1080p or 1080i – What is the Difference and Which is better?

Since analog television is soon to be a thing of the past and is being replaced by HDTV,…

Since analog television is soon to be a thing of the past and is being replaced by HDTV, consumers have a choice between 1080p and 1080i high definition standards. They do not know what the difference is between the two and therefore need to know which one is the best to buy. What they refer to are the two different ways in which high definition TV is broadcast. The screen is measured in pixels and 1280 X 720 p refers to the size of the screen of the TV. It means that the picture you see on the TV screen is painted from top to bottom and then repeated 60 times every second.

About 1080p

In 1080p, there are 1080 vertical resolution lines and a progressive scan does not have an interlaced image. It has a 16.9 widescreen resolution ratio which means that the screen has a horizontal resolution of 1920 pixels. With this technology, the picture on the TV screen is very similar to the quality of the screen in a movie theater. The p after 1080 refers to 30 progressive frames per second.

At the present time there are no broadcasts in 1080p format and there is no time frame for any to begin in the future. However, there are digital formats that do provide this resolution, such as Blu-Ray and HD DVD players.

About 1080i

In the term 1080i, the “I” refers to Interlaced whereas in 1080p, “p” means progressive. It still has the 16.9 widescreen resolution and the screen size is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Canada, US, Brazil and Japan use this system because it is compatible with their analog broadcast system that is about 60Hz. It can also be used with 50 Hz and can be carried by digital transmission formats.

Main differences between the two

The main difference between 1080p and 1080i is the features that you have with each one. 1080p is the best because you can watch Blu-Ray and HD DVD’s on this type of TV. You can only watch videos and broadcasts on a 1080i HDTV.


  1. HDTV comes in either 1080p or 1080i.
  2. 1080 refers to the resolution and the letters after the number refer to the scanning technique it uses.
  3. P means progressive scan
  4. I means interlaced scan
  5. Both have a widescreen resolution of 16.9
  6. In 1080i, the resolution is 1080 X 1920 pixels.
  7. 1080p has a frame rate of 30.
  8. Progressive scanning is the technology that is used at the present time replacing the interlaced scanning.


When you want the best picture quality you should purchase an HDTV that has 1080p technology. This is because you can watch HD and Blu-Ray on this type of television.

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