Truth Patrol: Confused by “HDTV Experts”

HDTV Truth Patrol
Source: “Confused? You’re Not Alone”, by Alex L. Goldfayn, Wild Blue Yonder magazine, Sep-Oct 2005, page 47-48

Quote: “They still sell TVs that are not high-definition. Don’t buy one of those, because soon, by law, all programming will be delivered in HD.”

The Truth: Well, he got the first sentence right. But from then on, it’s a disaster. The law says that all terrestrial broadcasts will have to be digital TV, not HDTV. And the law also states that as of July 1, 2005, all new televisions 36-inches or lager must have digital tuners to accommodate these new signals. Half of all new 25- to 36-inch sets had to have digital tuners by that date as well. But not all digital transmissions — whether by broadcast, cable, or satellite — are in HD.

And even if all digital signals were in HD, it still doesn’t mean that you can’t watch them on a non-HDTV set. HD sets can display standard definition content by scaling the image. This means that it expands the image to fill the screen, and calculates the data required to create the extra dots. By the same token, an HD image can be displayed on a standard definition screen by scaling down the image, discarding some of the dots so that it will fit on the screen. Yes, you lose detail when the image is scaled down, but it’s just wrong to say that you won’t be able to see the image.

Join Professor Poor’s HDTV Truth Patrol, and help with the fight against HDTV misinformation! If you see an article or an ad or a sign that you think has wrong information about digital TV, HDTV, or related subjects, tell me about it. Send a quote (and cite the source in detail so I can verify it), or send a scanned image of the page, or a digital photo. If I pick your submission for a future Almanac entry, you’ll receive an exclusive Truth Patrol t-shirt that you can wear with pride. Let everyone know that you stand for truth in the HDTV industry!