1080p is the shorthand name for a category of HDTV video modes. The number 1080 represents 1,080 lines of vertical resolution (1,080 horizontal scan lines), while the letter p stands for progressive scan (meaning the image is not interlaced). The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a horizontal resolution of 1920 pixels. This creates a frame resolution of 1920×1080. The frame rate in hertz can be either implied by the context or specified after the letter p (or i), such as 1080p30, meaning 30 Hz.
A 1080p picture, with a resolution similar to that of 2K digital cinema technology, is sometimes referred to in marketing materials as "Complete High-Definition".
Use of 1080p and the closely related 1080i labels in consumer products may refer to a range of capabilities. For example, video equipment that upscales to 1080p takes lower resolution material and reformats it for a higher resolution display. The image that results is different from the display of original 1080p source material on a native 1080p capable-display. Similarly, equipment capable of displaying both 720p and 1080i may in fact not have the capability to display 1080p or 1080i material at full resolution. It is common for this material to be downscaled to the native capability of the equipment. The term "native 1080p-capable" is sometimes used to refer to equipment capable of rendering 1080p fully.
The movie industry has embraced 1080p24 as a digital mastering format in both native 24p form and in 24PsF form. 1080p24 has become an established production standard for digital cinematography and there is plenty of equipment capable of capturing and processing 1080p24 signals. This may be the first universal video standard which transcends continental boundaries, an area previously reserved for 24-frame film.
For live broadcast applications, a high-definition progressive scan format operating at 1080p at 50 or 60 frames per second is currently being evaluated as a future standard for moving picture acquisition. This format will require a whole new range of studio equipment including cameras, storage, edit and contribution links (such as Dual-link HD-SDI and 3G-SDI) as it has doubled the data rate of current 50 or 60 fields interlaced 1920 × 1080 from 1.485 Gbit/s to nominally 3 Gbit/s. It will improve final pictures because of the benefits of "oversampling" and removal of interlacing artifacts.
In the United States, the original ATSC standards for HDTV supported 1080p video, but only at the frame rates of 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 frames per second (colloquially known as 1080p24, 1080p25 and 1080p30).
In July 2008, the ATSC standards were amended to incorporate H.264/MPEG-4 AVC compression and 1080p at 50, 59.94 and 60 frames per second (1080p50 and 1080p60). Such frame rates require H.264/AVC High Profile Level 4.2, while standard HDTV frame rates only require Level 4.
This update is not expected to result in widespread availability of 1080p60 programming, since most of the existing digital receivers in use would only be capable of decoding the older, less-efficient MPEG-2 codec, and operator bandwidth limitations do not allow for broadcasting two simultaneous streams on the same broadcast channel (e.g. both a 1080i MPEG-2 stream alongside a 1080p MPEG-4 stream).
In Europe, 1080p25 signals have been supported by the DVB suite of broadcasting standards, and 1080p50 have been foreseen as the future broadcasting standard, though it requires more bandwidth and/or more efficient codec.
Since September 2009, ETSI and EBU, the maintainers of the DVB suite, added support for 1080p50 signal coded with MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2 with Scalable Video Coding extensions or VC-1 Advanced Profile compression; DVB also supports 1080p encoded at ATSC frame rates of 23.976, 24, 29.97, 30, 59.94 and 60.
EBU requires that legacy MPEG-4 AVC decoders should at least not crash in presence of SVC and/or 1080p50 (and higher resolution) packets. SVC enables forward compatibility with 1080p50 and 1080p60 broadcasting for older MPEG-4 AVC receivers, so they will only recognize baseline SVC stream coded at a lower resolution/frame rate and gracefully ignore additional frames, while newer hardware will be able to decode full-resolution signal.
In the United States, 1080p over the air broadcasts still do not exist as of 2010; all major networks use either 720p60 or 1080i60 encoded with MPEG-2. Satellite service though has many channels that utilize the 1080p/24-30 format.
For material that originated from a progressive scanned 24 frame/s source (such as film), MPEG-2 allows the video to be coded as 1080p24, irrespective of the final output format; these progressively-coded frames are tagged with metadata (literally, fields of the PICTURE header) instructing a decoder how to perform a 3:2 pulldown to interlace them. While the formal output of the MPEG-2 decoding process from such stations is 1080i60, the actual content is coded as 1080p24 and can be viewed as such, using a process known as inverse telecine, since no information is lost even when the broadcaster (as opposed to the receiver) performs the 3:2 pulldown.
All Blu-ray Disc and now defunct HD DVD are able to hold 1080p HD content such as movies. Most movies released on Blu-ray and HD DVD can produce a full 1080p High Definition picture when the player is connected to a 1080p HDTV with an HDMI cable. However, the Blu-ray video specification only allows encoding of up to 1080p24 signal. Blu-ray can be played on devices such as Sony PlayStation 3. The Microsoft Xbox 360 cannot play Blu-ray discs 
There has been some content released in the 1080p format on the Internet. Some examples include Apple QuickTime Trailers in QuickTime HD 1080p format, the Microsoft WMV HD Content Showcase which offers 1080p clips, and most recently YouTube which has begun to feature 1080p videos (some early adopters of this technology have been faced with a few difficulties). Another example of 1080p content is the MacBreak 1080p podcast created by Leo Laporte and Alex Lindsay. This podcast is distributed via the BitTorrent method of distribution because of the large file sizes resulting from the high bit-rates. BitTorrent is also used to distribute many 1080p movies which have been copied from Blu-ray Disc or broadcast sources. Microsoft Silverlight can offer 1080p smooth streaming via IIS media services.
