hdtvOften we want to discuss topics, but the sheer magnitude of the topic is just too big, and would either bore the reader to tears, or the reader might miss a very important fact which is near the end of the article.

Our solution is to break the topic up into a series of small information bursts that allow the reader to fully absorb the facts and remember them for future use. A perfect example for such a series are the facts and figures behind the High-Definition Television or HDTV as it is better known, since HD is now available in South Africa. We will refer to these articles as the “Step-by-step series”.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

I decided to start with the HDMI connector, as if one buys an HDTV set now, the one thing people may overlook is this special connector.

HDMI – High-definition Multi-media Interfacehdmi_cable
When buying a new HDTV, or HD Ready TV set, make absolutely sure that you have an HDMI connector at the back. HDMI allows two way digital communication at very high speeds which means that the signal can travel without being compressed or being converted to and from an analogue signal. You will also be able to control your devices through fewer remote controls, as the HDMI interface is able to communicate with other devices through the interface. So, no conversion, no compression, and super high speed will make this the best connection for your devices. The only negative is that these devices need to be 15ft from each other.


DVI – Digital Video Interface
Is also digital and high speed, although it only allows for video communication. Obviously this connector will have it’s own audio connections for left and right sound channels. This was the popular digital connection before HDMI, and is second best in the choice of connections.

component_cable_endComponent Connection
This interface is the best analogue connection carrying each primary colour for the TV on a dedicated cable. Just for the record composite and S-Video are not high-definition connections.
But since analogue signals are more robust, they can travel longer distances – up to 200ft. So, if you need to have the TV set a long way from the device you are connecting to, this is the interface. But comparing it to the others, this is the third best in the choice of connections.

To wrap up, if you are spending the money on an HDTV, I would insist on HDMI, with the other two types being a bonus backup. If you already own an HDTV set, this should give you a better idea which connections will give you a better picture and better sound.

In the next issue I will talk about HD Ready vs Full HD. If you have any questions in the interim please post the questions to the forum where either myself or others will respond.


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