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Thread: HDTV Basics Explained

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    HDTV Basics Explained

    I thought some of you might be interested in HDTV seeing as it is posed to be the future of television. I'd predict within 5 years it will dominate the TV market and in fact you'll be hard pressed to find old TV systems.

    In case you are wondering how they stack up to each other, Tom's Hardware wrote up a great overview of HDTV as it compares to traditional Television.


    You have heard about the wonders of HDTV, but maybe you are confused by all the new terms and statistics. In this article we cut through the complexity of HDTV and give you a simple introduction. First, we take a quick look at analog TV technology. Then we will explain what HDTV is, why it is better and what to buy. Finally, the broadcast flag will be explained, along with how it may prevent you from recording shows in the future.

    Old TV

    How do our older analog televisions compare with HDTV? First let's look at the different ways you can receive analog TV signals. There are three ways to pump a signal into your analog TV: antenna, cable and satellite. Antenna is probably the worst way to go as you have to move the antenna constantly to get a good signal. In addition, for maximum gain, it should be mounted externally, perhaps on the roof. A large antenna stuck on your roof, probably wouldn't look too great, either.

    Cable and satellite give you the best signal quality as most have moved to digital. The broadcasting station will send the signal digitally, and this is then converted to analog after it reaches your converter box.

    In all three cases the maximum resolution on a standard analog TV is 720 X 480 pixels, which is about 337,000 total pixels.

    HDTV Specs

    Video

    HDTV is actually part of the DTV (Digital Television) specifications, which has many different video resolutions. The two main resolutions to be concerned about are 720p and 1080i. The "p" means progressive and "i" mean interlaced. In both resolutions, every second has 60 frames of video. Progressive resolution puts 60 full frames on the screen every second. Interlaced resolution puts 30 frames of only odd lines and then 30 frames of only even lines up every second. Some people complain about the flicker produced by interlaced video.

    The 720p video resolution is 1280 X 720 pixels, which gives 921,600 total pixels and the 1080i video resolution is 1920 X 1080, which gives a whopping 2,073,000 pixels.

    The Tom's Hardware Report

  2. #2
    Silver Member joshsiao's Avatar
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    That's what I call HDTV. Thanks for the info. I had always wondered why HDTV needs PCI-express... Now the TV will be better than my computer screen!
    "Never seem more learnt then the people you are with. Wear your learning like a watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked."
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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    HDTV is really sweet. HDTV is making a big impact and if you ever get a chance to see HDTV and regular TV side by side, you'll immediately be hooked, especially with the sound and image quality.

    The only worry I have is that HDTV hardware will be tagged with flags that would prevent users from freely copying or backing up their favorite TV shows for later viewing to the media of their chosing...

  4. #4
    Silver Member joshsiao's Avatar
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    Ya, that could be possible considering that the technology to put a chip in your TV's so that the TV comapany can get viewership readings has been around for a long time.
    "Never seem more learnt then the people you are with. Wear your learning like a watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked."
    ~Chesterfield

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    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Nice find BB, Tom always has excellent articles.

    I was looking into getting a HDTV PC Card a little while ago, wanted it to record HDTV broadcast of the Olympics. The diving in 1080i Slow-motion would have been great!

    Joshsiao, I am pretty sure you dont need PCI-express, as the cards i have seen and was going to buy are PCI based. However it is important to have a video card that has inbuilt DVD coding stuff (not sure exactly) but this was enabled by default in ATi based vid cards, but only the newer Nvidia cards had it. This is important with older PCs, ie ATi vid card could use old P3 PC, while non-ati needs P4 2.8.

    I might have to get one after all

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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    The new Volari cards that cost like $47 support HDTV up to 1080i.. amazing.. plus you get DVI, and TV out..

    I mean hell, those cards are damn good for the price.

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