Enhanced Definition Television ? also known as EDTV ? is
one of the many modern viewing technologies of our time.
Often confused with HDTV capability, this is actually a
compromise between standard TV and HDTV. In fact, the
visual benefits are at least twice that of standard
television, since EDTV technology offers a minimum
resolution of 480p when used on a monitor. As a result,
you'll find that this type of system is more expensive than
standard television, yet cheaper than HDTV technology.
While there's been a hew and a cry to purchase the more
expensive ? and higher quality ? HDTV, there are actually
some advantages to the "second best" EDTV version. First,
there can be as much as a $1200 price difference between
the two, and ? in some scenarios ? the viewing quality of
EDTV is superior to that of its pricier counterpart. For
instance, there's only a 10% difference in quality when
you're viewing two plasma TVs that have been produced by
the same manufacturer, but the EDTV soars above HDTV when
the incoming picture has a lower resolution than the
monitor's regular resolution. This is because EDTV
technology allows it to align better with the incoming
If you have an extensive DVD collection, or simply prefer
watching movies via DVD, then the EDTV will offer a better
video experience. Why? Simply because the DVD, which
offers a 480p picture matches perfectly with that of EDTV ?
which is also 480p. That, in addition to the fact that
most content isn't high definition, but happens to have a
pixel count that matches beautifully with the "lower
quality" EDTV system, makes this a better buy. Higher
contrast ratios are also better in the EDTV arena, which
makes the viewing of darker scenes more superior. In fact,
even high definition quality transmissions only suffer a
10% difference in quality between EDTV and HDTV ? yet, the
price of the former is significantly less.
It's a given that if you purchase a set that's of lower
quality, then even EDTV resolution will suffer. If you're
going to invest in a system that offers higher technology,
then you should also be prepared to make the same decision
when it comes to investing in the set which will receive
the images. So, models that come from Sony, Pioneer or
Panasonic will tend to offer a better video experience than
that which comes from an inferior manufacturer.
The bottom line is that ? dollar for dollar ? buying an
EDTV system is a smarter decision than purchasing the HDTV.
When comparing price, difference in viewing quality and
the ratio of programs that are actually offered to the
general public in a high definition format, the EDTV wins,
hands down. So, before you go out and spend about $1200
more than you need to, consider investing your hard-earned
money into the EDTV technology. You'll rarely notice the
difference ? until you check your bank book, that is; then
the difference will become obvious. After all, there's
always the possibility that the chasm between the two
systems may increase in the future, but think of all of the
money that you can save, in the meantime.
© 2006Simon Canfield - All Rights Reserved
Simon Canfield is a hi-tech enthusiast and freelance author.