WHAT IS 1080p?
Learning Math Sucks, unless of course, it helps you understand high definition TV, which doesn’t suck if you get to watch hockey on it, right? So to figure out how you can actually see the sweat fly when a player is checked, let’s do some TV math. 480i/480p:
Until HDTV came along, TVs in North America used the 480i standard called NTSC, which drew across the screen starting at the top, cascading downward. This cascading is the “I” in 480i, and it stands for “interlaced,” which means 240 odd lines draw first on the screen in 1/60th of a second while the even lines draw in the next 1/60th of a second. Your brain sees these alternating sets of lines together to perceive a picture. When DVDs came along, a standard called 480p was developed. The “p’ stands for progressive, which means that all 480 lines are drawn in at once, so the picture is sharper because the whole picture is drawn in at once.
720p and 1080i:
In the HD world, there are two common standards. The first is called 720p. That’s 720 lines of picture all drawn at once (progressive). Then there is 1080i, where 540 odd lines draw first, and then 540 even lines draw next. Some say 720p is better since you can see the weave of interlacing in fast-action scenes with 1080i sets. Still, hockey sweat looks pretty good on both.
There’s an emerging HD standard called 1080p.That 1080 lines drawn in progressively in 1/60th of a second. It’s the most detailed HD format and (no surprise) the most expensive.
So which standard should you choose when you buy a TV? Most HDTV’s handle 480i and 480p, as well as both 720p and 1080i. They convert whatever is received to show you a great picture. Not all can display a 1080p picture; however, a 1080p video source will be converted to either 720p or 1080i. Currently no broadcaster uses 1080p, though next-generation high-def DVD formats produce a 1080p picture. Andy Walker, Show Magazine