What’s the Difference Between 1080p, 1080i, 720p and Other Resolutions?

1080p seems to be all the buzz in the electronics world today. I know that you’ve heard the term before in commercials for High Def TV’s, Blu-Ray Disc Players or from the “all knowing” salesmen in the electronics isle of a department store. It is true, 1080p resolution will give the highest picture quality possible. However you have to have equipment that can support it, and at the moment there isn’t a whole lot that can. The average consumer has absolutely no idea what resolution will even do for them and will probably end up getting provoked into buying something that will do them no good. I’m not saying that manufacturers or service providers are trying to swindle you, just that the average consumer’s lack of knowledge may lead them to making the wrong decision when buying TV equipment.

I’ll give you a quick scenario of what happens to many un-informed consumers. Lets say you see a commercial for a Blu-Ray Disc Player that offers movies in 1080p Full HD resolution. You think that sounds good and buy one immediately. You get it hooked up and turn on a movie to test your new investment but you notice that it doesn’t look much different than before. Did the manufacturer lie to you? No, the reason it probably doesn’t look any different is that your TV might accept the 1080p resolution but won’t play the movie in full 1080p because the TV isn’t capable of doing so.

To avoid this kind of mishap, you need to first know what the number and letter mean in 1080p. The number 1080 refers to the number of horizontal lines used by a TV to produce an image on the screen also known as resolution. As of right now there are two different kinds of resolution Interlaced (i) and Progressive (p):

  • Interlaced Resolution- a method of scanning vertical lines onto a TV picture by scanning the odd lines first and then scanning the even lines to create a uniform picture.
  • Progressive Resolution- a method of scanning vertical lines onto a TV picture by scanning the lines in one consecutive pass allowing for a sharper picture. Flat Panel and most Digital Projection televisions use Progressive Resolution.

So 1080p means 1080 lines of progressive video rendering. Now that you have a better understanding of how to read resolution, here’s how you can apply it to find out what definition you are actually watching. There are four different levels of definition right now.

  • Standard Definition (480i). Standard Definition is what you would see on Digital Cable with a basic connection.
  • Enhanced Definition (480p), an example of Enhanced Definition would be a DVD playing on your typical DVD player, slightly better quality than standard but still not high definition.
  • High Definition (720p-1080i) – High definition produces a much better picture because of the large number of lines it is able to produce. This allows for images on the screen to have much greater detail.
  • Full HD (1080p) -The fourth level of definition and the highest available, found only on Blu-Ray Disc and HD DVD players.

1080p produces one incredible picture, but you need to have the right equipment to see it. Also keep in mind that just because you have a 1080p capable TV, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be seeing a 1080p picture every time you watch TV. There is nothing wrong with 720p and 1080i High Definition they both produce a terrific picture. To be completely honest it will be hard for most people to even tell the difference between High Def and Full HD. So before you go out and make a big purchase to improve the resolution of your TV whether it be to High Definition or Full HD, make sure your equipment is compatible. The TV’s that have come out in the last year or so can accept 1080p but only a select few will actually play it.

To take advantage of High Definition Television you need three things.

  1. An HD Display (Plasma, LCD TV)
  2. An HD Source ( HDTV Tuner, HD Satellite, HD Cable Box, Blu-Ray, HD DVD Player)
  3. Proper Cables (HDMI, Component Video)

127 comments on “What’s the Difference Between 1080p, 1080i, 720p and Other Resolutions?

  1. Hello. after reading your input on LCD verses Plasma, i am leaning towards Plasma 50″ instead of the Sharp Aquious 52″ 1080p

    you say that it is hard to distinguish the 1080i and 1080p signal (especially at 10ft viewing i have heard) ; so why do you keep suggesting the 1080p Tv’s ?

    my dilema is the Pioneer PDP-5080HD WHICH IS 720P, OR THE PANASONIC TH-50PZ700U 1080P
    pioneer set sale is $1900 the pan is around $2500

    Since Pioneer is the top of the line quality, will the 720p set still look as good as the 1080p tv?
    i am into gaming and will get blue ray soon.
    again, if you can barely tell, why go with 1080p? Help!

  2. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    You bring up some good points, I realize this is a big (and expensive) decision for you so its good that you question everything you can. I am not going to push you one way or the other but I will give you my opinion.

    First of all there is a difference between 1080p and 1080i, the TV manufacturers are not trying to pull a fast one one you when saying so. What I am saying is that it is very hard for a person to distinguish between the two especially at longer distances and with smaller screens. If you have two TV’s sitting right next to each other, one playing in 1080p and the other in 1080i it will be very hard for you to see much difference unless you are really looking for it. Its the same thing with 720p and 1080i, look at both of those resolutions from a regular viewing distance and see if you can tell the difference. Chances are they will look almost exactly alike.

