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Hdtv And 1080p - What's So Special About It?
March 28th, 2017

Choosing a Mid-size HDTV - 32-inch LCD or Bust!

You may have become dizzy with all the choices that face you if you finally decide to take the plunge and buy yourself a nice, new HDTV. First of all, you have muddle through a veritable alphabet soup of terms such as LCD, DLP, CRT, EDTV, and HDTV for example. If you manage to make sense of all those confusing terms, you have to navigate an equally puzzling series of numbers and choices, such as a 1080p HDTV versus a 1080i HDTV. Setting aside the issues of contrast and color depth, which are in part matters of the viewer's subjective tastes, the most important issue that affects image quality is that of the display's resolution. First off, the numbers in a 1080p HDTV or a 1080i HDTV represent the total number of horizontal lines (1080 lines if that's not clear) that the monitor can display. In this respect, the 1080p HDTV and 1080i HDTV are the same.

What the Heck Does It All Mean?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that more lines mean you get a sharper picture. Therefore, a 1080p HDTV or a 1080i HDTV will trump a 720p HDTV or a 720i HDTV. Ah, but what about that little letter? A 1080p HDTV uses a progressive scan to produce images, hence the 'p' for progressive scan. This means that the lines are displayed one after the other. As for a 1080i HDTV, the monitor uses interlacing to produce images, hence the 'i' for interlacing. This is the same method used in older computer monitors wherein the monitor displays half the total lines and then quickly paints in the other half. Interlacing has fallen out of favor, because monitors that use interlacing produce flickering images and can cause eyestrain.

If you're getting a TV that you're going to be using a lot, why subject yourself to that? If you're buying a HDTV, always, always, ALWAYS go with a 1080p HDTV, regardless of whether or not you have yet to decide on LCD, CRT, or something else. For the sake of your eyes, spend a little extra if you have to. It will be well worth the investment. You also might want to stop by your local Best Buy or Circuit City to check HDTV’s out in the real world. It's a good way to find out what you like and what you can live with. Who knows, maybe you'll find 1080i acceptable. At any rate, have fun shopping!