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HD Explained


Because you want to feel closer to the action, HD (High Definition) TV gives you a lifelike viewing experience, with sharper images, more vibrant colours and deeper detail. Combine this with cinema-style surround sound on many programmes and you've got a more intense viewing experience than ever before.

What is HDTV?

HDTV provides crystal-clear quality. It is a digital television format with a resolution approximately twice that of conventional televisions in both the vertical and horizontal direction giving a result of a picture which is four times the quality/ definition of that of a standard analogue television screen.

How does it work?

All Television pictures are built of tiny cells/dots of colour called pixels. HDTVs provide sharper images because they have more pixels than standard televisions (up to twice as many in each line). HDTV is also digital rather than analogue which means viewers dont need to worry about having fuzzy channels because digital broadcasts dont degrade as they travel long distances. Finally HDTVs also flicker less because each pixel is refreshed 60 times per second instead of the standard 30.

What do I need to experience High Definition?

A common misconception with High Definition is that once you have bought an HD Ready TV and connected it to all your old equipment, everything you watch will be in High Definition. First of all you need an HD source, something that broadcasts or transmits an HD signal. The most common devices are Blu-Ray players, Next-Gen Gaming Consoles, Upscaling DVD Players and Sky+ HD Boxes.

These devices must be connected to your HD Ready TV via an HDMI Cable. This simple all-in-one connection (much like a SCART lead) allows you to view high definition programmes. Click here to see our range of HDMI Cables.

Types of HDTV

HDTV will be broadcast in three different variations throughout the UK. These are 720p, 1080i and 1080p.

720p this technology is likely to be the most common resolution to be broadcast and is comprised of 1280 horizontal x 720 vertical rows of pixels. The p stands for progressive rather than interlaced (as with the 1080i).
Contrary to common misconception 720p is not inferior to 1080i; although it has fewer rows/lines of pixels it has the advantages of progressive scanning and a constant resolution of 720 lines, making it more capable of handling motion.
1080i this is the standard HDTV display which uses interlaced scanning technology and produces a resolution of 1920 x 1080 rows of pixels.
1080p this resolution is composed of 1,920 vertical pixels by 1,080 horizontal rows of pixels. This format again used progressive scan and has the same advantages as the 720p technology. The 1080p however is a higher resolution (more lines/rows than the 720p) and therefore capable of producing a sharper and more precise picture.

High Definition Gaming

Another way to experience High Definition is by using a next-gen games console such as the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. All Xbox 360 games support up to 720p/1080i resolution as a minimum which you can take advantage of with your HD television.

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