Green 1 Computer Systems

What is High Definition?

High definition is a video format that provides over five times the resolution of normal TV. High Definition, also called HD, provides more vivid colors, a wider screen format, an d an all around better quality image than standard Television. High definition features resolution of either 720p or 12080i.

History of High Definition

High definition uses higher resolution and offers clear and precise images. Viewers can see movies and TV in a whole new perspective, and the high resolution images allow for much more detail to be revealed. High definition, a seemingly new technology, has been speculated about since as early as the mid-1930’s. In 1935, a company known as RCA, Radio Corporation of America, was working hard to develop the television technology. Da

Samsung  Plasma
Samsung Plasma

vid Sarnoff, the president of RCA in the 1930’s, said, ”Public interest in television continues unabated since ... RCA stated that it was diligently explori

ng the development of television. Our laboratory efforts have been guided by the principle that the commercial application of such a service could be ach

ieved only through a system of high-definition television.” Even before the television technology was perfected, the creators were striving the best possible. Sony and NHK, Japan Broadcasting Corporationhigh_definition.jpgon, created the first high definition TV system. NHK began h is development of the HDTV in 1964. Sony joined NHK, and together the y developed HDTV in the late 1970’s and it was introduced to film producers in the early 1980’s. This launch made Sony the world leader in the

industry. Named NHK Hi-Vision, it was able to create a picture with as much precision and detail as a 35mm film was able to.

In 1987, broadcasters in the United States appealed to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to set aside a range for HDTV broadcasting. Based on attention, the FCC created an industry wide advisory committee to look into choices and choose an HDTV standard. In this process, four competing groups each proposed their own digital HDTV advances. Unable to arrive at a decision, in 1993 the FCC encouraged the opposing groups to join together. They then created the “Grand Alliance” system. This alliance resulted in the ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) standard, which was approved in December of 1996. PBS (the Public Broadcasting Station) aired the first HD television program in 1988. This program was a documentary able the glass artist, Dale Chihuly. In 1988, after PBS jumped the gun and became the first, six more stations began using HDTV by November of 1988, and three more began in 1989.

Due to high definition, several satellite companies in the United States have started to carry out HD programming. Starting in 2002, Dish Network has made the change to high definition, and companies such as Comcast started to do the same. As of July of 2003 High Definition was carried out by all major television networks, except for Fox who went to HD in mid 2004.

How High Definition Works

High definition televisions project a high quality picture. High definition This is because high definition televisions have a higher resolution than regular televisions. This means that a high definition television has more lines on the screen than regular televisions. Because of the increase in the number of lines, the lines on the screen are closer together than on regular television screens. This also means that the pixels in the screen are closer together and thus are smaller. These pixels arrange with much less space in between them. This creates a sharper and better quality image.

This image is 2 to 5 times sharper than regular television sets. This is because the gaps between the pixels and scan lines are smaller and unable to be seen. This also means that the larger the television set, the better quality of the high definition. This is because the same picture is projected over a larger screen.

This means that each individual part of the picture gets more pixels and thus there are fewer gaps. This creates an even more defined image. More broadcasting companies have been using digital signals because they are sent in a series of zeros and ones. Because of this, the signals are not affected by external factors unlike the other analog signals. This also means that the signals can travel a farther distance before they begin to degrade. Because of the increase of companies that use digital signals, fewer fuzzy images are broadcast.

Standard Definition vs. High Definition

Standard definition has been around for a very long time, dating back to when color televisions first came out in the 1950’s. SD, standard d efinition, has gone through many changes since then. The introduction to wide screen TV is probably the most known change. Then High Definition TV was released, which further utilized the wide screen television. High Definition is much superior to Standard Definition, because the color and resolution are more precise than Standard Definition.

HD vs Standard Definition

High Definition contains more pixels then Standard Definition, containing possibly as many as 1920. This makes High Definition look better than Standard Definition, because the more pixels, the sharp er the images appear on the screen. Standard Definition is starting to become
less popular, because with new video processing technology, it is not needed to interlace the picture to make it look more presentable. An advantage to using full frames instead of interlaced frames is that if someone wants to see a recording in slow motion, which is much easier than using interlaced fr ames.

High Definition also uses d igital format, that contains greater detail than any other format. Digital formatting enables High Definition to produce images that seem almost lifelike, which looks much better than Standard Definition. The picture looks the best on wide screen TV, because it takes more pixels to create the images with the High Definition picture.Most High Definition televisions come in two types of formats, 1080i and 108
0p.1080i uses interlacing to form its pictures, with 1080 lines. 1080p, however, creates pictures progressively, which produces the best detail.

