Which Video Format is Best for Your New HDTV?
Video is the analog electronic media for the reproduction, playback, creation, editing, and display of live visual media. It includes still pictures, motion pictures, digital images, video clips, or computer-generated images and media. Video was initially developed for industrial television systems, which quickly became superseded by cathode ray Tube systems that were soon replaced by flat-screen displays of various kinds. In the last two decades, however, home video viewing has also become popular.
Digital video distribution services use a variety of methods to deliver video to end-users. Some of the delivery methods include cable service, digital networks, DVDs, or VHS cassettes. Digital video distribution services now include high-definition (HD), pay-per-view (PPV), and traditional film-style video options such as movie mail and video on demand (VOD). HDTV, or High Definition Television, is a technology designed to deliver substantially better quality video than regular video. Standard video formats such as DVD and Blu-ray Disc are increasingly becoming obsolete as HDTV and other new technologies emerge.
An analog television system usually uses an analog signal format in conjunction with an analog signal processor (ASP) to compress the analog signal sent over radio or cable lines. The compressed analog signal is then sent over digital network lines. Digital network television systems do not require an ASP because it performs compression using mathematical algorithm and is controlled by hardware. Analog television systems use PLL (phase loop modulation) which is a form of digital compression. Modern analog television systems also use compression technologies similar to PCM which is a digital compression method using shifted random access memory (RAM).
PCM is a form of digital video compression with increased bitrates. Compared to analog video, digital video compression bandwidth is much lower. This makes digital video more expensive to produce and transfer over the air. Digital video also has the potential to save consumers money in the long run because it uses minimal bandwidth and does not use any information beyond the pixels to produce the video. For this reason, digital video recording and playback have become increasingly popular. A DVD recorder, for example, can capture video onto a hard drive and be played back at a later time for a much lower cost than what it would cost to record the same content over an analog television set.
There are two different types of digital television systems: digital video tape, or DTV, and digital subscriber line (DSL). Both of these types of systems allow one channel at a time to be broadcasted; DSL is capable of broadcasting at up to eight channels. Digital video tape uses a rotation pattern to scan the signal and create a constant video signal. Digital subscriber line uses a different process that is far slower than the DTV process but allows the exchange of data between multiple devices.
The next time you set up your television, look at the screen and try to determine what format it is using. It is likely that it is using one of the following formats: AMF, Atom, Betamax, USB, PCV, SCART, USB frames, High definition, HDMI, Picture tube, and VGA. If you cannot see any of these names on the screen, then the television is most likely using one of the above formats. Now that you know which format it uses, compare it to one of the other formats and see which one provides the best picture and sound quality. You will know if you are getting a true digital television experience when you connect your new HDTV to your computer.