The recent wave of high-definition TV sets has made cinema-quality digital footage available to viewers at home for the first time. However, unless you feed your HDTV with an appropriately high-resolution signal, you won’t see the benefits of this remarkable new technology. Thankfully, there are several ways in which you can do this. Here, we shall explain the various ways in which you can get the best out of your high definition TV.
The best way to take full advantage of the capabilities of your HDTV is to invest in a cable or satellite TV subscription. Not only do you get a much better, more reliable signal, but you also get a lot more dedicated HD channels this way. It may cost a little extra, but it does guarantee that you will get the full use of your expensive high definition TV. You can find out more about receiving HD TV programmes via satellite at Sky.com.
When HDTVs first came out, the only way you could see what they were capable of was to watch films on Blu Ray or HD DVD discs. These are much like DVDs or CDs, except for the fact that they can store much more data on each disc. At first, it seemed as though HD DVD was set to become the standard, but the canny inclusion of Blu-Ray compatibility on Sony’s popular Playstation 3 saw this format, which was technically better than HD DVD but not backwards compatible with standard DVD, establish a foothold in the home entertainment market.
It is now possible to stream HD content via a computer or media centre in much the same way as you can with standard-resolution content. Popular services such as Filmflex and BBC’s iPlayer make some provision for owners of HD TVs, but unless you have a very fast and reliable internet connection, you may encounter a few bandwidth-related issues, which could lead to degraded picture quality or jittery playback.
Britain is currently in the process of switching off the old analogue TV signal to make room for digital TV and 4G mobile internet transmissions. This, in theory, should lead to improved picture quality and a greater choice of channels for all. However, the reality of digital terrestrial TV as it stands is that many viewers experience picture and sound issues, such as frozen frames, loud clicks, and extreme picture distortions so frequently as to make these services unusable, and it is unlikely that the switchover will fully correct this problem. If you live in an area that gets great digital TV reception, and you invest in a high-specification aerial, then you might be able to take advantage of the limited amount of HD programmes that are available on Freeview, but for many owners of HD TVs, it isn’t going to be worth bothering with.