1080i and 1080p are both High Definition display formats for HDTVs. 1080i and 1080p signals actually contain the same information.
Both 1080i and 1080p represent a 1920x1080 pixel resolution (1,920 pixels across the screen by 1,080 pixels down the screen). The difference between 1080i and 1080p is in the way the signal is sent from a source component or displayed on an HDTV screen.
In 1080i, each frame of video is sent or displayed in alternative fields. The fields in 1080i are composed of 540 rows of pixels or lines of pixels running from the top to the bottom of the screen, with the odd fields displayed first and the even fields displayed second.
Together, both fields create a full frame, made up of all 1,080-pixel rows or lines, every 30th of a second.
In 1080p, each frame of video is sent or displayed progressively. This means that both the odd and even fields (all 1,080-pixel rows or pixel lines) that make up the full frame are displayed together. This results in a smoother looking image, with fewer motion artifacts and jagged edges.
1080p processing can be done at the source, such as on a upscaling DVD Player, Blu-ray Disc Player or media streamer, or it can be done by the HDTV itself.
Depending on the actual video processors used, there may or may not be a difference in having the TV do the final processing (referred to as deinterlacing) step of converting 1080i to 1080p.
Even if you don’t have a 1080p input capable TV, as long your HDTV has 1080p internal processing, you may still be able to get the benefits of 1080p.
The key is in the processing, and, of course, not all HDTVs and video processors are created equal - let your eyes be your guide.
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