In the 14 years since it has hit the mainstream HD television has come a long way. And the TV’s that display this footage have come just as far or farther. But the current versions of HDTV’s are truly impressive both in their size and their performance capabilities.
In the Beginning
When HDTV was in it’s infancy there were very few models that could actually display the new technology. Most of these consisted of huge rear projection models that dominated whatever room they were located in. These TV’s were truly behemoths. In many cases they were over 5 feet tall and up to 20 inches deep.
While the quality of the picture was beyond anything to date, including DVDs, the images lacked the clarity that is now common amongst current HD models. One thing these models did have was excellent contrast. Since they were based on 3 gun technology, the colors were very accurate. Even today some of the best TV’s struggle to display blacks with the same quality of analog TVs.
Current Model High Definition TV’s
The most notable difference between the models of yesteryear and today is the size. Most high definition TV’s can now be mounted on a wall. They are often less than 1 inch thick. And they can range in size all the way up to 80 inches across.
The technology behind these TV’s is truly breathtaking. They are able to display full 1080p resolution. That’s 1,080 lines of horizontal resolution. Newer models such as Sony’s 4K models are able to display even twice as many lines of resolution. And while there is little to no source media out there with this high of resolution, it will surely be right around the corner.
In the meantime these TV’s upscale the existing HD formats with the higher resolution. This makes for a dramatically lifelike picture that makes TV and movies truly seem as though you are in the action.
The black levels, contrast, and motion of digital TV’s has increased greatly in the last few years as well. Some units are so good that they now make movie and TV sets look unrealistic. This is something that producers and directors are having to adjust for.
It will be exciting to see what the next 10 years bring to the world of home entertainment as companies keep introducing more and more exciting equipment.