Many fixed-pixel HDTVs, including lots of microdisplays
, have a native resolution
of 1,280x720, which exactly matches the incoming resolution of 720p broadcasts
from ABC, Fox, and ESPN. Other HDTV broadcasts, from CBS, NBC, and HBO for example, are in 1080i. When a TV with a native resolution of 720p receives a 1080i signal (or any
video signal), it converts it to 720p, a progressive-scan
format. Many 720p televisions actually cut 1080i resolution in half first, to 540p, before converting it to 720p for display. The main effect of this conversion is loss in picture detail, which makes the image look softer than it otherwise would. That said, the converted 1080i image should still look very detailed. New 1080p
televisions have even higher native resolutions and are suposed to show 1080i broadcasts with no loss in detail, but in reality many of them will also truncate resolution somewhat.