A frequent subject in the world of television is ‘full high definition TV’. Full HD TV’s prominence is dues to the changeover from analogue to digital television on 12/06/09. With this switch now done, high definition television is available to everyone, so all you need now is a HD Television.
Analogue television resolution is 640 x 480i – how does HD television differ from this? The most significant aspect is that the resolution is much greater. Standard high definition TV or HD ready TV (as is frequently used), has a resolution of 720p or 720i. Full HD TV has the best resolution of 1080p or 1080i.
What is the significance of the ‘p’ and ‘i’ used with 1080? The letters are abbreviations of progressive or interlaced scanning. This is basically the way that the picture is refreshed on the display. Interlaced refreshes alternate lines for every frame and progressive refreshes every line on every frame. For this reason 1080p is the more desirable form of scanning because it results in a smoother clearer picture.
It doesn’t mean that 1080p are essential for every situation however. 1080p can only really be noticeably appreciated on larger sets. For that reason you will still see smaller standard definition (or HD ready) televisions for sale, as they are perfectly suitable for use where a smaller screen size is required. However when purchasing a larger screen, like a 42 inch TV then to get the best HD experience possible the 1080p full HD TV is the way to go.
A decision you have to make when purchasing a new television is what type of HD technology do you want? There are three to choose from – Full HD plasma, Full HD LCD TV and it’s close cousin the LED TV.
Full HD Plasma TVs have been considered top of the range with regards to picture quality, however this is reflected in the price. Plasmas enjoyed this reputation due to their superior colour reproduction, contrast levels, and refresh rates which result in the best picture quality. However they are bigger and heavier, consume more power and are more expensive.
The people’s choice up to now has been the full HD LCD TV. A few years ago LCD televisions were some way behind plasmas. But because of the popularity of LCDs and technological advances in this technology the gap has been closed and LCDs are almost equal to plasmas but at a better price.
This is reflected by the fact that some manufacturers have plans to shelve the production of plasma TVs. Also contributing to this decision is that there are new technologies on the horizon which will eclipse plasmas.
One of the new breed of televisions which is already making an appearance in our stores is the LED TV. The name used for this type of TV could be considered a bit misleading, because and LED TV is still an LCD TV which just employs LED technology as it’s lighting source.
LED TVs do however have some improvements over conventional LCD displays. They can be made slimmer, have better colour reproduction, better contrast ratios, have better energy efficiency and have longer life-spans. They are however still new on the market and as always new technology comes at a price.