The quality of picture is paramount when you watch television or movies on your home theater system. The display, be it a television or produced by some kind of projection system, is the focal point of the room and centerpiece of the home theater setup. This article will explain some of the jargon used to describe picture quality in these devices and issues that you need to consider when buying a home theater display system.
There are a number of different technologies that are used to create a display system. The old type is the cathode ray tube (CRT). This technology seems to be going out of fashion now and is being superseded by plasma and LCD technology. There are many reasons why plasma and LCD's are becoming more popular but when it comes to selecting a TV one of the most important factors is resolution.
The resolution is, effectively, how clearly the image is resolved on the screen. That means how clear things are to the naked eye; can you read the number plate of the sinister car that drives past the protagonists apartment for example.
Resolution is often defined in terms of number of lines that are displayed from top to bottom by the screen. Standards for this are 480, 720 and 1080. That means a picture made up of 1080 vertical lines will be much clearer than a 480.
Resolution is broken down into native resolution and input resolution. Native resolution simply means the number of lines that will be displayed.
Input resolution means the type of input resolutions that the TV or display will accept. Thus, if a TV network broadcasts a program at a resolution of 480 but your television has a resolution of 1080 will it accept the broadcast and display it correctly.
Another consideration of the display is the scanning method. Scanning method is simply how the video is produced on the screen. There are two methods in use, interlaced and progressive. When video is displayed on the screen it ‘draws’ each of the lines of resolution. This is done very quickly so it is hardly noticed by the eye. In the case of interlaced scanning there is a slight delay between alternate lines that are being drawn onto the screen. The slight flickering of a television screen is often attributed to this method of scanning the picture.
In progressive there is no delay between the lines as they are drawn. Progressive scanning is the latest method and does not have the flicker affect and is often thought to be more film like in terms of picture quality.
Picture quality differentiation often abbreviates these two factors to give a simple way to compare competing systems. Consequently you will see a TV specification as 1080i or 1080p for picture resolution. If you were looking at two TV's rated as 720p or 1080p then you would probably go for the 1080p if picture resolution was really important to you. Of course the cost would be more so you have to factor this into any buying decision.
Find reviews on the latest home theater components, including the hub of any home theater, the home theater receiver at http://www.hometheaterreviewed.com . Adrian Whittle writes reviews and features on home theater equipment and accessories.