    You say that you are into gaming and are going to be getting a Blu-Ray, I can relate since I have a similar system at my home to what you will be getting. I have a Pioneer Elite 940HD (not even a newer model) and have an Xbox 360 and an HD-DVD player connected to it. This particular model can accept a 1080p signal but displays in 720p and 1080i. The HD-DVD movies look incredible in 1080i and the games have incredible sharpness and detail in 720p.

    There are a lot of manufacturers that claim there TV’s are 1080p, even though they are being sold around the same price as good 720p and 1080i TV’s. In my opinion if you go with one of the top HDTV manufacturers like Pioneer even if the TV is not 1080p, it will look very similar to or better than a cheaper brands 1080p TV. The only use for 1080p right now is certain Blu-Ray or HD-DVD movies. Cable and satellite companies are nowhere near broadcasting in 1080p (too much bandwidth) and most every High Definition video game has a native resolution of 720p. My point is that there is not much use for 1080p at the current time and the devices that use 1080p still look great at 1080i. Bottom line, 1080p is considered the best, but you will not be disappointed with a quality 720p or 1080i HDTV. Hope this helps you.

  3. Thank you for answering my question in such detail. I truly appreciate that. I have a few more questions if you dont mind.
    1. what is the difference with the Pioneer Elite, Pro, and Kuro sets?
    2. I have a Sony 34″ CRT Trinitron HDTV. accepts native 720p, accepts up to 1008i
    3. Will the plasmas at 720p look that much better or be a big leap in picuture quality when going up against the CRT technoloy?
    4. Pioneer 720p verses 1080p at 10 feet, is it worth the price increase? blue ray movies and gaming is the future, i just dont want to buy behind the technology curve.
    5. there are so many different models of pioneer and resolution and contrast ratios. is there any way to break down these choices and rank the top five choices in your opinion? Budget is 2K-3K
    I have also read alot about pixels being dead on arrival, but companies say that is normal!?

  4. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:


    1) There are a few ways that Pioneer Elites are different. The warranty on the Elites are 2 years instead of 1 year like the regular Pioneers. The Elites have a glossy finish to make them look more aesthetically pleasing. The speakers on the 50″ and above Elites are located on the sides of the TV rather than the bottom and are detachable for home theater system owners. Elites have an Ethernet connection. These are the main differences between the two.

    2/3) Yes the plasmas 720p will look better than a CRT. CRT has flaws that plasma doesn’t have like: Geometric Distortion, Uneven Focus, Uneven light output.

    4) Any other brands 1080p I would say no, at 10 feet a top of the line 1080p Pioneer will probably have a better picture than a 1080i version. Is it worth the extra $2500 or so (which will put you way past your budget), thats up to you to decide. You have to consider that the only thing using 1080p currently are Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players. The max for everything else is 1080i. Will you have the absolute best possible picture with the 1080p Pioneer yes, will you be disappointed with a 1080i Pioneer, not a chance. Blu-Ray will still look terrific on a 1080i set.

    5) Considering your budget and what you are looking for in quality I would suggest either the Pioneer PDP-4280 or the Pioneer PDP-5080. They are the same TV in a 42 and 50 inch size. Here is what you will get: 4 HDMI inputs, 720p or 1080i resolutions with the ability to accept 1080p, KURO technology (deepest blacks on the market), and smooth film motion that will reduce jitter on sporting events and video games. If you buy from us you will get the full manufacturers warranty (we are a Pioneer authorized dealer) and $200 to $250 reward dollars to help you buy cables, surge protectors or any other accessories you may need with your new TV. Hope this helps you.

  5. Michael on said:

    Great information here. I am in the market to upgrade my TV. My question is what is the difference between Plasma verses LCD? Also, we are a gaming family we like to play our WII use our PC. Which TV would be suited to handle gaming consoles and hook up our computers to them?

    thank you!

  6. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I will give you the basics on both to start off. LCD or Liquid Crystal Display works by pushing liquid crystals between two glass plates. Plasma works by electrically charging gas plasma cells to produce pictures. People will make strong cases for both and there are a million arguments that can go either way. The reason I think Plasma would suit your family better is your love of gaming. Plasmas tend to be smoother with fast action pictures like sporting events or video games. While LCD’s have improved in this area, plasma is still superior. Pioneer is the top brand of Plasma TV’s on the market and will give you one of the best pictures you will see. The new series of Pioneer Plasmas have a great new feature called smooth film motion to eliminate jitter from fast moving pictures which is great for gaming. You will also be able to connect your computers to the Pioneer Displays which I know is important to you. You can check out our Pioneer Plasmas by following this link.

  7. I’m currently trying to decide on a plasma tv. I would like a 50 inch 1080p model. Would you recommend a few good ones. I saw from some of the comments that you recommend the pioneer brand, but are there any others you would recomment?

