Best Blu-ray Output for 1366x768 TV

I have a Sony KDL-32M4000 LCD TV, which has a native pixel resolution of 1366x768. It can accept a 720p or 1080i video signal, but not 1080p. So which looks better for watching Blu-ray, 720p or 1080i? The TV seems to auto-select 1080i.

Jim Irwin

I suspect it's not the TV that's auto-selecting 1080i, but rather the Blu-ray player. It senses that the TV cannot accept 1080p, so it outputs 1080i, which the TV can accept.

Both output settings have some problems. The video on virtually all Blu-rays is 1080p, so setting the output to 720p causes the player to downscale the image to 1280x720. Then, the TV upscales that to 1366x768. I generally try to avoid double scaling, since each scaling step can introduce artifacts, such as softening the image and jaggies along diagonal edges.

On the other hand, if the player is set to output 1080i, it must interlace the video using 3:2 pulldown. The TV must then deinterlace it and scale it to 1366x768, which can cause its own set of artifacts, such as moiré distortion in areas of fine detail, softness, and jaggies.

The best way to find out which looks better is try them both and see for yourself. Set the Blu-ray player to output 1080i and look at some clips with motion, fine detail, and diagonal edges, then set the player to output 720p and look at the same clips. Whichever way looks better, keep the player set to that output resolution.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askhometheater@gmail.com.

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COMMENTS
mailiang's picture

Many Blu-Ray players like my Panasonic, have an auto mode that will detect which is the best resolution format for your TV. In most cases with this mode, it will send either a 1080p or 1080i signal even to a 720p TV. However, as Scott suggested, you can set it to 720p to see which format looks best. Personally, I have found that the 720p setting is a bit soft, therefore selecting auto or 1080i and letting the set down scale it may provide the best results.

Ian

yachtmandu's picture

There are so many variables trying to set up a system. May I make a suggestion? Try all the combinations of settings that are available with your gear - but, make sure you do it with a reference quality blu-ray such as: Star Trek, Casino Royale, or better yet: Baraka. From there, it's your eyes that will establish the best PQ: and that's all that matters.

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