The Japanese HiVision system was the main system on-display, with a bit of
Eureka 1250 (though not much Eureka kit). Both are comparable in
resolution terms with the current 1080/60i system in use in Japan in
vertical scanlines (ISTR that 1125 was around 1035/60i active?)
I saw a Tektronix wallchart at the Production Show, and they refer to "the
1125 lines system, commonly refeered to as 1080i", and "the 750 lines system
commonly referred to as 720p". It looks as though they have standardised on
the field blanking for both of these systems, and that "1080/60i" is infact
the same as the established Japanese 1125 lines system, with the same line
frequency, but shorter field blanking. They have halved it from the standard
8% (used with 625/575, 525/483, and the original 1125/1035), to 4% on
both 1125/1080i and 750/720p. 720p has exactly two thirds of the line
numbers of 1080i, for both active lines and blanked lines.
Given that 1080/50i and 720/50p deliver a similar
vertical resolution (though 720/50p is likely to be more efficiently
compressed) I suspect the 1080/i vs 720/p debate will run and run over
here as it has in the US.
I don't think it will run for too long. 1080 is a bigger number so everyone
will go 1080 regardless, even if the picture quality is worse. Consumers
lack the technical knowledge to know how a lower number of lines could ever
possibly give you a better picture, and it's not just them. The vast
majority of financial backers and managers involved in television also lack
this kind of technical knowledge, so the system with the bigger number is
sure to come out on top.