The Best Resolution: 1080p, 720p, or 1080i?

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720p, 1080i, and 1080p are the three different resolutions that are available for HDTVs. The number indicates the total number of lines that are drawn horizontally to produce the image. The letter provides information regarding whether the picture on the television was displayed using a progressive or interlaced scan. It is important to have a high resolution because a better picture has more lines. This idea is comparable to that of digital photographs and the way that the number of dots per inch impacts the quality of the print.

One of the problems that can arise with home entertainment systems is this. There are a great deal of acronyms, numerical notations, and specialised terms utilised here.

screen definitions

For example, many individuals buy 1080p televisions without having a complete understanding of what the term “1080p” refers to. In addition, the majority of people do not have a clear understanding of what precisely comprises the resolution of a high-definition image.

They aren’t aware that having even a fundamental understanding of these terms will allow consumers to get the most out of their brand-new televisions. But don’t give up hope just yet; it’s kind of like trying to ride a bicycle while balancing a fish on your head. After some practise, you’ll realise that it’s not quite as difficult as you would have thought. Continue reading in order to have an understanding of the meaning of some frequent phrases.

In short 720p and 1080p are both resolutions for display devices, such as TVs and computer monitors. 720p refers to a display resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, while 1080p refers to a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. In other words, 1080p offers higher image quality and more detailed picture compared to 720p, due to the increased number of pixels.


There is a difference between 1080i and 1080p resolutions, despite the fact that both are greater than 720. Because it projects images onto the screen in a more effective manner, 1080p is an option that you might want to take into consideration.

What Does the 1080p Video Format Entail?

A video in the 1080p format has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, making it a high-definition (HD) video format. It is a common format for distributing high-quality video content, such as movies, television shows, and gaming content, and it can be delivered by means such as streaming services, cable or satellite TV, and Blu-ray discs. Because it produces a picture that is superior in clarity and detail to formats with lesser resolutions, 1080p has become an increasingly popular option for home entertainment systems and gaming sets. The “p” in 1080p stands for “progressive scan,” which indicates that all of the lines in the frame are displayed in sequence. This results in an image that is flicker-free and has a smooth appearance. This indicates that there is at least one image in the movie that uses a widescreen aspect ratio.

This features a resolution of 1,920 pixels of information along the horizontal axis, and 1,080 pixels of information along the vertical axis (vertical). As a consequence of this, the overall level of detail exceeds 2 million pixels.

It’s also vital to pay attention to the ‘p’ at the end of 1080p. It indicates that the image was recorded using progressive scan rather than a traditional method. This method of image creation is superior to the more common practise of using interlaced scan, which is the method that is used when sending images for television.

The image produced by a progressive scan is of higher quality. This is because the picture is formed by drawing each frame of the image in one pass along the screen. This results in the picture having a smoother appearance. from the first line to the 1080th line. This results in a picture that is incredibly steady and crystal clear.


Another reason why a progressive scan image is preferable for a flat-screen television is because it is the method that is used by these televisions to draw an image. This is another reason why a progressive scan image is superior. A real 1080p image can be obtained from a variety of sources, the most frequent of which being a Blu-ray player and some PlayStation and Xbox games.

What Do You Mean by the Video Format 1080i?

A video in the 1080i format has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, making it a high-definition (HD) video format. The term “interlaced” is represented by the letter I in 1080i, which indicates that the image is split into two fields, with each field containing one-half of the lines that make up the frame.


The lines that are odd are displayed in the first field, while the lines that are even are displayed in the second field. This interlacing approach produces an image that does not flicker, but the overall picture quality may be inferior when compared to formats that use progressive scan, such as 1080p.

The format known as 1080i is frequently utilised in the process of transmitting programming for television, such as live sports and news broadcasts, over cable or satellite television. However, due to the superior image quality and more detailed picture that progressive scan formats provide, it has been mostly supplanted by 1080p for many other forms of video content, such as movies and games. This is the case because 1080p is a more recent format.

What Is the 720p Video Format?

The 720p format of high-definition (HD) video has a resolution that is 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels high. The “p” in 720p refers to “progressive scan,” which indicates that all of the lines in the frame are displayed in sequence. This results in an image that is smooth and does not flicker. It is common practise to use 720p as an alternative to 1080p since 720p provides a more cost-effective alternative for the delivery of high-quality video content.


720p is a popular resolution choice for transmitting video content via a variety of networks and platforms, including cable and satellite television, streaming services, and online video platforms. Because it strikes a healthy mix between picture quality and price, it is also a popular choice for home entertainment systems and gaming sets. Even though it has a lower resolution than 1080p, 720p still delivers an image that is crisp and detailed, which is one of the reasons why so many people choose to go with this option.

Which Resolution Should You Choose to Use for Your Television?

You have a broad variety of options when it comes to the input devices that you may use with your flat-screen television, including Blu-ray players, DVD recorders, cable TV boxes, and several types of digital TV receivers.

Because so many of these devices typically give a selection of output resolutions, it might be difficult to determine which one to pick out of the options available. The most effective strategy for addressing this problem is to make it a habit to attempt, whenever possible, to synchronise the resolution of your TV’s input signal with the display’s natural resolution.


By doing this, you are reducing the amount of processing that the TV needs to carry out, and as a result, you should, in theory, be able to receive the greatest image possible given the technology that you have available to you. However, just to throw a wrench in your plans, there are several situations in which you probably do not want to do this.

