Saturday, March 04, 2006

It seem I assumed too much.....

OK, it seems I jumped the gun with my HDTV posts. I have been asked a couple of times "what do the numbers mean?" So here is a brief description of what it all means.
The number refers to how many lines the picture is made up of. It's like a piece of notebook paper, the image is made up of horizontal lines, and naturaly more would mean more image information.
The "i" stands for interlaced. that means as the still pictures are changed to create the moving image that is a "motion picture" only every other line is changed at a time. This can lead to blurring on buzy analog images and distortion on some digital images. It's worse on action movies where there are explosions and quick movements. However it is less of a problem at higher line counts because these TVs tend to be driven by more powerfull internal hardware.
The "p" stands for progressive, and that is when all lines of information change at the same time between each frame of the video.

480i: this is standard definition (what you have been watching all these years)

480p: enhanced definition (an improvement on a standard definition signal)

720i: lowest quality signal that can be called high definition

720p: mid level high definition signal

1080i: high level signal, things start to get real pretty here

1080p: full high definition, creme' de la creme' of TV signals. shame nobody is taking advantage of it yet.