Difference Between 1080i and 1080p

The main difference between 1080i and 1080p is that 1080i refers to 1080 vertical resolution with interlaced scan while 1080p refers to 1080 vertical resolution with progressive scan.

High Definition Television (HDTV) and high definition video use various abbreviations to indicate their scan type. The symbols ‘i’ and ‘p’ are two of them. They describe how an image is displayed. In 1080i and 1080p, the number 1080 refers to the number of horizontal lines on the screen. Both have the same pixel resolution, which is 1920 x 1080. Their difference is in the way they handle the scanning process.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is 1080i
     – Features and Functionality
2. What is 1080p
     – Features and Functionality
3. Difference Between 1080i and 1080p
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: 1080i, 1080p, ResolutionDifference Between 1080i and 1080p - Comparison Summary (1)

What is 1080i

In 1080i, 1080 express the number of horizontal lines on the screen while the ‘i’ denotes interlaced scan. In interlaced scanning, the image is displayed by illuminating odd and even pixel rows in an alternating approach. This process happens extremely quickly. 

Difference Between 1080i and 1080p

1080i video is interlaced. It plays 60 frames per second and but broadcasts at 30 frames per second. Thus, it can cause a fast moving scene to blur. 1080i has some issues. There can be problems in scaling and rotating the video as well. It can also cause issues when making a video in slow motion or fast motion. Furthermore, rewinding the video can also cause issues.

What is 1080p

In 1080p, 1080 express the number of horizontal lines on the screen, while the ‘p’ denotes progressive scan. It scans each row of pixels in a progressive manner. It refreshes every row on the screen 60 times per second. Furthermore, it is based on frames. Therefore, the frame rate is expressed in frames per second.  Usually, it is difficult to identify the difference between 1080p and 1080i for the average eyesight in smaller screens. However, the difference is more visible in large TVs.

Overall,1080p produce superficial images compared to 1080i. The 1080p images are more clear and sharper. It is easier to watch fast-moving scenes. Blu-Ray disc and game consoles are some examples that use 1080p.

Difference Between 1080i and 1080p


1080i: An abbreviation for 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolution and interleaved scan type used in HDTV and High definition video

1080p: An abbreviation for 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolution and progressive scan type used in HDTV and high definition video

Fast Moving Action

1080i: Appear to blur more during action scene and sports

1080p: Comparatively sharper, so it is easier to watch fast moving actions

Scanning Type

1080i: Interleaved Scan

1080p: Progressive Scan


1080i: Terrestrial TV

1080p: Blu-ray discs, game consoles


The difference between 1080i and 1080p is that 1080i refers to 1080 vertical resolution with interlaced scan while 1080p refers to 1080 vertical resolution with progressive scan. Both appear identical on smaller TV screens. However, it is easy to identify the difference on large screens. Overall, 1080p is better than 1080i.


1. “What’s the Difference between 1080p and 1080i?” Help Centre, .
2. “1080i.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 May 2018, .

Image Courtesy:

1. “HD vs SD resolutions” By GraYoshi2x, Noodle snacks, Frisia Orientalis – Own work via

About the Author: Lithmee

Lithmee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering and is reading for her Master’s degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about sharing her knowldge in the areas of programming, data science, and computer systems.

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