HDTV High Definition TV Glossary Terms Definitions
So you’re going shopping for the best HDTV or Home Theater System that will fit your budget. Make sure you arm yourself with the latest jargon regarding HDTVs. There are a few key terms that you as a shopper will need to know and look out for. Consider this your secret cheat sheet.
HDTV Definitions and Terms That You Need To Know
So to put this simply, aspect ratio refers to the shape of the HDTV’s screen. The HDTV screen has a wider more movie like picture than a conventional big box, traditional TV which had the same vertical screen height. HDTVs all have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which means that if the screen was 16 inches wide, then it would be 9 inches tall. The old bulky TVs had a 4:3 screen, which would make the same 9 inch height, 12 inches wide.
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
HDMI is a high definition type of cable connection that will submit both high-resolution video images, as well as uncompressed multichannel audio images between: home-theater receivers, HDTVs and the other components that are required for your home-theater setup. HDMI cables are designed to provide and maintain the ultimate clear picture, as well as sound quality.
A HD Tuner is a built-in tuner that will receive local high-definition broadcast TV channels. You would not need a tuner if you already have cable
or a satellite service. Most HDTVs will already include one, but there are separate HD tuners as well as antennas that are available if your current TV doesn’t have one.
Plasma TVs uses tiny tubes of gas for each pixel displayed, and electricity makes each of the pixels glow. Plasma TVs will create deeper blacks and at times much brighter colors than LCD TVs, as well as having better contrast. Plasmas will also offer marginally better viewing angles. The older Plasma TVs or the less expensive ones can suffer from permanent screen damage if the image goes unchanged for a while, such as certain TV channel’s that displays permanent stock or weather tickers, or parts of video games that’s displayed for too long.
LCD (liquid-crystal display)
Much like a laptop or notebook computer screen, a LCD HDTV screen uses a fluid liquid crystal substance that will form pixels of different colors in front of a back light. Although LCD screens may not be able to match the Plasma TVs’ deeper black and gray areas, they are however lighter, less fragile and generally easier to set up. LCDs usually work a lot better in brighter lit rooms, or if you’re displaying unchanging images on the screen for extended periods of time.
Interlaced (480i 720i 1080i)
Your HDTV will display an interlaced image, as in 480i, 720i or 1080i resolutions. The term 1080i will assume that a HDTV, with a wide screen aspect ratio of 16:9, implies a frame size of 1920×1080 pixels. What it does is it displays every other horizontal line on your screen of a frame of video (which is called a field) at a time.
So sixty times a second, your HDTV will display the other field of the frame, or the lines that were not shown in the previous field. Interlaced video can appear to be flickering, or it may cause moving objects that’s onscreen to have blurred edges, but is not that noticeable.
Progressive Scan (720p 1080p)
A Progressive Scan TV shows a progressively scanned image, as in 1080p
or 720p (and not 1080i or 720i) resolutions, displaying full frames of video (both odd and even lined fields) all at one time. Progressive scan videos will usually look a lot sharper than interlaced, and will not flicker.
Some of the large-screen HDTVs will offer lower-priced, more affordable alternatives to Plasma or LCD TVs by using projection technology. Although the technology slightly varies, all projection based TVs will throw light on a
screen, either from the front or rear. This means that they are a lot bulkier than LCD or Plasma TVs, but some Projection TV’s offer a much better and crisper picture quality based on the same size of screen.
Regardless of where you happen to sit while in front of a HDTV which has a wide viewing angle, such as say 170 degrees, the picture quality and visibility should look reasonably good. Make sure you test the viewing angle at the store before you buy.
A widescreen TV or monitor is a lot wider in relation to its vertical height. Almost all HDTVs will typically have a 16:9 aspect ratio rather than the older 4:3 display.