Can someone tell me the difference between high definition and standard definition?



I have a LCD HDTV and I use it for playing games on my Xbox 360 I have downloaded movie trailers in 720p and I have to say I dont see much of a difference in the quality of these high definition trailers compared to the normal standard definition. There isnt really a huge difference in the quality can someone tell me the difference?


It’s the resolution.
Standard definition = 640x480.
High definition = 720p, 1080i (i as in interlaced or interpolated = bad), 1080p.
Actually 720p is not a big difference to 640p. 1080p is really different, though.


If you have a close look at the TV, the 720p image should look more detailed with very little, if any jaggedness. If both the 720p image and standard definition images appear the same, then it seems like something is downscaling the image to standard definition. It could also mean that your TV is doing a very good job at upscaling the standard definition picture to high definition, however no upscaler can put in missing information that was lost during the original downscaling process. :wink:

For a start, make sure your Xbox 360 is connected up using component video cables. Composite, S-Video (SVHS) and Scart cables are all incapable of carrying high definition. Finally, go into your Xbox 360’s configuration and make sure the display output is set to 720p. By default, most HD upscaling DVD players and other HD equipment have component output set to 480p/576p for NTSC/PAL regions respectively for legacy standard definition TVs.


720p is actually better for most content and even LCDs, because many of them cannot just display the other resolutions without digitally re-sclaing them which results into bad, sometimes even real bad results.


You almost got it. SD = 480i, which is 720x480. Unless you have a 1080p TV (which are rare) you’d probably be better off with a high quality 720p set with a good internal scaler.

As far as the difference between 480i/p and 720p, lets look at the pixel counts…


So you can see that while 720p is a 3x increase in pixels, 1080i/p is only approx. a 2x improvement over 720p. When we were looking at HD sets the best looking one we could find in our price segment was a native 720p set (Sony 50" a10). It turns out it also has a high quality scaler.