  8. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Pioneer is the main brand of Plasma that we sell and recommend for the fact that year after year their plasmas are ranked among the best if not the best of the HDTV’s. The picture you will get with a Pioneer Plasma will give you the best viewing experience that you can have. There are other quality 1080p TV’s out there, but if you want the best possible experience Pioneer is the way to go. They currently have two 50″ 1080p plasmas, the Pioneer PDP-5010FD and the Pioneer Elite PRO-110FD. I have provided links to both product pages.

  9. Reading the comments and articles im still confused.
    I have a Samsung SlimFit CRT 32inch 1080i/720p. At the time i was naive and thought hd was hd and so went for the cheaper option and 32 inch was big enough for my room. I have recently bought a PS3 and had a few questions you might be able to help with:

    1. How do i know if my tv will accept 1080p which is what i hear the PS3 gives out? I have an xbox 360 using the official component cable and that looks amazing when playing games but regular dvds look as normal. Also i cant notice diff between 1080i and 720p.
    2. Will blu-ray dvds work on my tv using the PS3? will they be downgraded to 1080i/720p automatically or will they just not work?
    3. Will the PS3 upscale regular dvds automatically when they are goin through the hdmi cable or will i have to change any of the settings on the PS3 menu to do this?
    4. On my 32inch screen does it matter what hdmi cable i use. the official PS3 cable is quite cheap i wouldnt want to pay much more than that but would it be worth it or not due to the size and probably limited capabilities of my Samsung CRT. Would the official cable be great for games but not as so good for movies e.t.c
    5. Also i am only using the HD features for games and hopefully blu-ray dvds, no tv yet, on the PS3 what should i use 1080i or 720p? should i change it between movies/games.


  10. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    1) First of all, the PS3 puts out a 1080p signal on Blu-Ray discs not games, they are starting to come out with games that will play in 1080p but for the most part their games will have a native resolution of 720p. I am not familiar with your particular model of TV nor do I know how old it is. If it was made in the last year or two it has a decent chance of being able to accept 1080p, any older than that is a toss up, some TVs will and some won’t. If your TV can’t accept 1080p you will get a blank screen. I suggest borrowing or renting a Blu-Ray disc to test out your PS3′s compatibility with 1080p, if you get a blank screen its not compatible.

    The difference between 720p, 1080i or 1080p will be hard to tell apart on a screen size under 50 inch.

    2) If your TV can accept a 1080p signal Blu-Ray discs will work, they will just be downscaled to 720p or 1080i. Movies in 1080i and 720p will still look great.
    3)No the PS3 will not upscale regular DVD’s to High Definition but over HDMI you will get a slightly sharper picture than you would with a regular DVD.
    4)The PS3 cable should work fine for you, but its not the best quality HDMI cable. If you want the absolute best picture quality I would suggest getting a Monster HDMI cable.

    Games and movies will both have the same quality with the same cable.

    5)In order to not go through the hassle of changing resolutions I would leave it on 1080i. Many people say that 720p is better for fast action pictures but I don’t think you will notice much of a difference.

    Hope this helped.

  11. Michael on said:

    Thanks for the information, I will consider it.

    Now I have one more question or two. What about the DVD players, is it Blue Ray or HD? Is Blue Ray going to be the way of the Beta back in the 80′s. What about the cable carriers Vs satelite who has the most to offer for HD?

    Thanks again!

    You guys are the best.

  12. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    The Blu Ray vs HD-DVD debate is almost impossible to predict. Each side has their pros and cons, so a lot of the decision on which way to go will be personal preference. While Blu Ray has more 1080p content than HD-DVD, you need to understand that both will perform the same at the same resolution. If you had a Blu Ray and HD-DVD movie playing side by side on the same TV in 1080i, you would not be able to tell which one was which. The battle between Blu Ray and HD-DVD is going to take a long time to determine the winner. I would suggest doing a little more research to find out which system is right for you, but when you do please don’t read forums because there are a lot of people who don’t know what they are talking about who write in them.

    Direct TV claims to have over 70 High Definition channels, that is the most that I have heard of. Some cable companies can have around 20 or so but that depends on which service you have. I would suggest looking at which HD channels each provides and which you will actually watch. Why pay for a service with 70 HD channels when you would only watch 15. On the other hand you might like 50 of the HD channels that Direct TV has and would rather invest in that system. Again, shop around and look at the channels you will actually watch in HD, and the pros and cons of cable vs. satellite. This will help you make the better decision.

  13. Jessica on said:

    My boyfriend and I are in the market for a new tv for our new house. I’m looking for something under 1,000 but something that will also not be a poor buy.

    There are 4 tv’s @ Best Buy I’m looking at, 2 are plasma, 2 are LCD. All are 42 inch.

    Insignia 720p (plasma)
    Insignia 1080p (LCD)
    Westinghouse 1080p (LCD)
    LG 720p (Plasma)

    Both Insignaia’s have HD built in, the other two say HDTV with QAM tuner. I am unsure what this means. We plan to get Satellite and eventually sign up for HD as well.

