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1080i vs. 1080p — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 5, 2023
1080i and 1080p refer to HD resolutions; 1080i uses interlaced scanning, delivering half the frame at a time, while 1080p uses progressive scanning, displaying the entire frame in one go.
1080i vs. 1080p — What's the Difference?

Difference Between 1080i and 1080p

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Key Differences

Both 1080i and 1080p are formats that determine how HD content is displayed on a screen. The "1080" in both terms denotes the vertical resolution, meaning there are 1,080 lines of vertical resolution. However, the way each displays images differs fundamentally.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
1080i stands for 1080 interlaced lines of resolution. In this format, the screen displays every other line of the frame in one pass, and then goes back to display the alternate lines in a second pass. Essentially, it's showing half the frame at any given moment. This can sometimes result in motion artifacts, particularly in fast-moving scenes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
On the other hand, 1080p stands for 1080 progressive lines of resolution. In the 1080p format, every line of the frame is displayed at once, providing a complete picture in every refresh cycle. This tends to offer a clearer, smoother picture, especially during fast action or camera movement.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
Generally speaking, 1080p is considered superior to 1080i because of its ability to deliver a full frame in every cycle. This becomes especially noticeable in scenes with a lot of movement. However, the difference might not always be easily distinguishable to the average viewer, especially on smaller screens.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
Broadcasters often use 1080i because it requires less bandwidth than 1080p. Meanwhile, Blu-ray discs and gaming consoles might favor 1080p because of its quality and smoothness. When deciding between the two, one should consider the source of the content and the capabilities of the display device.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Scanning Method

Interlaced (displays half the frame at a time)
Progressive (displays the entire frame at once)
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Best Used For

Broadcasting
Blu-rays, gaming, streaming
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Dec 05, 2023

Image Quality

Can show motion artifacts in fast-moving scenes
Typically clearer, especially in motion
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Bandwidth Requirement

Generally less than 1080p
Requires more bandwidth
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Dec 05, 2023

Content Availability

Common in TV broadcasts
Common in Blu-rays, gaming consoles, and some streaming
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Compare with Definitions

1080i

An HD resolution using interlaced scanning.
The broadcast was in 1080i, resulting in occasional motion blur during rapid scenes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080p

Offers better motion clarity compared to interlaced formats.
During the car chase, the 1080p format ensured no details were missed.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080i

Has 1,080 vertical lines of resolution displayed in an interlaced manner.
My older TV supports 1080i, displaying content with alternating lines.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080p

An HD resolution using progressive scanning.
The movie on the Blu-ray was in 1080p, offering crystal clear quality.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080i

Commonly used in TV broadcasting.
Most of the channels on my TV are broadcasted in 1080i format.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080p

Commonly found in Blu-rays, streaming, and gaming.
I prefer streaming services that offer content in 1080p for a sharper image.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080i

May result in motion artifacts in fast scenes.
The soccer match displayed some blurring because it was aired in 1080i.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080p

Consists of 1,080 vertical lines of resolution displayed all at once.
My new screen displays everything in 1080p, making visuals vibrant and detailed.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080i

Displays half the frame in each refresh cycle.
1080i provides a compromise between image quality and bandwidth for many broadcasters.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

1080p

Displays the complete frame in each refresh cycle.
Gaming on a 1080p monitor provides smooth visuals without motion artifacts.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 21, 2023

Common Curiosities

Can I easily notice the difference between 1080i and 1080p?

On larger screens or during fast motion, yes. On smaller screens or still scenes, differences may be minimal.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Why do broadcasters use 1080i instead of 1080p?

1080i requires less bandwidth, making it a cost-effective choice for many broadcasters.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Is there a significant price difference between 1080i and 1080p TVs?

While 1080p TVs used to be more expensive, price differences have diminished over time.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Do gaming consoles support 1080i or 1080p?

Most modern gaming consoles support 1080p for a smoother gaming experience.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Can a 1080i TV display 1080p content?

It can, but the content will be downscaled to fit the 1080i format.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Which scanning method is older, interlaced (1080i) or progressive (1080p)?

Interlaced is older and was used in early television systems.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Which offers better quality, 1080i or 1080p?

1080p typically offers better quality, especially in fast-moving scenes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Are there resolutions higher than 1080p?

Yes, 4K and 8K are higher resolutions than 1080p.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Do DVDs support 1080i or 1080p?

DVDs are typically in a lower resolution. Blu-rays support 1080p.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Can fast-moving sports benefit from 1080p broadcasts?

Yes, 1080p can offer clearer and smoother visuals for fast-moving content like sports.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Does 1080i or 1080p have an impact on bandwidth usage for streaming?

Yes, streaming in 1080p generally requires more bandwidth than 1080i.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Can I convert 1080i content to 1080p?

Some devices can upconvert 1080i to 1080p, but the true quality of 1080p content might not be achieved.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Is 1080p the same as Full HD?

Yes, 1080p is often referred to as Full HD.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Is there a difference in color accuracy between 1080i and 1080p?

Color accuracy is more about the display technology and calibration than the resolution format.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

If I have a 1080p source, should I avoid 1080i displays?

While 1080p sources are best viewed on 1080p displays, they can still look good on 1080i displays with some quality loss.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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