Can You Tell The Difference Between 1080i And 1080p?

If you said yes, you’re lying. Or maybe not.

CNET executive editor David Carnoy did a little informal testing between HDTVs of 1080p, 1080i and 720p resolutions using Blu-ray and HD DVD content. The verdict: If you’ve got the money to burn on the 1080p set, go for it. If you buy a 720p or 1080i set instead, are you going to regret it later? Probably not. Carnoy says there were some very slight picture differences in a certain passage in the Blu-ray MI:3 DVD he used for testing, but not enough to necessarily warrant the premium price tag. He also points out that the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), a group that consults for home-theater manufacturers and trains professional video calibrators, puts resolution fourth in criteria for picture quality; contrast ratio, color saturation and color accuracy all come before it.

On a personal note, back at DigitalLife in October, I checked out Mitsubishi’s 62-inch 1080p DLP HDTV. The picture was fantastic, no doubt. But was it noticably better than the 1080i plasma I’ve been watching high-def content on for the past two years? Well, the Mitsubishi had my plasma beat on color accuracy and black levels, but I can’t say that I’d notice the difference in resolutions. But, who knows? In the end, you’re gonna buy what you’re gonna buy and no amount of “expert testing” is going to make a difference.

EDIT: When I first posted this, I had called our readers sheep in a feeble attempt to try and spark some debate. I apologize. I don’t think you’re sheep. In fact, I think our readers are some of the most well-informed techies around. —JG
The case against 1080p [cnet]