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Is my 1080p tv actually 1080i or is it the programming?

Last response: in Home Theatre
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December 21, 2010 12:16:55 PM

Hey guys,

I just got a black monday 42" 1080p LED TV for $499. Got it hooked up and got a new hdtv antenna for it. Everything looks amazing, but I can't help but notice that the highest resolution I have seen on the channel info screens is 1080i or 720p. The tv was advertised as 1080p, but it was also advertised as internet capable, which it is not and I was aware of due to reviews before I bought it. I have a couple of questions.

Is the reason the highest resolution I'm seeing on the INFO banner 1080i, not 1080p, because I'm just using a hdtv antenna picking up digital channels over the air? Or is my tv not actually 1080p, it's 1080i? If the former, would basic cable have any true 1080p channels or is all 1080p content separately purchased content?

Also, I hooked it up to my desktop which has a HD5870 graphics card. But the text looked funny on 1920X1080 resolution, and it said nonoptimal nonnative resolution, 14something by 900 was recommended. Everything looked great on that setting, and still looks great on 1680X1050, but 1080 looks like crap. I'm really just referring to my desktop, the text under icons look blurry/shifted, if that makes any sense.

Oh, should mention that the hdmi cable used to connect PC and TV is a Vizio Premium High Speed 1080p + Ethernet, but there's no standard # anywhere, eg. 1.3, 1.4. Could it be that my cable is falsely advertised? I've heard that if you don't actually see the 1.3 or 1.4 on the packaging, you might not be getting a true 1080p capable cable.

Also, is it better to have a remote control for your PC, or a long range mouse/keyboard? Thanks in advance for any input you can offer. :) 
a b x TV
December 21, 2010 2:42:13 PM

All regular TV whether over the air, cable etc is 720p or 1080i (720p is better when there is motion). Direct TV has a few pay per view channels that are 1080p and many Blurays are 1080p. The HDMI cable will not affect this at all.
Not sure about the PC resolution issue. Are you using HDMI to connect? Try VGA connection if you have it. Try changing refresh rate down.
As to the remote it depends on what program is running. If you are using standard PC programs the keyboard, If you are running Windows Media Center or something like that which has a theater view option then the remote.
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December 21, 2010 2:42:52 PM

Also worth noting, I finally got ahold of someone from Element customer service. She explained that I would see 1080p if I had cable, which is plausible. But when I explained the sub-1080p resolution when using it as a PC monitor, she said that the "native resolution" changes depending on if you have it hooked up to antenna/cable or hooked up to a pc. I'm not buying that though. If it's supposed "native resolution" is 1080p, it should be able to display 1920X1080p when acting as a monitor, right?
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December 23, 2010 10:30:43 AM

51 people have viewed this and can offer no opinions or help?
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a b x TV
December 24, 2010 5:25:40 PM

The customer service seems pretty lame. Native resolution is the panels resolution and cannot change. The best way to be sure is to connect a bluray player with HDMI and play a 1080p disc.
If the panel is not 1080p the bluray will downscale to the panels resolution. 1080i is not 1080p. They are often confused.
No broadcast or cable has 1080p channels.
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December 25, 2010 5:05:18 PM

americanaudiophile said:
The customer service seems pretty lame. Native resolution is the panels resolution and cannot change. The best way to be sure is to connect a bluray player with HDMI and play a 1080p disc.
If the panel is not 1080p the bluray will downscale to the panels resolution. 1080i is not 1080p. They are often confused.
No broadcast or cable has 1080p channels.


Yeah, that is my next purchase and test, the bluray player. And I'm kinda shocked that no 1080p content is available on cable, even with specially purchased HD package material. I guess I can assume that satellite providers don't have 1080p either, guess I'll have to look that up later. I was considering getting ATT's U-verse, but if it's not 1080p I might wait a bit since I don't watch much tv other than PBS anyway.
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