HDTV stands for High-Definition Television. Unlike analog television signals, an HDTV uses digital formatting to broadcast video. With higher resolution, HDTVs display more detailed images than traditional television sets. An HDTV interprets signals digitally and allows for a more beautiful viewing experience by displaying high resolution signals. It can show 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p pictures. Basically, HDTV is a television capable of displaying higher resolution images than standard television devices.
Before HDTV, receiving a broadcast digitally involved using special cables and equipment. Traditional analog televisions transmitted signals using radio waves; the display was transmitted with AM frequencies and the audio used FM frequencies. Analog television was easy to manipulate and interfere with. Another issue with analog television was the quality of signal. In many cases, audio and video quality was dependent on the type of cables used. When digital broadcast became possible, interest in transmitting high-definition content grew. Following digital television converters, the HDTV was born.
How does HDTV display content?
HDTV is a standard of broadcast with screen resolution above 480 lines of interlaced resolution, which was the previous maximum resolution of standard definition television. While content in the previous 480i from broadcast television, DVDs, or other video sources could be de-interlaced to 480p, or progressive lines of resolution, by line doublers or displays capable of onboard processing high-definition signals. An HDTV, being the monitor that displays the content, needs high-definition content; however, if using old content like DVDs, game systems, VHS players, etc., an HDTV can up-convert. This does not mean it can make the content better; it means HDTV displays the best content possible by de-interlacing the content.
What is Ultra HD?
The TV industry has been trying to push Ultra HD (4K) forward as the next step after Full HD. The short answer, really, is that Ultra HD is just the next step in the resolution ladder – more screen real-estate to create even more detailed images and representations of real life. However, it’s really about more than just a cleaner picture.
Ultra HD is being pushed forward as a platform for higher FPS – that’s frames per second – which creates more true-to-life movements on the screen and fluid actions. Most Hollywood movies are shot at 24 fps but, if you saw the first Hobbit movie in its native FPS of 48, you likely saw the difference almost immediately. Every brush of the hand, every blink of the eye – it all moved so naturally like it was real-time, real-life. This is the standard the TV industry hopes is possible with Ultra HD.
Colors, of course, are another thing that will be impacted by the capabilities of Ultra HD. With a higher HD quality, even more shades and hues of the color spectrum can be realized and visually represented on screen. This would ultimately lead to a richer and deeper picture quality that has, up until recently, been somewhat of a rarity even with the most high-end television models and standards on the market.