HDTV – The Revolution of Gaming

July 18, 2009 – 12:01 pm, posted by Oliver

If you’re like me, you remember the beginning of entertainment gaming; starting back with Atari, Nintendo, and Sega, all the way up to the newer Playstation, Xbox and Wii. There were a few less popular systems along the way, but for the most part, the greats were great. One thing that made them so great was the graphics. The gaming industry has played it well the entire time; always pushing the envelope when it came to detailed and enhanced graphics. So much so that some games over the last 10 years had to wait to be released so the technology could catch up. And if you’re like me, you know that the quality of the graphics is what makes or breaks a game in the end. If you find yourself agreeing with me at this point, then you’re going to have to agree with me that an HDTV is the way to go when it comes to gaming.

I still remember the first time I played a video game on a High Definition Television. I was halfway through playing “Gears of War” for the XBOX 360, when I finally got tired of my 27 inch CTR TV and went out and bought myself a nice 32 inch LCD High Definition Television from Sony. I’ll tell you this; the day my new TV was installed was the first time I truly played that game. The graphics were so lifelike that I felt as if I were actually in the game, not sitting in my recliner. I saw parts of the levels I had never seen before, detail that is only truly appreciated on the High Definition Television. Hearing this, you’re probably skeptical. I was. But if you’re in the market for a new television, then going HDTV could be the best choice you ever make – at least as far as entertainment goes.

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The Revolution of Entertainment

July 18, 2009 – 12:00 pm, posted by Oliver

Picture this: You’re stuck on the freeway when all of a sudden, 15 car lengths ahead of you, a bus explodes in a massive fire ball, showering all the surrounding cars with parts. You see a body part come flying through the air towards you and land on the car beside you. Imagine turning to look at the car beside you just after this happened, only to see your living room wall. What you just saw happen, didn’t happen in real life. It was a special effects scene. Graphics that look so real you in turn react as if they were. This is all made possible by High Definition Televisions.

HDTV, more formally known as High Definition Television, has revolutionized the world of movie and entertainment over the last 15 years. Everyone who’s old enough to buy a lottery ticket remembers the grainy, unrealistic graphics that were in the big budget films of their time. Now, that’s not to knock the olden days of entertainment – they were very well done for their time. Nowadays, you can watch an explosion and see the burning flames as if you were to light a candle right in front of you. See a thunderstorm and watch as each individual raindrop hits the pavement as the camera pans to the dead body that CSI is investigating.

HDTV has forever changed the way we view movies and television. As movies and shows get more realistic, the graphics have to keep up with the market, and so far, we’ve been blown away.

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Why All The Hype?

July 18, 2009 – 12:00 pm, posted by Oliver

Over the last few years, you may have noticed a huge spike in advertising about HDTV, and you may be wondering, “Why is there all this hype about HDTV? What is so great about it?” There are actually very good answers to these questions, when you take a look at what’s going on behind the scenes.

Analog channels are being phased out, and all channels must now be broadcasted digitally. This was mandated by the FCC a couple of years ago, and has been slowly implemented. Because of this switch, television and electronic companies are no longer able to sell CRT televisions. To cope with this loss, they are now pushing the sales of HDTV’s harder and faster than ever before, and with good reason. This is a race, and it can mean the life or death of a company right now.

Brand awareness is key at this time, which is why you will see such advertising for Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba, among others. They are all competing for your money towards a new HDTV. Over the last four years there has been a surge in the technology that makes up HDTV, so every brand is boasting newer models, and better features. And in the true spirit of HDTV, the biggest television on the market. To date the biggest LCD screen for public sale is 106 inches, and the biggest Plasma screen on the market is 102 inches. I had the chance to see one up close, and while they are nice, be prepared for your jaw to hit the floor when you see the price. For the time being, the 52 inch screen is here to stay as a top of the line size.

At the end of the day, chances are you are going to eventually have to get an HDTV; might as well get one sooner and enjoy all that it has to offer. Do your research, shop around, wait for a sale and you can’t go wrong.

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The HDTV Switch Over

July 18, 2009 – 11:59 am, posted by Oliver

Over the last three or four years, you have undoubtedly heard a great deal about the HDTV switch over. You may have been less than enthused about the switch, or you may have absolutely no idea if and/or how it was going to affect you. First let’s go over exactly what this “switch over” entails.

