HDTV information resource - HD TV plasma television
Hidefster.com is loaded with HDTV consumer information. How many TV stations must comply? What are the rules regarding HD for local TV stations. How will HDTV affect your wallet. Hidefster explains the history of HD and the future of plasma television. Our editors know the difference between a LCD TV, Plasma TV, and DLP TV.
Hidefster HDTV Blog: $75 Digital TV Converters from Samsung
Broadcasting & Cable magazine is reporting that Samsung is expected to soon sell a $75 digital TV converter box that will display digital signals on analog TVs.
As you very well may already be aware, these converter boxes will be an absolute necessity come February 17, 2009 (when the nation switches from analog to Digital TV) if you still have an analog sets that is not connected to subscription TV services. Without these converters, analog TVs more »
Our HDTV Buyer's Guide is all about must-know shopping information. If you don't have these basics down, you might not be ready to shop. Otherwise, read on.
Just as HDTV has blown the lid off of the standard TV viewing experience, so too has it changed forever the world of gaming. The clarity of HD graphics, character features, and life-like quality of play with HDTV hi-def video games are hard to describe. For gaming fanatics, HDTV is a must.
HDTV televisions and LCD monitors have become commonplace for the desktop. Though prices of various high-end HDTV's are still well out of reach for some, there are several options available for turning your PC into an HDTV monitor that are much more affordable.
Currently, broadcasters are facing the challenge of needing to "squeeze" the finer picture detail and higher quality surround sound in the traditional 6 (Mhz) bandwidth used by analog TV. This is achieved through the use of compression software. HDTV compression technology allows for more authentic digital picture creation.
The movie industry is largely to thank for the introduction to and acceptance of HDTV as it relates to home entertainment. After the establishment of the widescreen film format, it was soon discovered that movie theatre audience members...
Rear projection and front projection HDTV technologies are explored, as well as cutting-edge flat panel televisions like the 103" Plasma recently released by Panasonic. We did the research so you can learn at your own pace. Over the next few years, HDTV is going to be a part of your life. Hidefster is here to answer your HD questions in an easy, straightforward way. Check out our HDTV plasma television Buyer's Guide and HD Shopping pages for tips and deals (we even have the info on HDTV models no longer for sale). HDTV is becoming more and more expansive on cable and satellite these days, so don't be left in the dark.
New Developments in HD Technology
As the popularity of HDTVs have soared in recent years, new technologies in the pipeline are grabbing attention that promise to change the face of current HDTV offerings. When Plasma HDTVs were introduced years ago, followed by LCD HDTVs, DLP HDTVs and others, consumers all of the sudden had a great deal of choice in the realm of High Definition. The benefit of the marketplace's improvements and research into other technologies has translated into falling HDTV prices and expanded options. Hidefster.com has rounded up some of the most exciting new HDTV technologies that everyone should be paying attention to.
Plasma HDTV Benefits:
Higher Resolution: Plasma displays are capable of displaying full HDTV and DTV signals as well as XGA, SVGA and VGA signals from a computer.
No Scan Lines: Most plasma displays include built-in line doubling to further improve image quality when viewing standard analog video sources such as TV broadcasts and VCR tapes.
Exceptional Color Accuracy: Some plasma displays are capable of displaying 16.77 million colors and provide superb color realism with exceptionally subtle gradations between colors.
Widescreen Aspect Ratio: Plasma displays have a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and also allow many DVDs/videos to be viewed in widescreen format, as originally seen in the theater.
Perfectly Flat Screen: Plasma display monitors have screens that are perfectly flat - no curvature whatsoever, thus eliminating edge distortion.
Wider Viewing Angle: This allows a larger number of viewers to enjoy proper image reproduction from a wider variety of locations throughout the room.
Universal Display Capability: Most plasma monitors can accept any video format. Whether you want to view a sporting event on HDTV, a DVD-Video movie, a satellite broadcast or even surf the Internet with incredible big screen impact, chances are a plasma monitor will accommodate your needs.
Immunity from Magnetic Fields: Because plasma displays do not use electron beams, they are immune to the effects of magnetic fields. Plasmas can be placed in close proximity to any type of loudspeaker and not experience image distortion.
LCD HDTV Benefits:
Slim Design: Anyone who has an LCD monitor for their desktop computer will tell you that LCD technology makes for a great space saver in any room.
Light Weight and Durable: LCD's light weight and durability allow for more cost-efficient shipping than similarly sized plasma displays, as well as easy moving and mounting.
Excellent picture quality: See for yourself. Even in well-lit or bright rooms, the picture is awesome; an LCD screen reflects very little light.
Almost No Burn-In: The fluorescent backlight is filtered by the liquid crystal in solid state. Longevity: 50,000 and 80,000 hours claimed by manufacturers. These last as long as the backlight can produce white light. The backlight can be easily changed, as well.
Great for Computer Use: Most computers ship with LCD monitors because LCD technology contains more pixels per square inch than any other HDTV technology.
Economical and Environment-Friendly: LCD HDTVs use less power than Plasma or CRT TVs.
