Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sony LCD TV model range explained

With a number of different lines offering a vast array of LCD TV's with different specifications, it is easy to become bogged down in the detail of Sony's current crop of flat panels.

To make things a little easier for those of you who are considering buying a Sony LCD we have summarized the main differences between their current UK line up.

Essentially, differences between Sony's LCD TV's boil down to; Picture processing technology (Incarnation of their 'Bravia Engine' and any accompanying wizardry such as 100Hz processing); Screen resolution (Full HD or not); Connections (How many HDMI inputs etc).

Sony's flagship X3000/3500 series is equipped with the latest incarnation of their picture processing engine 'Bravia Engine Pro' along with 100Hz processing, Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, 10-bit panel, Live Colour Creation, 24Hz Tru Cinema and 3 HDMI inputs.

The one step down W3000 series retains the X3000/3500 features apart from 100Hz with picture processing being handled by the 'Bravia Engine EX'

The V3000 retains all of the features of the W3000 apart form losing an HDMI input and the 10-bit panel.

The D3000/3500 series is a bit of an anomaly in that the D3000 is equipped with 100Hz processing, 3 HDMI inputs and a 1366 x 768 resolution while the D3500 gains Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution but loses 100Hz processing and sports 2 HDMI inputs. Both models feature the standard 'Bravia Engine' picture processing technology and retain 24Hz Tru cinema.

The T3500 panels feature the standard 'Bravia Engine', are all equipped with Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution panels but lose 24hz Tru Cinema and come with 2 HDMI inputs.

The S3000 series has the same spec as the T3500 but gains an HDMI input (3) but loses Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution.

The P3020 retains most of the T3500's features but loses a single HDMI input (2).

The U3000 series retains all of the P3020's features apart from the built in digital TV tuner (present on all other models).

Table of terrestrial HDTV transmission systems

Main characteristics of three DTTV systems
Source coding
Video Main Profile syntax of ISO/IEC 13818-2 (MPEG-2 – Video)
Audio ATSC Standard A/52 (Dolby AC-3) As defined in ETSI DVB TS 101 154 - as H.264 AVC and/or ISO/IEC 13818-2 (MPEG-2 – Layer II Audio) and/or Dolby AC-3 ISO/IEC 13818-7 (MPEG-2 – AAC Audio)
Transmission system
Channel coding
Outer coding R-S (207, 187, t = 10) R-S (204, 188, t = 8)
Outer interleaver 52 R-S block convolutional (I=12, M=17, J=1) 12 R-S block
Inner coding rate 2/3 Trellis code PCC: rate 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8; constraint length = 7, Polynomials (octal) = 171, 133
Inner interleaver 12 to 1 Trellis code bit-wise, frequency, selectable time
Data randomization 16-bit PRBS
Modulation 8VSB (Only used for over the air transmission)
16VSB (Designed for cable, but rejected by the cable industry, cable TV uses 64QAM or 256QAM modulation as a de facto standard)
QPSK, 16QAM and 64QAM
Hierarchical modulation: multi-resolution constellation (16QAM and 64QAM)
Guard interval: 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 & 1/4 of OFDM symbol
Two modes: 2k and 8k FFT
BST-COFDM with 13 frequency segments
Hierarchical modulation: choice of three different modulations on each segment
Guard interval: 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 & 1/4 of OFDM symbol
Three modes: 2k, 4k and 8k FFT

TV resolution

The Sony Television Range Explained

Sony decided they wouldn’t bother with plasma TVs any more, instead opting to concentrate on LCD TVs.

The result is the BRAVIA range of LCD Televisions. Initially you had the three main ranges: the entry level Sony BRAVIA S-Series, the Sony BRAVIA V-Series and the Sony BRAVIA X-Series.

There are very subtle differences between the models, which Sony says is updated every year. All three models have the BRAVIA Engine technology that provides vivid and high contrast images while reducing picture noise. They also all use Sony’s 7th generation LCD panel which is a large sheet of glass that provides a clearer image (without getting technical, the larger the glass the better quality the end image).

All the Sony BRAVIA range also have Super Patterned Vertical Alignment (S-PVA) LCD panel technology which produces a wider viewing angle of 178 degrees, so no matter where you are in the room, the colour and contrast will be maintained. Sony has also put in their LCD TVs a super-fast 8ms response time which means pin-sharp, smoothly moving pictures, even on high-speed movies without the ghosting you might otherwise get.

The newest Sony LCD TV's are the S-3000 series and D-3000 series.

The D-3000 range includes the fantastic one-touch Home Theatre control feature. Hook up all of your HD equipment, e.g. Blu-Ray Disc Player, HD DVD Player or Playstation 3 via the 3 HDMI connectors and operate them all in one go with a single press of the power button on the Bravia Theatre Sync remote. This will also turn down the TV sound and allow the Home Theatre audio take over.

The 24p True Cinema feature will display movies played through either a Blu-Ray player or HD DVD player, at the original 24 frames per second that they we originally captured in, resulting in the perfect image and sound you could possibly expect.

Another important factor in displaying the perfect image is the refresh rate and the D-3000 series doubles the standard refresh rate from 50Hz to 100Hz by using Motionflow +100 technology. This superbly intelligent image function allows the human eye to visualise image motion much smoother and more realistic than an image without the technology.

