Okay, here's the answer, and I'm betting my first born child that this information is solid, so either way, one of us is ending up with two kids!
The specifications for component is that it is a progressive player.
In 2005-2006, we were partnering with an upscaler (DCDi) from Faroudja in our upconverting DVD players, which was a great upscaler (upconverter) that we were pushing, partly because if their dominance, picture quality and branding in the DVD Category. Faroudja remains a great processor even today!. It also had a premium price. High end receivers today use DCDi with Faroudja. But we used the technology, and touted the name, and they were great players.
Naturally, we already had our own Samsung upscaling processor that quietly went into the HT-Q80 (and Q70, and Q100) that could support, I believe the INTENT was up to 1080i, but only when HDMI was used. At that time, not many people had HDMI, much less 1080i televisions. We didn't bring much attention to the HDMI capabilities at the time, but it ended up being a benefit for most consumers who eventually opted for HDMI-ready televisions. And rather than advertise it as a 1080i upscaling DVD (when people with component cables and no HDMI inputs on their TVs would be stuck at the 480p limitation), it was marketed as a progressive scan DVD system.
In short, it didn't make sense to advertise it for what it actually was (1080i/HDMI) but what it could most honestly generally be used as (progressive 480p/component) and most easily understood for the benefit of <b>most consumers</b>. It would be another year before we brought the first Blu-Ray player to market where upconverting DVD players would get their first big push by people who wouldn't necessarily spend $999.99 on the debut of the BD-P1000, but would pay $129.99 for the upscaling DVD player that played all their current movies.
The next year's models also introduced HDMI-CEC (Today known as Anynet).
So congratulations. It is my firm belief that you have an upscaling DVD player. And the history of your player. Now, I have no idea, but I'm wildly curious if you go into the HT-Q80's setup menu if you're able to select 720p or 1080i in the HT-Q80's output menu. It may be defaulted and hidden, but if you'd check, I'd get a kick out of that. If it IS hidden, it may have eventually been maxed out at 720p in production. Either way you're a winner, as it was touted as a 480p unit. Early HDMI devices were programmed to effectively deliver the most effective format by default.
Let me know!