There are two pieces of information that indicate the display resolution. The first is a number that indicates how many horizontal scan lines can be painted onto the TV screen. The higher the number the better picture quality you can expect from your video source.
The other indicates how the picture is scanned:
- Progressive scan (p) - Sends the odd and even video frames together to the TV screen.
- Interlaced scan (i) - Sends the even rows then the odd rows to the TV screen.
Theoretically, a 1080p video source will have a smoother picture than 1080i video source but in most normal TV viewing circumstances you may be hard-pressed to see the difference.
Currently, HDTV is broadcast in either 720p or 1080i. The only consumer products available for 1080p viewing are for things like video game consoles, HD DVD, or Blu-Ray disks.