I don't know I don't have your monitor, if you look at them yourself do you see a difference between the two ? The bitrate is higher for the 1080 because the resolution is higher. What I did is pause at the same place the two videos and compare them. So you will see which one has the best resolution for you monitor. But with the size of the files I will say is the 720 who will be at the best resolution.
Well, assuming they used the exact same encoding method for the files and the only thing messed with is bitrate and size, grab the 1080 one. It depends on the type of show. For anime I can't tell a difference between 720 or 1080, though with say big theater releases I can see noticeable differences.
720 scaled up to 1080 is not an even scale factor. There are nasty artifacts. Native 1080 will be sharper and clearer regardless the bitrate.
Bitrate matters because if it is too low, you have compression artifacts which imo is a whole lot worse than scaling from 720 to 1080. If both files were the same bitrate the larger res would be worse quality because it would be compressed more. Codec would make a difference in how efficiently they were compressed but I'm assuming the same codec was used.
@ k114, You are right about the bitrate, I could have a 360 resolution who has a high bitrate and can be more define than a 1080 who has a low bitrate. Because the bitrate and the resolution equal the size of the file.
1080 has twice the pixel count of 720. Both seem progressive, and I can only assume we are talking about just video bit rate and not taking into account for audio?
Assuming mpeg2 style compression, both those bitrates are surprising low for that resolution. You would need 19 megabit/s for 720p in HD. But you are doubling the pixel count and only using 1.2 kb/s more for the bitrate. I would only assume the 720p picture looks clearer. And a computer monitor will not 'upscale'. It should windowize the media at its native resolution unless you try to full screen it. And even then, it isnt going to upscale. It will just spread it out.
Your opening post really needs more information in terms of the codecs being used and how you are planing on playing them. Otherwise it is just alot of assumptions on everyones part.