As long as the television is an HD model, simply deliver a 720p signal to the television and you will have 720p content being displayed. The television will accept SD, 720 and 1080 without any adjustment needed.
Not all HD tv's are high defintiion,but a 720p LCD does 1280x720, for a total of 921,600 pixels and an 1080p tv is 1920×1080, or 2,073,600 pixels in total.
The difference between 720 and 1080 is the resolution, or "quality" of the picture. A 1080p television has 360 more rows of pixels (the little dots that make up a TV picture) than a 720p television, which means it has a better quality picture.
A 1080 TV has 1080p resolution which is better than a 720p, the p refers to the amount of pixels on the TV screen. The price gap between the two TV has lowered to about $250-500. However many people cannot actually discern a difference between the two resolutions.
In almost all instances the two screen types* will be defined as "720" and "1080" which denotes either 720 horizontal lines of resolution or 1080. The more pixels there are the higher quality the picture will be, so a television with 1080p will have a higher resolution than a television with 720p. The letter "p" means "progressive" which provides a higher resolution than if you see the letter "i" which means "interlaced". If you have two televisions, one a 720p and the other a 720i, the television with 720p will have a higher resolution. *due to standard screen sizes there is no 700p, only 720i or 720p
1080 is the best resolution for any TV.
720p is one of the HD formats so it will display HD quality. Although most Bluray content is generated as a 1080 signal, some is produced as 720p. Either will work on any HD television although using a television with a native 1080 line display will deliver the best resolution available for any current HD content.
"The 720p means it shows 720 lines across the screen concurrently every 60 seconds, this leads to a resolution of 1280x720. Naturally, the 1080p shows 1080 lines, producing a resolution of 1920x1080. The 720p is more common than the 1080p when watching regular TV, it is usually preferable for sporting events. Basically, the 1080 produces a better resolution than the 720, showing more detail."
It should change by itself if you are getting a 1080 program. UNLESS you are using a Satellite decoder box. I had to go to "settings" menu in the decorder box and uncheck 480i then check 480p, 720p and the 1080 box. After that, the Info button activated the screen to display the 1080 format.
HD televisions are capable to displaying several HD formats. The most common are 1080i, 1080p and 720p. All HD signals will be in one of those three formats and the television will automatically accept and display any of the formats. The on screen report that the display is running at 720p is simply an indication that the incoming signal is in that format. Change the incoming signal to 1080 and the status will change to show 1080. Note that 1080i and 720p are both true HD formats and broadcasters are free to use either format. 720p is less used but it may be found on sports channels as it handles high speed movement a little better than 1080i.
1080 is the amount of pixles going verticaly on the tv and is the highest resolution for a tv.
Walmart and Target have fair priced lcd tvs. The prices have recently reduced due to the ever changing technology. HDTVs are a great TV but also remember size makes all the difference when comparing prices.