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# GEOFFREY MORRISON BLOG

## 1080i v. 1080p

There has been a lot of concern and confusion over the difference between 1080i and 1080p. This stems from the inability of many TVs to accept 1080p. To make matters worse, the help lines at many of the TV manufacturers (that means you, Sony), are telling people that their newly-bought 1080p displays are really 1080i. They are idiots, so let me say this in big bold print, as far as movies are concerned THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1080i AND 1080p. See, I did it in caps too, so it must be true. Let me explain (if your eyes glaze over, the short version is at the end).

For clarification, let me start by saying that there are essentially no 1080i TVs anymore. Unless you bought a CRT based TV, every modern TV is progressive scan (as in LCD, Plasma, LCOS, DLP). They are incapable of displaying a 1080i signal as 1080i. So what we’re talking about here mostly applies to people with 1080p native displays.

Movies and almost all TV shows are shot at 24 frames-per-second (either on film or on 24fps HD cameras). All TVs have a refresh rate of 60Hz. What this means is that the screen refreshes 60 times a second. In order to display something that is 24fps on something that is essentially 60fps, you need to make up, or create new frames. This is done using a method called 3:2 pulldown (or more accurately 2:3 pulldown). The first frame of film is doubled, the second frame of film is tripled, the third frame of film is doubled and so on, creating a 2,3,2,3,2,3,2 sequence. It basically looks like this: 1a,1b,2a,2b,2c,3a,3b,4a… Each number is the original film frame. This lovely piece of math allows the 24fps film to be converted to be displayed on 60Hz products (nearly every TV in the US, ever).

This can be done in a number of places. With DVDs, it was all done in the player. With HD DVD, it is done in the player to output 1080i. With Blu-ray, there are a few options. The first player, the Samsung, added the 3:2 to the signal, interlaced it, and then output that (1080i) or de-interlaced the same signal and output that (1080p). In this case, the only difference between 1080i and 1080p is where the de-interlacing is done. If you send 1080i, the TV de-interlaces it to 1080p. If you send your TV the 1080p signal, the player is de-interlacing the signal. As long as your TV is de-interlacing the 1080i correctly, then there is no difference. Check out this article for more info on that.

The next Blu-ray players (from Pioneer and the like) will have an additional option. They will be able to output the 1080p/24 from the disc directly. At first you may think that if your TV doesn't accept 1080p, you'll miss out on being able to see the "unmolested" 1080p/24 from the disc. Well even if your TV could accept the 1080p/24, your TV would still have to add the 3:2 pulldown itself (the TV is still 60Hz). So you're not seeing the 1080p/24 regardless.

The only exception to that rule is if you can change the refresh on the TV. Pioneer's plasmas can be set to refresh at 72 Hz. These will take the 1080p/24, and do a simple 3:3 pull down (repeating each frame 3 times).

Short Version
What this all means is this:

• When it comes to movies (as in HD DVD and Blu-ray) there will be no visible difference between the 1080i signal and the 1080p signal, as long as your TV correctly de-interlaces 1080i. So even if you could input 1080p, you wouldn't see a difference (because there is none).

• There is no additional or new information in a 1080p signal from movie based content.

• The only time you would see a difference is if you have native 1080p/60 content, which at this point would only come from a PC and maybe the PS3. 1080p/60 does have more information than 1080i/30, but unless you're a gamer you will probably never see native 1080p/60 content. It is incredibly unlikely that they will ever broadcast 1080p (too much bandwidth) or that 1080p/60 content will show up on discs (too much storage space and no one is using it to record/film).

So all of you people who bought 1080p displays only to be told by the companies that you had bought 1080i TVs, relax. The TV will convert everything to 1080p. Now if you bought a TV that doesn't de-interlace 1080i correctly, well, that's a whole other story.

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You have NOT said anything about square vs. rectangle pixels.1080i is it rectangle pixels?1080 is it square pixels?Thanks,Jack

But if the DVDs are done in the player with the output set to 1080i, then why would Samsung add a the 3:2 to the signal and interlace it, because the de-interlacing of the same signal shouldn't output to 1080p but 1080r, surely.http://www.v9designbuild.com

Thanks for the comments everyone and such useful discussion - I have been not a great fan of blue-ray kinda movies a HD tv is probably not for me! Great blog though..

1080i, the former king of the HDTV hill, actually boasts an identical 1,920x1,080 resolution but conveys the images in an interlaced format (the i in 1080i). In a tube-based television, otherwise known as a CRT, 1080i sources get "painted" on the screen sequentially: the odd-numbered lines of resolution appear on your screen first, followed by the even-numbered lines--all within 1/30 of a second.Improve golf swing

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http://www.bestavstore.com/oxproseries5.htmI am considering this product ... projector 1080i ... is this as good as 1080p? will I be able to game or pc at full hd? thank you

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I have read all of the technical jargon but I have one simple question that could be answered with a simple yes or no cause most of us non-techys dont understand all of the rest of this.I have a 1080i TV with a blu-ray player.Will I be able to see a big difference between regular DVDs and Blu-ray movie discs?

I'm one of the people mentioned near the beginning of the article. I have a CRT (picture tube) TV that I got about 3 years ago, just when the blu-ray thing was starting to take off.It's a 28 inch screen samsung, and it has 'HDTV 1080i' stamped on it. But I've used a regular DVD player, and I don't yet own a blu-ray. I don't have an HD box, so I just get regular cable piped thru the DVD player into the TV.If I got a blu-ray player and tried it out on my TV, would I notice a difference? You say your article was written only for those who have flat screens and such. What about the CRT owners who have 1080i? What might they expect if they tried to use a blu-ray player?

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ok, for idiots like me. I have a pretty new LG plasma HD and just purchased a samsung bluray. when I used the hdmi to hook up the system thru my dennon reciever it told me invalid format. I called the samsung help line and they told me to change the setting to 720p and it would work. I took the bluray to another tv, did this, took it back to the LG and it works. Now my concern is the picture quality. by setting the bluray to 720p did I just lower my picture quality or worse negate the entire reason for purchasing the bluray? Thank you in advance!

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Ok so if what your telling me is true than why am i having such a big problem in getting the full resolution out of my blue ray discs as I intended on getting. I have a 32" lcd hd phillips t.v. that only supports 1080i but not 1080p. In the very high detailed scenes in the blue ray movie it isn't showing up hd at all, in fact i can actually see the pixels interlacing instead of the crystal crisp picture. I've checked out every possible reason behind this and the only solution i could find was that my tv is interlaced and not passive in 1080. Please tell me i'm wrong becuase if not this means i can't play my blue ray in perfect resolution which i intended on doing in buying this tv. please get back to me asap following this email Sincerly, Jamie

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