Today, two major HDTV standards exist, one being 720p (1280×720 px) and the other being 1080i (1920×1080 px), yet there are significant differences between them that affect the TV viewing experience.
The numbers 720p and 1080i refer to the number of transmitted television lines where “P” means “Progressive” and “I” stands for “Interlaced”. Interlaced refers to a single frame of television that is presented in two parts: first, the television “loads” every other line of the picture (2, 4, 6, etc.) and then it loads the remaining lines (1, 3, 5, etc.). Progressive refers to all lines of a picture that are loaded simultaneously, which can make an essential difference in picture quality. In particular, if the film contains fast moving images (sports, action movies etc.), then it will look smoother at a resolution of 720p.
So, the best option for TV will be the one that has a 1920×1080 pixel resolution and progressive scanning (1080p) since it must maintain a 1280×720 pixel resolution.
A renowned Russian operator, NTV-Plus was revolutionary in high-definition television in the country by providing HD broadcasting since 2007. In 2012 the leading Russian satellite operator, Tricolor TV announced the commercial launch of the first HD multiplex “Tricolor TV Full HD” where price and content made it the most attractive offer in the local market. In early January 2013 Tricolor TV roped its millionth HD subscriber. The share of HD subscribers in the structure of new subscriptions exceeds 99%. By the end of the Q2 of 2014, the total number of households subscribed to Tricolor TV HD reached 3.82 million subscribers, which is an unprecedented result amongst Russian digital television operators. In addition, in October, 2014, Tricolor TV launched ULTRA HD 4K pilot channel which has become Russia’s first regular content broadcasting on a regular basis.
According to J’son & Partners Consulting (J&PC), by the end of 2013 the subscriber base of the pay HDTV channels of Russian operators amounted to over 7.1 million households. In the first half of 2014, the number of subscribers of Pay TV operators HD packages made up by Tricolor TV at 39.6 %, Rostelecom at 27.6 %, Beeline TV at 11 %, MTS TV at 8.9 % and Orion Express at 6.9 %. By the end of 2018, J&PC estimates HDTV penetration in Russia will reach 24.5 million households.
In essence, every quantum leap during the course of history was presented with a high-definition television. In 1935, 343 lines were introduced as HDTV, during 1950 – 525 lines, and in 1980 – 1080 lines. So, frankly speaking, HD is a certain maximum level that is possible to reach.