1080p is the shorthand name for a category of display resolutions. The number "1080" represents 1,080 lines of vertical resolution, while the letter p stands for progressive scan (meaning the image is not interlaced). 1080p is considered an HDTV video mode. 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, or 2,073,600 pixels in total. The frame rate in Hertz can be either implied by the context or specified after the letter p, such as 1080p30, meaning 30 Hz
Due to bandwidth limitations of broadcast frequencies, the ATSC and DVB have standardized only the frame rates of 24, 25, and 30 frames per second (1080p24, 1080p25, 1080p30). Higher frame rates, such as 1080p50 and 1080p60, could only be sent over normal-bandwidth channels if a more advanced codec (such as H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) were used. Higher frame rates such as 1080p50 and 1080p60 are foreseen as the future broadcasting standard for production.
In the United States, the ATSC is considering amending its standard to allow the incorporation of the newer codecs for optional usage like the DVB Project consortium already has done with DVB-S2. However, doing so is not expected to result in widespread consumer availability of broadcast 1080p programming, since most of the existing digital television sets or external digital receivers in use in the United States would still only be capable of decoding the older, less-efficient MPEG-2 codec, while the 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).
A new high-definition progressive scan format is not available for picture creation, but is currently being developed to operate at 1080p at 50 or 60 frames per second. This format will require a whole new range of studio equipment including cameras, storage, edit and contribution links as it has doubled the data rate of current 50 or 60 field interlace 1920 × 1080 from 1.485 Gbit/s to nominally 3 Gbit/s. It is unable to be broadcast in a compressed transmission to legacy MPEG-2 based HD receivers. This format will improve final pictures because of the benefits of "oversampling" and removal of interlace artifacts.