High Definition video broadcast is the next step in the digital video entertainment, and some countries like Japan and US have already gone ahead with it. Compared to the current standards, the HD video has around 50% higher resolution than the picture quality provided by DVDs. Are your TV sets ready for it?
The answer is NO, if your television set is at least a year old model. In fact, the HD compatibility would not be there even if it is the latest wallet-buster plasma model sans a ‘HD Ready’ sticker. The reason for this technological gap is that HD is not an add-on technology that can be incorporated with few plug-ins. Instead, it is a big leap in digital video technology that requires equally cutting-edge devices to receive and display the new video format. In order to display high definition content, your television must have the capability to resolve 720 lines in one sweep, a limit unfortunately more than 80% of plasma televisions does not have.
So, what is an HD ready TV? In simple terms, it refers to a television that works well with HD formats. The base standard of high definition video is a widescreen image -16:9 ratios - of 720 horizontal lines progressively scanned in a single sweep at 50 frames per second. That is, a resolution that is at least 25% better than the conventional PAL format followed in Europe. But, 720p is not the only high definition format in existence and the bar is again raised with the revolutionary 1080p that is of 25% higher resolution than the 720p. In that respect, it won’t be wrong, if to term the 1080p the ‘highest definition’ video at present. Technically, an HD ready TV must be able to cope with these levels of video resolution, even though TVs that can show 1080p are yet to hit the market on a commercial scale.
From a customer point of view, HD ready TVs can be discerned from the ‘HD Ready’ stickers they spot on the body, as being mandated by the law governing electronic gadgets sales and service. As mentioned already, HD ready TVs capable of showing 1080p is unavailable as of today, but that does not mean that it won’t happen any sooner. Given the fact that HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc, and Windows Media Video HD supports the 1080p standard, it does not appear like a technology far from the future; but something so near that you could see it really coming.
In terms of pricing, for plasma HD ready TV, it will cost anywhere near L2,000 or equivalent dollars. Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi, and Pioneer are the market leaders in plasma HD ready TVs. LCD models that are HD compatible are wide screened – above 27’ – and they are priced between L1,000 and L2,000. In the case of DLP rear projection models, best quality HD viewing is guaranteed for 45-52 inch models, but the price tag is equally heavy at near L2,000 again per piece. For more info on HD ready TVs and related technologies, see relevant internet resources.