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HDTV Terms and Definitions
Aspect RatioThe ratio of screen width to screen height. For TV's it is either 4:3 (1.22.1) or 16:9 (1.78:1). Theater film uses many different aspect ratios, some as high as 2.5:1.
3:2 Pull DownThis is the process of converting a 24 frames/sec image into a 30 frames/sec image. Some line-doublers will reverse this process to acquire the original, and then re-perform it.
Pan-and-ScanA method of broadcasting a wide screen film on a 4:3 channel. Most of the time just the center of the image is shown. (The right and left edges are clipped off).
ATSC(Advanced Television System Committee Technical Standard) This is the name of the technology used by terrestrial digital TV stations in the U.S.
NTSCNational television system committee. The organization that developed the analog television standard currently in use in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. Now generally used to refer to that standard. The NTSC standard combines blue, red, and green signals modulated as an AM signal with an FM signal for audio.
Cable CardThe Cable Card is the mechanism the industry has adopted to prevent the piracy of cable services. The cable company will periodically mail out new cable cards, ask their customers to plug them into the TV, and then disable the old cards, so anyone without a new cable card would lose service.
Comb FilterA circuit in NTSC sets that separates the color information from the brightness information.
So what exactly is High Definition Television?Simply put, a high quality digital television signal that can display 1280x720 pixels or better.
How can I receive a High Definition Signal?
First you must have a television set that can display a minimum of 1280x720 pixels or higher, then you must have a provider that broadcasts in High Definition such as a satellite or cable provider. You will be required to have compatible HD equipment from our provider and subscribe to their available HD programming which is different than regular digital programming.
Depending on where you live and if you can physically receive over the air broadcasts via an antenna, you may be able to receive local high definition programming. The benefit to this is, it's free!