Saturday, March 17, 2007

Home Theater Basics

Home Theatre Basics 101

So, had enough of the buzz and the industry telling you that you need to go High-Definition; do the words “Go Big or Go Home” have you spinning your head? That old CRT television just not cutting it anymore?. It was up until a few years ago that High-Definition television was only available overseas; Japan and Europe have had it for quite a long time. Over here across the pond, we were not ready for the switch. It meant spending billions of dollars to change all our broadcasting equipment, having content to play on high definition television, and producers to film in hd. It has finally become a reality, and will be the standard in a few short years. Broadcasters, movie companies, equipment manufacturers and consumers have finally accepted the fact that conventional TV is far too outdated, and has come close to the end of its lifespan.

HDTV, simply put, is like comparing the eight-track tape to a music CD. Like the VCR to the DVD player. The conventional CRT tube was bulky, heavy, expensive to manufacture, very hazardous to the environment and expensive to dispose of. Technologically speaking, it is outdated, with only 480 lines of resolution (480 horizontal lines of which to put an image on), compared to 720 and 1080 for hd.

Screen resolution has also increased and is now an important specification in hd technology. Resolution is measured using the number of vertical and horizontal scan lines o(r pixels) on the screen, and is defined in the method in which it processes the information. The standard television (SDTV) is 525 scan lines. Technically speaking, it is 480 lines used for the image and 45 lines used for behind the scenes information that we never actually see. To make life simple, we call it 480. Which is 480 vertical lines or pixels, and 640 horizontal. The horizontal number of scan lines are not commonly referred to, but do help to illustrate the aspect ratio (The display's width to height ratio)Standard Definition television (SDTV) is 480 x 640, which translates into an aspect ratio of 4:3. Some newer SDTV’s support a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is 480 x 704. A 16:9 aspect ratio is now the common format, and can be described as a widescreen format. You might notice that most new televisions are rectangular shaped versus th