HomeTech TalksWhat are the Differences Between 1080p and 1080i Resolutions?

What are the Differences Between 1080p and 1080i Resolutions?

Not long ago, the only difference you could tell between T.V qualities was between S.D. and H.D. Now, with varieties ranging from OLED, QLED, UHD, and HDTV to 4K resolutions, it’s much harder to make the perfect pick for your home. Though you come across many resolutions for T.Vs in the market, it all comes down to either 720p, 1080i, or 1080p.

Various Types of T.V Resolution

These three resolutions for TV are the top budget picks. Anything above this section is too expensive, and anything below it is terrible quality. You might think that 1080i and 1080p should be superior to 720p, which is not entirely true. So, to clear your doubts and confusion about the differences between 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, we have separated the debate into three sections below.

720p and 1080i Resolution

When the first switch from Standard-Definition to High-Definition videos was made during the nineties, 720p ruled the markets. Though 1080i resolutions caught up soon after, many TV channels like ABC, Fox, and ESPN opted for the older 720p resolution as standard. One may wonder why international channels wouldn’t use the latest broadcast technology. But there is a little more to it than just that.

The 1080i T.Vs have interlaced pixel displays (more about that in the following section), whereas 720p T.Vs have progressive pixel displays. In short, interlaced displays render an image by activating the alternate layers of pixels—for example, the evens and the odds. On the contrary, progressive displays render an image progressively over the entire screen.

Related Guide: Cable TV vs. Streaming Services

The rendering processes are so quick (30-60 frames per second) that you may not even spot the difference. And while higher pixels mean a more sophisticated image render, higher frame rates give a smoother video experience.

As you may have guessed, most big channels opted for 720p broadcasts because they are played at 60 FPS. And since the 1080i T.Vs have to run dual processes by activating alternating layers, their total FPS falls to 30.

Though 1080i res is superior in image quality, depth, and details, 720p res is more efficient in capturing fast movements on screen. Take sports as an example; there’s a lot of rapid movement on-screen, and you wouldn’t want a player to blur out in the spur of the moment.

1080i vs 1080p

Coming over to our topic’s central theme today, let’s see the differences between 1080i and 1080p.

The “I” and “P” represent the rendering type for these resolution formations, interlaced and progressive. As we briefly scrapped over the differences between interlaced and progressive displays earlier, we’ll now get into more detail.

Pixels and Lines

All 1080 resolutions have 1920 pixels in 1080 lines. And as a rule of thumb, the higher the pixels, the better the image quality, right? Well, yes, but that’s solely true for still images. The rendering process and frame rates hold much more dominance in specific scenarios for moving videos and graphics.

We’ll make it even simpler by telling you what a frame rate is in the first place. It’s pretty simple. It determines the number of frames captured/played in a second. 30 FPS changes 30 frames in a second, whereas 60FPS changes 60 frames. Let’s see how it impacts video quality and resolution in real time.

Tips: You’re probably well acquainted with FPS and pixels if you play games like Minecraft.

Interlaced vs. Progressive Displays

Interlaced displays render 60 frames per second as well. Still, since it is divided into two parts as it alternatively activates the pixel lines, it takes two frames to complete a picture in the interlaced display. So, if you’re watching a 60 FPS video on 1080i displays, you’ll only get a 1920 x 540 resolution.

On the contrary, 1080p displays videos in Full HD formats. 1080p displays are called Full HD because video in today’s latest technology is based on 60 FPS. And it does so, giving an impressive 1920 pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio, similar to a cinema screen.

Differences Between 1080p and 1080i

Regarding 1080p vs. 1080i, the significant difference is that the former displays much smoother graphics. It captures more depth and colors than a 720p display. It has superior progressive pixel technology to capture fast-moving bodies. However, viewing 720p, 1080i, and 1080p displays on screens smaller than 32 inches wouldn’t tell much difference.

720p vs 1080i vs 1080p, Which is Better?

So far, 1080p is the superior video and image quality display. One would’ve easily opted for a 720p display a few years back due to modest prices. But now that we have so many new and more advanced displays, such as 4K and UHD, even the 1080p T.Vs have started to drop in prices.

And when comparing 1080i vs. 1080p, the former has 60% lower image and video quality. It may make the difference because of pixel combing and slow processing frame rates.

Video streaming services like Hulu and Chromecast suit the advanced 1080p TV for maximum resolution and clearer images.


Nowadays, we see all TV models fall well under everyone’s budget. However, if you do not specifically look for the type of display you’ll be getting for your TV at the time of purchase. You may never be able to tell the difference yourself. You’ll notice a little saturation of images and blurring out of fast-moving objects on the screen.

Ralph Gary
Ralph Gary
A news reporter and avid gamer, Ralph brings you the best of both worlds. With his expertise in the tech industry and passion for gaming, he shares insightful technology news, exciting game guides, and valuable tips to enhance your gaming experience. Stay ahead of the curve with Ralph's expertise and let the games begin!
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