High Definition Television - HDTV
Yes, it is here!!! This was legislated by Congress in 1996 to be implemented by 2006. HDTV signals were to be broadcast on TV stations by 2002. Well now it is happening. HDTV is special digital television. Well then, what is so great – it is the picture. On a HDTV capable television with an HDTV feed you get a crystal clear picture. There is not a bit of fuzziness or image shadowing. When you first see it, you are amazed. As an older person that is beginning to shift to less activity and more TV watching, this is truly a revolution. When they put me in the “old folks home” in the not too distant future, I will cause an “old folks” riot if there is not HDTV on a 58” or larger plasma TV panel available for all to see.
Most TV's do not have HDTV tuners-receivers built into them so you need a TV with the proper interface and resolution and a set top tuner box that you rent from Verizon-Comcast-Dish Network. There is broadcast HDTV that requires a special antenna and again a set-top tuner box.
The best HDTV resolution is 1080p. The resolutions go from 480 - standard TV, 480p - DVD players, 720p – ESPNHD and others, 1080i - most HDTV broadcasts, to 1080p - Blu-ray and HD - DVD. The “I” resolution means that the scans are interlaced. Every other line is scanned when the screen is refreshed to produce the visible image. “P” or progressive scan means that every line is refreshed on every scan. TV screens are scanned horizontally from say left to right line by line. In each scan dots are turned on or off in three colors Red-Blue-Green. Actually the intensity of each color is varied to produce a combined color for the dot like a light yellow or a deep purple. All the dots on the screen form the image we view. Progressive scanning delivers a smoother image that stays sharper during motion because the TV responds more quickly to image changes. The newer plasma, LCD and DLP TVs are capable of 1080p older ones and larger ones provide 1080i. Most HDTV broadcasts are 720P or 1080i today.
Connecting to the set-top tuner box requires the correct cable and connectors. The preferred approach is to use the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI). The HDMI interface carries both audio and video signals. Audio signals are Audio Coding 3 (AC3) or 5.1 surround sound sent using an Intel developed High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) format. The 5.1 surround sound is carried by 4 surrounding speakers and 1bass sub-woofer that shakes the building. Hence 5 speakers and 1 being a sub woofer (5.1 surround sound). The HDMI interface is a small “D” shaped connector.
Digital Video Interface (DVI) carries only the video signals. DVI is an interface used on many PCs to connect to new flat panel monitors. Audio signals are carried by separate cables – either a digital optical cable (TOS Cable), a digital Coaxial cable or the older red and white RCA jack sound cables. The DVI connector is a large square shaped connector with lots of pins.
The HDTV interface found on older components (DVD players and TVS) is the Component video interface. In this case there are three signal cables labeled Y, PB(CB), and PR(CR). I have no clue what these labels stand for and I do not need to know. They connect into the TV with three separate push and turn connectors. Just get a TV with the HDMI interface and skip these details.
The last interface is the S-Video interface. It is a round cable carrying standard TV video signals. Most all TVs have this interface as well as VCRs and DVD players. It is not an HDTV interface.
The plasma panels prices and all HDTV prices are dropping like stones. The 50” plasma panel I just purchased this month is already reduced another $50 and a 58” panel is selling for $2,236 with free delivery at beachcamera.com. Next FIOS vs. Comcast digital TV – next month I mean. More to come.
Link to Wikipedia
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