A new Sony range of HD LCD TV’s would not be complete without an enhanced colour reproduction system and with the D-3000 range a 10bit panel has been included compared to the 8bit panel that is usually offered. Thus resulting in 1024 shades of gradation so real life colours and textures really will show and therefore taking TV and Movie watching into a whole new level.

The S-3000 series releases a new range of high definition ready LCD TV’s which are to feature the ‘Bravia’ Theatre Sync system which send signals through the HDMI ports enabling the home entertainment to be controlled by a single button press. This also results in the LCD TV itself being switched on as well as audio equipment and the Blu-Ray Disc player, DVD player or HD DVD player that is connected. This new range has 3 HDMI connectors for the ultimate in connectivity and through these connectors signals will be sent via all hardware and will power them up or switch them off with one button on the Bravia Theatre Sync remote.

The BRAVIA S-3000 series will be available in 30, 40 and 46 inch models and the D-3000 series will be available in 46inch.

The BRAVIA S-Series comes in 26inch, 32-inch, 40-inch and 46-inch HD LCD screen sizes has a contrast ratio of 1300:1 and a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Obviously the S-Series is HD ready and while it’s 720p it can also accept 1080i HD signals. And as well as an integrated Digital TV tuner it also has an HDMI port.

The Sony BRAVIA S-Series also uses fully digital amplification for a low-noise, hiss-free output through its integrated stereo speakers thanks to SRS TruSurround XT technology.

The Sony BRAVIA V-Series have a few extras not found in the S-Series, and hence costs a little more. The Sony V-Series uses Sony Live Colour Creation technology which gives a boosted spectrum of colour providing truer reds and greens.

It also has Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) which as well as being a mouthful is an exclusive Sony design employing improved light-emitting phosphors which completely transforms the characteristics of the screen.

The Sony BRAVIA V-Series models are available in 32-inch, 40-inch and 46-inch screens.

This Sony proudly says is the first true HD1080 LCD TV. That means it’s the first Sony HD TV capable of displaying high definition on a 1920 x 1080 LCD Panel. So while the S and V series will squash 1080 images to fit a 720 screen, this has enough room to give you the full experience.

The Sony BRAVIA X-Series and BRAVIA W-Series use a BRAVIA ENGINE EX, an upgrade that increases the resolution by a factor of up to four, doubling the number of vertical lines and horizontal pixels. What this does is give an image with an unprecedented degree of detail and clarity, which raises SDTV to a completely new level. Sony calls this process “Digital Reality Creation”.

The Sony BRAVIA X Series and BRAVIA X-Series also come with twin HDMI inputs and integrated Digital tuner and three Scart and two Component interfaces and the sound quality has been improved on by using powerful integrated speakers and Dolby Pro Logic II Virtual Surround digital signal processing and BBE Digital technology.

Sony has also increased the size of screens with the introduction of the R2000 series. This is a huge 70 inch LCD with everything the X and W series has. And the A2000 series will again be similar but available in a 55 and 70 inch screen size.

So now you know what you get with the BRAVIA series but what do all those numbers mean at the end of the products?

Sony says that anything with KDL means BRAVIA LCD. The two digit number next to it is the size of the screen, and the letter following it is the series type. The final four numbers are the year the TV came out and are put there to aid manufactures rather than the consumer.
Like everything models come and models go.

So the Sony KDL 42X2000U is the X series Sony Bravia TV with a 42 inch screen.

The KDF range that you might see is Sony’s Rear Projection TVs. If you’re looking for a high definition television with a large screen but can’t afford an LCD, read projection TVs are bigger and bulkier but cheaper.

The Bravia S Series

sony 46" lcd tv
The KDL-46S2010 is largest of the S-series

 KDL-26S2010  TV
The KDL-40s2010 is the entry level 40" LCD TV.

sony32 inch bravia tv
Award winning 32" the KDL-32s2010

Sony 26" LCD TV
Sony KDL-26S2010 26" High performance panel

Sony KDL-46D3000 LCD TV

Sony KDL-46D3000 46" HD Ready LCD with Bravia Theatre Sync

The Bravia V Series

Sony kdl-40v2000 Television
The KDL-46V2000 is the largest LCD TV in the V-series

KDL-40V2000 Tv
The KDL-40V2000 42" is one of the most popular TVs on

 Sony KDL-32V2000 Bravia LCD TV
The KDL 32V2000 Winner of the What HiFi Supertest July 2006. Great TV.

Sony KDL-46S3000 46" HD Ready LCD with Bravia Theatre Sync

The Bravia X Series

Sony kdl-46x2000 LCD TV
The new HD Ready X series LCD has 1920x1080 resolution.

The Bravia W Series

Sony kdl-46x2000 LCD TV
The new HD Ready W series LCD has 1920x1080 resolution.

Sony newest range of TVs:

Sony Bravia KDL-46D3000

Sony Bravia KDL-32S3000

Sony Bravia KDL-40S3000

Sony Bravia KDL-46S3000

HDTV Contemporary systems

Components of a typical satellite HDTV system:1. HDTV Monitor 2. HD satellite receiver 3. Standard satellite dish 4. HDMI cable, DVI-D and audio cables, or audio and component video cables
Components of a typical satellite HDTV system:
1. HDTV Monitor
2. HD satellite receiver
3. Standard satellite dish
4. HDMI cable, DVI-D and audio cables, or audio and component video cables

Besides a HD-ready television set, other equipment is needed to view HD television. Cable-ready TV sets can display HD content without using an external box. They have a card slot for inserting a CableCARD.[17].

