With the transition to digital television coming in February 2009, many consumers are confused about television compared to the electronics industry’s early efforts to keep TV simple, straight-forward and easy to use. There is a baffling array of standards and acronyms that determine the type of digital television, it’s resolution and to what degree it is truly digital. If you’re like most consumers, you keep a TV for a longer period than you keep a personal computer, so even if you’re buying on a budget, try not to settle for a lesser standard than you can imagine yourself wanting in the near future. We explain the three choices of SDTV, EDTV, and HDTV with the following table which summarizes the technical details.
Note: All HD and HD-Ready sets display 480i, 720p, and 1,080i signals, and convert them to match the sets’ resolution. Some convert 480i signals into 480p.DTV a.k.a. SDTV: Good
Plain vanilla digital TV, also known as SDTV, offers a 480-line interlaced image which is indicated by an “i” after the resolution. This is equal to the old 525-line analog TV, and it’s what most cable and satellite channels (and most of the non-prime-time schedules on broadcast channels) currently broadcast.
Why is 480 as good as 525?
Because early cathode-ray tube (CRT) receivers needed time for the electronic beam to reset itself from the bottom to the top of the screen. So the engineers and bureaucrats who set the NTSC standard built in a vertical blanking interval of 45 lines between the image frames. On an old set with faulty vertical hold, you could see this interval as a sort of stretched-out Chevrolet logo shape as the image frames scrolled up or down. In later years, broadcasters have used this blank space to transmit closed-captioning and other data. Despite having the same horizontal resolution, SDTV is still better than analog TV, for some of the same reasons that DVDs are better than VHS video tapes. SDTVs images are clearer and its colors are more stable.
Who should you buy DTV or SDTV?
If you’re on a tight budget or simply buying a secondary television for a kitchen, bedroom or home office, or planning to use your set to watch only standard-definition signals, then an SDTV set might be good enough, at least in the short term. However you will want to at least investigate the benefits of an HDTV or even an enhanced-definition TV, especially if you expect that you will be using it for years to come.
You might have been under the impression that you could never afford a plasma television or that they were only available in extra large screen sizes. Well you may surprised to find out that plasma televisions are still available in smaller screen sizes under 40″, and they can also be incredibly affordable. A great example of an affordable plasma television is the Eclipse MT-SYJCP32B1AB, with its clean and elegant design that offers a stunning on-screen image with a wide 178 degree viewing angle. With this Soyo HDTV you’ll be immersed in what’s happening on screen with images that are vivid and sharp thanks to features that include Digital Noise Reduction, a Digital Comb Filter and the Blackness Enhancement Technology providing an enhanced visual experience. However the Soyo Eclipse series of televisions don’t just offer a great visual experience, but also an amazing audio experience to match with built-in speakers that are capable of delivering enhanced stereo surround sound. This 32″ plasma can also offer more than just standard viewing for television and movies, because it also works well as an oversized monitor for computers especially when it comes to playing video games. So if you thought that plasma televisions were either too big or too expensive, then you’ll like what you see and hear when you’re watching the affordable Soyo Eclipse MT-SYJCP32B1AB 32″ Plasma HDTV.
With flat panel technology, the Plasma TV is just one of choices to consider before purchasing your next high defintion television. Although they were initially the more expensive choice, one of the prime features of a Plasma TV is its realtively lower cost compared to LCDs. You can easily own your next Plasma television for as little as, and sometimes well below, $1000 depending on the size you want. The designer appeal and greatest benefit in these televisions are their super large screen sizes that can average 50″ diagonally and are often much larger, but are also available in smaller screen sizes as well. Although some people may feel that they are somewhat more expensive than their previously owned telvision sets, these TVs offer a better and bigger screen, clearer images and more desirable features that allow for connecting to other digital devices.
The most striking feature is how slim this television is with a depth that can be as little as three inches thick, and are continually becoming thinner almost every few years. Even with such a shallow depth, you’ll get a wider screen with a greater viewing angle giving you the pleasure to watch from just about every corner of your room. Plasma televisions can also achieve darker blacks which means that the brightness and color contrast is greater as well, and will make for a sharper more crisp onscreen image. With a life-span that is more than 10 years before the set reaches half brightness, which is similar to what you’d expect from your standard CRT, you’ll be ready for your next television upgrade. These features are part of the benefit in having a true home theater experience with a Plasma TV from merely just watching television.
In years past, the only real problem that could occur over prolonged initial use of a Plasma television is the minor chance for burn-in, which is the ghosting of an image onscreen. This is a problem that has been readily resolved by the manufacturers and easily avoidable by keeping the contrast low during the first 100 hours of use. As well, the native resolution compared to similar sized LCD televisions was lower, but it’s comparable in dynamic resolution, so you will still be viewing amazingly clear images. With the trending fall in prices, the Plasma TV is an even more desirable choice for a flat panel home theater screen, and the technology is constantly being improved further adding to its value in the dramatic improvement of picture quality. Even with more improvements on the horizon, you’ll find that a plasma television is an affordable and attractive alternative to your current television today.