    Also, what does HDMI input mean? Is this something I need to buy in order to watch the TV?

    I don’t plan on getting a blu-ray DVD or playing any video games etc.

    I’m worried about Insignia, because I have never heard of this brand before. LG and Westinghouse are both more established brands. I’m also torn between the Plasma and LCD, I don’t know which is better…or are they similar?

    Thanks so much for any advice!

  14. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I can see that this is a hard decision for you and I can also see that you don’t have much experience with HDTV. Thats ok, hopefully I can give you enough information to help you make up your mind.

    Let me give you a few facts about HDTV that will be important to you:
    1) Bigger is not always better.
    2) Plasma tends to have the better picture in larger sizes (40″ and up) LCD tends to have the better picture in smaller sizes.
    3) 1080p and 1080i are extremely difficult to tell apart when viewing a TV under 50 inches.
    4) The more well known brands will have better picture quality and better warranties.
    5) It will be hard to find a quality HDTV that is 42 inches or larger and under 1000 dollars.

    Let me first start off by stating that I don’t think buying a Westinghouse or Insignia is a good investment. The warranties can be very flaky and replacement parts can be very hard to find. If those particular TV’s break down, you might be buying a new TV which will end up costing you more than double what you planned on paying. Although I haven’t heard many bad things about LG,the model you are looking at is on major price reduction which probably means that it is an older model and they are trying to sell out of them. If you are absolutely set on buying only the TVs you have listed here, I would say get the LG but you have to remember that it may not have the latest technology available.

    My advice to you is to get a quality TV that is fairly new so you are sure that it will have the latest technology to give you the best picture. In order to do this you might have to go for a 37 inch instead of a 42 inch and add a few hundred dollars to your budget. You will be much happier with a quality HDTV and have the piece of mind that you wont need to throw your TV in the garbage if something goes wrong with it.

    Here is what I suggest you consider when making your decision.
    1) First and foremost make sure the TV has a digital tuner (referred to as ATSC) so you don’t have to worry about the Digital switch in 2009. Most TV’s made in the last two years have them but it is always good to check.
    2)If you are not going to get a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player any time in the near future don’t worry about getting a 1080p TV. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are currently the only components that produce a 1080p signal. High Definition cable and satellite will broadcast in 720p or 1080i depending on the station. Even if you eventually decide to get a Blu-Ray, it will still look great in 1080i.
    3)Go with a proven brand like Pioneer, Sharp, Toshiba, etc. You will be much happier with the quality of the TV.

    To answer your question about HDMI: HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface is the best High Definition connection you can have. It passes digital video and digital audio in one cable and will maximize your high definition signal. When you get your satellite receiver connect it to your TV with an HDMI cable for the best possible picture and sound.

    I have provided links to our Plasma and LCD TVs for you to browse. Even if you don’t buy from us make sure you get a quality TV from a proven brand even if it costs you a few hundred extra, it is well worth it. If you are interested in buying from us but still have questions call our toll free number at 1-866-224-6171.

  15. My old HDTV equipment is in-wall concealed wired with an older 1080i HDMI cable. I am buying new 1080p HDTV equipment.

    QUESTION: Will the older 1080i HDMI cable carry 1080p signal without a problem. Or will I lose quality or have other problems?

    Putting a new concealed 1080p HDMI cable would be really painful.




  16. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    There are a few things that you need to consider here. The first thing you need to think about is how long the cable in the wall is. If it is of considerable length 10ft and above an older cable might not be able to deliver the signal in tact or possibly even work at all. Length is a very important factor when dealing with HDMI. The second thing you need to consider is the quality of the cable itself, did you get a quality HDMI cable, or did you go the cheap route? Cheap HDMI cables will have a tougher time passing a larger signal. The third thing you need to ask yourself is will you be confident that you will be getting the best picture possible by connecting your component with the old cable?

    Here’s my opinion on this subject. Your old cable very well might work with your new equipment, but how well it will work is another story. Most older cables were not made to consider higher bandwidth of future technology. While I realize you don’t want to put a new cable in your wall, I think you should consider it. Monster makes HDMI cables that are made to go in wall and have proper protective shielding to handle the abuse. They are also able to handle much higher bandwidth than the typical cable. Two of Monster’s HDMI cables have a lifetime guarantee called Cable for Life that assures that they will pass all bandwidths for as long as HDMI technology is still around. While these cables are more expensive than the HDMI cables you will find in most stores, they will last you a very long time and you won’t be going through this dilemma every couple of years. I don’t know what your budget is, but I suggest the Monster M1000 HDMI cable because it is built for in-wall installations and has a lifetime guarantee. You will be getting the best possible picture at all times and have the assurance that you will never have to dig in your wall to replace it. I have provided a link to the product page if you are interested. Here is a link to the rest of our HDMI cables, the M650, M850 and M1000 are the M-Series that were built for in-wall installs.