The HDTV switch over is a mandated process by the FCC that stating that all broadcasting companies in the United States must now be broadcasting solely over High Definition; that from this point forward, analog would be nonexistent.

This switch was originally supposed to take effect on December 31, 2006. The date was continuously pushed back as most of the broadcasting markets were not fully ready for the switch.

At this point, while most markets have switched over, there are still some that have not. You may be in one of them. If you are still watching television over the air with an analog television, chances are you are watching an analog channel.

How does this affect you? Well first off, if you do not have cable or satellite then your old analog television will not be able to broadcast any channels. Now, this does not meant that you have to go buy a whole new set. All you have to do is get a converter box that will take the new digital signal and convert it back to analog. The only problem with that is you’re still going to have analog quality. You may find it worth your money to invest in your own HDTV. Besides, there’s never going to be a better reason to do so.

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Size Does Matter

July 18, 2009 – 11:59 am, posted by Oliver

Have you ever heard the anecdote that “size doesn’t matter”? Well, if someone tries to tell you that while you’re shopping for your new HDTV, you may want to see if they’re running a fever, or maybe ask them what planet they hail from. Of course size matters. If size didn’t matter, then why are there so many different sizes? When it comes to HDTVs, the unspoken rule of thumb is, “the bigger, the better”. And while this may be true for picture quality and viewing experience, you are going to have to not only think about the available space in which to put the new HDTV, but also about how it’s going to affect your bank account.

First, let’s take a look at the television and how it’s going to affect your living space. A 52” television may be beautiful and the envy of all your friends, but you have to have a place to put it. Usually a TV of that magnitude hangs on the wall. So you’re going to need a lot of wall space to put your new HDTV. So instead of taking down that family portrait or the moose head that has been on the wall for 25 years a smaller model may be just the thing you need. Luckily for you they come in a multitude of sizes, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the right fit for you.

You then must consider your bank account. HDTVs can be expensive toys. You can pick up some lower end smaller models for just a couple hundred dollars, whereas others could run you thousands. These are some of the things that need to be thought through when debating buying that new HDTV.

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History of HDTV

July 16, 2009 – 4:41 pm, posted by Oliver

High Definition Television is the newest standard when it comes to television and entertainment. Oddly enough, the advancements into high definition started a lot earlier than most people realize. Over the last 15 years, High Definition has made improvements by leaps and bounds in today’s market. With many different types of televisions, including but not limited to projection, LCD, Plasma, and a few smaller slightly less well-known models that are still mostly in development. We will discuss the history of High Definition television from its beginning to where we are today.

High Definition Television, more commonly known as HDTV, began as a research project by a Japanese Broadcasting Company called NHK, in 1970.

In 1977, a study group focussed on high definition was formed. In 1980, the group published its recommendation, which included both the definition of ‘wide screen format’ and ‘1100-line scanning structure‘. This marked the first real exploration into what we know as High Definition Television.

The first demonstration of HDTV to take place in the United States was in 1981, and succeeded in generating a great deal of interest in the technology.

In 1987, an Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service (ATSC) was formed by the FCC. ATSC initially fielded about 23 different proposals for Advanced Televisions systems. By 1990, all but 9 had been turned down, and those that remained all had a basis of analog technology.

In 1991 there were further developments into the technology, which included an all-digital approach. In 1995, a couple of companies joined together on a proposal which later became the mandated standard for the broadcast of HDTV.

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Types of HDTV – LCD

July 16, 2009 – 4:39 pm, posted by Oliver

While most consumers have heard of High Definition Television, they may get confused when it comes to differentiating between the various types of screens. The most well known of these are LCDs, Plasmas, and Projections. While there are still others, they are generally considered to be impractical seeing as they are either still under development, or are too expensive. In this article, we will talk about LCDs; the High Definition televisions more formally called Liquid Crystal Displays.

LCDs have been around for many years, and are found in many different applications. It wasnt until recently that they started being used in televisions and monitors. The LCD screen was originally used as a display for smaller, less detailed electronics. These included anything that produced a digital readout. The original LCD screens could only display black readouts, but further advancements quickly allowed for color readouts. The first LCD TV debuted in the United States in 1971. Its release was deemed a failure due to there being too many issues with it at the time.

