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Benefits of Progressive Scan vs Interlaced

As camera technology evolves, and better & greater features are accrued, the term Progressive Scan seems to pop up more and more. While some features are easy to identify by name, Progressive Scan remains a mystery to many.

As modern consumers with much experience purchasing TVs, I think most people understand the basic way that pictures are displayed on a TV or monitor screen. There are a certain number of lines that are displayed on the screen, and the order that the lines are tossed onto the screen is how Progressive Scan can be described. There are really only two ways this is done: Interlaced and Non-Interlaced (aka Progressive Scan).

Interlaced Scanning has become the old way of transmitting video. Let’s assume that there are 700 TV lines that are displayed on the screen. With this sort of scanning, all the odd lines are drawn and then the even lines are drawn, then all the odd lines are refreshed, then the even lines refreshed, and back and forth alternately. Can you imagine watching the ball thrown in a football game on TV with this sort of display going on? Although the lines are refreshed very quickly, you can tell by the truck in the picture below that the picture displays very fuzzy.

With Progressive Scan (or Non-Interlaced Scanning), the TV lines are drawn and refreshed in sequence. When the lines are drawn on sequence, whether 1 to 700 or 700 to 1, it not only displays moving objects better, but also decreases the bandwidth used.

By the picture below, it seems that seeing the term Progressive Scan is definitely a perk worth looking for.

progressive scan vs interlaced



  1. Mike Natky on November 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    this concept has has changed the view of viewing videos! the progressive scan was far better and and beneficial!

  2. FieldTechGuy on December 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

    There is no doubt here on where any of my clients should be spending their companies money. This is a much needed feature and I have not had one customer that was not happy with a camera that had this type of feaure.

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