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Shark Systems’ Brief Guide to High-Definition Television

June 7, 2011

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Before purchasing a new high-definition television, consumers must first understand the terminology. The following is information about what the various numbers and letters mean in terms of high-definition technology.


A number and a letter comprise resolution standards. High-definition televisions have either 720 or 1080 ratings. The numbers indicate the amount of horizontal lines that make up the image on the screen. Televisions with a 1080 rating have a crisper picture than those with a 720 rating. The letters “i” and “p” denote the type of scan that the television uses to produce an image. The letter “i” stands for interlaced, meaning that the television makes two passes to create an image, one that projects odd numbered lines and one that projects even numbered lines. The letter “p” stands for progressive, meaning that the television projects lines in order from 1 to 720 or 1080 depending on the resolution. For moving pictures, a progressive scan produces a smoother image than an interlaced scan, which may create a slightly jagged or jumpy sense of movement. Thus, 1080p televisions theoretically provide the smoothest and most crisp viewing experience. Many channels that broadcast in high definition, however, do not meet the 1080p standards. In these cases, the television reverts to either 1080i or 720p modes, depending on the broadcast signal.


Those shopping for a high-definition television must also consider the television’s aspect ratio. Traditional televisions have a 4:3 aspect ratio, but cinematic films have a 16:9 ratio. Many new television shows now utilize the 16:9 ratio, also known as widescreen. Consumers may also want to consider television connections, particularly High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) inputs. These inputs allow the television to connect with high-definition devices, such as DVD players and cable boxes. Individuals may purchase a switching box if the television has only one HDMI connector.


Consumers may want to consider the advantages of LCD television. Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology produces incredibly crisp images without a great deal of hardware, but they require viewers to sit perpendicular to the screen. Plasma televisions also produce superior image quality, but tend to be heavy and are susceptible to screen burn-in, or permanent images in the plasma.


About Shark Systems


For more than 10 years, Shark Systems has offered a variety of consumer electronics, computer components, and other products at competitive prices. To browse Shark Systems’ extensive inventory, visit www.sharksystems.com. The company also works closely with Oceana’s Scared for Sharks initiative, which encourages governments worldwide to adopt policies that would protect the oceans’ shark populations.

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