As of 2009, the higher end of consumer televisions is dominated by sets providing 1080p inputs, mainly HDMI and supporting full high-def resolutions. 1080p resolution is available in all formats, including plasma, DLP front and rear projection and LCD front projection. The manufacturers of 1080p TFT LCD screens include Sharp, Samsung, Sony, LG and a few others in Asia.
For displaying film-based 1080i60 signals, a scheme called 3:2 pulldown reversal (reverse telecine) is beginning to appear in some newer 1080p displays, which can produce a true 1080p quality image from film-based 1080i60 programs.
Some companies have made 1080p TVs (and non-TV displays, or monitors, with equivalent resolutions) as small as 22 inches. Vizio has made two 22 inch models sporting the resolution; Samsung has 22-, 24-, and 26-inch monitors/HD TVs with resolutions of 1920 x 1200. Vizio has also made a 26 inch model with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. 1080p can be viewed on these monitors pixel for pixel by not using the top or bottom 60 pixels; the additional screen area is used when driven by a compatible PC video adapter.
Though not intended as a consumer product (with a price of over $10,000), the Sony Trimaster BVM-L170 is a 17" LCD Professional Monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The AV equipment manufacturing industry has adopted the term Full HD as the consumer-friendly marketing term to mean the set is a safe purchase because it can display all available HD resolutions up to 1080p. The term is misleading, however, because it does not guarantee the set is capable of rendering digital video at all frame rates encoded in source files with 1080 pixel vertical resolution. Most notably, a "Full HD" set is not guaranteed to support the 1080p24 format, leading to consumer confusion.
DIGITALEUROPE (formerly EICTA) maintains the HD ready 1080p logo program that requires the certified TV sets to support 1080p24, 1080p50 and 1080p60, without overscan/underscan and picture distortion.
Some modern widescreen liquid crystal display (LCD) and most QXGA and widescreen cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors can natively display 1080p content. Widescreen WUXGA monitors for example support 1920×1200 resolution, which can display a pixel for pixel reproduction of the 1080p (1920×1080) format. The resolution is rare, but increasing in popularity amongst laptops in 2009; some laptops have a 15", 17" or even a 18.4" display that run a resolution of 1920×1200 or 1920x1080. Additionally, many 23, 24 and 27-inch (690 mm) widescreen LCD monitors use 1920×1200 as their native resolution, 30 inch displays can display beyond 1080p at up to 2560x1600 or 1600p. Apple's 27" iMac has a native resolution of 2560×1440 and hence 1440p. Other 1080p-compatible LCDs have lower than 1920×1080 native resolution and cannot display 1080p pixel for pixel, relying on the display's internal scaler to produce an image resized to suit the display's actual resolution.
Current generation video game consoles such as Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 are able to display games and video content in 1080p. Both consoles do this through component cable connections. Additionally, the Xbox 360 VGA connection, the Playstation 3 HDMI 1.3a connection and on specific models of the Xbox 360 (manufactured after June 2007) HDMI 1.2 connection also provide 1080p output. On the PS3, developers must provide specific resolution support at the software level, whereas on the Xbox 360, games that are not rendered natively at 1080p are upscaled using a built in scaler (meaning that all X360 games can be displayed in 1080p, whether natively or via upscaling). On both systems, 1080p games are automatically downscaled to 480i/576i to work on SDTVs, or downscaled to 480p/576p to remain compatible with EDTV. Both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 provide 1080p video services. Sony provides both the PlayStation Store VOD service and Blu-ray playback. Microsoft used to provide now defunct HD DVD playback as optional and Zune Video Marketplace for "instant on" 1080p video content.
"1080p is the shorthand name for a category of video modes. The number 1080 represents 1,080 lines of vertical resolution, while the letter p stands for progressive scan or non-interlaced. 1080p is considered an HDTV video mode. The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a horizontal (display) resolution of 1920 dots across and a frame resolution of 1920 × 1080 or exactly 2,073,600 pixels. The frame rate in hertz can be either implied by the context or specified after the letter p (such as 1080p30, meaning 30 frames per second).
1080p is sometimes referred to in marketing materials as "True High-Definition" or "Full High-Definition". Although 2K/4K digital cinema technology is commercially available, and ultra-high definition video is in the research phase, 1080p and 1080i are currently the highest-resolution formats widely used for broadcasting and consumer distribution of video content." 1080p
1080p refers to a level of high definition. It is the highest level of high definition that most high definition televisions can show. The number 1080 means there are 1,080 lines of color going from left to right in each picture on the screen. The p means progressive scan (every picture has all the lines every time). 1080p is almost always widescreen.