  17. Some HDMI cables have a cylinder near each end/connector making in-wall wiring impossible.

    What is the function of those cylinders?

    And why does not every HDMI have it?

  18. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    There is no special function of these connectors, they are simply older models that needed a larger area to shield the connectors. Newer HDMI cables do not have this because they are now able to shrink the shielding down.

  19. Hi,

    I just got a Sharp Blu Ray player while I have a Sharp 1080P capable HDTV, a Bose Life Style 48, and a Bose V2 expander.
    My question for you is how to connect the player to V2 expander.


  20. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    First of all you need to connect the Blu-Ray Disc player to the VS-2 using HDMI for full 1080p. Connect an HDMI cable from the output on the Blu-Ray to one of the HDMI inputs on the VS-2. You also need to have HDMI going from the VS-2 output to an input on your TV. This will give you your video.

    Although HDMI carries audio and video signals, the VS-2 Video Enhancer does not pass the audio signal so you will still have to make an audio connection from your Blu-Ray to the back panel of the Lifestyle Media center. There are three different kinds of audio connections you can make; analog (red and white inputs), digital coaxial or digital optical. I suggest using digital coaxial or digital optical (which are very clearly marked on the back of your Blu-Ray as “Digital Audio Out”) so you can take advantage of Dolby Digital Surround Sound. Either of these connections will give you Dolby Digital.

    If you choose digital coax, connect from the coaxial output on your Blu-Ray to the gray coaxial input on the Lifestyle. If you choose optical connect from the optical output on your Blu-Ray to the optical input on the Lifestyle. The optical input requires you to go into the System Menu on your lifestyle (press the system button) and select which input you want the optical connection to be used on. For example: if you have plugged your HDMI cable into the VCR input, you will want the audio to come from that input, you will go into the system menu under media center, go to the optical source tab, select VCR input and your done.

    If you need to purchase additional HDMI cables, Optical Audio Cables or Coaxial audio cables I have provided links to the category pages on our site.

  21. I have a question, I bought the Sony LCD Projector model VPLAW15, which is his HD and native 720P. I also bought a HD-DVD player (Toshiba) and a Blue Ray Player (Samsung). I have not hooked it up yet to me Receiver or speakers. But I connected the projector only (with no sound) to both the BlueRay and the HD-DVD, just to try it out. When I put in a HD-DVD movie in the Toshiba, it seemed to load on the movie but then a on my screen, it said “NO DISC”. But if I put an older DVD movies, it plays perfectly and the resolution is perfect. Why does it not play my HD-DVD movies or Blue Ray movies, both show up on my screen as “NO DISC”. Is it because it’s not yet connected to a sound source. All this new equipment will be installed in the next two weeks. Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

  22. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I believe I know what you are doing. At first I thought your projector could not accept 1080p, but I read up on it and apparently it does. The movies you tried are probably displayed in 1080p which your projector can’t reproduce but can accept and downscale to 720p or 1080i (which will still look great). The only way you will be able to receive a 1080p signal is through HDMI. I am assuming that you are not using HDMI because you said you only connected a video source, HDMI is a single cable used for both video and audio. You need to find an HDMI cable to test both your HD-DVD and Blu Ray systems to see if they will work then. If they don’t work, you may have another issue. If they do work thats great but you may have another problem. I don’t know what kind of receiver you have but hopefully it has HDMI inputs, if not you won’t be able to watch Blu Ray or HD-DVD movies through your receiver and home theater speakers, you would have to plug it directly into the projector. Hopefully your receiver does have HDMI inputs.

    So what you need to do to see if HDMI is the solution is get an HDMI cable from somewhere (your Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player might have come with one) don’t go through the receiver, just go straight to the projector with it and see if you get a picture. If this works you are going to have a couple of different options.

    1)(Best Case Scenario)The HDMI cable gives you a picture, your receiver has HDMI inputs. You will need three HDMI Cables (One for the Blu Ray, one for the HD-DVD and one for the HDMI Output to the projector). We carry Monster HDMI cables which are the best you can get.

    2)The HDMI cable gives you a picture but your receiver does not have HDMI inputs. You either need to be ok with watching HD-DVD and Blu Ray movies without your speakers (you would then need an HDMI switcher to give your projector additional HDMI inputs, which we carry), or you need to get a new receiver with HDMI inputs which we also carry.

    3)The HDMI cable still doesn’t give you a picture, you have another issue either with your projector accepting a 1080p signal or something else.

    Try connecting your Blu Ray and HD-DVD player to the projector with an HDMI cable. Write another post on this blog article telling me if you got a picture or not. Also let me know if your receiver has HDMI inputs and an output. Then let me know the distance (in feet) between your receiver and projector. Distance is very important when dealing with HDMI. We have all the equipment you will need to complete your system, so if you let me know these things I can tell you exactly what you will need. Hope to hear from you soon.