High-definition image sources include terrestrial broadcast, direct broadcast satellite, digital cable, high definition discs (BD and HD DVD), internet downloads and the latest generation of video game consoles.

Recording and compression

HDTV can be recorded to D-VHS (Data-VHS), W-VHS (analog only), to a HDTV-capable digital video recorder (for example DirecTV's high-definition Digital video recorder, Sky HD's set-top box, Dish Network's VIP 622 or VIP 722 high-definition Digital video recorder receivers, or TiVo's Series 3 or HD recorders), or a HDTV-ready HTPC. Some cable boxes are capable of receiving or recording two broadcasts at a time in HDTV format, and HDTV programming, some free, some for a fee, can be played back with the cable company's on-demand feature. The massive amount of data storage required to archive uncompressed streams make it unlikely that an uncompressed storage option will appear in the consumer market soon. Realtime MPEG-2 compression of an uncompressed digital HDTV signal is also prohibitively expensive for the consumer market at this time, but should become inexpensive within several years (although this is more relevant for consumer HD camcorders than recording HDTV). Analog tape recorders with bandwidth capable of recording analog HD signals such as W-VHS recorders are no longer produced for the consumer market and are both expensive and scarce in the secondary market.

In the United States, as part of the FCC's "plug and play" agreement, cable companies are required to provide customers who rent HD set-top boxes with a set-top box with "functional" Firewire (IEEE 1394) upon request. None of the direct broadcast satellite providers have offered this feature on any of their supported boxes, but some cable TV companies have. As of July 2004, boxes are not included in the FCC mandate. This content is protected by encryption known as 5C.[18] This encryption can prevent duplication of content or simply limit the number of copies permitted, thus effectively denying most if not all fair use of the content.

SONY BRAVIA Technology

BRAVIA typifies what Sony television stands for - the best resolution, the best audio, fully digital and of course the best picture, driven by BRAVIA Engine Picture Enhancement System.

The BRAVIA range offers the perfect combination of cutting edge technology and contemporary free flowing design

BRAVIA Breakthrough Technology


BRAVIA engine is what makes a Sony BRAVIA totally unique. But what is BRAVIA Engine - In short it is a suite of image processing technologies that act as a total digital processing studio. It works to improve the image quality from any signal. As a result, you will see clearer, sharper and more natural images especially relevant when watching standard definition or a Freeview signal

In Addition to the standard BRAVIA engine, there are 2 enhanced versions available


BRAVIA Engine EX: Also has further noise reduction, super enhanced contrast and advanced natural colour. It also features Digital Reality Creation (DRC), which up-scales standard definition inputs by quadrupling the number of pixels in the image source to create HD picture quality

BRAVIA Engine Pro

BRAVIA Engine Pro: Is the highest form of BRAVIA Engine. In addition to the benefits of BRAVIA Engine EX, BRAVIA Engine Pro features advanced Digital Reality Creation (DRC) which further enhances high definition inputs such as from Sky HD, to give clearer and sharper HD images

Motionflow +100Hz

Conventional LCD Televisions show 50 pictures, or frames, a second (50Hz). Sony's unique Motionflow +100Hz system, which is introduced with the new D-series, doubles the amount of pictures shown to 100 per second (100Hz).
Standard 100Hz Technology can create motion blur or a judder in the picture, however Sony's unique Motionflow +100Hz system combats and eliminates this by intelligently manufacturing the additional frames rather than just repeating them

Dynamic Contrast

Dynamic Contrast is the maximum amount of difference between black and white, where as Standard Contrast is the contrast visible on the screen at any one time. A high number is impressive, but it is essential not to forget about the greys in the middle - and that's where Sony is unique with Advanced Contrast Enhancer (ACE). A unique Sony Algoritm (part of ACE) ensures the subtle shades of grey also remain.

BRAVIA Theatre Sync

All New BRAVIA will feature BRAVIA Theatre Sync, with a single touch of a button; you will be able to control your entire home entertainment system. Essentially it will automatically turn on all components, change input and get sound thus eliminating the requirement for numerous remote controls

Live Colour Creation

Live Colour Creation combines circuitry, backlight and a colour filter to create a picture which is more realistic and a natural fit to the human eye, the result is deeper greens and deeper reds. The consumer benefit is that you can see 30% more colours with "Live Colour Creation".

Disadvantages of HDTV expressed in non-technical terms

In practice, the best possible HD quality is not usually achieved. The main problem is that many operators do not follow HDTV specifications fully. They may use slower bitrates or lower resolution to pack more channels within the limited bandwidth.[14] The operators may use format that is different from the original programming, introducing generation loss artifacts in the process of re-encoding.[15] Also, image quality may be lost if the television is not properly connected to the input device or not properly configured for the input's optimal performance, which may be difficult because of customer confusion regarding connections.

You will have to buy the appropriate cable for example in most cases a HDMI cable or component cables. These are often more expensive. For instance, if Composite or S-Video cables are used for connections from a cable box or satellite dish then only an SDTV quality picture will be seen. HDMI provides the best picture and sound but are also generally more expensive than Component cables.

