I’ve been watching high-def TV on my Mac for about a year now. Of course, I don’t actually have a Mac HDTV tuner, so I’m not watching broadcast TV, but I do have a couple of HD-DVDs, and I’ve been buying movies from iTunes in HD as well. The image quality is much better than standard-def DVDs, broadcast TV or cable.
I was watching “The Bourne Supremacy” last night and was struck by the incredible detail in the picture. In one scene Matt Damon’s face fills the screen; in another he’s standing on a rocky hillside with a bunch of buildings in the background. The detail was just amazing. There are lots of other examples, but those two really stood out to me–and they’re all recorded at 1280x720p, which is only half as many pixels as 1920x1080p.
If you have an HDTV set and an HD tuner, then it doesn’t make sense to watch TV on your computer unless you want to watch a show that isn’t being carried by your local channels. If you only have a computer monitor and no TV set at all, then it may be worth looking into getting one of the new low-cost HD
The key to this difference is the way a PC display works. A traditional TV uses interlaced video signals that display half of the lines in one image at 60 times per second, then fills in the other half with another image, also during a 1/60th of a second. The result is an image that appears to be a full resolution, even though it’s really only 1/2 resolution — and its motion is jerky.
Not so on your computer monitor. In this case, you’re probably dealing with a progressive-scan display system, which shows all of the lines of an image at once. This gives you more definition in the picture and smoother motion — just like what you see in commercial high-definition television broadcasts.
You’re not likely to see as much improvement in standard-definition DVDs as you’ll see in high-def movies and TV shows on your computer monitor. The compression techniques used on standard DVDs aren’t as good as those used on high-def DVDs or digital HD broadcasts.
The bottom line: Your PC monitor gives you a better picture than your TV does — even if your TV is high definition.
With the introduction of Blu-ray drives and HD capable video card, watching high-definition television on your computer is now a reality.
HD televisions are great for watching High Definition television as well as playing High Definition movies but what about your PC?
With a HD Video Card, a HDMI cable and a Blu-ray drive you can enjoy all the benefits of High Definition TV on your PC! You can watch your television shows on your PC or even play high definition games.
This year, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) estimates that 2.6 million HDTVs will be purchased in the U.S. While this is great news for everyone who has already made the switch to HDTV, there are still a lot of people who are hesitant to take the plunge.
One of the most popular reasons cited by those not willing to buy an HDTV yet is that they don’t want to invest in a new TV when they already have a perfectly good TV set. This is a valid point, but it doesn’t have to be an obstacle to enjoying television in high definition.
While you can’t make your current TV set into an HDTV, you can enjoy high-definition programming on your computer screen. Thanks to the digital transition and Microsoft’s Media Center technology, it’s possible to use your current computer like a DVR and watch all of your favorite shows in high definition.
How Does It Work?
To put it simply, you will be using your computer as a digital video recorder (DVR). You will connect your HDTV antenna or cable box to your computer via either S-video or composite video cables, which you should be able to find at any electronics store. Once everything is connected and configured properly, you
“I watch TV on my computer a lot,” he said. “I don’t have a TV, and I’ve always watched movies on my computer instead of buying DVDs. When I went to Best Buy and saw the high-definition TVs for the first time, I realized that I could get one of those for the price of a second monitor. So I bought a 42″ HDTV and set it up in my office as my main monitor.”
The idea behind this is actually very smart. If you think about it, people are now using their computers more than they are using their televisions. They watch movies, television shows, and even sports on their computers. It’s easier than getting up to change the television channel or pop in a DVD every time you want to do something different.
In addition to the obvious conveniences of watching TV on your computer, there are some additional benefits.
Since HDTV is digital it is free of the noise and interference that you would normally expect to see on an analog signal. This makes it much easier on the eyes.
The resolution is so high it allows for home theater-sized screens without any noticeable pixelation. This, combined with the low glare of a monitor when compared to a TV screen, makes for a very pleasurable viewing experience.
Finally, HDTV has superior color reproduction when compared to analog signals due to its use of 24-bit color instead of 8-bit color. This means that the colors are more vibrant and easier on the eyes than standard television broadcasts.
Plasma and LCD screens are larger, thinner, and brighter than CRT monitors. They have higher contrast ratios and wider viewing angles than CRT monitors. They have a wider color gamut than CRT monitors, which means they can display a broader range of colors. They have lower power consumption than CRT monitors, which translates to lower electricity bills. They don’t produce the high-frequency noise that CRTs do.
The biggest downside is price: Plasma monitors are expensive, and LCD monitors are still too expensive for some people’s tastes. In addition, since plasma and LCD screens are flat with no curvature, you get some distortion if you sit too far off-axis. The horizontal viewing angle of most TFTs is about 160 degrees; at more extreme angles, the colors invert (dark becomes light and vice versa). The viewing angle on plasma displays is even narrower; many plasmas have a maximum horizontal viewing angle of only 120 degrees.