Thick Film Dielectric Electroluminescent Technology (TDEL) is an exciting development in the world of high definition. TDEL screens don't make use of any of the typical technologies (vacuums, gasses or liquids) and instead layer their materials directly onto their screen's glass, which helps to provide wider viewing angles and significantly reduce production costs. TDEL HDTV's, in fact, are expected to cost less than $1,000 per set (of 34" model), which puts them up at the front of the pack in terms of HDTV bargains. There is no burn-in factor with TDEL, either. The first TDEL HDTV sets were initially expected to make their way to store shelves in the last quarter of 2007, and HDTV loving fans are closely monitoring the development in this arena of technology.
Leading the TDEL charge is iFire Technology, whose TDEL flat-panel display technology was recognized by China's Ministry of Information Industry as a key area in consumer electronics technologies for research and product development. China promises to put emphasis on TDEL, LCD, plasma, and rear-projection technologies for the next 5-15 years and sees TDEL as being important to the nation's manufacturing strategy. iFire expects to commercialize TDEL technology in cooperation with major HDTV players and has initial plans to target the mid 30" to mid 40" screen size consumer television market. Stay tuned for more on TDEL.
Toshiba is working on a technology that is billed to combine the best of the true-to-life blacks found on CRT monitors with the flat panel technology displays of HDTVs. Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display or SED HDTVs are expected to be released in 2007 and are already causing quite a stir. The Toshiba SED HDTVs use 6,220,800 individual electron emitters--that's one for each color per pixel--and this, in turn, causes red, blue and green phosphors to glow. This translates into deeper blacks and truer colors than are available on any other HDTV set. While typical plasma HDTVs feature contrast ratios of 3000:1, SED TVs feature 10,000:1 contrast ratios. All of this is accomplished with an extremely compact, flat panel monitor. The main drawbacks to the SED technology is the cost to manufacture as well as the possibility for "burn in" on the set's screen over time. It will be interesting to see how Toshiba deals with these challenges as well as other competing technologies.
CNT or Nano HDTVs:
Applied Nanotech is readying the first Nano or CNT (carbon nanotube televsion) HDTV for testing in several years time. Nano HDTV's are designed primarily to be flat and large and manage to deliver superior picture quality with thermal and electrical conductivity and carbon nanotubes. Screens are said to range in size from 60 all the way up to 100 diagonal inches.
Laser Powered HDTVs:
Mitsubishi and Texas Instruments have joined forces to release the first of its kind laser powered HDTVs, the WD-73831 and WD-73832. These HDTV sets are billed as providing the "richest" HD pictures yet.
With the laser technology, separate red, green and blue semiconducter lasers offer viewers a major boost in the picture's color and intensity levels while also providing the widest possible color gamut (1.8 times greater than an average LCD HDTV display). Use of the laser technology also translates into slimmer and more compact sets with lower centers of gravity. This translates into increased stability and smaller overall footprints. Most promising with laser HDTV sets, (and unlike their LCD and plasma counterparts), laser HDTVs offer manufacturers "economic scalability"--easy adoption of larger, thinner display panels. As electronic giants continue to push the envelope, laser technology shows signs of helping the HDTV market adapt in all of the right directions.
Television is poised to enter a new era.and HDTV is the reason why. High Definition television (HDTV) will do for TV viewing what digital music has done for the music listening experience; what 35mm film did for photography or what tivo has done by making vcrs virtually obsolete.
What is HDTV?
For those who have seen HDTV in person, the difference between HDTV and the standard analog TV most of us are used to is staggering. Many have compared the experience of seeing HDTV in person to putting glasses on for the first time and finally being able to see things clearly. It's TV, only much, much better. The picture is wide, the images are sharp and the sound is digital and dead on perfect. For those who might be unsure if they've ever seen HDTV, believe us, you'll know it when you see it--and once you see it, you'll want it.
HDTV is the agreed upon "king" in the new class of digital television. Digital Television, or DTV is simply the transmission of pure digital signals and the display and reception of those signals on a digital TV set. TV thus far, as most of us have known it, has been broadcast and received in analog signals since its introduction. Digital signals provide an intense, clear picture, allowing virtually every detail to literally jump off of the screen. However, not all digital TV's are HDTV's and the difference is significant.
SDTV, or Standard Digital Television, represented the first step in the move away from traditional analog. Though the picture is significantly superior to analog, it only represents the "basic" level of quality in digital transmission.
EDTV, or Enhanced Definition Television is a step up from SDTV/analog, but not of the quality experienced with HDTV.
At the top of its class, HDTV provides the highest quality resolution and picture quality of all digital broadcast formats, breaking ground and setting new standards for sound and picture quality in television. Thus, HDTV and DTV are NOT the same thing, rather HDTV is one available format in the class of Digital Television..
Do you need to get your HDTV professionally calibrated?
I's a bit daunting to think about spending thousands of dollars for a shiny new HDTV, bringing it home, setting it up and then realizing it looks good, but not great. Oftentimes, the reason this happens is because the TV is not properly calibrated for your particular viewing situation.
Most of the time, HDTVs leave the factory preset to its brightest settings (because these TVs sell best once they hit the showroom floor), however, once the TV is home in your livingroom, those presets are often not appropriate.
