Thursday, September 07, 2006

High Definition TV - Wow!

I'm known by family and friends to get fun from latest technical breakthroughs in gadgets etc.

One of the reasons my blog has been quiet in the last few weeks is because I got our TV and Sky upgraded to include High Definition content. The Wow factor is huge.

For those who haven't heard of it or not seen a demo, High Definition TV (HDTV) shows four times finer detail than standard TV. Resolution, colour and contrast are all excellent on big plasma or LCD screens. I've been watching so many National Geographic and Discovery channel documentaries - landscape filming in Africa, underwater coral reef stuff etc would take you breath away. Movies and sport are all amazing also in HD. It has to be the biggest breakthrough in TV since colour.

Even though Sky is expensive enough, I have to give them credit for launching HDTV broadcasts. It is superb. Also the Sky+ facility of recording programmes onto the satellite box hard disk is fantastic - easy to use, can record two channels at once, is a perfect digital recording like the original broadcast and it has a huge storage capacity - we must have at least 20 movies and documentaries stored on the disk -many in high definition.

One word of advise if any of you are considering HDTV. With normal TV it is advised that you view from no more than 5 times the screen diagonal size - e.g. is you are viewing from 10 feet away then a 24 inch screen is about right. In the case of HDTV in order to see the extra fine detail you need to be a bit less than 3 times the diagonal size from the TV. Hence you tend to need a somewhat larger screen that you might realise. So if you are trying to justify the huge TV to your spouse - ya need to throw plenty of physics like this at them - it's vital! If that doesn't work then you (reluctantly!) sit much nearer to a smaller TV. The latter sucks!


Claire said...

Ha! Sounds like you and my husband would have a lot to talk about. He's been trying to work out how to hook up to HDTV himself through the computer and he tries to talk to me about it. My eyes glaze over pretty quick but I have to admit, I love how the end result looks.

John of Dublin said...

Hi Claire. Ya, it's a fairly interesting area technically. I'm going to hook up a PC soon to one of our plasmas. It could be handy to switch to PC when watching TV just to look up something on Internnet or even to show library of photos to friends - which I'm sure you would do being good photographer. It would wow your friends on a big HD screen.

I've been looking at remote keyboard/mouse devices - I think bluetooth would be best.