The difference between 1080i and 1080p is in how the image is generated. A 1080i screen generates an image in two passes before it is fully resolved. It is called Interlaced Scanning. A 1080p screen generates an image in one progressive pass; known as progressive scanning. It provides a smoother picture. It has double the capacity over the previous 720p. Both screens have a resolution of 1920 by 1080 and both create a sharp image. Something to make a note of is that most television stations generate content that is compatible with 1080i which means that even if you have a 1080p screen, you won’t get any additional advantage from it. This could change in the future as television stations catch up with the available technology. Both screen types work well with HD DVD’s.
The main disadvantages of a 1080p is that you need to buy specialized cables to connect to your multimedia system in order to take full advantage of its potential which adds extra cost and that television stations haven’t caught up to the technology; however, when they do, technophiles will be in HD heaven. The main disadvantage of a 1080i screen is that it isn’t totally considered HD. It has the equivalent screen quality of a 720p, but it still has a great picture and since there aren’t a lot of 1080p compatible products in the marketplace just yet, I wouldn’t necessarily run out and get a 1080p until the technology is a little older and the price comes down.