Originally Posted by Tallest Skil
I can't believe how many people can't seem to see a difference between 720 and 1080. It boggles the mind.
I can see the difference between 720p and 1080p. I work extensively with these and other resolutions, my home & work system(s) handle support a variety of these so I consume my content at all levels. I am very aware of the technical detail differences. In the end though, I simply don't care. Very very little content has enough fidelity that I give one whit that I'm theoretically missing something by watching in 720p instead of 1080p. I have watched the same content on >100" screens in both resolutions, and I don't care that 720p loses a little of its fidelity. The marginal rate of gain beyond 720p just doesn't matter enough to worry about, and frankly I'd rather save the bandwidth and capacity when streaming or storing it. And if datarate is the limiting factor, having 720p compressed less is usually better than 1080p compressed more anyhow.
I'm not alone. Apple's marketing is aimed squarely at people with the same opinion as I have, and that is because we number in the hundreds of millions. The 1080p whingers are a vocal minority, the same group that insists they can hear differences between 44 kHz and 96 kHz, or compressed vs uncompressed audio. Sure, I can hear it too... if I listen to both side-by-side. Or I'm listening for a particular note in a particular piece. I don't. I listen to the holistic whole that is the work of art (or not, in the case of most TV programming). That extra little bit of fidelity... just... doesn't... matter.
This same principle applies to many, many things in the world of tech, of course. And its not going to go away. There will always be feature-whores that obsess about every last MHz, FLOP, DPI, resolution, megabyte, millisecond, GUI feature, etc. I know and work with many of these guys (and they're all guys, generally under 40, if not 30), and it is amusing to watch them ruin their own experience because they are so pre-occupied with the medium that they forget to sit back and watch the media. Yes, I used to be one of them... then I woke up and realized I have better things to spend my efforts on.
Is there a place for 1080p? Sure. There will always be that marginal group that demands a bit more and is willing to pay for it. That group needs to be aware that they are on the margin, however, and that the amount of gain they are pushing for these days is truly minor compared to a decade (or two, or three...) ago. Going from NTSC to 720p was far far far more important than 720p to 1080p. Going from a 8 MHz CPU to a 3 GHz quad-core w/ 500 SIMD core GPU was far more important than next year's 30% faster systems. This is important to realize because it changes the business models substantially.