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Thursday, October 20, 2005

HDTV, future viewers’ choice

Features of the week:

on technology is being introduced by manufacturers for the electronic consumers globally, reports REMMY NWEKE.

High Definition Television (HDTV) is gradually gaining grounds in the lives of electronic consumers nowadays.

This is more rampant in developed countries especially Europe and some parts of Asia Pacific, known for their electronic prowess.

HDTV has the ability to receive signals with a higher resolution than the traditional formats like the America’s National Television System Committee (NTSC) and the Phase-Alternating Line (PAL) or Sequential Couleur Avec Memorie - Sequential colour with memory – (SECAM), could allow, mostly in television broadcasting.

NTSC is responsible for setting television and video standards in the United States, while in Europe and the rest of the world, the dominant television standards are PAL and SECAM.

Popularly refer to as broadcast done digitally; HDTV introduction coincided with that of digital television, DTV. Although this term, HDTV, was used as far back as 1930s to connote the replacement of the early experiment systems, which difference depends on the module of broadcasting.

Broadcasting, therefore, as the distribution of audio and video signals – TV, is known as programmes to a number of recipients, identified as viewers, according to Wikipedia.

TV is a telecommunication system for broadcasting by way of receiving moving pictures and sound over a distance. The HDTV context stipulates that the formats of broadcasts be referred to using a notation description. That is, the number of lines in display resolution, progressive frames or interlaced fields and number of frames or fields per second.

And when compared with Standard Definition Television (SDTV), HDTV has at least, twice the resolution of SDTV, which allows it to show more detail pictures compared to an analog - non-digital television or even the regular Digital Video Displays (DVDs).

This is additional to the technical standards for broadcasting HDTV, which further have shown increased effect in its contents’ resolution. Thus it has four times resolution than SDTV according to experts.

With the aforesaid values, it was not surprising that manufacturers of electronic consumers’ products, like LG Electronics, Philips, Grundig, Samsung, are now battling at Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) exhibitions and conferences to showcase their latest HDTV modules.

As at April this year, Samsung Electronics has concluded plans with Microsoft Corporation to infuse what was described as a revolutionary HDTV alliance by the Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics at Samsung Electronics America Inc, Mr. Peter Weedfald.

The alliance would see Samsung exclusively marketing Microsoft’s next generation Xbox high definition gaming platform.

LG Electronics on the other hand is dazzling consumers with its high definition Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Plasma Digital Panel TVs, as the firm continues to dish out its 102-inch models which the company said boosts of full level HD and in essence doubling the existing level of HD of 1 million pixel – 1,365,768.

Chief executive of Philips Consumer Electronics, Mr. Rudy Provoost, told newsmen at this year’s Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA-05) held in Berlin recently, that research has shown the public is tired of not being able to record a programme on TV, and spending hours reading instruction manual.

“… We want simplicity in our relationship with technology … technology that gets the job done rather than drawing attention to itself” he asserted.

Noting that there is three fundamental huddles to cross before a product could meet this demand, namely designed around the user’s needs; two, it must be easy to experience and three, advanced and innovative.

All this he found in Philips’ HDTV anticipated to hit market before the year ends. He summed it up as a metamorphosis of the whole consumer electronics value chain that brings added benefits to consumers and forcing manufacturers to rethink.

“It forces our industry, broadcasters and content providers, operators, retailers and customers and even policy makers and regulators to wake up and see the wave of transformation it will bring,” Mr. Provoost declared.

Nonetheless, foreseen problem here centers on the readiness of developing nations like Nigeria and regulators of telecommunications and precisely those charged with core broadcasting; to wake up like Mr. Provoost pointed out, and rethink, because this would constitute another form of digital divide in the globalization drive, else such countries become a dumping ground for outdated electronics.


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