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HD Technology

Since the mid to late 1930’s, there has been an ongoing arms race for what is considered high definition television. In these earlier times, the only comparison that could justify calling a system “high definition” is merely comparing the newest system to the last. Even though these are the times in which the term was first coined to describe a television system, contemporary high definition displays dwarf these earlier models in both size and resolution. The commonly accepted quality of a modern HDTV is that it is expected to have a resolution far greater than what is considered a standard definition television set.

High definition television may be transmitted in different ways. These formats include interlaced video and progressive scan. The formats are more commonly known for their abbreviations (simply “i” and “p”), found following the number of vertical resolution lines featured in the format. For example, what is often known as “full HD” is the format: 1080p. It utilizes a progressive scan method of transmission with 1080 vertical lines. It is assumed that that this full HD device features a 16:9 aspect ratio. In this case, there are 1920 horizontal lines of resolution. That would mean that the 1080p displays 2,073,600 pixels, or approximately 2.1 megapixels per frame.

The idea behind interlaced video (abbreviated as “i”) is that it affects the perceived frame rate introduced by the received signal in a way that doubles it while conserving bandwidth. The reason the interlaced video is referred to as such is due to the fact that it utilizes two fields from different times. The fields are merely still images that are displayed in a sequence. They are what are responsible to creating the illusion of motion on the television set. Interlaced video is able to intensify the illusion of motion being perceived. This technique also reduces the flicker due to the optical illusion that continuous motion is being generated.

Progressive scanning (commonly depicted as “p”) is often referred to as noninterlaced scanning. The lines of each frame being transmitted are drawn sequentially. A majority of high definition technology utilizes the progressive scan technique to deliver high resolution displays. The most appealing aspect of the progressive scan is that it gives motion the appearance that it is cleaner and has a look to it that can be perceived to be more realistic. Another feature that is considered advantageous to many is the fact that since the frames are not interlaced, they can be caught as stills for photographs.

There are various advantages related to the options available with high definition televisions. The television has had many evolutionary advancements in the twentieth century leading the way into the twenty first with the newest installments in high definition picture entertainment. As with all things related to entertainment technology, the television is subject to rapid evolution over time and will continue to change as long as innovations are being implemented.

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