New Web Site Educates Consumers in HD - TvTechnology

New Web Site Educates Consumers in HD

During his Macworld Expo keynote speech, Apple CEO Steven Jobs teamed up with Sony president Kunitake Ando to proclaim 2005 as the year of high definition video and television. Readers of this newsletter are aware that there is likely some truth in this. They have also heard more than once that buying HDTV hardware and
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During his Macworld Expo keynote speech, Apple CEO Steven Jobs teamed up with Sony president Kunitake Ando to proclaim 2005 as the year of high definition video and television. Readers of this newsletter are aware that there is likely some truth in this. They have also heard more than once that buying HDTV hardware and selecting HD program services can be daunting to the consumer.

A new Web site attempts to demystify HDTV for consumers, rather than to be a meeting place for techie enthusiasts. The site has an extensive definition of what HDTV is, and a set of FAQs. It also describes the two types of HD DVDs that are almost available to the consumer.

The stated aim of the Web site is to provide the "...most accurate, up-to-date, and easy to digest information..." to the consumer. The site could use some fact checkers because there are some accuracy problems. We learn, for example, that the HD DBS service Voom is a cable service, and that the Advanced Television Systems Committee is the "American Television Standards Commission". There is also confusion on the part of the writer in the description of HDTV about scanning lines. We are told that NTSC has 480 lines while PAL has 625, but, "In both systems however, the actual number of lines used to display the picture is fewer than that because of the time it takes the cathode ray tube in a television to 'flyback' from the bottom of the screen to the top." Say again? Be on the lookout for flying cathode ray tubes! We know that NTSC has 525 total lines and 483 active lines, while PAL has 625 total lines and 576 active lines, and that SD DTV has 480 active lines. Also, the description of flying CRTs is not likely to help clear up anybody's confusion.

The above notwithstanding, this is a commendable effort, because consumer confusion runs rampant on the subject of HDTV. It would be an even more commendable effort if it got the facts straight.