HDTV 720P Resolution Vs. 1080P Resolution


Killer picture quality is why most people upgrade to High Definition Television (HDTV). In the United States, the two highest resolution standards available are 720p and 1080p. While both offer an excellent picture, there is a discernible difference.


  • 720p stands for 720 lines of resolution displayed in a progressive fashion. In other words, each line of resolution refreshes at the same time, within each refresh cycle. This manner of refreshing actually allowed 720p HDTVs to display a better picture than 1080i (interlaced) HDTVs, which offered more lines of resolution, but refreshed only every other line per cycle.


  • 1080p HDTVs offer the same progressive refresh as 720p sets, only with the additional lines of resolution denoted by the "1080". This provides a much sharper picture.

Bandwidth vs. Display

  • More lines of resolution take more bandwidth to deliver. Most television networks top out at 720p. To truly take advantage of 1080p resolution, the buyer will need to utilize a Blu-Ray disc player connected over an HDMI port. If you do not wish to purchase a Blu-Ray, you may consider a 720p HDTV.

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