Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How do you pronounce 720p and 1080p?

Because I don't live in a country that uses English, I haven't heard it yet.

I guess it doesn't have a rule.

  • seven hundred twenty p
  • seven twenty p
  • seventy two zero p

What's the one which most people use? And how about 1080p?

share|improve this question
2  
@drm65: I think it's fascinating. There's absolutely no doubt that the top answer here is 100% correct, and all alternatives are totally "incorrect". But that's only the case when these numbers occur in the context of a video signal. In some other contexts, other enunciations may be valid (perhaps even preferred, though I can't think of an example). This one really does seem to be a situation where there is a rule - but the rule just nets down to "say it like everyone else does". –  FumbleFingers Jul 3 '11 at 14:20
    
Jasper, you bumped the question after 4 months? –  GEdgar Nov 20 '11 at 21:48
    
@GEdgar I bumped it after 22 months. –  Timtech Sep 2 '13 at 23:44

4 Answers 4

up vote 67 down vote accepted

I only heard them pronounced like this:

Seven twenty p

Ten eighty p

I tend to work in this area. I work with videos a lot, so I'm around those values daily and I never heard any other variation.

share|improve this answer
3  
Generally speaking, I would say that the default readings for 720 and 1080 are "seven twenty" and "ten eighty". That is, 720p and 1080p follow the normal rule for reading out numbers in English. –  nohat Jul 3 '11 at 5:59
4  
You would pronounce them the same way in sports ("seven twenty" and "ten eighty") when talking about degrees of rotation. The same goes for 180, 360, and 540 ("one eighty", "three sixty", and "five forty"). The "proper" way to write it out (on a check for example) would be "seven hundred twenty", but nobody says that in everyday use. –  redbmk Jul 3 '11 at 6:30
1  
In British English surely normal way would be seven hundred and twenty, and one thousand and 80 –  Mark Jul 3 '11 at 10:16
1  
@Mark: Not true, they do it just the same. –  Tom Wijsman Jul 3 '11 at 10:39
2  
But this is not a question about just a number 720. It is about the designation that shows the resolution of a TV signal: 720p. –  GEdgar Jul 3 '11 at 13:08

I personally automatically say this if:

720p = HD

1080p = full HD

share|improve this answer
4  
I think it's a little confusable word. There wasn't full-hd at first. And now, so many people do think hd is equal full-hd. –  Benjamin Jul 3 '11 at 21:45
    
I can concur. To me, when I hear "HD", I always think 1080p, not 720p. –  Joe Z. Nov 1 at 22:19
    
This day I'd say HD is 1080p too, but 3 years ago when I answered this 720p was still much more common. –  usealbarazer Nov 3 at 19:44

When speaking to an audience that is not familiar with high-definition television broadcasting standards, 720p is pronounced

Seven hundred twenty progressive scan.

I agree with @RiMMER's answer for audience already familiar with the term.

share|improve this answer
9  
For an audience unfamiliar with the standards, that is likely to be even more confusing. –  Marcin Jul 3 '11 at 8:28
13  
For an audience that is not familiar you would say high definition and stop there. Unless you want to go into details of explaining what progressive scan is... –  nico Jul 3 '11 at 9:22
4  
Firstly "Seven Hundred Twenty" is never said, it either needs to be "Seven Hundred and Twenty" or "Seven Twenty". And saying this to someone unfamiliar with HDTV broadcasting would just be plain stupid. –  Jonathan. Jul 3 '11 at 11:06
5  
@Jonathan: You may say and in Britain, but not in the US. –  GEdgar Jul 3 '11 at 13:08
2  
"seven-twenty-p", "ten-eighty-p", and "ten-eighty-i" are very standard marketing terms. For the sake of communication there is no good reason to be your own snowflake and use variations. –  Nick T Jul 4 '11 at 3:31

I'd say

"seven twenty pixel"

and

"ten eighty pixel"

or perhaps

"... pixels"

even though technically that's not accurate (p = progressively scanned lines, but lines are effectively rows and columns of pixels)

share|improve this answer
12  
And 1080i would be 'ten eighty ixel' ;-P ... (IMO: say p or 'progressive') –  Macke Jul 3 '11 at 10:27
13  
Except the p doesn't mean pixels, why say something that's wrong, especially if you know its wrong. –  Jonathan. Jul 3 '11 at 11:07
    
"seven-twenty-p", "ten-eighty-p", and "ten-eighty-i" are very standard marketing terms. For the sake of communication there is no good reason to be your own snowflake and use variations on the terms. –  Nick T Jul 4 '11 at 3:32
    
Yea, it's just a bad habit. Unfortunately, if enough people say something wrongly, eventually it becomes right, the standard, and the dictionary changes. Benjamin might run into a few sloppy speakers like me and wonder what they heck they're talking about, but hopefully he won't repeat our mistaken pronunciation. –  hobs Jul 11 '11 at 10:27
    
To clarify, my pronunciation is the bad habit I was referring to and shouldn't be imitated. The downvotes of my answer are appropriate. –  hobs May 20 at 22:00

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.