Tuesday, 8 July 2008

1080p or 1080i Which is better?

Television buying can be a bit confusing, especially when you don't know what all those technical looking numbers mean. Sales staff are often only concerned with selling you the TV with the greatest commission so you should do you homework before you purchase your television.

In this article we are going to briefly explain what 1080p and 1080i mean when it comes to television specifications. Well, the number in 1080p and 1080i (i.e. the 1080 part) indicates the number of horizontl lines available on your television. High-definition television is either 720 or 1080. So that means your TV has either 720 lines or 1080 lines that form the picture that you actually watch. This is opposed to standard-definition television which only has 575 lines. So you can see, with High-definition, you get much more horizontal lines making up an image, giving a clearer picture.

So, what does the little "i" or "p" after our number mean? This tells us that an image is either interlaced or progressively scanned. Interlacing is basically a method of creating an image by showing it in two halves, flashed so close together that your eye cannot tell that there have been 2 images and your brain is tricked into thinking there is only one image. This technique is widely used in broadcasting because it saves bandwidth. So, the "i" obviously refer to an interlaced picture. Standard-definition is interlaced - and in fact, interlacing an image is perfect for CRT devices. With plasma screens or LCD screens, interlacing no longer works as well. The "p" refers to progressive scanning. Progressive scanning refers to the technique of drawing each line of an image in sequence.

So, which is better? 1080p or 1080i? Well, the ultimate in HD TV is considered 1080p because it displays a smoother image than 1080i. But, be careful, just because your TV can display 1080p does not mean it will; your signal source needs to be 1080p for you to reap the full benefits of 1080p. Currently, most HD broadcast is in 720p or 1080i, so even if you have a TV that can display 1080p, you won't be getting the full benefit of it from your average television program. Where you will notice the difference is if you play a lot of video games or watch a lot of blu-ray movies. Serious gamers already know the xbox360 and playstation 3 can output at 1080p, and obviously blu-ray dvds can also send a picture in 1080p to your television.

Ultimately, to decide which TV is better for you, you need to take into account your viewing habits.

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