HDTV HDTV Uncovered
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High definition Televisions [HDTV]

  HDTV is high definition TV.
High definition Tv is a form of digital Tv, [but NOT ALL DIGITAL TVs ARE HDTV], which is fast becoming the new standard for of television viewing.

The ATSC [Advanced Television Systems Committee] has defined 18 different television transmission formats of which 6 fall into the high definition category.

HDTV signals can be received in one of three ways
  • Via satellite
  • Via cable
  • Over the air transmission
Over the air transmission: This has it's advantages and disadvantages.

  • Advantages: Free of monthly fees
  • Disadvantages:
  1. You will need a good antenna
  2. You will only receive channels that are broadcast over the air
Satellite Transmission: The major disadvantage of this is sudden loss of reception due to an obstacle in the line of your receiver.

Cable Transmission: My preferred mode of receiving high definition transmission.

It must be stated here that the quality of the picture you will receive remains about the same whether your high definition signals are received through cable, satellite or over the air

Difference between analog and digital television

As mentioned above HDTV is a form of digital television. Now for many years we had [and some households still have] analog tv.

So what is the difference between analog TV and digital TV

Analog signals are transmitted as radio waves which your TV receives via an antenna and transcribes to sound and vision.

Digital transmission is via signals made up of a series of zeros and ones. This results in a clearer picture quality.

To view a great collection of HDTVs at competitive prices Click here

HDTV a special form of digital television

Currently, HDTV has the best picture and sound resolution

Scan Type: This uses progressive scan to produce the image on the screen. The image is formed by lightning up all the horizontal lines of the screen simultaneously producing a smooth image. It also uses interlaced scans

Aspect Ratio: This is the relationship between the height and width of the image. Traditional TVs have an aspect ratio of 4:3 whereas HDTVs have one of 16:9. Same as the cinema. This is why when you watch widescreen movies on HDTVs, you do not get the letter box effect [Broad black band across the top and bottom of the screen]

Resolution: This is measured in Pixels. The higher the resolution the better the picture. HDTVs have a resolution of 720 or 1080. [different numbers apply in Australia]

Television types that support High definition format

Some HDTVs can receive both digital and Analogue formats [check the receiver that comes with your set] Often though the analog picture is a little poorer in quality than normal tv sets

HDTV come in several shapes

  • Flat panel HDTVs - These could be Plasma or LCD [Liquid Crystal Display]: With Plasma TV there is said to be a risk of burn in especially if on for many hours at a time. This is especially true in the first 100 hours of viewing time.

  • CRT [Cathode Ray Tube] HDTVs: In the current era of ever increasing television sizes, having a cathode ray high definition television set can be quite limiting. There is the risk of blurring around the edges with bigger screens because of the angle of the rays.

  • Projection HDTVs e.g Digital Light Processor technology

When shopping for your new High Definition Tv:

  • Compare prices
  • Remember the above before making your purchase

To view a great collection of HDTVs at competitive prices Click here

How does your TV get the signal?

Cable High definition transmission

High definition TVs will receive the actual digital signal from a cable service.

These cable services offer HDTV shows that includes but are not limited to NBA TV, Showtime, CBS, HBO TV, Pay Per View, etc. Some of these HDTV shows are free upon subscription and others have a separate subscription like HBO.

To view a great collection of HDTVs at competitive prices Click here

Over The Air High definition Television

The Best HDTV Antenna For HDTV

To ensure consistent reception of over the air signals transmitted to your  high definition TVs, you need to invest in a good antenna .

This is important since the best HDTV antenna  available will be the one to receive the sensitive digital signals from the cable services.

The best HDTV antenna is an off air antenna that is able to receive off air broadcasts of high definition TV shows. This antenna will then be connected to the high definition tuner card for proper viewing in a high definition TV.

A high definition tuner card [discussed below]is sometimes capable to receive high definition TV show signals.

This is why you, the consumer, must be able to comprehend if your high definition tuner card is able to receive off air broadcasts of high definition TV shows.

You obviously do not need an extra powerful antenna if your tuner card already has the capability to receive high definition tv signals.

You may ask why get an antenna at all if the tuner is capable of receiving HDTV signals.

While some people would say you do not need an antenna, others argue that having a good antenna improves picture and sound quality.

To view a great collection of HDTVs at competitive prices Click here

High Definition Tuner For HDTV

HDTVs come with or without a tv tuner installed.
Most HDTVs do not have an incorporated tuner and you may have to buy this separately.

This is not necessarily a disadvantage. You may want to upgrade your tuner as the technology evolves. You need to realize that in the grand scheme of things, HDTV is still in its infancy

Problem is 'How do you choose the HDTV tuner to go with your HDTV set?'

You need to make sure that the tuner you buy, also refered to as the set top box, is compatible with the HDTV you are about to buy

To view a great collection of HDTVs at competitive prices Click here

HD capable TV? HD ready TV? What's all the fuss about?

You may have notice some HDTVs are labeled HD-capable while others are labeled HD Ready. What does this all mean?

When you are out shopping for your high definition digital television, you need to pay attention to the terminology.

HD capable Tv means this television has the capability to DISPLAY high definition images. All you need is to install your HD tuner, get a source eg cable, satellite or antenna and you are ready to roll

HD ready may or may not mean the same. There are some HD ready TVs that can receive high definition signals but cannot display high definition quality images.

If in doubt ask the attendant in the store!!

Some Considerations In Set-Up Of High Definition TV Sets

There are a few other things you must consider before purchasing your new high definition television set.

You need to determine what other uses you will have for your television and make sure that the set you purchase has the necessary ports.

Also for connectivity to your other electronic equipment e.g DVD player, Game console, personal computer etc, you will need some input and output jacks.

To view a great collection of HDTVs at competitive prices Click here


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