We are in the dawning of a new age in television. With the advent of digital TV, much about your watching experience is going to change in the next few years. Sure, you'll still have many of the same programs, but how you watch them will be different.
The biggest difference with digital TV is picture quality. While some pictures are worth a thousand words, others will leave you breathless. There are three basic formats of digital pictures; SD, ED and HD. You can think of them as good, better and best.
SD stands for Standard Definition. This is what most broadcasters use for digital programming. While a basic signal, it still looks better than your best analog signal because it's digital.
ED stands for Enhanced Definition. It's a step up from SD in that it provides a better picture but not quite the picture of HD. ED isn't used much right now by broadcasters, but could be used in the future.
HD stands for High Definition. It's the best picture quality available. It comes with Dolby theater surround sound. It also comes in a widescreen format. What is widescreen? Right now, you're probably watching on a traditional television which comes in a 4:3 format, that is, it's four units across by three units high. It's what TV has used for the last 50 years.
Widescreen is in a 16:9 format, 16 units across by 9 high. It's a much wider picture.
"I'm a big sports fan, so I like watching. I like watching the games in it because you see more of the game, especially watching a football game. You get to see another 20 yards on the field and that's a lot," said Jamie Fager of Best Buy.
Coming up next week we'll take a look at the differences in Digital Televisions. It can be confusing when you start talking about rear projection, DLP, LCD and plasma. I'll clear up some of that confusion just in time for the holiday shopping season.
You can catch Part 3 of “What's Up with HD?” next Wednesday night at 6 p.m. here on Newschannel Seven.