In an ongoing contest that pits space versus time, making opponents of what relativity unified about a century ago, HDTV (High Definition Television) experts love to debate what has come to be known as the 720p versus 1080i issue. The crux of the matter involves pixels, the detail of smooth motion, and refresh rates. It may be a hotly contested matter for some time to come. Generally speaking, it is true, that the more pixels, the more definition in a high definition display. But what if you have a smaller number of pixels, but can refresh them at a faster rate, and furthermore, electronically redraw the entire screen at twice the speed? That is what the following numbers mean: 1920 x 1080i at 30 fps (frames per second) and 1280 x 720p refreshed at 60 fps (frames per second). In other words, the 1080i has more raw pixels for greater clarity, but the second number, 720p means the screen is refreshed twice as fast. So basically, the question comes down do you want finer granularity on your display, or a quicker redraw of the action happening on the screen? As it turns out, there is rather widespread agreement among the experts. Most of them contend that 720p is preferred for the display of sporting events, and that the 1080i mode is better for watching everything else. This makes sense, because the extremely quick movement and action across the screen generated by the wide receiver Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers, for example, can be captured without any smudging or blurring of the image. The 720p unit will refresh each pixel 60 times a second, rather than 30. And if you are watching a situation comedy, news, or an episode of the Sopranos, the greater number of pixels on a 1080i set will offer a better picture.
The bottom line is that 720p owners do not need to feel inadequate or second-tier at all. In fact, they can credibly boast that the 720p technology is pound-for-pound the best value in HDTV. And they can readily proclaim that when it comes to sporting events, such as the NBA playoffs, NFL games, Soccer and the Super Bowl, they already own the best configuration available! With these (and others) competing standards of HDTV, it is no wonder some consumers get confused by all of the choices. The main thing is to look at a number of displays, think about the main type of content you plan to watch on your High-Def set, and learn as much as you can before buying. Certainly, you are virtually guaranteed a better picture with a high definition set, than any previous, non-digital set you have owned. Visibly smoother images is the goal, and the various forms of HDTV are leading the way to better entertainment for everyone.
Posted by larry dixon at 15:32:00. Filed under: General