High Definition can come in many televisions, such as LCD, Plasma, and rear projection. But just because someone buys one of these TVs does not mean they will have High Definition along with it. Programming with High Definition and a d igital tuner are also required to produce High Definition pictures. These are usually supplied by cable companies and satellite providers. Digital tuners are needed to pick up the signals necessary for High Definition TV.

Youtube vs. HD
Youtube vs. HD

Standard Definition, the type of viewing that has be en watched for many years, is very different from High Definition. To begin with, the resolution on a Standard Definition television has way less detail than a High Definition television. Standard Definitio n has a resolution of 480i, which is what most c ontent displayed on ba sic cable televisions is view ed. Sometimes the picture quality of Standard Definition can be very good, but not as good as High Definition.

When people look at their television, they look at the pictures that they see immediately. People don’t watch a movie thinking about the 30 still pictures a second. Because our eyes do not dissect a movie picture into each individual speck of color that makes up the picture, it is best to have more and more pixels per square inch.

Pixel is short for “picture element”. In new technologies, such as LCD, Plasma, and DLP, each pixel is square or rectangular. The greater the resolution of the picture, the more pixels there are on the screen. Most of the standard definition screens have 72 pixels per inch. High definition generally has 92 pixels per square inch. The extra pixels make the picture much clearer.

Native resolution is a term used for themaximum clarity that the TV is capable of displaying. The Native resolution of a TV is counted as the number of pixels across by the number of interlaced scanning lines. So if a television has 1920 pixels across and 1080 interlac
ed scanning lines, then it has a 1920 x 1080 native resolution. A 1920 x 1080 is also called a 16:9 widescreen image, or 1080i.
DVDs are not high definition. Older DVDs have an output of only 420i, because when they came out the televisions were only 420i. The newer DVDs now have 480i to accommodate for better TVs. This definition is that of the least expensive Plasma, LCD, and DLP televisions.

High Definition Connectors and Cables

There are many types of high definition connectors and cables existent in the world today. One type of high definition connectors is High Definition Multi-media Interface. HDMI connectors are useful because they can transfer video source signals without conversion to analog. HDMI can also transfer video and audio
Diagram of HDTV Cables
Diagram of HDTV Cables
signals. There are three types of connectors for HDMI. Type A connector has nineteen pins and can support SDTV, EDTV, and HDTV. Type A is also compatible with a single-link DVI-D. The type B connector has twenty-nine pins and can carry the double the video bandwidth of Type A. Type B is compatible for use of dual link DVI-D but is not used in that product yet. The type C connector is a mini connector intended to be used with portable devices. Type C may be smaller than the Type A but it too has nineteen pins. The Type C connector can also be connected to the Type A connector using a Type A-to-Type C connector cable. HDMI offers three different types of connector cables to help support the needs of the users of high definition.
Component Video Cable
Component Video Cable

Another type of cable used is component video. Component video is a conventional method of sending analog video signal from on device to another. A component video cable consists of three cables that are electrically separate. These cables are delivered with colored information. Component video uses a color difference type signal which consists of luminance, Red Minus Luminance, and Blue minus Luminance. The Luminance is known as the “Y” or “red” channel which represents the total brightness of the image. The Red Minus Luminance is the “Pr” or “red” channel and the Blue Minus Luminance is known as the “Pb” or “blue” channel. The display calculates the values of red, green, and blue from the “Y”, “Pb”, an d “Pr” signals. Theses cables, Y, Pb, and Pr cables, that are designed for extreme bandwidth required for a 1080i high definition component video connector. This type of cable is known as a RCA jack. Component video connectors are useful with the transfer of high definition.

The Future of High Definition

The future of High Definition is on the rise. Almost all DVDs today are converted into HD Blu-Ray, for easier and better viewing. From Twilight to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, from X-Men to The DaVinci Code, the future of HD and Blu-Ray is now. Due to the increased use of computer-generated or computer-altered imagery in the film-making industry, HD format has become the normal thing to do and is growing in popularity and widespread use.

