The 1080p myth


Dec 27, 2010

A newbie here. On Dec. 26, I ordered a APAD M1001 from Merimobiles and happened on their Post-Christmas 20% off sale. I have been studying the different models for about a week by reading the forums and watching reviews on youtube. Ended up getting the APAD for $157 with shipping. Sweet!

Anyway, in my research, I have noticed a myth in video playback. In video size, bigger is definately not always better.

In 1080p and 720p, the numbers are the count of how many pixels tall the video playback is. Seeing as how most pads are 800 wide by 600 tall or 1024 wide by 600 tall, anything above the 600 is really overkill. For true 1080p playback, the screen resolution of the pad would need to be 1920 x 1080, or the 16 by 9 widescreen aspect ratio standard. That is about 40% taller than what the pad is capable of. Even 720p is 120 pixels taller than the 600 tall of the pad.

In the opposite direction, anything lower than 600 tall, say 480p, is stretched up to the 600 height and sometimes can be noticable.

While the pads are advertised as being able to do 1080p or 720p, you will only need 600 tall. This is important when concidering file size. If you have a choice, go with the 720 for better quality playback as it is less intensive on the processor.

If file size is really an issue and you want to get crazy with it, you can run the video through an PC application like Format Factory (free). Just be sure to check the aspect ratio of the video in determining how tall or wide or wide to resize it. Not all widescreen videos are exactly 16X9 ratio. They can vary a bit, based on how the video was created. Resize to either the width or the height of your pad where the entire video can be seen. You will probably have the small black bars on the top of of the screen if the ratio is different then 16X9, say 2.35 by 1.

The only time the 1080p or 720p screen resolution size really makes a difference is if your pad has an HDMI output. Plasma and LCD televisions are almost always 16:9, so the 1080p or 720P can be fully utilized.

If you do not have HDMI output and have a choice, go with the 720p as it will be less of a hit on your processor and be a smaller file size.

Actually this doesn't make sense. The ability to play 1080p means that you do not have to transcode the video files from one format to another. This is one of the best features on the Telechips TCC8902 platform, which plays any video out of the box with flying colors. Combined with USB hosting, this turns the device into a very viable MP4 video player. Not everyone knows how to transcode video effectively, particularly because there is no universal iTunes package for Android tablets to help with this process, so it can be quite a convenience.

HDMI output implementation actually varies. On my X5A, it outputs an upscaled version of the 800x480 screen, meaning that the 1080p videos are first scaled down to 800x480, then upscaled to whatever HDMI output resolution is. I am not sure how the M1001 performs this playback though.

The usefulness of the typical 720p rated tablet varies. On RK2808, it wont play the high bitrate 720p videos. On Qualcomm platforms, it has no MKV support and also sometimes drops high bitrate videos. Advertising as either 720p or 1080p is not indicative of a tablet's video capabilities. At the end of the day, do your research and figure out your needs.
I understand both points of view..... However my line of reasoning is that i am happy to see the implimentation of higher resolution capabilities...... And patiently await the screens to catch up (higher pixel count)