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There’s no doubt that 2006 will be the year of High Definition television. With Sky set to release its HD digital satellite service and Blu-ray and HD-DVD launches imminent, anyone even thinking about a new TV had better make sure that it’s HD ready. High definition television represents a massive step forward in picture quality due to a significant increase in resolution.
There are actually two high definition resolution standards, 720 lines and 1080 lines. Obviously the more lines that an image uses, the better it will look, but screens that can resolve 1080 lines are few and far between, while screens that can resolve a progressive 1080 image rather than an interlaced one are even more difficult to find. So, the main high definition standard is likely to be 720p, meaning a video image with 720 lines delivered progressively.
Current standard definition TV images are interlaced, which means that a picture is built up of alternate lines, so one frame will display even lines while the next will display odd. The problem with this method is that with tracking or fast moving images the picture can become blurred as the odd and even lines never get a chance to line up correctly. However, a progressive TV signal displays an entire picture in every frame – so a 720p 60Hz signal is actually displaying 60 full frames every second.
The TV that’s sitting in my living room right now is the 40in Sony Bravia KDLS40A12U and with a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 it can support 720p high definition signals. Since this TV has the HD Ready logo on it, it comes as no surprise that there are both component video and HDCP compliant HDMI inputs. Both of these input methods will provide superb image quality, although obviously the fact that HDMI is a digital interface means that there will be no quality degradation whatsoever.
As well as HDMI and component video, this Bravia also sports two SCART sockets, S-Video and composite video inputs, as well as a D-SUB PC input. In total there are no less than six AV inputs on the KDLS40A12U, so you shouldn’t have any problems connecting all your kit up, no matter how much you may have.