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HDTV (high definition television ) & Digital


TV Introduction
By Diego Villa
Created 09/21/2008 - 18:21

Technology aspect ratio digital tv modulation video compression

High-Definition Television (HDTV) is a digital television system with greater resolution than
analog television systems (NTSC, PAL/SECAM) and standard-definition television (SDTV)
and Digital TV is more flexible and efficient than analog television. The big bandwidth
requirement for HDTV necessitates the development of video compression techniques like
MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. With MPEG-2 compression, a typical 6MHz TV bandwidth
can contain up to 4 SDTV channels or 1 HDTV channel.

Early Developments:

Before HDTV was developed, there were two major analog TV standards. One is NTSC
developed in the US which runs at 525 lines at 60 Hz. The other is PAL/ SECAM developed
in Europe which runs at 625 lines at 50 Hz. Both standards use interlacing and 4:3 aspect
ratio.

There were early attempts to develop analog HDTV. The most succesful was Japan’s MUSE
which was launched in the 1990s. It has an aspect ratio of 5:3 and 1125 interlaced lines at
60fps. It requires bandwidth greater than the traditional systems and was eventually turned
off in 2007.

Digital TV:

The big bandwidth requirement for HDTV necessitates the development of digital video
compression. MPEG-1 was initially developed and later MPEG-2 which became the defined
transport stream in the DVB standard. Later developments in compression technology saw
the rise of MPEG-4 with many variants, the most popular of which is the H.264 standard. With
MPEG-2 compression, a typical 6MHz TV bandwidth can contain up to 4 SDTV channels or 1
HDTV channel.

Aside from the developments in video compression, different digital TV transmission


standards were also developed. In the US, the ATSC standard was developed based on
8-VSB modulation. In Europe, it was DVB-T and in Japan, ISDB-T. The two latter standards
are both based on COFDM modulation.

In 1983, the ITU set up a working group to come up with a common standard for HDTV.
There were thorny issues especially on the frame rate which is 25 fps for countries with 50Hz
AC mains and 30 fps for those with 60Hz AC mains. There was agreement however on the
aspect ratio which became 16:9, the mean between the traditional TV 4:3 aspect ratio and

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HDTV (high definition television ) & Digital TV Introduction http://dev.emcelettronica.com/print/51961

cinema’s 2.35:1.

Popular HDTV and SDTV Formats:

The above three formats are available in different variants according to frame rate used –
24fps, 25fps, 30fps, 50fps and 60fps.

Future Developments:

NHK of Japan started development of Super Hi-Vision technology and showed prototype in
2002. Its resolution is far better than HDTV at 7680 x 4320 or around 16x greater. But
because of the huge amount of data involved in this format, along came the requirement for
cameras, transmission technology and display media that can handle such content. It will
take some time before commercial deployment of this format takes place.

Trademarks

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