  23. Hi,

    Thanks for the quick tip, and please allow me to mention additionally what I have been doing.

    When I first got a home theater with a VS-2, I connected it with a HDTV by an HDMI and with the cable
    box and VS-2 by an HDMI, and they worked OK but after a while, the connections stopped working and
    currently the HDTV is connected with the cable box directly with an HDMI and the home theater with
    the cable box by regular audio cable.

    Does this affect your suggested connection between VS-2 and the Blu Ray player via a HDMI and the home theater
    and the Blu Ray play by an optical.

    The situation may seem complicated but it would be very much appreciated if you would correct my situation

    Thanks in advance.


  24. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    If you are plugging the Blu Ray straight into the TV, you only need to connect with HDMI because it will give you both audio and video. The only reason you have to use a separate connection with the VS-2 is because it doesn’t repeat the HDMI cables audio signal.

    I have never heard of a VS-2 that simply stops working. You may have a minor issue that won’t take long to fix, or a faulty unit which can be replaced. Call Bose Technical Support at 1-800-905-2138 and they can walk you through it step by step.

  25. Hi,

    Thanks and it works now after trial and error. I cannot tell you what was wrong but it works.
    Finally please tell me which you recommend, digital coaxial or digital opticalfor Blu Ray audio.


  26. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Glad to hear you got your VS-2 working. A lot of people say that optical is better because there is virtually no chance of outside electrical interference because the signal is passed by light. To be honest with you, it would be hard for you to tell the difference between the two unless you are running it over long distances like 20 feet. I have the same system as you (Lifestyle 48 Series III with VS-2) at my home and I use Fiber Optic for my Xbox 360 and Digital Coax for my cable box. They both do Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and it is pretty much impossible to tell the difference between the two. If you don’t think that you will use your optical port for anything else, go with that because it is considered “the best” but if you need the optical port for something else go with coax. The prices will be very similar. Just remember that if you use the optical port on the Lifestyle, you have to go into the System Menu on your lifestyle (press the system button) and select which input you want the optical connection to be used on. If you need a guide while doing this the Lifestyle 48 installation guide tells you how to do it. Here is a link to our digital optical and digital coaxial cables. They are all Monster Cable which is the best you can get, I would highly suggest getting a Monster Cable because of the quality.

  27. Hi,

    Upconverting is said to bring DVD movies to 1080i or even to 1080p,
    Can you tell me which ones go to 1080i and which other ones go to 1080p?
    Is there a way by which I can tell which before I buy DVD’s?


  28. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I think you have heard some false information on Upconversion DVD players. They don’t actually convert the signal to High Definition but they get it as close to HD as possible. Upconversion DVD players will smooth out jagged edges and clean up digital noise in the DVD picture to produce a cleaner picture that is as close to HD as you can get without actually being HD. Only sources that were originally recorded in HD will be able to be displayed in HD.

  29. Hi,

    One more question, please.

    Currently the FIOS cable box is connected for audio by a red and white cable.

    The box has an optical out connector.

    For Dolby 5.1, could I just stay as is or should I switch to an optical?


  30. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    As I recall from previous posts you have made you have a Lifestyle 48 with VS-2 and you just connected your Blu Ray with Optical. The Lifestyle 48 only has one optical input and it is already in use. I may have another solution to this problem, see if your Blu-Ray has a digital coax audio output, if it does get a digital coax cable and use that for the Blu-Ray then use your optical cable for your HD cable box. If you do end up using this connection, keep your red and white analog cables plugged into the cable box and Lifestyle system for programming that is not broadcast in digital surround. You will also have to switch the optical input to CBL/SAT just like you did with your Blu Ray. You do not have to do this with coax, just plug it in and it will work. Digital Coax will give you the same Digital surround sound on your Blu Ray that the optical cable did, you will not lose any performance. If you need a coax cable here is a Link to our digital coax page.

  31. Hi,

    Your recollection is correct. At the moment, Home Theater’s optical is
    connected with Blu Ray’s optical. Please let me know if “SPDIF” is for
    digital coaxial cable on the back of the cable box saying “SPDIF” and
    “Optical (SPDIF) of Motrola QIP6416 while its specs
    on audio say “Left/right baseband, optical and coaxial


  32. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    SPDIF stands for Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format, and yes you do have a coaxial output that is labeled SPDIF and located just above the optical SPDIF output. Connect to the coaxial input on the Lifestyle 48 with a Digital Coaxial cable and you will have Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound when it is available on a cable channel. Remember what I said earlier, also leave your analog (red and white) connection plugged in for programs that do not offer digital surround. You can have both plugged into the same input at the same time, Bose recommends it.

