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Planning Retirement Online

Are you ready for the next moves in TV?                     November 2010


Are you ready for the next moves in TV?

HD tvThe shops are full of HD enabled televisions now but if, like me, you are not totally tech minded, you may not really understand what it is all about.

Television is going through so many changes now and amazingly, in a few years or so, our special corner screens showing just television programmes could be relegated to history like gramophones as they become amalgamated into full all-embracing computer systems.

It was 110 years ago when the word television was first coined – thought to be by Constantin Perskvi – at a time when many people were looking at the idea of transmitting moving images.

But it was John Logie Baird who really started the move towards modern television in 1925 when he achieved the transmission of a greyscale image. Development was fast. The BBC first beginning regular transmissions in 1932 and in the same year John Logie Baird transmitted pictures of the Derby horse race at Epsom to a large screen television display at the Metropole Cinema in London.

By the early 1950s, more and more private homes were beginning to invest in their own televisions, just small boxes which neighbours and family flocked around to see special events such as the Coronation. In 1967 the BBC started its first colour transmission and under 30 years later digital television began here, marking the end of the analogue services.

Now High Definition (or HD) is the latest thing. Briefly, high-definition television screens are what are termed as high resolution. They have more pixels (or tiny fragments of a picture) per square inch which is achieved by putting in more horizontal lines on the screen. Standard definition televisions have 576 horizontal lines while high definition televisions have between 720 and 1,080 lines – the former is the normal one available in the UK at the moment.

Either way, this increase in lines means the pictures will contain around four times more detail than existing images. The increase in quality is said by some to be dramatic. People and objects stand out, action is clearer, you can see blades of grass on the ground and a mass of detail that is missed by standard definition television.

Sounds brilliant? Well, it can be, but on a small screen the difference won’t be that great. To enjoy real benefit from high definition you need a large screen. Digital transmission is part of the mix – you need this to transmit the higher quality broadcasts – and for this the aspect ratio is important. Aspect ratio? It is just the ratio of how wide the television is to the depth. Standard televisions have an aspect ratio of 4 to 3, so that say a 16 inch wide television will have a screen that is 12 inches high. High definition television needs a higher aspect ratio, or around 16 to 9 to ensure the films and programmes aren’t cut off at the sides.

At the moment the real benefits of high definition are in the more active and spectacular programmes, big movies, natural history documentaries and sport. However, it is developing all the time and high definition is becoming more and more popular as both the number of programmes transmitted in high definition increases and the price of high definition ready televisions come down.

All the major outlets for televisions will be able to explain in detail what is available, the benefits and what you need. The only certain thing, though, is that while it may be important to understand what high definition is all about at the moment, it won’t be long before some new technologies and new terminologies come into our lives, moving everything on yet another step.


Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.




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