Understanding the distinction between progressive video and interlace video is crucial to understanding H.D.. Interlace format is generally the normal format behind normal television image. Half of the resolution is virtual, it doesn't exist. The way this works is you split every frame into 2 fields. on the first line is every other line of information. they do this so every even line is on the TV screen. Every odd line of resolution is black and not on the screen. The second field reverses this, so that every odd line has the actual information on it and every even line is dark on the screen. When you combine those two fields you get one frame and they flash back & forth very rapidly. What this means, is that any moment in time you don't have the full 100% resolution offered to you. You've only got 50% the resolution on the screen. The flash is so quick that the human eye cannot pick it up.
What it does do is make something called interlace-artifacting. interlace-artifacting is something parallel to viewing a football being thrown across your TV. The shows a visual "smear & smudge", You also see horizontal tearing going through the ball, because 505 the data is virtual and the set cannot keep to pace. The human eye can perceive these changes. This means that its also near impossible to put interlace things on a progressive PC screen. Most H.D. screens are progressive. Your plasma monitor is progressive; your LCD screens are progressive; Also DLP screens are progressive. The only thing that's left is CLT monitors.
So what is progressive? Progressive HD video is where every single line of resolution is on the TV all the time. There is no virtual field, everything is a full frame. That means when you kick that soccer ball across the ground. Both lines have info, as opposed to Interlace where its every other one. There's no bizarre smearing there's no interlace-artifacting, none of this. So the image is pure & perfect every single time. When you go watch a movie in the theatre, that's progressive. Progressive is the best way to get all of your content on the screen at the same time.
There are 2 different resolutions in HD video, 720 and 1080. Interlace and progressive goes after that, so 720p can be 720 progressive lines of resolution. This means its always there as opposed to every other one. 1080 equals 1080 virtual lines of resolution. So 540 actual lines of resolution. A lot of people think that 1080i is a standard above 720p, but because of this virtual info its not. The best high definition format is 1080p then 720p then 1080i. 1080p being 1080 progressive lines of resolution or all of the lines out there.
HD Blue-Ray's can handle 1080p. Youtube is now 1080p combatable, However, you cant make 1080p today. The maximum broadcast lines of resolution you can go 1080 interlace lines or 720 progressive lines. If you can choice, then my proposition to you would be 720p before to 1080i. Mainly if you have a plasma monitor, a DLP monitor or a LCD monitor, this is because your display technology isn't interlace its progressive.
There is another crucial aspect to talk about and thats the "frame rate". Learning the frame rate requires again understanding the difference between interlace and progressive. Interlace is two fields make one frame. So they measure the frame rate by fields and not frames. So lets use 1080i vs. 1080p for example. You'll sometimes see 1080i/60. This equals to 1080 interlace lines at 60 frames/sec. Interlacing may get you every time. It gets you on frame rate and on interlacing artifacting. Because 1080i/60 is really only 1080p/30 & its got all that extra interlaced garbage that makes the image look bad.
So lets overview the High Defention sphere once again. The best is 1080p then the 2nd best is 720p & then 1080i. Some folks may say. "well what about 480p"? Though 480 is not HD. That's considered enhanced defention. Every person has there own opinions about these High Defention technologies, but several can all agree that 1080p is the best as of today hands down.
Hopefully this will help you make a better decision as to which television to buy.
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