As high-definition video broadcasts are digital, the disadvantages of digital video broadcasting also apply here. For example, digital video responds differently to analogue video when subject to interference. As opposed to a lower-quality signal one gets from interference in an analogue television broadcast, interference in a digital television broadcast will freeze, skip, or display "garbage" information. Broadcasters may aggressively compress video to save bandwidth and therefore broadcast more channels - this compression manifests itself as reduced video quality.

In order to view HDTV broadcasts, viewers may have to upgrade their TVs which come at expense. Adding a new aspect ratio makes for consumer confusion if their display is capable of one or more ratios but must be switched to the correct one by the user. Traditional standard definition TV shows and feature films (mostly movies from before 1953) originally filmed in the standard 4:3 ratio, when displayed correctly on a HDTV monitor, will have empty display areas to the left and right of the image. Many consumers aren't satisfied with this unused display area and choose instead to distort their standard definition shows by stretching them horizontally to fill the screen, giving everything a too-wide or not-tall-enough appearance. Alternately, they'll choose to zoom the image which removes content that was on the top and bottom of the original TV show.[16]

As of 2007, broadcasters may demand, or cable-television operators may elect, to place HD signals in a premium band that requires higher cable fees. That some satellite companies offer the local HD channels as a service at additional cost (transmission comes from satellite) suggests to some broadcasters that on-air broadcasts of local HD signals must be a premium service to subscribers. Viewers may be denied some television channels that they expected, be allowed only access to the non-digital, and obviously sub-standard non-digital signal, or have to install an antenna to receive the digital broadcasts. Such issues more entail economic and legal disputes than they entail technology.

Another disadvantage of HDTV compared to traditional television has been consumer confusion stemming from the different standards and resolutions, such as 1080i, 1080p, and 720p. Complicating the matter have been the changes in television connections from component video, to DVI, then to HDMI. Finally, the HD DVD vs. Blu-ray Disc high definition storage format war for a period of time created confusion for consumers. This particular format war was recently "settled" with Blu-ray emerging as the victorious standard.

Samsung Adds a Little Elegance With The PAVV 650 LCD TV

Samsung has added more TVs to their PAVV line, this time three high-end LCDs at 40, 46 and 52 inches. Incorporating a new LCD panel, dubbed "crystal rose," the TVs have slim-bezel cases with touches of red, which at least makes them a dash more elegant than the usual run-of-the-mill black boxes. Samsung has also upped the eco-friendliness by avoiding volatile organic compounds in the design. The screens are 120Hz, full HD and use the Digital Natural Engine technology. They'll be available in Korea at first, then worldwide by the end of April, for between $3,375 and $6,120

Advantages of HDTV expressed in technical terms

Plus, high-definition television (HDTV) yields a better-quality image than does standard television, because it has a greater number of lines of resolution. The visual information is some 2-5 times sharper because the gaps between the scan lines are narrower or invisible to the naked eye.

The lower-case "i" appended to the numbers denotes interlaced; the lower-case "p" denotes progressive. The interlaced scanning method, the 1,080 lines of resolution are divided into two, the first 540 lines are painted on a frame, the second 540 lines are painted on a second frame, reducing the bandwidth. The progressive scanning method simultaneously displays all 1,080 lines of resolution at 60 frames per second, on a greater bandwidth. (See: An explanation of HDTV numbers and laymen's glossary)

Often, the broadcast HDTV video signal soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, enabling full, surround sound capabilities, while STBC television signals include either monophonic or stereophonic audio, or both. Stereophonic broadcasts can be encoded with Dolby Surround audio signal. Brasil opted to upgrade the ISDB-T Japanese standard to H.264 AVC Mpeg4 part 10 in the video compression and HE-AAC for audio compression because Dolby is not open and the royalty fees are more expensive than that of Mpeg4 H.264 AVC and renamed the upgraded standard to ISDB-Tb that now became the International ISDB-T standard.

HDTV signals and colorimetry

HDTV signals and colorimetry are defined by Rec. 709. MPEG-2 is most commonly used as the compression codec for digital HDTV broadcasts. Although MPEG-2 supports up to 4:2:2 YCbCr chroma subsampling and 10-bit quantization, HD broadcasts use 4:2:0 and 8-bit quantization to save bandwidth. Some broadcasters also plan to use MPEG-4 AVC, such as the BBC which is trialing such a system via satellite broadcast, which will save considerable bandwidth compared to MPEG-2 systems. Some German broadcasters already use MPEG-4 AVC together with DVB-S2 (Pro 7, Sat.1 and Premiere). Although MPEG-2 is more widely used at present, it seems likely that in the future all European HDTV may be MPEG-4 AVC, and Norway, which is currently in the progress of implementing digital television broadcasts, is using MPEG-4 AVC for present SD Digital as well as for future HDTV on terrestrial broadcasts. In parts of Sweden the standard is already in use for HDTV terrestrial broadcasting, reaching about 25-30% of the population. Brasil was the first country in the American continent to begin broadcasting H.264 AVC video and HE-AAC audio as the main program (or multi) compression and the same H.264 AVC in LDTV 240p using AAC-LC as audio for mobile DTV devices, not only mobile phones.

