HD signals and setup explained
May 20, 2005
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Some HD channels are broadcast in 720p and some in 1080i. I have the ability to set my HD box to send out both 720p and 1080i signals, exclusively 720p, or exclusively 1080i. Which setting should I use?
Well, Michael, you first should determine whether your HDTV accepts both 1080i and 720p signals. Though most 2005 models do, many earlier sets don't accept 720p signals. Assuming your TV does accept both signals, your best bet is to allow your HD box to output in whatever the native resolution of the broadcast is (720p or 1080i) and have your TV handle the conversion. The reason we suggest that is because the video converter in your TV is usually better than the video converter in your HD box. However, if your HDTV accepts only a 1080i high-def signal, your only choice is to set your box to output at 1080i. Regardless, you'll probably have a difficult time telling the difference.
As editor of the home and entertainment coverage on CNET, John Morris
has broad knowledge of all consumer electronics areas, including mobile electronics, digital photography, and home theater. He leads the creation of content that focuses on technology solutions for different lifestyles, hobbies, and budgets.