1080i vs 720p: Difference and Comparison

For digital television, computer monitor or display device resolution plays an important aspect. As it is the maximum number of different pixels that can be displayed in each dimension. The better the resolution and general quality of a picture for any particular screen size because of the more dots in the picture. 1080i and 720p belong to the family of resolutions, but they have different properties and usage.

Key Takeaways

  1. 1080i is a video resolution format that uses interlaced scanning and has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. At the same time, 720p is a video resolution format that uses progressive scanning and has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels.
  2. 1080i provides a higher resolution and sharper image quality, while 720p provides smoother and more fluid motion.
  3. 1080i is more commonly used for television broadcasts and Blu-ray discs, while 720p is used for online streaming and gaming.

1080i vs 720p

1080i is a video format used in high-definition (HD) television systems, where “1080” refers to the number of vertical pixels in the image, which is 1080, while the “I” stands for interlaced scanning. 720p is a video resolution standard that refers to a display resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

1080i vs 720p

The interlaced scan is denoted by the letter i in 1080i. It refers to techniques for displaying an image on a screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (2,073,600 total pixels). These lines are arranged on the screen in such a way that the two passes cover 540 lines, each maintaining its value of resolution.

The 720p transmission format is a progressive HDTV signal with 720 horizontal lines. It features a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels on the screen. The higher the number of pixels on a display, the better its image quality. Resolution describes how many pixels a display has in width x height format.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison1080i720p
DefinitionIt is a term for a type of image enhancement technology that works in conjunction with high-resolution photographs. To deliver a better visual result to viewers, these types of methods are widely utilized in streaming video.It is known as Widescreen HDTV  as it refers to a high-definition television transmission format having 720 horizontal lines and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
ResolutionIt has a screen of 1920×1080 pixel width and height respectively. If the TV is 1080 pixels high, there are 1080 rows of pixels from top to bottom.It has a horizontal resolution of 1280 pixels and a vertical resolution of 720 pixels, which features a widescreen aspect ratio.
Scan TypeThe 1080i image is considered as an interlaced scan type, which means that each frame of 1080 lines is generated in two passes.It is considered as a progressive scan type, where the entire image is refreshed and updated in every cycle.
Picture QualityFor slow-moving content, the picture quality is adequate, but not ideal for fast-moving objects.Its quality is better as it is HDTV resolution. A 720p TV has double the resolution of an analog TV.
ExistenceIt is no longer in use on modern devices and televisions, whether LED TVs or UHD 4K TVs.The 720p format videos are no longer considered as High definition. It refers to the Standard Definition for any video with a resolution less than 1080p.

What is 1080i?

In the 1080 interlaced format, two sets of pixels are displayed, one after the other. This process occurs in a way where one image is disseminated over the even lines of a pixel field in a 1080 interlaced format, while the second image is sent over the odd lines of images.

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This means that a 1080i image is sent as an interlaced scan picture, which means that each frame of 1080 lines is rendered twice. All of the odd lines starting from 1 to 1079 are drawn in the beginning. Then, from 2 to 1080, all the even lines are drawn. Each of these passes is referred to as a field, and one frame of 1080 lines is made up of two fields, each consisting of 540 lines.

As a result, our eyes take somewhat longer to see a whole frame while viewing an interlaced image. This method aids in the illusion of motion and can help to eliminate difficulties such as screen flicker.

In a 1080i format, only 540 lines are sent every 60th of a second, with the rest of the information broadcasted every 30th second. The outcomes of 1080 interlaced techniques can vary based on several factors. The difference between various scan-type formats can be minimized with a smaller television. It is also crucial to consider how service providers handle data compression.

What is 720p?

It consists of a picture that holds 720 rows of 1,280 pixels. Taking an example of a TV or other display device, 720 horizontal lines or pixel rows are shown in order, or each line or row is sent after the other.

It was the first HDTV resolution format available. On the other hand, a 720p TV has double the resolution of an analog TV. In every 60th of a second or twice every 30th of a second, the entire image is refreshed on a timely basis. In digital camera terminology, the total number of pixels displayed on the full 720p screen surface is 921,600, which is slightly less than 1 megapixel.

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There are different parameters on which the hours of a video depend. The number of hours of 720p video depends on a variety of parameters, including video compression, camera bitrate, and video frame rate. On average, a 32 GB memory card can contain between 3 and 5 hours of 720p film.

Progressive scan, or non-interlaced, is denoted by the letter p. 720p and has the maximum temporal resolution available under the ATSC and DVB standards when broadcast at 60 frames per second. It has a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, which implies a resolution of 1280 x720 pixels.

Main Differences Between 1080i and 720p

  1. The display technology types are different for the two resolutions. 1080i stands for interlaced scan type, which i represent. But 720p stands for progressive scan type, which is represented by p.
  2. 1080i has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels which makes a total of two million pixels when multiplied, whereas 720p has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, which makes a value of fewer than one million pixels when multiplied.
  3. In 1080 interlaced format, it is split into two sets of 540 lines each and in 720p scan type, it draws all pixels at the same time.
  4. 1080i covers a screen consisting of 1080 horizontal lines, whereas 720p covers 720 horizontal lines.
  5. The most widely used HDTV format is 1080i, which has been adopted as the HDTV broadcast standard by most television broadcast, cable, and satellite sources. And 720p is used in high-definition (HD) video quality.
Difference Between 1080i and 720p
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1517095/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4106553/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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6 thoughts on “1080i vs 720p: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Fascinating information about the different resolution standards for television and displays. It’s always important to understand the technology we’re using to make the most out of it!

  2. It’s interesting to see a comparison between these two video formats. The developments in technology have definitely brought about significant changes in display standards.

  3. Considering the influence of resolution on TV and display quality, it’s clear that individuals should be aware of the distinctions between 1080i and 720p when selecting their viewing devices. It’s not as simple as picking the highest resolution!

  4. I appreciate the detailed information about the technical specifications of 1080i and 720p. It’s essential for consumers to understand these aspects when choosing between different display technologies.

  5. I believe it’s vital for consumers to be aware of the differences between 1080i and 720p in order to make more informed decisions when purchasing television and display devices.

  6. While we may be living in an era of 4k and 8k resolutions, understanding the history and differences between 1080i and 720p is still relevant as many streaming and broadcast services continue to use these standards.


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