Higher Quality TV with HDMI
Fred I. Williams | 11/10/2010, 10:33 a.m.
In January 2010 the U.S. changed from an analog television signal to the digital signal format. With the advent of digital media, high definition television, gaming systems delivering high definition graphics and sound, and satellite and cable offering, it is easy to become overwhelmed in deciding what to purchase and when to upgrade.
From handheld digital remote control devices, to all-in-one devices and cell phones, which can double as remotes, there is a lot to take in. You can almost cry out, enough already. Does it ever get easier? So let's take a moment and discuss the difference between analog and digital media.
In analog technology, a wave is recorded or used in its original form. So, for example, in an analog tape recorder, a signal is taken straight from the microphone and laid onto tape. The wave from the microphone is an analog wave, and therefore the wave on the tape is analog as well. That wave on the tape can be read, amplified and sent to a speaker to produce the sound.
In digital technology, the analog wave is sampled at some interval, and then turned into numbers that are stored in the digital device. On a CD, the sampling rate is 44,000 samples per second. So on a CD, there are 44,000 numbers stored per second of music. To hear the music, the numbers are turned into a voltage wave that approximates the original wave.
The key difference between analog and digital technologies is that analog technologies record waveforms as they are, while digital technologies convert analog waveforms into sets of numbers, recording the numbers instead. When played back, the numbers are converted into a voltage stream that approximates the original analog wave. Digital represents the reproduction of the sound /video wave.
These numbers are based upon the binary system of ones and zeros. Analog technology includes such items as vinyl records, 8-tracks, and cassettes. Even VHS tapes are based on Analog technology. Re-mastering older analog recordings cleans up or re-masters, and gives you sound of better quality compared to long playing records (LPs).
Older tapes, whether video or analog wear out with use, while a digital recording renders or plays exactly the same no matter how many times it's played. It is also easily copied and can be archived and transferred in a variety of media and storage devices and formats.
Now that you're even more confused, here's our make it plain moment: If you want great sound, and picture quality, you need high definition television and audio equipment capable of rendering High Definition (HD) content. Cable television and Satellite providers offer HD formats at a premium cost because the picture is sharp with brilliant colors and realistic lifelike sound quality.
Most of today's flat panel televisions support HD media; however, the newer DVD and Digital Video Recorders or DVRs, support HD formats utilizing the HDMI cable. This single cable allows the audio and video signal to be delivered to the monitor. All channels for sound are supported. Today, even 3-D format is available with the glasses and with a Surround Sound system and popcorn, home theatre experiences can rival those of the local cinema house.