If high definition television is the TV format and technology of the future, then it’s worth learning all about it right now. This is especially true because it’s a more complex television format than the older standard definition format. In order to better understand high definition television, it helps if you understand standard definition television. Standard definition television, which you will sometimes see referred to as SDTV, first appeared back in the 1950’s and features an almost square screen with an aspect ratio of 4:4 and four hundred and eighty horizontal lines of resolution. It was originally transmitted in black and white over an analog signal. Later, color was added, and by the early 1990’s standard definition television could also be transmitted over a digital television signal. Standard definition television programming transmitted over a digital TV signal creates a much crisper picture than the analog signal ever could. Many people mistake this higher clarity in a digital television transmission for high definition television. In reality it’s just standard definition television transmitted digitally.
High definition television is a step above standard definition television (even SDTV that’s been transmitted digitally) in many ways. Instead of the squarish 4:3 aspect ratio, high definition television (or HDTV) has the rectangular aspect ratio of 16:9. High definition television also comes either of two different picture resolutions. It can have either seven hundred and twenty horizontal lines of resolution or one thousand and eighty horizontal lines of resolutions. HDTV also features Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound which, when played over a properly set up sound system, goes a long way toward incorporating the audience into the action on the screen. Modern high definition television is also always delivered using a digital signal. All high definition television programming is digital, but not all digital television programming is high definition.
Extra requirements for high definition television place extra demands on the receiver equipment that handles high definition television programming. High definition television receiver equipment has to be able to handle all of the television picture resolutions of standard definition television along with high definition television. Because of the extra features of high definition television as a format, high definition television receivers also have to handle a lot more data and be able to decode the MPEG-4 data compression format used for high definition television as well as the MPEG-2 data compression format used to send standard definition television.
Fortunately when you sign up for a high definition programming package from Dish Network (which has the most high def channels in the industry by the way) you’ll be given a high definition television satellite receiver at no extra charge. Dish Network currently offers the ViP211 and the ViP622 DVR to its high def subscribers. Both will easily deal with all of the functions mentioned above, on top of all of the standard features that every Dish Network satellite receiver has. The ViP622 DVR has the additional capabilities of recording both high definition and standard definition programming on an internal hard drive and being able to deliver programming to a second television located elsewhere in the house.
HDTV is worth getting in your own home right now and Dish Network is a worry free way to make it happen.