When it comes to buying new technology, there’s two types of people. There are the “early adopters”, who camp out at their favorite electronics store the night of a new product’s release, just so they can be one of the first people to own the new mp3 player or smart phone. Then there are the other 90% of people who will wait to purchase it, when it becomes cheaper, or after some of the glitches are ironed out.
Not only are these early adopters the first to get their hands on this coveted new piece of tech manna from Heaven, but they also tend to learn all of the relevant lingo and terms associated with their gadget du jour. This article is for the 90% of people who aren’t that concerned with terminology, but may need a few things cleared up, specifically the terminology surrounding high-definition TVs: HD ready and full HD. If you’re confused about what these terms actually mean, there’s a good reason for that, which will be explained below. To learn how to become a smart shopper, not just in electronics, but in all areas, check out this course on shopper psychology.
When high-definition TVs first came to the market, there was legitimate and understandable confusion as to what some of the terms used to describe them actually meant. This wasn’t necessarily an accident, either, as some manufacturers began tossing around various acronyms and numbers to take advantage of the initial excitement consumers had over this new technology. If the more artistic side of television is what you’re interested in, this course on television screenwriting will show you the ins and outs of this competitive industry.
- United States
The term HD Ready was first in the United States to indicate that a television had the capability to display a high-definition picture, which meant that it could handle 720p (HD), 1080i, and 1080p (Full HD). The “p” in 720p and 1080p stands for “progressive scan”, indicating that the image on the TV is drawn line after line, resulting in a sharper image, especially when there’s a lot of action is on screen. The “i” in 1080i indicates “interlaced”, the opposite of “p”, in which the TV plays back images at a rate of 60 frames per second, but are broadcast at 30 frames per second , resulting in a doubling up, or interlacing, of the images, resulting in a better sense of motion and less flicker.
Because these HD Ready televisions did not contain a built-in HD tuner, in order to realize its full high-definition potential, an HD source, such as a cable box, or other HD content device, had to supply the TV with a signal. As a result of this confusion, the FCC required TV manufacturers to include a digital tuner in these HD Ready machines, and as of March 2007, this term has been obsolete.
In 2005, DigitalEurope, the representative entity of the technology industry in Europe, set standards for how the term “HD Ready” could be used. These machines needed to be capable of at least 720p, and must accept HDMI or DVI inputs. There’s also “HD Ready 1080p”, that must be able to display both 1080p and 1080i images without distortion. Like the pre-2007 HD Ready TVs in the U.S., these machines did not include an HD tuner, and required a high-definition source to work.
As we mentioned above, the term “Full HD” is synonymous with the 1080p capabilities of a high-definition TV. When a new TV is described as “Full HD”, it is sometimes meant to up-sell customers, making them think the TV already has high-definition. The resolution of a Full HD TV is 1920×1080, and as you already know, is progressive scan.
The description of a TV being Full HD is basically a marketing tool, and indicates nothing more than the machine’s capability to achieve the highest, or full, high-definition capability (1080p). If you find that you’re easily swayed by others when making purchases or other decisions, then this course on developing your critical thinking skills will teach you how to think these things out better.
If you happen to be in the market for a new hi-def television, treat it like the important, expensive purchase that it is, and do your research. Realize what you want, inform yourself as a consumer, and don’t get pressured into making a purchase that doesn’t match up with your desires (or your wallet). To figure out how much money you have to spend on a new TV, or anything else for that matter, check out this course on how to create a budget, as well as this article on the best budgeting software.