HDTV is capable of "theater-quality" audio because it uses the Dolby Digital (AC-3) format to support "5.1" surround sound. The pixel aspect ratio of native HD signals is a "square" 1.0, in which each pixel's height equals its width. New HD compression and recording formats such as HDV use rectangular pixels to save bandwidth and to open HDTV acquisition for the consumer market. For more technical details see the articles on HDV, ATSC, DVB, and ISDB but the ISDB-Tb used primarily in Brasil uses HE-AAC that is more flexible than AC-3 and lower royalty fees..

Television studios as well as production and distribution facilities, use the HD-SDI SMPTE 292M interconnect standard (a nominally 1.485 Gbit/s, 75-ohm serial digital interface) to route uncompressed HDTV signals. The native bitrate of HDTV formats cannot be supported by 6-8 MHz standard-definition television channels for over-the-air broadcast and consumer distribution media, hence the widespread use of compression in consumer applications. SMPTE 292M interconnects are generally unavailable in consumer equipment, partially due to the expense involved in supporting this format, and partially because consumer electronics manufacturers are required (typically by licensing agreements) to provide encrypted digital outputs on consumer video equipment, for fear that this would aggravate the issue of video piracy.

Newer dual-link HD-SDI signals are needed for the latest 4:4:4 camera systems (Sony Cinealta F23 & Thomson Viper), where one link/coax cable contains the 4:2:2 YCbCr info and the other link/coax cable contains the additional 0:2:2 CbCr information.

Sony Bravia KDL-40D3500 40in LCD TV

After making a frankly underwhelming start in the flat TV world, the time now finally seems right for Sony to start re-establishing the sort of dominance and association with quality that it once enjoyed with its Trinitron CRT TVs.

After all, the introduction of the first Bravia range marked a significant leap forward in Sony's flat TV quality, ambitions, and fortunes, so there's every reason to hope that the second generation of Bravias, as represented today by the KDL-40D3500, will advance things again.

First impressions, though, aren't spectacularly promising. For its design is totally uninspiring; just a boring dark rectangle for the most part, with the only ‘flourish' coming from a thin silver outer trim. Woo. Given the groovy designs now being delivered by Sony's Korean rivals, the Japanese brand really does need to start trying a little harder in the aesthetics department

Connectivity is something of a mixed bag, too. On the downside, the set only carries two HDMIs when we increasingly like our large HD TVs to have three. But these HDMIs can, at least, take 1080p/24 feeds from Blu-ray players, and are joined by more or less everything else you'd expect of a modern TV, including component video and D-Sub VGA options.

The 40D3500's panel is a full HD affair, sporting a very striking claimed contrast ratio of 16,000:1 - the same figure as that quoted by Pioneer for its KURO plasma TVs, with their genuinely groundbreaking black levels. Crikey. If Sony has really managed to coax black levels out of an LCD TV that rival those of the leading plasma TV around, then the 40D3500 will really be something to talk about.

However, before we start to get too excited about this, we have to point out that inevitably, unlike with plasma technology, the 40D3500 can only claim a 16,000:1 contrast ratio by using a dynamic backlight system, whereby the backlight output (and therefore the image's brightness) is reduced when dark scenes are detected. The ‘native' contrast of the Sony panel with the dynamic backlight inactive is a rather more down to earth 1,800:1...

Still, as well as deserving credit just for actually publishing this more realistic figure when most rival brands don't, 1,800:1 is really not a bad native contrast ratio by LCD standards. The L37X01 we looked at recently, for instance, could only muster 900:1.

Design Score Design for Design
Features Score Features for Features
Image Quality Score Image Quality for Image Quality
Sound Quality Score Sound Quality for Sound Quality
Value Score Value for Value
Overall Score Overall for Overall

Broadcast station format considerations

At the least, HDTV has twice the linear resolution of standard-definition television (SDTV), thus showing greater detail than either analog television or regular DVD. The technical standards for broadcasting HDTV also handle the 16:9 aspect ratio images without using letterboxing or anamorphic stretching, thus increasing the effective image resolution.

The optimum format for a broadcast depends upon the type of videographic recording medium used and the image's characteristics. The field and frame rate should match the source and the resolution. A very high resolution source may require more bandwidth than available in order to be transmitted without loss of fidelity. The lossy compression that is used in all digital HDTV storage and transmission systems will distort the received picture, when compared to the uncompressed source.

Types of media

Standard 35mm photographic film used for cinema projection has comparable resolution to HDTV systems, but is exposed and projected at a rate of 24 frames per second. To be shown on television in PAL-system countries, cinema film is scanned at the TV rate of 25 frames per second, causing an acceleration of 4.1 per cent, which is generally considered acceptable. In NTSC-system countries, the TV scan rate of 30 frames per second would cause a perceptible acceleration if the same were attempted, and the necessary correction is performed by a technique called 3:2 pull-down: over each successive pair of film frames, one is held for three video fields (1/20 of a second) and the next is held for two video fields (1/30 of a second), giving a total time for the two frames of 1/12 of a second and thus achieving the correct average film frame rate.

See also: Telecine

Older (pre-HDTV) recordings on video tape such as Betacam SP are often either in the form 480i60 or 576i50. These may be relatively easily up-converted to a higher resolution interlaced format such as 720i, but removing the interlace to match the common progressive 720p format may distort the picture or involve filtering that even reduces the resolution of the result.

