Update: Every single 1080p HDTV we've tested in 2007 can accept and display 1080p sources delivered via HDMI, and we expect every 1080p TV available in the future do so as well. The information below was written in 2005, so it's out of date, but we're keeping it for reference. For more, check out HDTV resolution explained.
It's true: not very many of the 2005 1080p televisions will actually accept a 1080p input. This includes all of the 2005
Samsung, Sony, JVC, Toshiba, and Mitsubishi rear-projection sets--although the Samsungs and a couple of high-end Mitsubishis can handle 1080p via computer inputs. The HP models
, specifically the 58-inch MD5880n and the 65-inch MD6580n, are the only two I know of that can handle 1080p signals via HDMI. However, I don't consider this lack of compatibility a deal breaker.
First off, there's no 1080p HDTV programming available; there's only 720p and 1080i being broadcast now and for the foreseeable future. 1080p HDTVs convert those formats, as well as all other formats, to 1080p for display. Sure, the PS3
will supposedly support 1080p when it launches in the fall of 2006, but the first true 1080p video content you'll likely see is from Blu-ray or HD-DVD players.
All in all, I think anyone would have a hard time distinguishing between 1080i and 1080p on today's 1080p HDTVs. But if you really want one that will support this future format, you should wait until the summer of 2006, when almost all 1080p resolution HDTVs will offer 1080p input support.