How to Become an Expert in Understanding High Definition TV

High definition TV, or HDTV, allows you to view cinema-quality television with sharper images, better picture quality and brighter colors, as well as improved surround sound. This is all achieved because high definition TV provides a resolution that consists of more than 2 million pixels. Since the advent of flat screen TVs, high definition TV has become more and more in demand [sources: BBC, NCTA]

We will now explain all about high definition TV and how it works, so you have a better understanding of it.


  • High definition TV is a highly a specialized form of transmission. Therefore you won't be able to view it on a regular TV, but will need a high definition-ready TV with additional equipment and connections. When you have high definition TV, you will be able to watch your favorite shows on tiny screens, such as your mobile phone, iPod etc.
  • TV images, whether analogue, digital TV or high definition TV, consist of pixels. These are bunches of tiny red, green and blue dots, which form the picture. The more pixels your image consists of, the clearer the picture and the brighter the color. Standard analogue TV images consist of 768-by-576 pixels (i.e. 768 active horizontal pixels by 576 active scanning lines). High definition TV consists of 1920-by-1080 pixels. In other words, the standard TV images barely have a half a million pixels, whereas high definition TV has well over 2 million pixels [source: SKY].
  • High definition TV has a better contrast ratio, better color saturation and better color accuracy than analog TV. Although these factors aren't discussed as much as the number of pixels, they make a tremendous difference in the quality of the image [source: CNET].
  • High definition TV uses digital rather than analog sound. Therefore the sound on high definition TV is much better than the sound on standard TV [source: NBC].