See also: Deinterlacing

Non-cinematic HDTV video recordings intended for broadcast are typically recorded either in 720p or 1080i format as determined by the broadcaster. 720p is commonly used for Internet distribution of high-definition video, because most computer monitors operate in progressive-scan mode. 720p also imposes much less strenuous storage and decoding requirements compared to both 1080i and 1080p. 1080p is used for Blu-Ray and HD DVD recordings.

List of stations

  • In Australia, the 576p50 format is also considered a HDTV format, as it has higher vertical resolution through the use of progressive scanning. When Australia started DVB-T in 2001 several networks broadcast high-definition in a 576p format as this could give better quality on 50 Hz scanning CRT TVs and was not as demanding on MPEG-2 bit-rate. Now that flat-screens are predominating and these have an interlace to progressive scan conversion there is little difference in picture quality. Also MPEG-2 encoders have improved so the more conventional 720p and 1080i formats are now used. Technically, the 576p format is internationally defined as Enhanced-definition television and many DVD players can provide a 576p signal usually on HDMI outputs.
  • In Germany, HDTV is broadcast via Cable and Satellite on 2 channels. PremiereHD and AnixeHD. ProSiebenHD and Sat1HD have stopped broadcasting in HD until 2010.

All channels are broadcast using the h.264 codec. The public channels ARD and ZDF are considering starting their HDTV channel(s) in 2010, though it's still unknown how many channels will be broadcast and if terrestrial is going to be a part of their strategy to get HDTV into German living rooms.

Samsung Bordeaux 650 full LCD TV

Samsung has announced its full HD (1080p) LCD TV 'PAVV Bordeaux 650 Series'. Specs include TOC (Touch of Color) design with a hint of rose-red color blended into its traditional piano black bezel frame. The response time has been cut to 4ms thanks to the new high-speed liquid crystal used. And due to the fast response time, along with Samsung's Auto Motion Plus 120Hz motion blur reduction technology, motion blur and judder has been reduced dramatically. Thus this makes the TV ideal for playing video games and watching action sports. Other cool specs include sophisticated networking and easy connection capability providing up-to-the-minute access to weather, news, sports and stock information via a cable and is a click away through the HDTV's Ethernet port.

The Bordeaux 650 allows consumers to access a wide range of digital and multimedia devices thanks to four HDMI ports and a down-firing speaker. It will come in three different sizes including 40-, 46-, 52-inch models, for around 3,200,000(KRW) or $3,350, 4,700,000(KRW) or $4,900 and 5,800,000(KRW) or $6060 respectively. The set will be launched for the Korean markets.

HDTV sources

The rise in popularity of large screens and projectors has made the limitations of conventional Standard Definition TV (SDTV) increasingly evident. A HDTV compatible television set will not improve the quality of SDTV channels. To display a superior picture, high definition televisions require a High Definition (HD) signal. Typical sources of HD signals are as follows:

  • Over the air with an antenna. Most cities in the US with major network affiliates broadcast over the air in HD. To receive this signal a HD tuner is required. Most newer high definition televisions have a HD tuner built in. For HDTV televisions without a built in HD tuner, a separate set-top HD tuner box can be rented from a cable or satellite company or purchased.
  • Cable television companies often offer HDTV broadcasts as part of their digital broadcast service. This is usually done with a set-top box or CableCARD issued by the cable company. Alternatively one can usually get the network HDTV channels for free with basic cable by using a QAM tuner built into their HDTV or set-top box. Some cable carriers also offer HDTV on-demand playback of movies and commonly viewed shows.
  • Satellite-based TV companies, such as DirecTV and Dish Network (both in North America), Sky Digital (in the UK and Ireland), Bell ExpressVu and StarChoice (both in Canada) and NTV Plus (in Russia), offer HDTV to customers as an upgrade. New satellite receiver boxes and a new satellite dish are often required to receive HD content.
  • HD programming can be located by ZIP code and by provider at this site:
  • Video game systems, such as the Xbox, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360, and digital set-top boxes that rely on an Internet connection, such as the Apple TV, can output a HD signal. The Xbox Live Marketplace, iTunes, and Playstation Network services offer HD movies, TV shows, movie trailers, and clips for download, but at lower bitrates then Blu-ray or HD-DVD.
  • Most newer computer graphics cards have either HDMI or DVI interfaces, which can be used to output images or video to a HDTV.
  • Two optical disc standards, Blu-ray Disc (25GB-50GB) and HD DVD (15GB-30GB), can provide enough digital storage to store hours of HD video content.[9]


HDTV broadcast systems are defined threefold, by:

  • The scanning system: progressive scanning (p) or interlaced scanning (i). Progressive scanning simply draws a complete image frame (all the lines) per image refresh, whereas interlaced scanning draws a partial image field (every second line) during a first pass, then fills-in the remaining lines during a second pass, per image refresh. Interlaced scanning requires significantly lower signal/data bandwidth, but an interlaced signal loses half of the vertical resolution and suffers "combing" artifacts when showing a moving subject on a progressive display (although the worst effects can be mitigated by suitable image post-processing known as 'deinterlacing'). As some compensation, however, interlaced mode provides finer time-sampling, giving two (half-resolution) image samples in the same time interval as one (full-resolution) image sample in progressive mode.
  • The number of frames per second or fields per second.