The following is a comparison of the many high-definition TV resolutions that are now available so that you may make an informed decision about which one to use with your flat-screen television.

1080i vs 1080p

Which resolution do you go for, 1080i or 1080p, if you have the choice between the two? When it is at all possible, you should always use 1080p.

1080i vs 1080p

Because your HDTV is a device that uses progressive scan, you need to make sure that you send it progressive images whenever it is available. The quality of the image may suffer as a result of the television’s need to de-interlace an image before it can display it if the image was originally interlaced.

It is reasonable to anticipate that a picture created using native progressive scan will appear more crisply defined and less likely to flicker than one created using interlaced scanning. This is the case regardless of whether the image is being broadcast to a television with a resolution of 1080p or a screen with a native resolution of 720p.

720p vs 1080p

This is more difficult to determine, and many people will have problems doing so regardless of the resolution being used if they are more than six or seven feet away from their screen. Since 1080p has a higher resolution than 720p, it is the option that is chosen in most situations; in fact, it is the only option for 1080p TVs because 1080p TVs only support that resolution.

720p vs 1080p

According to our recommendation, however, if you have a screen capable of displaying 720p or 768p resolution, it would be slightly more beneficial for you to send an image in one of those resolutions. Because of this, the amount of image scaling that needs to be done by the TV before it can display the information will be reduced. It is possible that the output will be different depending on the type of TV and/or the quality of the image that is being input, therefore the best line of action would be to test it out on both of the devices.

If the output of the source is changed from 720p to 1080p, you might see a difference in the picture quality on your 720p television, but you might not observe any change at all. It doesn’t really make a difference which option you go with given that there isn’t any clear differentiation between them.

720p vs 1080i

The response to this question is very interesting. You have the option of selecting an image of lesser quality (worse) with progressive scan (better) in 720p or an image of greater quality (better) with interlaced scan (1080i) in Full HD. Both options are better (worse).

720p vs 1080i

One of them is superior to the other in theory due to certain advantages and disadvantages that both of them share. It can come down to testing each of them on your particular configuration to see which one offers the most visible improvement. It has been recommended that you get started by looking for a picture that has a native resolution that is comparable to the one that is used by your display.

Therefore, if you own a TV with a resolution of 720p or 768p, you should use that setting, and if you own a TV with a resolution of 1080p, you should use the 1080i setting. Because the picture will already be in progressive scan at 720p, the 1080p display won’t require the television to perform any de-interlacing on it. This may possibly be to the 1080p display’s advantage. If you want the best possible results, it may come down to the caliber of the equipment you use and the skill with which you can scale and de-interlace the photos. Never put more stock in anyone else’s viewpoint than in your own.

Screen Resolution: Bigger Is Better

It is preferable to have a larger display resolution. The picture on a higher resolution television will normally be clearer, but the cost of the television will also be higher.

720p 1080i 1080p
720 horizontal lines 1080 horizontal lines 1080 horizontal lines
Progressive scan Interlaced scan Progressive scan

720p video has a resolution of 1280 pixels across and 720 pixels high. It was the first resolution available for high-definition televisions. As a result of the reduction in the price of 1080 versions, it is no longer as widely used. Think about the fact that the picture resolution of a 720p TV is twice as high as that of an analogue TV if you’re looking to upgrade from an older model of television.

HDTVs that have a resolution of 1080i are able to display 1920 lines of video vertically. However, because it is interlaced, the lines that appear on the screen are actually painted in two separate runs of 540. Although the frame rate is adequate for content that doesn’t change all that frequently, the picture quality isn’t nearly as fantastic as it could be. HDTVs were initially only available in the 1080i format for a while. This is not the case any longer in today’s modern era. The visual quality is not significantly superior to that of a 720p television.

Cost: you get what you pay for

There is a wide range of prices for high-definition televisions, from $2,000 to $5,000. A few of the variables are the brand, the features, and the technology of the screen. The screen technology that is utilised is one piece of the hardware. The ultimate price is determined in part by a number of factors, including the type of screen, its size, and whether or not it includes intelligent capabilities (LCD or LED).

720p 1080i 1080p
More affordable. More expensive. Most expensive.

A screen with 720p resolution often costs less than one with 1080p resolution. Within the 1080 pricing category, progressive-scan screens carry a price premium over their interlaced counterparts. However, these comparisons do not always hold true, and the outcome also depends on a variety of other factors.


A video with a resolution of 1080p has a resolution of 1920 by 1080. The display utilises progressive scan rather than interlaced scan. Because each row is scanned in a sequential rather than an alternate sequence, this reveals that the image has a total of 2.07 million pixels. This is due to the fact that each row is scanned in the same order. Because it offers the best picture quality out of the three HDTVs that were reviewed, it has swiftly established itself as the industry standard.

Final Thoughts

Assuming that all three of these TV formats are within your budget range, a 1080p TV is the best option to go with; however, a 4K TV is not. Both the 720p and 1080i models rely on antiquated technology, which is rapidly being phased out in favour of solutions with higher resolution.

A device with a resolution of 1080p provides the finest viewing experience and resolution available. On the other hand, you won’t notice a significant difference in the pictures on 720p or 1080p screens for televisions with a screen size of 32 inches or less.

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Meet the Author

Discover the world of high-fidelity audio with Ashwin, your go-to expert at With a deep passion for home theater speakers and equipment, Ashwin offers insightful articles and reviews, helping both newcomers and seasoned enthusiasts craft the perfect audio experience. Join the quest for sonic excellence today!

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