Products of High Definition

Pricing Comparison of HD Services

Company Name
Package Name
Additional Info.
190 Hours of Recordings
Content from Netflix, CinemaNow, Rhapsody
Dish Network
Turbo HD Bronze
$9.99 a month
100 Regular Channels Plus 6 months HD FREE
Add $5 to get more channels
Dish Network
Turbo HD Gold
$29.99 a month
200 Regular Channels Plus 6 Months HD FREE
Add $5 to get more channels
HD Starter
$114.99 a month, for 12 months
Free HD with no access or equipment fees
80 HD Channels, High Speed Internet
HD Plus
$139.99 a month, for 12 months
Free HD with no access or equipment fees
150 HD Channels, plus HBO, faster high speed internet
HD Premier
$179.99 a month, for 12 months
Free HD with no access or equipment fees
HD/DVR box included, 200 channels, HBO, Starz, Cinemax
U-Verse TV
$49 a month, plus $10 HD fee
Access to 100 HD Channels

Family Package
$29.99 a month, 12 months, $10 HD fee
50 channels, and all local channels

Choice Package
$34.99 a month, 12 months, $10 HD fee
150 HD Channels, plus all local channels

Choice Extra-Package
$39.99 a month, 12 months, $10 HD fee
200 HD Channels, plus all local channels
Free HBO, Starz, and Showtime for 3 months, Free DVR with rebate
Premier Package
$88.88 a month,12 months, $10 HD fee
265 HD Channels, plus all local channels
HBO, Starz, Showtime, Cinemax included, Free DVR with rebate.

The Difference Between "p" and "i"

external image interlaced+vs+progressive.gifTo know how to buy the best suited HDTV for you, it is important to know what you are looking for. There are two HDTV broadcast types which include 720p and 1080i.These two explain how many pixels there are on the screen, how they are displayed, and how many times they are refreshed.
The “p” in 720p stands for progressive scan. This means that the screen pixels color the picture top to bottom and the screen image is refreshed 60 times per second. The “720” is a standard for all HDTVs with a “p” broadcast. In 1080i, the “I” stands for “interlaced”. This means that the images are passed by twice to be refreshed. There is a higher resolution quality which makes the picture clearer, but the downside is that the refresh rate is less and that may cause the picture to become blurry. A consumer that wants to watch the travel channel would want richer quality; therefore, should use a 1080i television. A consumer that is a major sports fan would enjoy high refreshing rates in a 720p but would not mind if the rich quality would be less than 1080i.
An HDTV will use the resolution that its native resolution was designed for, whether or not it has 720p or 1080i. For example, if you bought a brand new 720p 58” HDTV for college football season coming up, but switched the channel to the discovery channel, the resolution would not change to 1080i, but it would stay at 720p

Pricing Comparison of HDTV


Screen Size




32 1/5"
24 7/8"
137.8 lbs.
79.4 lbs.
37.5 lbs.
HDMI Inputs
Aspect Ratio

Vertical Resolution
Contrast Ratio

Pricing Comparison of HD Cameras & Camcorders

Special Effects

5.0MP High-Definition Digital Camcorder with 3" Swivel LCD Screen

Black-and-white, sepia, negative

High-Definition Digital Camcorder - Blue

Auto, sunny, cloudy, tungsten and fluorescent



Black-and-white, sepia

Handycam Camcorder


HD Terms

  1. Blu-ray- a disc that saves and stores digital information, while thing such as DVD rely on a red laser to read and write data, Blu-ray uses a blue-violet laser instead, hence the name “Blu-ray”
  2. DVI (Digital Visual Interface) - it is used to transfer a digital video signal from a source component to a video display. It helps bring better quality images from both standard and high definition video signals.
  3. DVR (Digital Video Recorder) - this is device that records on a hard disk drive. It replaced video tapes and discs to record things on TV. Also referred to as a PVR (Personal Video Recorder). One of the most popular is TIVO
  4. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)- It screen is made up of colored pixels in front of a light source. It is made up of two layers of a glass-like material which are “glued” together. One layer holds the individual liquid crystals and the other projects the image when electric current is passed through
  5. Pixel- picture element that is a single dot in an image display. They are in rows and columns so that they can produce a complete image. Pixel Density is the actual amount of physical picture elements on a screen surface.
  6. Plasma display- this is similar to fluorescent light bulbs. The display is made up of cells and within each cell there are two glass panels that are separated. Gas is electrically charged at specific intervals when the Plasma set is in use, creating the image.
  7. Resolution- this is the amount of detail the video display has. This is measured in Pixels.
  8. STU (Set-Top-Unit) - this is a device that receives an external source signal to turn the signal into content, so it can be displayed on the TV. Also known as a "stew phone." Developed by the U.S. National Security Agency for use by senior U.S. government officials in the 1970s.
  9. Widescreen- this refers to the aspect ratio of modern television screens. It creates a clearer picture.
  10. Component Video- a transmission of three separate color signals to represent all possible colors. These are the three color cable inputs. These are not for sound.

High Definition Products and Screen shots

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