Re: Evolution Audio & Video
Here is an excerp from a site that better explains 1080i vs. 720p. From my connnections in the business, it will be at leat 7 years before TV stations reconfiguire to 1080p. 1080p is currentlu designed for blu-ray or HD-DVD video.
To answer the question, it's important to understand the difference between 720p vs 1080i. A 720p signal is made up of 720 horizontal lines. Each frame is displayed in its entirety on-screen for 1/30th of a second. This is know as progressive scan (hence the 'p')The quality is like watching 30 photographic images a second on TV. A 1080i signal comprises 1080 horizontal lines but all the lines are not displayed on-screen simultaneously. Instead, they are interlaced (hence the 'i'), ie every other lines is displayed for 1/60th of a second and then the alternate lines are displayed for 1/60th of a second. So, the frame rate is still 30 frames per second, but each frame is split into two fields, which your brain then puts together subconsciously.
Most of the time interlacing works fine, but for fast moving images, such as sports like baseball and hockey it can cause problems which manifest themselves as a 'stepping' effect on-screen. Progressive scan signals don't have this problem and so are better suited to sports.
Bottom line? For us, as consumers 720p vs 1080i is not a debate worth worrying about, so you can relax and focus on all the other criteria on your list when you buy your next HDTV.