TV With 1080i Vs. 1080p

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Updated September 18, 2022

There’s a rich assortment of acronyms and specs to consider when looking for the best TVs. One of these considerations is between TVs with 1080i vs 1080p. This comparison has to do with the nature of how the pixels display themselves on your screen. For another dive into the intricacies of TV lighting displays, here is a resource discussing Triluminos vs QLED.


  • The difference between HDTV resolutions is how often a row of pixels refreshes per second.
  • 1080p displays are known to have a superior image during fast pace sequences.
  • 1080i alternates between illuminating odd and even pixel rows, which leads to poorer motion capturing.

Difference Between 1080i vs 1080p

So first, let’s do some groundwork and define some terms. To have a 1080i or 1080p TV means it’s able to display 1920 (horizontal) x 1080 (vertical) pixel images. The “i” _stands for _interlaced scan, and the p _stands for _progressive scan.

Insider Tip

The ability to notice the difference between the two displays depends significantly on the screen’s size. The larger the screen, the more noticeable difference there will be.

The difference between these two terms lies in how the pixels are lit. Interlaced means that the light rapidly alternates between the even and odd lines of pixels. This alternation happens so fast that it often goes unnoticed. But even though the process occurs so quickly, an interlaced display still affects video quality.

A progressive scan means that all pixel rolls are displayed simultaneously. All pixel rows refresh around 60 times per second, making it a more complex operation. Also, when setting up your TV, it’s good to consider the differences between a TV articulating vs a tilting wall mount.

Picture Quality and Screen Resolution

Between the two resolutions, there is an undisputed pixel-lighting champ. 1080p offers viewers a superior pixel resolution and image quality than an interlaced scan. However, many say that the differences are only noticed on rare occasions. But overall, the resolution of a 1080p display will come across as closer to real-life and be more vivid than 1080i. Additionally, if you have ever wondered what the differences between HD and full HD TVs are, we have a great article you can read. Also, if your TV is in a bright room, you may want to consider a model with a matte screen. You can learn more about the importance of this with our comparison of matte vs glossy TV screens.

Disparities in Capturing Motion

The way that pixel rows refresh matters most when capturing quick motions. So, say, for a raucous action sequence or sports game, a 1080p would be recommended. 1080i can suffer from what’s known as “screen tearing,” where an interlaced image is noticeably blurry during a fast-paced sequence.

What Does 1080i vs 1080p Matter for Cable TV?

You should also know that broadcast format can affect the picture quality, and we have a comparison of the two standards in NTSC vs PAL you can read about. Additionally, many say that HD content from cable providers is inferior because many cable broadcasts come only in 720p or 1080i. So for TVs with 1080p functionality, they still might have to view cable channels on a 1080i. For this reason, there are also 720p displays which are better for watching sports and movies; but they still aren’t as good as 1080p. For more on these two resolutions, we have an articling comparing 720 vs 1080 TVs.


1080p, although superior to 1080i, is inferior to newer 4k and 8k displays.


Why does my 1080i look fuzzy?

The fuzziness happens because the frames of pixel lines aren’t lining up as the video progresses. This problem is known as “screen tearing,” common with quick-moving videos. A progressive display is much less likely to have this problem.

What’s the difference between a 720p vs 1080i Broadcast Signal?

This number has to do with the vertical resolution of a screen. Cable networks commonly use both resolutions.

What is the difference between 4k and 1080p?

These two numbers explain the resolution and number of pixels of the TV display. A 4k TV is 3840 x 2160, where a 1080p has 1920 x 1080. A 4k tv has four times the amount of pixels, ergo a higher resolution than the 1080p.

STAT: A 1080p HDTV display has 2 million pixels, whereas a 4k display has over 8 million pixels. (source)

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