How To Home Theater 720p vs. 1080i vs. 1080p More is better with HDTVs Share Pin Email Print Home Theater Key Concepts Basics Guides & Tutorials Installing & Upgrading Tips & Tricks Cut The Cord Music For Your Life by Matthew Torres A journalist who writes about television technology, consumer support articles, and TV-related news. Updated November 08, 2019 689 689 people found this article helpful Just about everyone has moved away from standard-definition analog TVs in favor of the much superior high-definition televisions in 720p, 1080i, or 1080p resolutions. HDTVs offer a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is similar in appearance to a movie theater screen, and they are available with higher-resolution screens, which impress with their clarity, color, and detail. Resolution is undoubtedly HDTV's biggest selling point. The 1080p resolution has all but replaced 1080i. You can still find TVs with 1080i screens, but they're way less common. Overall Findings 720 1080i 1080p 1280 pixels x 720 pixels 1920 pixels x 1080 lines 1920 by 1080 pixels Interlaced: split into two groups of 540 lines each Progressive scan: Draws all pixels at once The affordable HDTV resolutions are 720p, 1080i, and 1080p — the number stands for the number of lines that create the image, and the letter describes the type of scan used by the TV to display the picture: progressive or interlaced. Resolution matters because more lines mean a better picture. This is a similar concept to digital photos and how dots-per-inch determines print quality. Lifewire / Tim Liedtke 1080i and 1080p are higher resolutions than 720, but they aren't the same. You should go for 1080p because of the more efficient way it projects images onto the screen. Screen Resolutions: Bigger Is Better 720p 1080i 1080p 720 lines 1080 lines 1080 lines Progressive scan Interlaced scan Progressive scan In general, the higher the resolution of a TV, the sharper the picture and the higher the price tag. 720p has an image resolution of 1280 pixels by 720 lines. 720p was the first available HDTV resolution. It is still available but is not as popular as it once was now that the prices have come down on the 1080 TVs. By comparison, a 720p TV has twice the resolution of an analog TV picture. 1080i has a resolution of 1920 pixels by 1080 horizontal lines. However, it is interlaced, so the lines are painted on the screen in two passes of 540 lines each. The picture quality is fine for slow-moving content but not as desirable for fast-moving objects. 1080i was once the standard in HDTVs but no more. Its quality is not much better than 720p TVs. 1080p has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, and it is a progressive scan, not interlaced, so it provides a picture with a full 2.07 million pixels. This is currently the best-selling TV format, and it provides the best picture of the three models mentioned here. Price: You Get What You Pay For 720p 1080i 1080p More affordable Harder to find Most expensive The price fo a high-definition TV varies widely. It depends on a lot of factors, including manufacturers and other features. The type of display is just one part of the hardware. Other factors that contribute to the price include display size, availability of smart features, and screen type (i.e., LCD or LED). In general, however, 720 screens are cheaper than 1080 ones. Within the 1080 tier, progressive-scan displays are more expensive than interlaced. But depending on all of the other factors, these comparisons may not always be the case. Final Verdict Assuming all three of these TV formats are in your price range, 1080p TV is the best selection. The 720p and 1080i models rely on old technology that is gradually giving way to higher-resolution TVs. A 1080p device offers the best resolution and viewing experience. However, for TVs that are 32 inches or smaller, you won't see much difference between pictures on 1080p and 720p televisions. Continue Reading Video Resolution - What You Need to Know 1080i vs 1080p - How They Are The Same and Different What's the Difference Between 720p and 1080p Resolution? Making Sense of LCD TVs and HDTVs The Real Difference Between 720p and 1080i Why NTSC and PAL Still Matter With HDTV Is Digital TV the Same as HDTV? What to Know About HD Camcorders Before You Make the Purchase Can You Use a Blu-ray Disc Player With a 720p TV? How FHD and UHD affect TV Viewing What You Really Need To Know About 4K And Ultra HD All You Need to Know About 1080p TVs What Does the Term 1080p Mean? What Looks Better Upscaled DVD or Blu-ray? Always Get the Best HD Movies at iTunes With This Hidden Setting How Much Do You Really Know About DVD?