Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Paul Traudt

Second Committee Member

Gary Larson

Third Committee Member

Lawrence Mullen

Fourth Committee Member

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Number of Pages



The two main kinds of high definition television video formats broadcast in the United States are 1080i and 720p. Both formats are claimed to have advantages and disadvantages relative to the other format. However, there has been little academic research to determine viewer preferences of these formats, and whether the stated claims about each format's strengths and weaknesses are valid. This thesis addresses this lack of research by employing an experiment to determine viewer perceptions and preferences of these two high definition formats.

The two major findings from this study pertain to viewer preferences of 1080i/720p with regard to motion, and which format is preferred at night. Statistical analysis of this study's results contradict the often accepted notion 720p is the better format to record and display video involving motion. This experiment's results showed viewers have a significant preference for 1080i when viewing video involving high in-frame movement. It was also determined viewers prefer the 720p video format to a significant level when viewing video recorded at night. Other trends such as 720p being the overall preferred high definition television format were found, but not to a statistically significant level.


1080i; 720p; Consumers' preferences; HDTV; High definition television; High definition video; High definition video recording; Progressive Scan; Video Formats


Communication | Communication Technology and New Media

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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