1080p and You

There is a lot of talk about 1080p being the “Holy Grail” of high definition resolution. 1080p represents 1,080 lines of resolution scanned sequentially. In other words, all lines are scanned in progressively, providing the most detailed high definition video image that is currently available to consumers.
As a result of this advance, there are now a growing number of Televisions available that are termed “1080p Compatible”. However, what does this mean?

Not all 1080p televisions are created equal

Although your TV may have 1080p processing, this does not mean that your TV will accept a 1080p input source. Most TVs with 1080p capability execute this function by upscaling 480p, 720p, and 1080i input sources to 1080p for display on the screen.

In essence, the 1080p function on your TV may be done with internal scaling only and not be able to accept 1080p external source.
In order to take advantage of 1080p upscaling from a DVD player, the TV must have both 1080p native display capability and be able to accept a 1080p signal from an external source.

In determining whether your 1080p compatible television achieves the 1080p result via internal scaling only, or can also accept 1080p signals from an external source, such as a DVD player with 1080p output, consult your user manual, which should explain what type your TV is. If you are still not sure, you can confirm this with tech support for your specific brand/model of 1080p compatible television.


Of course, another way to confirm this is to connect a DVD player with 1080p output capability to your Television via an HDMI, DVI, or Component (whichever output is designated for 1080p). Set the output of the DVD player to 1080p and see if you get an image on the screen.

In addition, if you are considering the purchase of a 1080p-capable television, you can do three things before you make your buying decision:

1. In many cases you can actually download the user manual from the Manufacturer’s website.

2. The store should have the user manual available for inspection – if not – walk out.

3. You can check the basic TV specifications on the Manufacturer’s site – which should indicate the 1080p spec, and whether it references 1080p processing only or also includes 1080p input capability.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.