What is “720p” ?

720p (a.k.a. HD) – A progressive HDTV signal format with 720 vertical lines and an aspect ratio (AR) of 16:9 (1.78:1). All major HDTV broadcasting standards (such as SMPTE 292M) include a 720p format which has a resolution of 1280×720; however, there are other formats, including HDV Playback and AVCHD for camcorders, which use 720p images with the standard HDTV resolution.

The number 720 stands for the 720 horizontal scan lines of image display resolution (also known as 720 pixels of vertical resolution), while the letter p stands for progressive scan (i.e. non-interlaced). When broadcast at 60 frames per second, 720p features the highest temporal resolution possible under the ATSC and DVB standards. The term assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, thus implying a resolution of 1280×720 px (0.9 megapixels).

720i (720 lines interlaced) is an erroneous term found in numerous sources and publications. Typically, it is a typographical error in which the author is referring to the 720p HDTV format. However, in some cases it is incorrectly presented as an actual alternative format to 720p. No proposed or existing broadcast standard permits 720 interlaced lines in a video frame at any frame rate.

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Source: Wikipedia

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