  33. Michae;l on said:

    What is plasma display burn-in, and how does one know what to expect and is it still a problem?

  34. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Burn-in also known as image retention is when an image is burnt onto the screen leaving a ghost image of itself even when you watch something else. Is burn-in possible, yes but with today’s technology you almost have to try to do it. Burn-in was one of the LCD industries biggest scare tactics back when flat panels first became popular and people were trying to decide between lcd and plasma. Older plasma TV’s were susceptible to burn-in if you left an image on your screen for an extended period of time like a paused DVD. This is a dead issue anymore, with the advancements in technology plasma TV’s can be left on for hours at a time without any problem at all. If you were to leave a plasma TV on the same image or a channel like CNN where the bottom line is constantly on for a whole 24 hours you might get some image retention, but if you change the channel or run a DVD it will go away very quickly. I have had my plasma on for hours at a time and have never seen any burn-in. So unless you watch television for 24 hours a day on the same channel or pause a DVD in the morning and leave your TV on while you go to work, you have nothing to worry about.

  35. Hi,

    It seems that I have prblems with Channels such as 841 and 842 of FIOS which
    show flickering lines like moiret on the HDTV screen.

    Could it be associated with sound cable connections?

    Your help very much appreciated if you could tell me what could
    be done to correct them.


  36. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    This is definitely not a problem with your audio connections. You need to contact your cable provider to see if they are having issues. If it is not a problem with your cable box, you could have a faulty HDMI cable. I am not sure what kind of cable you are using, but cheaper HDMI cables tend to have problems like this. Call your cable provider and tell them whats going on, they might be able to fix it.

  37. I have a Toshiba Regza lcd tv (42lx196) that was advertised as Full HD 1080p however the owners manual claims it doesn’t accept 1080p signals through the component video or HDMI inputs, only 1080i. Does this mean a 1080p signal from my PS3 will be accepted by my Regza as 1080i and upscaled somehow into 1080p? The on-screen display lists the signal from my PS3 as 1080i even through the HDMI cable. Blu-Ray movies & PS3 games look great as they are now, but am I losing quality from Blu-Ray movies that should display 1080p resolution through an HDMI cable?

    Thanks in advance,

  38. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I looked up your TV on several different sites and they all say that it has a 1920 X 1080 resolution which is a 1080p display. When you say the manual claims it doesn’t accept 1080p signals through the component video inputs, that is correct, but it definitely should through HDMI which is the only way to receive true HD 1080p. There are a few things that you need to know that may help you understand the resolutions on your setup a little better. 1) Most PS3 games have been made with 720p or 1080i as their max resolution, they are just now developing 1080p games. The games you are playing are probably meant to be played in 720p or 1080i. 2) There is a menu on the PS3 that allows you to pick the resolution you want displayed. Go to that menu and select 1080p. When you do that, all things that are supposed to be seen in 1080p will be and games that are max 1080i will be shown in 1080i. 3) If your PS3 is not connected to your TV with an HDMI cable, you will not get 1080p. 4) 1080p is great but at the size of your TV, it will be hard for you to tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p. So don’t get too disappointed if you can’t get 1080p.

    Hope this helps.

  39. In the installation guide that came with the tv on the pages describing the connections with ColorStream component & HDMI it says 1080i is accepted and 1080p is not in both sections, however in all advertising the tv claims to be a full hd tv with 1080p resolution. I called Toshiba on the phone and the tech support said the tv DOES display 1080p however the tv’s on-screen display shows 1080i when selecting the HD inputs. It seems I can’t send it (or have the tv accept) better than 1080i, and the manuals say this also. How can that be? If the tv can take a 1080i signal and de-interlace it somehow into what it should be without losing quality, I will be happy. But no matter how hard it is to tell the difference I will still feel duped if it can’t display the full 1080p that was advertised.

    With the PS3 there are boxes that can be checked for each resolution associated with the cables (including HDMI which I am using). However after checking boxes a screen should appear that gives the option to click ok to save the settings. Having a black screen appear means that the desired resolution is not supported. When I check the 1080p box the next screen is black (and soon reverts back to the screen used to highlight the resolution boxes) it appears the tv doesn’t support the natural 1080p straight from the PS3 thru the HDMI cable. I can have the 1080i box checked, as well as the lower resolutions (but not 1080p) and I can see the next screen fine and save the settings. The backs of PS3 games as well as Blu Ray list the maximum resolutions and the games seem mostly 720p so no argument there. However the Blu Ray jewel cases usually have 1080p listed as the maximum and I don’t want to lose quality with those. Is there any chance that the HDMI cable I am using is not good enough to send the full 1080p and only the 1080i that I am getting?