The 720p60 format is 1280 × 720 pixels progressive scanning with 60 fields per second (60 Hz). The 1080i50 format is 1920 × 1080 pixels (ie 2 MP) interlaced scanning with 50 fields per second. Sometimes interlaced fields are called half-frames, but they are not, because two fields of one frame are temporally shifted. Frame pulldown and segmented frames are special techniques that allow transmitting full frames via an interlaced video stream.

For commercial naming of the product, either the frame rate or the field rate is often dropped, e.g. a "1080i television set" label indicates only the image resolution.[10] Often, the rate is inferred from the context, usually assumed to be either 50 or 60 Hz, except for 1080p, which denotes 1080p24, 1080p25, and 1080p30, but may include 1080p50 and 1080p60 in the future.

A frame or field rate can also be specified without a resolution. For example 24p means 24 progressive scan frames per second, and 50i means 25 interlaced frames per second consisting of 50 interlaced fields per second. Most HDTV systems support some standard resolutions and frame or field rates. The most common are noted below.

Standard Display Resolutions

Standard Definition usually refers to 480 vertical lines of resolution or more.

Resolution (W×H) Active Frame (W×H) Canonical Name(s) Pixels (Advertised Megapixels) Display Aspect Ratio (X:Y) Pixel Aspect Ratio - Standard "4:3" (X:Y) Pixel Aspect Ratio - Widescreen "16:9" (X:Y) Description
720×480 710.85×486 480i/p 345,600 (0.3) 3:2 4320:4739 10:11 5760:4739 40:33 Used for 525-line/ (60 * 1000/1001) Hz video, e.g. NTSC-M
720×576 702×576 576i/p 414,720 (0.4) 5:4 128:117 12:11 512:351 16:11 Used for 625-line/50 Hz video, e.g. PAL-I

When resolution is considered, both the resolution of the transmitted signal and the (native) displayed resolution of a TV set are taken into account. Most HDTV sets contain video scalers and will "upscale" or "upconvert" the transmitted signal to that of the set's native format.

Sometimes the progressive versions of these video formats are referred to as EDTV, or "Enhanced Definition Television." This is slightly misleading, for although a progressive frame contains double the image information as that of an interlaced frame, Standard Definition is already capable of displaying progressive frames, for example in MPEG video with the appropriate "Progressive" flag set. Despite this, 480p/576p signals are not currently broadcast.

High-Definition Display Resolutions

High Definition usually refers to 720 vertical lines of video format resolution or more.

Pixel Resolution (W×H) Video Format Supported Pixels (Advertised Megapixels) Aspect Ratio (X:Y) Description
Image Pixel
1024×768 HD Ready 786,432 (0.8) 16:9 4:3 Typically a computer resolution XGA; also exists as a standardized "HD-Ready" TV size on the Plasma display with non-square pixels.
1248×702 720p Clean Aperture 876,096 (0.9) 16:9 1:1 Used for 750-line video with raster artifact/overscan compensation, as defined in SMPTE 296M.
1280×720 720p 921,600 (0.9) 16:9 1:1 Typically a computer resolution WXGA, also used for 750-line video, as defined in SMPTE 296M, ATSC A/53, ITU-R BT.1543, Digital television, DLP, LCD and LCOS projection HDTV displays.
1366×768 720p/1080i, HD Ready 1,049,088 (1.0) 683:384
(Approx 16:9)
Typically a TV resolution WXGA; also exists as a standardized "HD-Ready" TV size. HDTV common pixel resolution, that used on LCD HDTV displays.

1280×1080 HD Ready 1080p 1,382,400 (1.4) 32:27
(Approx 16:9)
3:2 Non-standardized "HD-Ready" TV size. Used on HDTV Plasma display.
1440×1080 HDCAM/HDV 1080i 1,555,200 (1.6) 4:3 4:3:1 Used for anamorphic 1152-line video in the HDCAM and HDV formats introduced by Sony and defined (also as a luminance subsampling matrix) in SMPTE D11.
1888×1062 1080p Clean Aperture 2,001,280 (2.0) 16:9 1:1 Used for 1152-line video with raster artifact/overscan compensation, as defined in SMPTE 274M.
1920×1080 1080i/1080p, HD Ready 1080p, Full HD 2,073,600 (2.1) 16:9 1:1 Used for 1152-line video, as defined in SMPTE 274M, ATSC A/53, ITU-R BT.709. HDTV common pixel resolution, that used on LCD HDTV displays.
3840×2160 2160p 8,294,400 (8.3) 16:9 1:1 Quad HDTV, (there is no HD Ready 2160p Quad HDTV format).

It should be noted that the numbers used for "HD-Ready" image resolutions do not constitute acceptable 750- or 1152-line video signals in most standards-compliant hardware; in this respect terms such as "720p" and "1080p" are mostly used for advertising, though that does not necessarily mean that HD-Ready TVs labeled in this manner are incapable of accepting those formats as input.

Additionally, the "Clean Aperture" numbers are almost always contained within the frames of their respective "Production Aperture" numbers (e.g., a 1888×1062 rectangle would be contained within a 1920×1080 frame). This is to maintain compatibility with analogue signals, which can often become distorted close to the edge of the frame. It also increases the chance that a digital signal being played on overscan-enabled equipment will display the entire picture visibly.

