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What’s the Difference Between 1080i and 1080p?

2 November 2011 No Comment

When you’re buying an expensive item like a television that you’re going to hook up to Direct tv, you need to do some homework so that you can get the most bang for your buck.

One area that causes a lot of confusion for TV buyers is whether to get a television that displays in 1080i or 1080p. Modern televisions that are billed as having HD (high definition) capability are able to display images at a resolution of 1920×1080, which is the number of horizontal and vertical pixels respectively. The i in 1080i stands for interlaced, while the p in 1080p stands for progressive.

To understand the difference between interlaced and progressive displays, you need to know a little about how televisions display their pictures. In the old days where televisions with huge picture tubes were the norm, the picture on the screen was produced by an electron gun inside of the television set that lit up lines on the screen in an alternating pattern. At any given time, essentially half of the lines on the screen were blank. Due to the inability of the human eye to detect such quick movements, no one really noticed. This process is called interlacing and was done primarily because of limitations with the technology.

These days, with LED, LCD, and plasma television, better technology allows newer TVs to show progressive displays, which means that the entire screen is filled at once. The result of this technology is a smoother picture, which is ideal for fast moving images like sporting events and high speed chases during movies.

Naturally, because it is a better and newer technology, electronics companies charge a premium for televisions that have 1080p resolutions. Whether or not you should pay the extra money for 1080p vs. 1080i is a matter of preference. Regardless of whether you get a television that has 1080i or 1080p, your resolution size is still the same. The main difference will be seen if you’re watching sporting events or shows that have fast movements. If you watch a lot of things on TV that have fast movement and want the best picture possible, you should consider spending a little extra money on a television that can display in 1080p.

Now that you know the difference between 1080i and 1080p, the best thing that you can do to help make the right decision is to go out and look at a few televisions to see the differences in person.

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