Tuesday, July 18, 2006
HDTV is basically TV or video that operates with a higher resolution than the normal, analog TV weé─˘re used to. HD technology was pioneered by the Japanese, who began working with a higher resolution (1025 lines) back in the 1980s. As early as 1983, they had a functioning HDTV system, although it was an analog system. Today, HDTV is broadcast digitally.
HDTV differs from standard, analog TV in a variety of ways. At first glance, the difference is obvious: HDTV providers a clearer, sharper, more distinct video image than the typical TV most of us have watched over the decades. HDTV has an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is the same aspect ratio used on movie screens in movie theaters. Meanwhile, standard TV has an aspect ratio thaté─˘s much smaller: 4:3. The 16:9 ratio gives viewers a movie theater-like viewing experience at home, and ité─˘s a ratio thaté─˘s ideal for widescreen television sets. HDTV also has a resolution of 1080 (720 lines), which provides a better picture than regular TV, with its aspect ratio of 480 lines.
Because HDTV offers twice the resolution of that found in standard television, it provides a picture that has much more detail and clarity. It also offers superior audio quality because it supports Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Since HD broadcasts are digital, viewers automatically benefit from a better picture, due to the digital signal. The digital signal ensures better color on the screen and a more lifelike image, with a picture thaté─˘s at least twice as crisp and realistic as what you see with standard TV.
High definition DVDs are coming soon, in HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats. Blu-ray is a very new format that will facilitate the storage of HD video content on DVD. The name is derived from the violet-blue laser thaté─˘s employed to copy the video content to a disk. A single-layer disc using Blu-ray technology can hold about four hours of HD video, while a dual layer disc can store eight hours of content. This new technology will make HD programming even more accessible than it is now.
With the rise in popularity of widescreen sets, the increase of HDTV offerings through TV service providers, and the release of HD films to DVD, ité─˘s clear that high definition video is here to stay. It certainly represents an improvement over the standard TV most of us grew up with.