In this interview, he is questioning an HDTV salesman:
D.P. Question: OK, how about this one: 720p or 1080p?
A: These are measurements of how many fine lines make up the picture.
You’d think that 1080p is obviously better than 720p. Trouble is, you won’t get a 1080p image unless you feed it a 1080p signal — and that’s hard to come by. There’s no such thing as a 1080p TV broadcast (cable, satellite, anything), and won’t be for years. Even most games, like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, generally send out 720p (or less).
So the *only* way to get a 1080p picture on a 1080p set is to buy a high-def DVD player (Blu-ray or HD DVD). That’s the only way.
[D.P. adds: Even then, you won’t see any difference between 720p and 1080p unless you sit closer than 10 feet from the TV and it’s bigger than 55 inches or so.
And even then, you’re not getting any additional sharpness or detail. Instead, as CNET notes, you’re just gaining the ability to move closer without seeing individual pixels: “In other words, you can sit closer to a 1080p television and not notice any pixel structure, such as stair-stepping along diagonal lines, or the screen door effect (where you can actually see the space between the pixels).”]