6 main differences between 1080i and 1080p

When shopping for a TV or monitor in a store, you may come across the '1080i' or '1080p' display type. The resolutions of these matrices are the same, but the image quality is different. And the difference lies primarily in the type of layout. It is this parameter that distinguishes 1080i from 1080p.

TV in the interior

1080i interlaced format

Before you understand the differences between progressive and interlaced scanning, you need to understand what scanning is in general.

Scan is a way of displaying an image on the screen. It can be progressive, interlaced, and progressive. The first option is currently practically not used, but it can still be found in old CRT monitors or budget LED panels.

With progressive scanning, the first line of pixels is displayed on the screen first, then the second, then the third, and so on. This happens very quickly, so the human eye is not able to notice such a rendering. But it can be seen if you look at a CRT monitor through a smartphone camera (oblique stripes will 'run' across the screen) or even try to photograph it (part of the image on the monitor will be completely invisible, as if it is turned off).

Progressive scan remained a relic of the past, but before finally disappearing, it managed to 'evolve' into the more modern 1080i standard. In it, the image is also displayed sequentially on the screen. However, the even lines are displayed first, then the odd ones, then the even ones again, and so on.

The change of lanes occurs so quickly that the human eye cannot notice it. The frame rate is about 30 frames of each type per second (or 60 frames in general). The use of the 1080i standard is due to the fact that when the first such monitors appeared, video cards for the most part were not able to calmly transfer a huge amount of data – and the video stream in Full HD has a very high bitrate. And I had to go for a trick. Each cycle (1/60 of a second) the video card transmits half of the data required for display Full HD – the data image.

For 2019, 1080i may seem outdated. Nevertheless, it is still on the market, as it has a couple of important advantages.

1080i advantages

  • Monitors and TVs that support it are much cheaper than those that support 1080p;

  • Allows old and 'weak' video cards to 'pull' full resolution Full HD.

Disadvantages of 1080i

  • 'Flickering', which in some people can cause increased eye strain and even headaches;

  • Lack of anti-aliasing, which is especially noticeable in fonts and highly detailed images;

  • The appearance of artifacts in moving objects, which are most pronounced in games or in very dynamic scenes in films.

Should you buy a 1080i monitor or TV in 2019?

Only if you have a very limited budget or a very old computer. Otherwise, it's better to look at 1080p.

1080p progressive format

1080p uses what is known as 'progressive scan'. The entire image is displayed on the matrix in one cycle, and not line by line, as in its predecessor. Thanks to this, it is possible to get rid of flickering, as well as increase or decrease the refresh rate of the picture.

So, if the standard 'i' has a fixed refresh rate and is 50 or 60 Hz, depending on the region, then 'p' supports decreasing or increasing the frame rate in the range from 24 Hz to 120 Hz. This is especially useful for gamers who use gaming monitors. A frame rate higher than 60 Hz allows you to make movements smoother, as well as display objects instantly appearing in the field of view.

But the main advantage of this standard is a high degree of anti-aliasing. Texts are easier and more pleasant to read regardless of the selected font and size. Images with lots of fine details look sharper. The movements of objects on the screen appear smoother, and artifacts disappear at high speeds.

Thus, 1080p is head and shoulders above its competitor. However, it also has disadvantages, and first of all it is the exactingness of the interface and the high cost of equipment. 1080p, especially with a high frame rate, needs a high-speed connection to a graphics card. And therefore, it can only be connected to a computer with DVI-D DL, DVI-I DL, HDMI or DisplayPort interfaces. The bandwidth of a DVI-I SL or DVI-D SL may simply not be enough.


  • Excellent anti-aliasing, increased image detail, no artifacts with fast moving objects;

  • Reduced eye strain, no 'flicker'.


  • High price for compatible equipment – TVs, monitors and video cards (compared to 1080i);

  • Requires a high performance interface.

Should you buy a 1080p monitor or TV in 2019?

Yes, this format is the most modern and pleasant to use. Especially when it comes to a TV or display for the 'creative specialist'. Of course, the price for 'p' monitors is higher than for 'i', but these costs are fully justified.


format comparison

In summary, the difference between 1080i and 1080p is the following:




Anti-aliasing quality



Detail level of small objects



The appearance of artifacts when objects move quickly on the screen

there is


'Flicker effect' leading to eye fatigue

there is


Compatible with older monitors

there is


Comparative price



It's worth noting that 1080p monitors and TVs can operate in 1080i mode if needed. So if your digital TV provider uses an outdated interlaced standard, then you can safely take a device that supports a more modern standard. By switching from 'i' to 'p' – for example, when using a media player or game console – you will experience improved picture quality.

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