Electronic Store Comparisons
You would have to be a complete rube to base all of your information on what you see in an electronic store. Any store is going to be all about manipulation to make maximum dollars. It is not uncommon for more expensive sets to be adjusted to optimal settings and less expensive models to be left at default or even tuned down settings when placed beside the pricier models. There is also the issue of lighting, which often is not the same as what will be in your house - as well as when walking up and down most aisles you are viewing screens from a closeness of 3-5 ft. which is not where you will view it from at home in most cases. Besides the fact that the settings are often going to be different from the set that gets delivered to your house (see above comments).
As to the difference between 1080p, 1080i, and 720p: so much of it depends on the brand you are viewing and its quality. All 720p tv's are not the same, just as all 1080p's are not the same. A high quality 720p is often times going to look better than a low-price/quality 1080p set (yes, those do exist!). Just the same, a high quality 1080p set is really going to shine when hooked up to blu-ray or hd-dvd. The difference, even with 1080p is negligable when viewing broadcast television. Broadcast hd-content is in either 720p or 1080i and a quality set with that as its native resolution is going to have an advantage over a 1080p set that will have to down-scale the feed.
Buy according to what you plan to watch most.
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