HDTV Technology

HDTV technology was first introduced in the US during the 1990s by a group of electronics companies called the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance. HDTV is also capable of “theater-quality” audio because it uses the Dolby Digital (AC-3) format to support. HDTV has at least twice the linear resolution of standard-definition television (SDTV), thus allowing much more detail to be shown compared with analog television or regular DVD.

HDTV can be recorded to D-VHS (Data-VHS), W-VHS (analog only), to a HDTV-capable digital video recorder (for example DirecTV’s high-definition Digital video recorder, Sky HD’s set-top box, or TiVo’s Series 3 recorder), or an HDTV-ready HTPC.

Digital signals, like the ones from DVD players, are converted to analog when played on traditional TVs. Digital signals are transmitted using computer code — ones and zeroes — which means they are less susceptible to interference and provide a higher quality picture and sound than analog. Digital TV broadcasts for local channels are also offered over-the-air (OTA) in many regions for those with digital TV antennas. Digital TV in Media Center allows you to watch and record high definition TV signals that might be available in your region.

You must have an HDTV-capable monitor which includes a built-in high definition tuner or an HDTV-ready television which requires an external tuner to watch HDTV. Televisions being sold are capable of displaying the digital signals produced by broadcasters like ABC.

LCDs generally have a higher native resolution than plasma TVs, but in the real world the difference isn’t that noticeable (more info on HDTV resolution). LCD spec sheets often talk about response time, but in our experience, almost all newer LCDs have adequate response time to deal with fast motion to the satisfaction of most viewers.

Plasma life span: The life span of plasma TVs is another area that’s improved dramatically over the last few generations of the technology. Plasmas look equally good from very wide angles. Plasma LCD General Screen sizes 42 inches to 65+ inches 5 inches to 65+ inches Cabinet depth 3+ inches 3+ inches Power consumption (more info) Slightly less efficient per square inch Slightly more efficient per square inch Price Usually less expensive for screen sizes over 42 inches Usually more expensive for screen sizes over 42-inches Features PC connectivity Less common but still included on many models More common than on plasma TVs Other features Varies per model Varies per model Picture quality Motion blur caused by display Negligible Difficult to discern on most models, although subject to more blurring than plasma.

Screen sizes are increasing and prices are dropping, so visit your local electronics store to pick an HDTV that fits your taste, space and budget. HDTV television technology is available in a variety of different set types, from super slim Plasmas and LCDs, to dependable “box” CRTs. HDTV is just one part of the DTV transition.

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