to its type of construction, as nowadays TV signals are interlaced as well, you can see what I mean. And (on properly set up TVs) a progressive signal needs NO deinterlacing at all, as deinterlacing “just makes it progressive” (at half the original resolution!!)

    I think Ozy needs to do his homework done. Even todays PC screens (no matter what kind) dont interlace, as it would REALLY screw up the readability for texts and stuff…

    AND Henning, 1080i is 1920×540 not 960×1080 (the horizontal lines get interlaced, not the vertical ones :D), just like today (768×576 to 768×288 on todays crts (non progressive) and dvds).

  • Ok, I just read pygmys comment…

    Just to get everything strait…

    1080P (meaning progressive) is 1920×1080
    1080i (meaning interlaced) is 1920×540
    720P is 1280×720

    Progressive means “full” pictures per second, in contrast to interlaced, where on one frame, every even line is dropped and every other frame line, every odd line is dropped. On todays crts, thats no problem, as the phosphoros glows a bit longer than 1 frame (meaning, both frames get displayed at the same time), but LCDs need to recalculate the picture out of two pictures.

    The thing is also, that interlaced material not only halves your resolution, it also halves the pictures per second, because of the (i.e. PAL, phase alternating line) above mentioned “problem”.

    Normal people dont need to know that. 720P is mostly enough for everybody (except for people with REAL big tvs like henning :D). As there are “only” three standards (ok, PAL terretories get an extra, everything with 50Hertz, but 60Hertz MUST also be supported!), one can really ignore the things behind the veil!

  • Oop, you’re right Segitz. I divided the wrong number by mistake!

    I’ll correct the article.

  • the magical pygmy goat

    okay i’m confused…

    1080i = 960 x 1080 pixels 60 times a second
    1080p = 1920 x 1080 pixels 60 times a second

    WTF? changing the letter on the end changes the resolution entirely? no wonder there’s so many articles about HD all over the internet.

    NO ONE (including myself) UNDERSTANDS IT!

  • darrin

    When they say de-interlacing a signal, they mean merging even and odd lines from separate refresh cycles.

    Since movies are typically 24FPS and TVs refresh 60 times per second, you can theoretically do this without loss of quality assuming the interlacing and deinterlacing systems are properly synchronized and using the same “2-3-2 pull down” scheme. From his example, the deinterlacing would convert these interlaced frames from the wire:
    to these merged frames on the display:
    1 (1a+1b), 2 (2a+2b ignore 2c),3 (3a+3b), etc…

    This scheme effectively limits input to a max of ~25FPS (60 TV cycles per second * 3 deinterlace output frames / 7 interlaced input frames = ~25).

    That’s fine for movies, but games often run at more than 25FPS. 25 FPS vs 60 FPS is a definite difference in video games.

  • darrin

    I might also add that if a game is not outputting in that exact 2-3-2 24 FPS scheme, and the TV is applying that 2-3-2 deinterlacing you will lose FPS in that process. Even if the game is only running at 15 FPS on a 60Hz wire, a 2-3-2 deinterlacing scheme would make the effective FPS on the display even worse.

  • 2-3-2 Pulldown only applies to NTSC appliances!

    In Europe and some parts of Australasia and South America, PAL is used (24FPS movies get sped up 4% to 25FPS) and it has 50Hz (or 100Hz for newer TVs) and (with SDTV) and therefore higher resolution (albeit only some more lines, nothing noticeable).

    This is our “advantage”, because no pulldown and all that stuff needs to be done.

    Little OT: It is interesting to read some stuff about “new HD” and stuff… In Europe, there were SEVERAL tries to update the PAL standard, but to no effect. In Japan, it was done, and it was somehow successful. Now (we still dont have any HDTV channels on cable in Stuttgart, technological capital of Germany :D), we have to suffer the new DVB-S2 standard (mpeg4 compression, higher bitrate…), which nearly not a single device supports (now there is ONE settop box and equally one pc card, that support DVB-S2 in Germany!!)

  • Matt

    1080p is not needed until you get into very large HDTVs. I would think that at 50″ the need begins to arise (slight) and when you get to 65″ and larger it makes a pretty big difference. 1080p games won’t look much better. The human eye can only see so much and at the proper distance to a HDTV screen the extra quality is not needed. I bought a 50″ 720p and at 9 feet I wouldn’t see much of a difference with 1080p. This is why I bought the size I did. The funny thing is that many people have poor eyesite (not 20/20) and some glasses or contacts would do them more good than going 720p to 1080p.

    When I get to build my dream theatre I will buy a 1080p HDTV. I am also aiming at a 70″ or larger HDTV that will be viewed at a close distance.

    The hype around 1080p is getting ridiculous. 99% of the people talking about it have no clue. They have never spent any time viewing 720p. It is refreshing to see people in this forum have done their research. I really wish I could go one day without some moron yelling 1080p will pwn. This site spared me so far but gamespot and others will have the idiots in masses.

    Their is barely any programming available in 720p/1080i. I have 18 HD channels through cable and that is about all I will be able to get for a long time. Fiber-Optics with Verizon are starting to spread but most of the country 99% doesn’t have access to it. Many broadcasters are slow to get 720p/1080i equipment. I don’t think they are going to dump even more money right away on 1080p.

    The wise will take advantage of the 1080p hoop-lah and grab a great 720p HDTV for a 1/3 of the cost of 1080p.

    1080p>>>720p>>>1080i>>>480p when you are talking about games.

  • I think the 1080p discussion is entirely relevant. I now have a 57″ display and there’s no way I could go back to anything smaller. My next display is definitely going to be 1080p, and so I am watching the PS3 software very closely.

  • darrin

    No 1080x games this year? They’re toning back a little. Earlier another Microsoft exec said:

    “I think 1080p, just to address that directly, will be basically impossible”

    If Gran Turismo 4 can do 1080i on the PS2, 1080p on the PS3 is very likely. These Microsoft execs will be swallowing their words.

    Personally, super high resolutions like that aren’t that important to me and most gamers. Basic HD will be good enough.

    But it’s not just a myth. The difference is real and HD buffs like Henning will love it.