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1080p vs. 720p vs. 576p vs. 480p vs. Etc.


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#1 Kvally

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 21:45

One of the questions I have always asked myself is (related to consoles), how on EARTH do people know when a game is running in one of the above resolutions? I know that when my Xbox 360 and PS3 starts up, my TV notes the resolution of the dashboards. But what about when you are in a game?

Say as example, they say a game that is running on the PS3 is running at a sub HD (say 600 or 570 or whatever) resolutions, and the Xbox 360 version is running at 720p res. Or even if the PS3 was running 1080p vs. a 720p on the 360. OR, if you see the game run 720p at some points, but drops to below HD at other points.

How on earth are you seeing all this happen? My TV doesn't show the signal changes. Not to mention, maybe I am thinking about this wrong, but wouldn't it look dramatically different. I think about my desktop resolution. When I change my desktop to a higher resolution, my icons get smaller, I get more real estate, etc. But when I see websites doing side by side game comparisons, all of the images are the same size when they have the screenshots cut in half with each respective version version on each side. Say it's the back of a car:

Posted Image


And even then, how does one just look at the above photo and say "that is not 1080p".

Is there some magic I am missing on how to see all this. I have been playing my PS3 and Xbox 360 since they came out, and when playing those games all these years, I have had NO idea what the games resolution was.

Just figured this would be a good place to ask. Posted Image


#2 Nayos

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 21:52

That image is about 320p, I'd say

#3 Julius Caro

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 21:54

When the TV is being 'fed' a lower than HD resolution, you just notice. And my tv blinks whenever the resolution over HDMI changes. All of them report the resolution if you hit info or whatever.

Now, when the console is feeding HD resolution (720p, 1080i or 1080p), and the game is being upscaled from a lower resolution by the console, it's very difficult to know what is the actual resolution the game is being rendered on.

But when it comes, to, let's say, video, on my full HD monitor I can definitely notice when something is 1080i/p, 720p, or even less. On a TV it's a bit harder to notice the difference between 1080i and 720p (and almost impossible to notice if the tv is not 1080p). And if the source is crisp enough you may not be able to notice between 720p and 576p (providing the colors are not washed out in 576p which sometimes happens)

Thanks for ur attention :p

#4 p1p3

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 21:56

My projector shows the resolution every time it changes. It will however not show it if the console upscales it to 1080p.

#5 OP Kvally

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 21:57

When the TV is being 'fed' a lower than HD resolution, you just notice. And my tv blinks whenever the resolution over HDMI changes. All of them report the resolution if you hit info or whatever.

Now, when the console is feeding HD resolution (720p, 1080i or 1080p), and the game is being upscaled from a lower resolution by the console, it's very difficult to know what is the actual resolution the game is being rendered on.

But when it comes, to, let's say, video, on my full HD monitor I can definitely notice when something is 1080i/p, 720p, or even less. On a TV it's a bit harder to notice the difference between 1080i and 720p (and almost impossible to notice if the tv is not 1080p). And if the source is crisp enough you may not be able to notice between 720p and 576p (providing the colors are not washed out in 576p which sometimes happens)

Thanks for ur attention :p


Not sure that answers my question. That doesn't explain "you just notice". What did you notice? Is it putting more things on the screen? Would building on the left and right be cut off more in 720p vs. 1080p?

Hitting info on your remote to see the game resolution? Is that what real gamers do? Play their games and hit "info" through out the game to see what the resolution is during that particular scene?

Seriously, I am just WAY confused.

My projector shows the resolution every time it changes. It will however not show it if the console upscales it to 1080p.




That is fine and dandy, BUT, how do YOU know it's 1080p vs. 720p if the projector didn't tell you?

#6 Massiveterra

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 22:03

my eyes have been artificially adjusted to count the exact amount of pixels that appear on my tv screen. It usually takes me about 5 seconds to count.

#7 p1p3

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 22:05

That is fine and dandy, BUT, how do YOU know it's 1080p vs. 720p if the projector didn't tell you?


My projector supports both 720p and 1080p and I have my consoles set up to switch to the native resolution of the game when available. That is how I know what the console outputs.
For exact details of the resolution of a game there is always this thread: http://forum.beyond3...ead.php?t=46241

#8 Julius Caro

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 22:08

Not sure that answers my question. That doesn't explain "you just notice". What did you notice? Is it putting more things on the screen? Would building on the left and right be cut off more in 720p vs. 1080p?

Hitting info on your remote to see the game resolution? Is that what real gamers do? Play their games and hit "info" through out the game to see what the resolution is during that particular scene?

Seriously, I am just WAY confused.

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That is fine and dandy, BUT, how do YOU know it's 1080p vs. 720p if the projector didn't tell you?


You notice the amount of detail. on a 1080p screen, any lower resolution is scaled up. Don't think of comparing two pictures based on their size. a 1080p picture is supposed to cover the same 'physical' area with more pixels. On the same monitor and without scaling, one picture will just look 'smaller'. but fullscreen, the lower-than-native resolution will be upscaled.

