Thursday, January 24, 2008

A few years ago, some big companies created a new TV technology called HDTV (High-Definition TV). But the question everyone has about this: What's new with these TVs?

The difference that a normal consumer would notice is that HDTVs are a lot thinner, these new slim TVs' technology is called Plasma or LCD. But here's the catch, not all plasma or thin TVs are HDTVs, plasma is just a technology that makes TVs thinner. Then what is a HDTV?

Before proceeding, you should know what TV resolution is. When you see an image on a TV, what you are seeing are tons of tiny squares, those are called pixels. Well, the resolution is how many pixels are there in the display or the screen. The more the pixels, the clearer and sharper the image will be. So how do you find the resolution of a TV?

The resolution of a TV is written like this: "480i", where the number is how many pixels the TV has in height. For example, if the resolution is 640x480, 640 would be the pixels across the screen and 480 the pixels from the top to the bottom, and you would only write the last number, 480, not the whole 640x480. Also, the screen proportion also matters. Conventional TVs are 4:3, that means that the screen width is 4 times x quantity, and its height is 3 times x. The new widescreen TVs ratio is 16:9.

We're almost there, the letter in the resolution (in "480i" the letter "i") means the technology used for displaying the image. "i" stands for interlaced and means that only half of the image is refreshed every time. And like "i", "p" stands for progressive. "p" is the new technology and works by refreshing the whole image everytime, the result is a sharper image.

So, what are HDTVs? HDTVs are TVs capable of playing video in 720p at least, and almost all HDTVs are widescreen. Compare the regular 640x480 interlaced video rendering, to the new 1280x720 progressive scan resolution, it sure makes a difference. However, 1280x720 was when HDTVs were just starting, today there are new FullHD HDTVs, and those work in 1080p (1920x1080 progressive scan resolution).

So there you go, now you understand what's going on with HDTVs. You should know have a good idea of what to look in a HDTV before buying it. Tomorrow we'll review HD cables.


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