The Dawn of High Definition

Show me HD!

Show me HD!

We have been publishing news about High-Definition (HD) televisions and have even previewed the advantages of Blu-ray and HD-DVD video playback. The big question is, has HD finally arrived? Are all the building blocks required to build a HD entertainment arena in your own home really here?

To cut the chase short, HD is already here and it's live and kicking with the launch of new HD capable devices such as the Xbox 360 and the more recent PlayStation 3 (PS3) gaming consoles, digital video camcorders such as the Canon HV10 and monster display panels like the Pioneer PDP-5000EX Plasma television that's able to support a full 1080P display resolution. In today's article, we are putting aside the technical nitty-gritty for once and showing you what you can personally expect from the world of high-definition in the area of video playback, gaming and video capturing. To demonstrate that, we'll quickly run through the HD capable equipment that's in our lab at the moment for this visual showcase:-

Oh yes, we do have a PS3 at the moment, as well as other high-definition compliant products to bring you this visual treat. If this doesn't convince you of the usefulness of HD, you probably aren't the right target segment of the marketing blitz from these consumer electronics giants!

For high-definition video playback, we had the PlayStation 3 (which also doubles up as a Blu-ray player too) and a PC equipped with HD DVD drive to show you what we have been missing out from regular DVDs. For this purpose we have one movie but two versions of it - a HD DVD variant and a standard DVD. As for gaming, we sampled the difficult-to-obtain PS3 along with some 1080p capable game titles such as Ridge Racer 7. Last but not least, we took the Sony HDR-SR1 HD camcorder for a spin and took footages using SD and HD resolutions. Hopefully, this will give you a glimpse of how high-definition can impact the way we view our home videos.

But before we get on with our HD showcase, let us backtrack a bit to recap what HD really is. To put it simply, HD is anything greater than Standard Definition (SD), which is the resolution used on current TV broadcast and DVD videos. There are three main HD resolutions/standards at the moment: - 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The best reproduction quality (and the most demanding) of the lot is the 1080p standard, which is also commonly referred to as "Full HD". With that in mind, let's kick-start this article showcasing Blu-ray and HD DVD movie playback on the Sony Bravia 40X200A HDTV which supports Full HD resolutions (1080P).

The audio/video specifications support of a Blu-ray PlayStation 3 game. One of the titles available with 1080p support is Ridge Racer 7.

The audio/video support specs for the Swordfish HD DVD movie.

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