What is High Definition?

A web page for a major Australian electronics retailer says that the Fujitsu 106cm plasma display, P42VHA20 has the following features:

  • High Definition 42-inch (16:9)
  • 852 x 480 pixel panel

Wrong! No doubt they’ve been confused by the fact that this display will accept high definition input signals. But what it actually shows is a low definition picture. Like many of the less expensive panels, it was designed for the US and Japanese markets which use NTSC. This has a vertical resolution of 480 lines. But here in Australia (and in Europe and India) we use PAL which uses 576 lines. So a panel like this actually reduces broadcast TV resolution. Panels with a vertical resolution of 720 or 768 pixels can probably get away with the hi-def tag, but not one with just 480 pixels.

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