    Again thanks for your input,

  40. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    I am not sure what kind of HDMI cable you have, or how long you are running it (both are very important factors in HDMI). It is possible that you have an HDMI cable that can’t pass the bandwidth. If you read forums everyone will say that it doesn’t matter what kind of HDMI cable you use but they are wrong. I would like to know what kind of cable you have and how long you are running it. I am not positive that your HDMI cable is your problem, but it very well could be. I find it odd that everyone who sells that TV advertises it as a 1080p capable TV and Toshiba says it can display 1080p but it doesn’t. That gives me the reason to believe that it could be an HDMI cable problem. Write another post with info about your HDMI cable (length, brand) and maybe we can diagnose this problem further.

  41. yama on said:


    Thanks. Monster cable solved the problem.

    Now, can you help me with this question. By connecting the home theater and Blu ray player by an optical cable for audio, and by
    connecting VS-2 and Blu Ray by HDMI cable for video, the window of the home center shows “VCR” and “PCM 2.0.” Is “PCM 2.0″ the right
    indication of audio, not Dolby Surround 5.0 even if I play a BD with Dolby Surround 5.1?


  42. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    This is strange because if Dolby Digital 5.1 is available, it should do it. There could be a menu on your Blu Ray Player that allows you to choose what audio mode you want. Try to find some kind of option to change the audio output on your Blu Ray player, that may fix the problem.

  43. Shawn on said:

    I have a Sony DVD player with the Upscale feature to get it at or close to 720p/1080i. If I hook it up to my HDTV with the component cable linked below, will I get a really good picture out of it? Will it upscale it to 720p/1080i? My hdmi cables are already being used by my cable box and my ps3.

    Monster® FlatScreen Component Video and Stereo Audio Cable

  44. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    An Upscaling DVD player will get the picture as close to HD as possible but it will never be 720p or 1080i. No upscaling DVD player will be, however if you connect with the component cable you mentioned above you will get a picture that is better quality than a regular DVD and very close to HD. Component is still a very good option and with the VS-2 it will be upscaled to go through the HDMI cable going from your output to your TV. So it will basically be an HDMI connection anyway. This cable will work great with the VS-2.

  45. David on said:

    Hi I have found reading through your questions and answers really interesting. I have an oldish now but still good Denon 2805 (Ive always been interested in good audio)but the amp also upscales video signals in to component video out.I am about to invest in a new screen probably a Pioneer Kuros Plasma.At present I don’t bother passing any video signals through the amp just connect the Sony DVD player/recorder (with an integrated digital tuner) to the CRT screen I am using via Scart RGB. When I get the new screen I will probably get a PS2 as a means to play HD DVD but will I be able to take advantage of the video upscaling in the amp to gain any benefits. The amp given its age doesnt have HDMI links. Grateful for any thoughts

  46. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Using the video upscaling on your receiver would not help you much if you are watching high definition discs like a Blu-Ray on a PS3. The reason is that component video can’t do 1080p, but it can do 1080i. If I were you I would run the audio to your receiver and the video straight to the TV just like you do now. Monster Cable sells a PS3 Component Video/Fiber Optic Audio cable that would work perfect for you. You mentioned that you were using SCART so I am not sure if you are outside the U.S. or not. If you are in another country, our manufacturers do not allow us to ship world wide. If you do live in the U.S. we have the Monster PS3 Component Video/Fiber Optic cable on sale, here is a link to the page. Also, we can get you a pretty good deal on a Pioneer Kuro (again if you live in the U.S.) call our toll free number at 1-866-224-6171 (ask for Frank).

  47. Hey,
    I have an Olivia 55 inch 1080p LCD Tv and a 360 connected through the standard component cable that comes with the 360.
    I changed the input on the 360 to a 1080p and it was working properply. I had a few minor issues with the color temp on the tv as it has only 2 options between a 6500k and native. The manufacture manual strongly reccommends using the 6500k but the picture seems much better on the native setting. My question is it ok for the TV to have the input via ‘component’ from the 360 at 1080p? and also does the color temp at Native really affect the lifespan or picture quality over a period of time.

  48. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Through component video the highest resolution you will get is 720P or 1080i. The only way to get a 1080p signal is from a HDMI Cable.

  49. Your information is very consistent and I appreciate that. I have read all your postings and am beginning to understand it all. My question is the value between the Blu-Ray vs. a DVD upscaling. I have a Samsung 42″ DLP with 720p resolution. I have HD TV and love it. In considering either the Blu-Ray vs. Upscaling DVD players. Which am I going to get a better picture from (a Blu-Ray dowscaling to meet my 720p tv-or a DVD upscaler that will convert/ upscale to a 720p)? I imagine the Blu-Ray because it is a better image downscaling to meet 720p – vs a 480i upscaling to a HD or 720p resolution. I am leaning Blu-Ray after all that I have read. Will I be able to tell? Obviously I will be using HDMI cables.

  50. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Hands down go with the Blu-ray player. Even if your TV is only 720p this will give you the best picture available.

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