Friday, March 31, 2006
Again, what sets HD televisions apart is, simply, image quality. A typical analog set has a signal that utilizes 480 scan lines, horizontally, per picture. Offering a better alternative, HDTV, which is digital in format, delivers a crisper picture because it utilizes either 720 scan lines or 1080 scan lines.
Most HD sets offer great widescreen capabilities. When it comes to HDTV, aspect ratio is important. An old-school, standard definition set has an aspect ratio of 4:3, which means that for every four units of width, the TV screen is three units high. HD sets offer impressive aspect ratios of 16:9, a size similar to the ratio used in movie theaters.
HD televisions are rather expensive. Prices range according to models, but you can get a basic set for $1200. From there, depending on the model, prices for HD sets go up to $20,000. Viewers who can't quite fit these high prices into their budgets can purchase HD-ready sets, which have an aspect ratio of 4:3 and have the required capabilities to show an HD format picture. Usually, an external HD decoder box is required to read the HD signal.
It's hard to believe, but HDTV will one day be the norm in terms of TV viewing. The FCC has plans in the works to convert all broadcast transmission to HDTV format within the next decade. Looks like HDTV is the wave of the future.