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Justme’s answer (and commentary with supercat) explains this the best. I’ll just add a couple of notes: With standard CRT TVs, the choice was never between 480i and 480p but between 480i and 240p. 480p would have required doubling up the horizontal scan rate (the electron beam sweep rate from left to right and back) whereas 480i and 240p have approximately ...


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CRT TVs were designed to handle interlaced signals, where the TV alternates by receiving odd scanlines and even scanlines on alternating frames. The so-called progressive mode was invented when some hardware designer noticed you could start the even and odd frames on the same scanline, so the CRT's electron gun overwrites the previous frame's lines instead ...


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TL;DR: It's not about what a console can deliver as it is what a TV can display. Classic (pre digital) TV sets could only receive and display interlaced frames. So no sense in producing a non interlaced one. Similar console developers would have been unwise to create consoles and content that could not be displayed on what Joe Aerage had as TV. Sales might ...


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To be exact: "Interlacing" is not just a method for bandwidth saving, but mainly for increasing vertical resolution. EDIT: Bandwidth saving and increasing resolution are just the different sides of the same coin, see a comment by Justme. E.g.: The TV screen (in Europe / 50 Hz) was divided into 625 lines. The first picture frame contains the odd ...


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Indeed, early devices such as C64, NES, or IBM PC with CGA adapter did not use interlacing, but simply sent 240p to the TV. And later devices such as the Amiga could send either 480i or 240p. But TVs were not 480p capable, only 480i or 240p. So it was not possible to use 480p. For example, Amiga 500 can send either interlaced 480i for hi-res graphics and ...


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Two reasons come to mind: The image was sent to the display (the TV) using an RF modulator. This essentially acts as a low power TV station. Since the TV expects broadcast channels to be interlaced, the signal sent from the RF modulator must be interlaced as well. You alluded to this in your question: Reduced bandwidth. By only displaying every other ...


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