I’ve seen 1080p content displayed on a 1080p HDTV set. Couldn’t tell you if it was any better than 720p or 1080i, but I believe it is better – for tomorrow, not necessarily for today. I’m not just spewing forth random numbers, folks – these are formats, one being progressive lines (720p) on a television screen and the other interlaced (1080i). There’s a new format emerging that blends the best of both worlds: 1080p. Remember that your good ol’ television set in the other room is only capable of displaying 480 lines at a time. In the world of content, more is astoundingly better. I won’t argue the benefits of LCD, plasma, DLP, etc. – that’s for a different discussion altogether. I will tell you, however, that spending more money for a set that’s 1080p-compatible today is a waste of money. Wait until there’s more 1080p content available in a few years; don’t put off HD for too much longer if your pocketbook can handle the hit.

“720p is better than 1080i in HDTV because the highest 1080 line formats (1080i60 and 1080p30) as defined in the ATSC standard, deliver only a few more pixels per second than the highest 720p variant (720p60).” Or so says this article on the Facts and Fiction of 1080p. I can tell you that high definition gaming is definitely here to stay – and will only get better over time. I’m having extreme difficulties playing high-action games on a regular ol’ television set because it doesn’t offer the same depth and detail as an HD display does. I want to watch all my programming on our HDTV screen, and am extremely disappointed when a show doesn’t record (or isn’t available) in high-def. I don’t care if it’s available in 720p or 1080i, because my eyes still can’t see which one is better.

There’s a big difference between progressive and interlaced content, mind you. In a “progressive” mode, the image is assembled and presented one frame at a time. In an “interlaced” scenario, odd lines and even lines are displayed one after another in rapid succession – creating the illusion of a full, single frame. Ultimately, progressive is… progressive. You can’t walk into a video store and pick up a VHS copy of your favorite movie easily these days, can you? Most of us have moved on to DVD. There will come a time when all televisions will be able to handle high definition content with ease. And I still remember having a couple of black and white TVs in our house growing up. How did we ever get along without color? You’ll be asking yourself the same thing in another decade. Only, instead of “color,” you’ll wonder how the world ever got along with HD.

[tags]tv,lcd,television,plasma,hdtv,high definition,progressive scan,dlp,1080p,1080i,720p,interlaced[/tags]