Adjusting and fine-tuning the calibrations of a plasma LCD or DLP HDTV is not easy and after making such a large investment in a TV, many people are deciding its worth an extra few hundred dollars to have their HDTV professionally calibrated.
Before calling in a specialist, there are several things to be aware of in order to ensure the best viewing conditions possible:
Placement: HDTVs are best viewed at eye level. Some people make the mistake of placing their screens too high (i.e. over a fireplace) just for design reasons. However, you always want to try to place the TV as close to eye level as possible.
Screen Size: It is possible to choose an HDTV that is too large for your room. Even the best HDTVs will show flaws in the picture if you are sitting too close to it (which is often what happens in a room that is too small).
Wall Color: If you have a front projection HDTV, there are a few important rules to follow. White walls do not work well for any front projection HDTVs because the white on the wall reflects light. Also avoid any bright, primary colors as they will alter the way your eye is able to process the pictures on the TV screen.
When hiring a professional to calibrate your HDTV, carefully research the company or individual you are hiring. As for references and check to make sure that their reputation is solid. Many professional HDTV calibration specialists are now certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), so ask about this credential as well.
Keep in mind that when having your HDTV calibrated, there is only so much a professional can do. They will still be subject to your own TVs limitations, however, many have claimed that taking this extra step adds an even deeper level of enjoyment to their HDTV viewing experiences.
HDTV - Cable options
In late 2004, 90 million U.S. cable subscribers had the ability to receive HDTV programming and all of the top 100 markets had at least one provider capable of outfitting homes with HDTV channels. Despite this widespread coverage, cable providers still only provide a handful of HD channels to their subscriber base.
In order to receive HD programming through your cable provider, you will likely need an HD set-top box tuner/descrambler. While you generally will be charged a fee for the usage of such a box, some cablers actually provide this equipment for free. Recently, several of the larger cable providers are even offering HD tuners/DVR's that are capable of recording HD programming. Subscriptions for digital cable do tend to be more expensive than typical analog subscriptions, though for most providers, its in the $5-10 range per month.
Almost all of the bigger cable networks are now offering programming in HD: both HBO and Showtime offer a number of their most popular programs in HD including The Sopranos, Deadwood and The L Word. Cinemax, the Movie Channel and Starz all offer HD channel versions with movies and other programming all broadcast in High Def. ESPN, TNT, the Discovery Channel, and NBA TV also all now broacast HD programming.
High Definition Television - Satellite Options
There is a good deal of change brewing in the area of satellite HDTV broadcasting. For the past several years, customers have been easily enjoying the HD satellite channel offerings, however, tuning into their local channels in HD was often not possible without an additional clumsy antenna add-on. Satellite providers have been attempting to compensate for this inconvenience by offering some of the network national channels, such as the East and West coast feeds of NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox, however, these are not available in all parts of the country (though more and more cities are being added each month).
Options, however, are changing as the MPEG-4 AVC technology, which allows providers to compress twice as much HD video into the same amount of bandwidth as the current MPEG-2 technology, is adopted. Benefits of this new technology will be vast for subscribers as DirecTV has promised more than 1500 local HD stations and 150 national HD networks will be added to its roster by 2007. This translates into great news for satellite subscribers as virtually all of them will soon be able to tune into each and every HD channel. Additionally, satellite providers are continually acquiring additional satellites which further provides additional bandwidth (DirecTV launched its first of four new satellites in April, 2005 and Dish TV has recently acquired a new one as well).
MPEG-4 technology hit the airwaves in the Fall of 2005. However, If you have an older set top box, it will not be compatible with the new technology. Certain companies might provide free upgrades, so you should check with your satellite provider to see if they are offering any upgrade packages. DirecTV's first MPEG-4 rollout cities include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, and Tampa.
If you can't wait until the MPEG-4 boxes are released, just call your local satellite provider and ask for an HD capable installation. You will likely want to get your equipment upgraded once the newer versions are released, but if you can't wait for HDTV, this will at least get you started.
HD TV Information
HDTV Beginner's Guide
HDTV Plasma, DLP, LCD TV
HD TV High Definition TV info
- Hidefster delivers unbiased high definition television information.
- Learn what Hi Def TV is.
- HDTV stands for high definition television.
- Learn about Plasma screens, LCD flat panel televisions, Tivo in HDTV, gaming in hidef, HD and your PC, the history of hi definition TV.
- What is the difference between a DLP television and a Plasma TV?
- Learn how to get the best high definition value for your money.
- CCTV monitors and HD TV LCD or Plasma security monitors available on the shopping page.
Learn about LCD TV
- When it comes to HD or high definition television monitors you really should do your homework.
- Realizing the benefits of HDTV is easy. The hard part is figuring out the right model and type of HD television for you. How much money you want to spend should not be the only determining factor when shopping for a Plasma flat panel, LCD, DLP or other type of high definition television.
- Rear projection HDTV might be the right price and screen size, but will it fit in your home, and will it last?
- Front projection HD can be exciting like a movie, but what about TV glare?
- DLP is great, but how does it stand up to flat panel placement options.
- Read our HD articles and become an educated HDTV consumer.