Next came the advancements for the computer monitor. The first LCD monitors quickly replaced the larger, bulkier CRT monitors. Over the last 5 years, their advancements have skyrocketed, and have since gone on to include televisions.

Today, LCD televisions are the most popular type of High Definition televisions. And it’s no wonder, considering the history this technology has. Take a look around your home. How many things have an LCD display? Do you have a microwave? Chances are it has an LCD display. How about a digital watch or digital calculator? All of these, and many more common appliances, have Liquid Crystal Displays.

With that much successful history behind them, it’s no surprise that the LCD display is here to stay a while.

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Types of HDTV – Plasma

July 16, 2009 – 4:38 pm, posted by Oliver

With all the different types of High Definition Televisions out on the market today, it can be hard to find the one that is best for you. There are LCDs, Plasmas, and Projections. There are also a few other types, but for the most part they are either still under development or too expensive to be called a viable consumer product. In this article, we will identify the pros and cons of the Plasma screen. We will take a brief look into its history, see how it compares to the Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs), and look into some of the downfalls of Plasma screen technology.

The first plasma screen was invented in 1964 by professors Donald Bitzer and Gene Slottow, and graduate student Robert Willson. It wasnt until digital technology became standard that plasma screen technology made its true debut.

Broadcasting companies were originally looking at investing in Plasma, but LCD at the time seemed a more viable technology. It wasn’t until years later, when a 60 inch plasma prototype was developed, that it started to make headway in the High Definition Television market. Since then, while it has been a contender with LCD and Projection, it remains behind in both technology and sales.

One of the major downfalls of Plasma is whats called the “burn effect”. This happens when there is a static image on the television for an extended period of time. So any broadcast logo that is static, or any static images from video games, can literally be burned into the screen. From that point on you will always see an impression of that image on the screen.

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What is HDTV?

July 16, 2009 – 4:38 pm, posted by Oliver

If you have gone shopping for a new TV in the last 10 years or so, this is no doubt a question you have asked yourself as the customer service representative tried to sell you that big, beautiful, and ultimately expensive television. I asked myself the same question the first time I saw one, and then again when I saw the price. After some serious thought, and a lot of research, I did in fact buy one. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you too are considering it. So let me give you the comparison that I was given – maybe it will help you understand what HDTV really is.

Years ago, if you wanted something to be typed out, you had to pull out the big old clunky typewriter. And for its time, it was a marvellous invention, one that revolutionized the world of writing. These days, you fire up your computer, sit down, type, and watch as the words appear on the screen. From there, you can edit without restarting the file; something you couldnt do on a typewriter. Then you can save your file, go do something else and go back to it later, or send it directly from the printer sitting next to your computer.

HDTV is the same sort of advancement in televisions. The original televisions and the advancements of the color television were amazing, but HDTV is currently the most revolutionary technology in comparison to the original standard television. What HDTV did for entertainment is comparable to what the invention of the computer did for writing.

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Types of HDTV – Projection

July 16, 2009 – 4:38 pm, posted by Oliver

With so many different terms being used with HDTV, it can get confusing for consumers to distinguish between them all. There are a few major forms of High Definition Television. These include Front and Rear projection televisions, LCDs, and Plasma screens. There are a few other types on the market but for the most part they are still in development or are too expensive to be considered viable solutions for high definition televisions. Here, we will cover projection televisions; discussing their history and their role in todays field of HDTVs.

Projection screens have been around longer than televisions, and have been a source of entertainment since their original development. Projection screens have a very humble beginning, having been originally used by a German priestess to project story images onto a sheet. All she had to use was a singe candle.

They were later used in the Shakespearian era to create the ‘behind closed doors’ effect. They were still using the same technology at that point. Then came the invention of film and the projector. The first projectors could only display static images, but the development of the movie projector soon allowed for moving images, and hence movies. Projectors are actually still used in theatres today. Around 1940, both front and rear projection screens started being used in homes as entertainment systems.

In todays market, both front and rear projection televisions have left their mark on the industry. They remain a viable technology to this day. Interestingly enough, almost half of all HDTVs on the market are projection screen televisions.

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