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The definition of High Definition?

Ben Drawbaugh

One of the reasons we love HD so much is because it's so complicated, sure that makes us uber-geeks, but we're comfortable with that. You'd think that if nothing else, the definition of High Definition would be pretty straight forward, but when PR departments get a-hold of a phrase, things have a tendency to be as clear as mud. But it isn't just PR spin, ask HD enthusiasts what the definition of HD is and you'll almost always get a different answer. Ask a few industry groups and we'd bet you still won't get a consistent response. There was a time when the CEA would allow any TV with more than 480 lines to use the HDTV logo, but these days 720p is the minimum. On top of all this, some manufacturers have adopted the term Full HD to describe 1080p. So why should we expect a big wig like Steve Jobs to get it right?

In the recent Apple announcement Steve said "Turns out that HD camcorders don't have sensors that are full HD, so they produce images that are slightly lower than HD, but are still stellar. We use that res, which is close, but not quite HD. Best you can do under $10k" Even the earliest consumer HD camcorders were 1440x1080i which is almost twice as many pixels as 720p, but yet he doesn't consider it "HD". We find this interesting considering the Apple TV isn't true HD by this definition either. It's no doubt that 1080p60 is the holly grail of HD video, but saying that 1280x720 (or higher) isn't HD, is as wrong as calling HD Radio; HD Radio -- yes we have an HD Radio and love it, but it's not HD.

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