How do I “Tell” my HD-Ready Projection TV which Format to Display?

HD-ready TVs work with scanrates – notably 1080i and 1080p and 720p for HD and 480i and 480p for SD (Standard Definition). (480p is more near HD quality than 480i.)

You cannot set the display on your HD-ready Front or Rear Projection TV to receive anything in particular. This has to be done by the source unit. Whether a BlurayHD DVD player or Cable or Satellite STB/Set Top Box, it is built into the unit.  All HD-ready Front and Rear Projection TVs automatically sense what is being sent to them, and they lock onto that as long as it is something that they are capable of receiving.  So if you send your video content out of your source device as 1080i, it will lock onto and sync up to the 1080i.  If you send it as 480p out of your source, it will lock up on that 480p.  No HD-ready locks onto 480i, and many do not lock onto 720p, tho some upconvert that 720p to 1080i and then display that 1080i.

If you send it 480i, it will upconvert that to 480p and lock onto that, as 480p is the lowest scan rate they are capable of, and HD-ready won’t do 480i at all.  Some Projection TVs do that well, some not so much.  It is usually better to have your source (rather than your display)  do that 480p to 480i upconversion.

Some CRT Projection TVs convert the 720p they receive and convert it to 1080i.  Others, like Mitsubishi and Pioneer, just don’t recognize 720p at all and the screen stays blank. Only one model of Rear Projection TVs keeps 720p as undisturbed 720p and 1080i as undistrubed 1080i. My year 2000 65″ Panasonic!


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Robert Jones is a Professional LEVEL II ISF Calibrator. His special talent lies in using the Image Perfection protocol as the final and most crucial step in the ultrafine tuning of High-Definition Home Theater and Front and Rear Projection TV systems. He optimizes and extends the working life of Projection TVs to 20 years and beyond.  Though Bob specializes in Pioneer and Mitsubishi projection TV’s, he repairs and maintains Flat Screen and Flat Panel systems made by most manufacturers. Bob started the popular “Don’t Dump Your CRT-RPTV!” thread in 2006. It has over 13,000 posts spanning more than 400 pages and it is still going strong. These posts can be found at  under the handle “Mr Bob”.  You can reach Bob directly at 510-278-4247 or

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