1080i vs. 1080p

Lately “1080p” has become all the rage in the world of HDTV.  While no over-the-air/cable/satellite transmissions come in 1080p format (they all come in either 1080i or 720p format) both Blu-Ray and HD DVD (the next generations of DVD) offer 1080p output as well as the Play Station 3 and XBox 360.  Plus, upconverting DVD players offering upconversion to 1080p have fell under $100 and are widely available.  The question is, does it matter?

Much like my discussion over whether upconverting DVD players make a difference, the answer depends in large part on your TV set.  Some people will tell you you can never tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p.  Others will tell you there is a huge difference.  I will say that in my case, there was a huge difference between 1080i and 1080p – although I was skeptical.

I originally owned an upconverting player capable of outputting 720p and 1080i.  I found myself constantly flipping between the two – I liked the sharp picture offered by 1080i but liked the smooth motion and lack annoying artifacts offered by 720p.  So when I saw a player offering 1080p output for $70 I was really suspicious – how good could it be for only $70?  So I brought it home and hooked both players up over digital connections and compared and I could definitely tell the difference.  From having a 1080i player I knew of a few scenes where motion blur and artifacts were really present so I checked those scenes and could really tell a huge difference.

On the other hand, if your TV has good video processing then it may do a fine job deinterlacing 1080i material to the point where the difference offered by a 1080p player will be negligible – in that case, it’s not worth it.  But if your set has sub-par video processing than you might notice a considerable difference as I did.

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  1. December 25, 2013 at 5:03 am

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