So you notice. soemthing like this:

http://plastik.hu/me...robot-4fele.jpg

#9 OP Kvally

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 22:14

You notice the amount of detail. on a 1080p screen, any lower resolution is scaled up. Don't think of comparing two pictures based on their size. a 1080p picture is supposed to cover the same 'physical' area with more pixels. On the same monitor and without scaling, one picture will just look 'smaller'. but fullscreen, the lower-than-native resolution will be upscaled.

So you notice. soemthing like this:

http://plastik.hu/me...robot-4fele.jpg


Whoa....nice link. So that is a picture explanation then. I can see the difference there no question. They all look the same at a small zoom out, but when set to full size, each image is progressively more detailed.

So now I just need to train my eye to determine which which is which so I can definitively say "oh this game is 720p, but here it's running at 576p". because the detail in the character is much worse here than it is there.

Really? A one star vote for this thread? I was raised to believe there are no stupid questions.

#10 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:45

Tip: Almost the back of every game box actually lists what resolution the game runs at. For example when I look at the box of Uncharted 2, it clearly says it runs at 720p. Other games are not so clear as they list 720p / 1080i / 1080p, and usually what that means is 720p is the highest it will run and it upscales to the other resolutions.

Thing is though it is only running at 720p, there are notorious instances were games were actually not even 720p but 640 and just being upscaled to 720. However distingushing this difference on an HDTV is not all that easy, but one could perhaps tell.

In regards to how one can just tell, that comes from having a extensive background in PC gaming, at least for myself. As a PC gamer, one tends to get obsessed with things such as resolution, and truth be told what are considered to be "High Def" resolutions such as 720p, are actually weak resolutions when it comes to PC gaming. I have not games on my PC at 1280 x 720 I do not think ever to be honest. Even when I had a CRT I am pretty sure the native resolution I set it to was 1600 x 1200. But because of PC gaming, my eye has become trained, that is the simplest explanation. On my PC's monitor, I can without a doubt tell if a game is running at Native Resolution or if it is being upscaled. I can easily spot the difference between 1680 x 1050 and 1900 x 1200. Easily. How? I just can.

After years and years of playing with graphical settings, it just comes naturally. It gets much tougher to distinguish resolution on HDTV's because they are so large in size and truth is close up nothing really looks that good, but when a game is native 1080p, which most games are not, but when they are, I can indeed tell. How? Again not sure, I just can.

#11 Nightwind Hawk

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:48

1080p and 720p are simply differences in resolutions. It's just as if you were blowing up a 1024x768 wallpaper to put on your 21-inch monitor... it's going to look fuzzy and pixelated. Anything below 720p is going to look fuzzy on your TV (IF it's an HD TV! Perhaps it's your TV that's not letting you notice the difference).

Edited by Nightwind Hawk, 13 May 2010 - 01:59.


#12 Brandon

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:54

1080p and 720p are simply differences in resolutions. It's just as if you were blowing up a 1024x768 wallpaper to put on your 21-inch monitor... it's going to look fuzzy and pixelated. Anything below 720p is going to look fuzzy on your TV (IF it's an HD TV! Perhaps it's your TV that's not letting you notice the difference).

720p = DVD quality
1080p = Blu-ray/HD Quality

So yes 720p should look fine... but 1080p is just going to be more crisp and smooth because it's not having to be upscaled.

Wrong.

DVD is 720x480.

720p is 1280x720

#13 Nightwind Hawk

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:59

Wrong.

DVD is 720x480.

720p is 1280x720


Oops.... I'm wrong. Thanks for the correction!

#14 OP Kvally

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 11:33

Thanks guys. I am familiar with what aspect the different resolutions are, etc. But I was looking at how everyone in the gaming forums on the interwebs can see these differences on their TV and can pin point the exact resolution, even without the TV signal flashing it on the screen for them.

DirtyLarry seemed to have stated exactly what I thought. Those who have years and years of training on different resolutions can spot them. Experience, training, and familiarity. That doesn't explain how every gamer on these forums seem to know what the resolution is by their naked eye. I was reading about how Alan Wake has 720p and 576p recently. I imagine for "most" people, they probably wouldn't see the difference when the res changes.

I have the same issue with people that seem to know what frame rate a game is running at, especially to the exact fps. I see people say...oh yeah, I was playing game A, B, or C, and when this explosion happened, the game dropped from 60 fps to 28 fps second. REALLY? You actually sat there and counted how many fps just happened, in less than a second? Now I am not talking about some high rig PC game where some crazy cat might have some UI element that shows the FPS on their screen while they play (or the game res the whole time they play). I am just talking about natural play.

Everyone seems to have these super human eyes that can tell you exactly what a res or fps a game is at while they play it, with no help from any tech information displayed on the screen.

I wish I could see all this stuff :(

#15 Pablo2008jedi

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 11:49

I wish I could see all this stuff :(


Do you believe everything you read online? :whistle:

While I can notice when the frame rate drops (stuttering, slow action) I can't tell what game is running 720p or 1080p. I've been playing games for 25yrs consoles and PC. If it looks good and runs smoothly then who cares? Thats my opinoin, gameplay > graphics anyday!