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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About HDTV

What is HDTV? How is it different from normal television?

HDTV is high-definition television, a method of digital broadcasting that results in high-quality pictures and Dolby Digital surround sound. HDTV uses the same amount of bandwidth (6 megahertz) as used in the current analog system, but HDTV can transmit more than six times the information as the analog system. This translates to higher quality in picture and sound.

How Much Better Is The Quality?

Currently, television pictures are made up of 525 lines that are scanned horizontally. HDTV pictures are created by scanning 1,080 lines. Adding twice the amount of lines multiplies the amount of pixels (the small dots that create the picture). Current sets have about 300,000 pixels, while the HDTV screen is composed of more than 2 million pixels.

Here is a traditional image resolution:

Here is an HDTV image:

Having more pixels on your screen will also improve the sharpness of your pictures, allowing you to read on your television screen small text commonly found on computers. HDTV sets have wider, movie-theater like screens that more closely resemble human peripheral vision, making it more natural to watch.


HDTV screens are about one-third wider than existing TV screens. They have similar dimensions to movie screens. HDTV screens closely match the peripheral vision range of the human eye, making it more natural to watch.

Is The Sound Different?

Complimenting the lifelike pictures are 5.1 channels of CD-quality digital audio. Current stereo TV sets offer only two channels of audio. HDTV delivers true surround sound: front speakers on the right, center and left, along with two back speakers and a subwoofer.

Are HDTV Signals Broadcast On Special Frequencies?

No. HDTV broadcasts use the same channels as regular analog television. While many DTV stations are now occupying UHF broadcast channels, the plan is to allow many broadcasters to move back to their original VHF or UHF TV channel once the transition to DTV is complete.
You should be able to receive DTV with any standard UHF antenna. The exact style of antenna that you will need for optimal reception may vary depending on your geographic location and distance to the transmission source.

Is HDTV Similar To Interactive Television?

With HDTV, broadcasters can now broadcast data via "datacasting." Datacasting opens up the possibility of interactive television, empowering the viewer to make television-viewing an incredible experience.

With More Space, Can You Have More Channels?

We can squeeze in more than one "channel" of television or data into our digital TV channel. In special circumstances, we can choose to send a channel of high-definition TV, up to two channels of standard-definition TV (SDTV) and a channel of data at the same time.
In severe weather, we can send regular programming over one channel and weather information over the other channels. During sporting events, we can broadcast more than one game at the same time, giving you the choice of which game to watch.

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