A common pixel resolution used in HD Ready LCD TV panels is 1366 x 768[11] pixels instead of the ATSC Standard 1280 x 720 pixels. This is due to maximization of manufacturing yield and resolution of VGA, VRAM that comes with a 768 pixel format. Hence, LCD manufacturers adopt the 16:9 ratio compatible for the HD Ready 1080p video standard. Nevertheless, every HDTV has an overscan processing chipset to fix resolution scaling and color rendering, eg LG XD Engine, SONY BRAVIA Engine. Only when viewing 1080i/1080p HD contents under HD Ready 1080p where there is true pixel-for-pixel reproduction, and for HD ready LCD TV, do some signals undergo a scaling process which results in a 3-5% loss of picture.

Standard frame or field rates

  • 23.976p (allow easy conversion to NTSC)
  • 24p (cinematic film)
  • 25p (PAL, SECAM DTV progressive material)
  • 30p (29.97p in drop frame) (NTSC DTV progressive material)
  • 50p (PAL, SECAM DTV progressive material)
  • 60p (59.94p in drop frame) (NTSC DTV progressive material)
  • 50i (PAL & SECAM)
  • 60i (59.94i in drop frame) (NTSC, PAL-M)

Sony KDL-40D3500 Review

40in LCD
Peerless HD performance tempered by slightly disappointing SD pictures.
HD Ready: yes
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Rating: 89%


The KDL-40D3500 is the embodiment of Sony's design philosophy with a chic matte black understated presence that simply oozes class. Build quality is back to its very best with the Sony looking like it could have been sculpted from a solid block of metal.


A change in model number from 3000 to 3500 would suggest that the KDL-40D3500 represented a relatively minor upgrade from its predecessor the KDL-40D3000. However, the changes in specification are more wide ranging than you would imagine.

Screen: 40in 16:9
Tuner: Digital
Sound System: Nicam
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Contrast Ratio: 1800:1 (16,000 dynamic)
Brightness: 450cd/m2
Other Features: Bravia Picture Processing Engine, Live Colour Creation, 24p True Cinema.
Sockets: 2 HDMI, 2 SCART, Component Video, Composite Video, PC input.

To begin with, the 40D3500 gains a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution which can potentially give a marked improvement in the display of sources such as Sky Tv (1080i). The 1080 lines of resolution match the resolution of the screen negating the need for any picture scaling to fit. If you have a device which outputs pictures in the superior 1080p (e.g. Sony's PlayStation 3) the 3500 can accept those pictures in their full glory.

'Motionflow +100Hz' technology (featured on the 40D3000) which doubles the number of frames shown from 50 to 100 by interpolating an extra frame in between each source frame does not feature on the 40D3500.

With 2 HDMI inputs, the 3500 has one less than the 3000 model. Otherwise, the specification of both screens are largely similar.

The Sony 40D3500 is equipped with '24p True Cinema' which enables the panel to display films at their intended 24fps (frames per second).

Alongside 24p True Cinema is Sony's 'Theatre Mode' technology which adjusts colour, contrast and brightness settings to makes movies look as authentic as the original.

It is worth mentioning that the 24p mode comes into its own with High Definition (Blu-ray or HD DVD) players which allow you to play movies at their original speed. The original 'cine' film is generally recorded at 24 frames per second, which in the absence of '24p True Cinema' is speeded up to 25 (standard for most TV's) frames per second with an accompanying increase in audio pitch.

Colour reproduction on the KDL40D3500 should offer smoother transitions than previous Sony LCD's with a new 10-bit panel offering 1024 shades of gradation.

Theatre Sync, which is Sony's name for CEC (Consumer Electronic Control), is a control standard that functions over HDMI 1.3. The technology facilitates one-touch control over compatible devices and in practice means that if you fire up your compatible DVD player, the all connected devices such as your LCD TV will also spring into life.

Sonically, the KDL-40D3500 comes equipped with Sony's S-Force Front Surround which is their latest virtual surround sound technology.


Although specification has changed considerably between the 3500 and 3000 models, performance comparisons reveal a not so dramatically differing performance.

As with the previous model, High Definition (HD) is where the Sony KDL-40D3500 excels. Hook up a 1080p capable source however, and you have even more pristine pictures. The KDL-40D3500 displays a clarity and sharpness that make you want to reach out and touch objects or people as they glide across the screen. Colours are wonderfully vibrant and reach a level of authentic realism to match any LCD.

Although black levels are still behind the best that plasma can offer, the KDL-40D3500 has made great strides in this area from previous Sony's. Shadow detailing now takes on a subtlety which is a match for any 40in LCD currently out there.

Again, Standard Definition (SD) performance suffers to a degree from some of the inconsistencies that creep into a picture as a result of the conversion of a 576p source to an HD ready screen configuration.

The effectiveness of Sony's Motionflow +100Hz has always been open to question, and the fact that the 40D3500 does not seem to suffer too much from its departure suggests that this technology is not quite the complete article as yet. There was some evidence of a little more motion blur and shimmering than on the 3000, and the picture did appear to be very slightly 'grainy', but not to any great degree. The picture quality is still pretty good, but you'll have a hard time shifting down from HD because the picture is so outstanding in this respect.

Finally, if there is a 40in LCD TV out there with a richer or more precise colour palette, we have yet to see it. The range, depth and subtlety in this respect is simply outstanding. The most intricate of detailing such as skin tone is realised with class leading performance.


The Sony KDL-40D3500 is a highly accomplished performer when it comes to High Definition material. However, if SD viewing is just as important there are better performers out there.