What Resolution Do I Set My Computer to for 1080i?


In the era of high-definition video, most computers sold on the market these days support the standard high-definition screen resolution, 1080i. The digits in 1080i represent the number of vertical lines of resolution used to create a single frame on your screen, and the "i" stands for "interlaced." The more lines you have, the better the picture quality will be. Old analog televisions, for example, were capable of about 480 horizontal lines of resolution every 30th of a second. In the analog scanning process, pixel lines are stacked on each other, one after the other, eventually filling the screen with a picture. The 1080i scanning method displays odd-numbered lines of the picture frame first, followed within a 30th of second by even-numbered lines. This method works because the eye's retina retains images long enough to combine both the odd and even scans to form one picture.

1080i Screen Resolution Setting

  • Set your computer's screen resolution to 1920 by 1080 or higher for 1080i picture quality. Make sure, however, that your computer monitor supports 1080i before attempting to change the screen resolution. The size and capability of your monitor will determine if you can change your screen resolution to a setting that will support 1080i, which should be listed in your monitor's instructions manual. If you are sure that your monitor is capable of supporting 1080i resolution --- or 1920 by 1080 --- then you may need to update your monitor's drivers. Visit the website of your monitor's manufacturer and download and install any updated drivers corresponding to the exact model of your monitor.

Video Card Capabilities

  • The type of graphics card you have installed in your computer will also determine if you can change your resolution settings to meet the requirements for 1080i. Check your video card's specifications on XP by opening up your "Start" menu, selecting "Run," and typing "dxdiag" into the search field. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will then populate. Your graphics card specifications will be listed under the "Display" tab. On Windows 7 and Vista Operating Systems, open your "Start" menu and type "dxdiag" in the search field to bring up your DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To check your video card's specifications on a Mac, open the "Apple" menu in the top left corner of the screen and select "About This Mac." Then, click on the "More Info" button and the System Profiler will appear. Under "Graphic/Displays" in the System Profiler window, click on "Chipset Model" for your graphic card's name.

Change Screen Resolution in Windows XP, Windows 7 and Vista

  • For XP operating systems, right-click anywhere on your desktop with your mouse and select "Properties," then click the "Settings" tab in the "Display Properties" window. Move the "Screen Resolution" slider bar until it is at 1920 by 1080 and click "Apply." To change your screen resolution on Windows 7 and Vista operating systems, click on the "Start" button and choose "Control Panel." Then select "Appearance and Personalization," which may also be called "Personalization." Next, click the "Display" button and choose the "Adjust resolution" tab. Finally, click on the "Resolution" drop-down menu and move the slider to 1920 by 1080 or higher and select "Apply."

Change Screen Resolution Mac

  • Open the "Apple" menu and select the "Monitors" control panel, which may also be called "Monitors and Sound." Then, select the 1920 by 1080 screen resolution setting or higher to get 1080i picture quality. Correct the video controls in the "Monitor" control panel if the picture is distorted.

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