1080i vs. 1080p

What's the Difference?

1080i and 1080p are both high-definition video resolutions, but they differ in terms of how the image is displayed. 1080i stands for 1080 interlaced, meaning that the image is displayed in alternating lines, with odd lines displayed first and then even lines. This can result in a slight flickering effect, especially during fast-paced action scenes. On the other hand, 1080p stands for 1080 progressive, where the entire image is displayed at once, resulting in a smoother and more detailed picture. Therefore, 1080p is generally considered superior to 1080i in terms of image quality, especially for gaming or watching high-motion content.


Resolution1920x1080 interlaced1920x1080 progressive
Frame Rate30 frames per second60 frames per second
Scan TypeInterlacedProgressive
Image QualityLess sharp and smooth motionSharper and smoother motion
BandwidthLower bandwidth requirementHigher bandwidth requirement
CompatibilityCompatible with older devicesMay not be compatible with older devices
UsageCommonly used for broadcast televisionCommonly used for Blu-ray, streaming, and gaming

Further Detail


When it comes to high-definition video resolutions, 1080i and 1080p are two commonly used terms. Both offer stunning picture quality, but they differ in how the images are displayed. In this article, we will delve into the attributes of 1080i and 1080p, exploring their similarities, differences, and the impact they have on your viewing experience.

Resolution and Image Quality

Both 1080i and 1080p refer to a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, which means they both provide the same number of pixels on the screen. However, the way these pixels are displayed differs between the two formats.

1080i, the "i" standing for interlaced, displays images by alternating between odd and even lines of pixels. It does this by displaying all the odd lines in one frame, followed by all the even lines in the next frame. This interlacing technique can sometimes result in a slight loss of image clarity, especially during fast-moving scenes or when viewing fine details.

On the other hand, 1080p, the "p" standing for progressive, displays images by sequentially scanning each line of pixels from top to bottom. This progressive scanning method ensures a smoother and more detailed image, making it ideal for high-action content and providing a more immersive viewing experience.

Frame Rate and Motion Handling

Another important aspect to consider when comparing 1080i and 1080p is the frame rate and motion handling capabilities.

1080i typically operates at a frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps), which means it displays 30 individual images per second. However, due to the interlacing process, each frame only contains half of the total lines, resulting in an effective frame rate of 60 fields per second. This can lead to motion blur or a slight flickering effect, particularly noticeable during fast-paced action scenes.

On the contrary, 1080p can support higher frame rates, including the standard 30fps, but also 60fps and even 120fps in some cases. This higher frame rate capability allows for smoother motion handling, reducing motion blur and providing a more lifelike and fluid viewing experience, especially for sports, gaming, and action-packed movies.

Compatibility and Device Support

When it comes to compatibility and device support, both 1080i and 1080p have their own considerations.

1080i has been around for a longer time and is widely supported by various devices, including older HDTVs, cable/satellite boxes, and gaming consoles. It is also commonly used in broadcasting, making it a prevalent format for television content.

On the other hand, 1080p is becoming increasingly popular and is now supported by most modern HDTVs, Blu-ray players, streaming devices, and gaming consoles. It offers a more future-proof option, especially if you plan to upgrade your devices or consume high-quality content from sources like Blu-ray discs or streaming platforms.

Bandwidth and Storage Considerations

Bandwidth and storage requirements are important factors to consider when choosing between 1080i and 1080p.

1080i requires less bandwidth and storage space compared to 1080p since it only needs to transmit or store half of the total lines per frame. This can be advantageous when dealing with limited bandwidth or when recording content on devices with limited storage capacity.

However, with the increasing availability of high-speed internet connections and larger storage options, the bandwidth and storage advantages of 1080i are becoming less significant. 1080p is now more accessible and offers a superior visual experience, making it the preferred choice for many consumers.


In conclusion, while both 1080i and 1080p offer high-definition resolutions, they differ in how images are displayed, motion handling capabilities, device support, and bandwidth/storage requirements. 1080i, with its interlaced scanning method, may be suitable for older devices or situations with limited bandwidth and storage. However, 1080p's progressive scanning, higher frame rates, and increasing device support make it the preferred choice for a more immersive and visually stunning viewing experience. As technology advances and becomes more accessible, 1080p is likely to become the standard for high-definition content consumption.

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