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We’ll start with the abbreviations – 1080p is short for 1080 progressive scan, whereas 1080i is short for 1080 interlaced scan. The difference between these two formats is how they’re displayed on your screen. In an interlaced scan, the image is displayed by illuminating odd and even pixel rows in an alternating fashion. Your TV does this so rapidly (each field flashes 30 times per second) that your eyes aren’t capable of noticing the switch, so at any given moment you see what appears to be a fully-assembled picture
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On your High Definition (HD) TV, you may have the choice of 1080p mode and 1080i mode. Both modes offer the same pixel resolution: 1,920 x 1,080. The difference is in the scan type they use. The p in 1080p stands for progressive scan, and the i in 1080i stands for interlaced.
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