We’re going to get the lowdown on high-definition TV. Today, on Engineering Works!
If you spend any time in front of your TV, you’ve seen the commercials for high-definition television. They make it sound really neat â€” pictures so real you could reach in and touch them if you wanted to. But is it really that good?
The good news is, yes, the pictures are that good. The bad news is, yes, this new technology is still really expensive.
The most important difference between conventional TV and HD TV is that HD TV has a resolution, or definition, of between 700 and 1,100 lines per inch. Analog TV has a resolution of about 500 lines per inch. The more lines per inch there are, the sharper and more detailed the picture.
Electrical engineers get this more detailed resolution by using digital signals to send the picture to your TV. We won’t go into the details, but the digital signal carries more information than an analog signal, and you get a better picture. Satellite systems and DVDs already use digital encoding, but it’s converted into analog format so you can view it on your analog TV.
The Federal Communications Commission has told broadcasters they must be able to broadcast HD TV by 2006. We’ll have to buy a converter to change digital signals to analog, or a new television set that can read digital signals.
It’s time for our favorite re-run, so we’ll see you later.