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Here is the mini glossary and further down a run down on resolutions for you.

Resolutions continued

HDMI - High Definition Multimedia Interface.

An audio video interface made up of sockets on devices and compatible HDMI cables for transferring the latest digital media from component to component. Originally version 1.0, but now having gone through 1.1 (added DVD-Audio), 1.2 & 1.2a (added up to 8 channels of one bit audio and sRGB colour space use), 1.3 & 1.3a, b, b1 & c (added increased bandwidth for deep colour transfer rates and streams for new audio sources DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD), 1.4 & 1.4a & b (added increased resolution support for 4K UHD, 3D, Ethernet support and ARC-Audio Return Channel) and now 2.0 (Further resolution bandwidths to handle 4K at 60 FPS-frames per second as well as higher bandwidth audio channels and a number of technical colour space and chroma sampling improvements. Also the inclusion of a 21:9 aspect ratio support). HDMI is also referred to by most custom installers as "A complete pain in the arse"!

DVI - Digital Video Interface

This has been around for some time and could be seen as the forerunner of HDMI. It uses a larger plug to transfer its information and doesn't generally carry audio. A popular connection for computers where it can carry further information such as a mouse input makes it de-facto for that market. It can be adapted to plug into a HDMI socket, or vice versa - however, in most instances it does not have the necessary HDCP compliance (see below) and so may not always work.


This connection is made up of a Red, Blue and Green connector and is capable of carrying High Definition picture as well as HDMI. However in many instances, the output resolution is capped because movie companies don't like the fact that it's not able to copy protect its output. Still the connection of choice by many high end gurus since it doesn't have the sinc issues of HDMI. But, due to copyright protection it's almost impossible to use now.


An analogue signal using a mini din plug with four connectors in the end. Although it cannot send HD signals, it does send non HD material very well by splitting the Chrominance and luminance (the colour information and the brightness information) into separate signals. This results in a much sharper signal than straightforward Composite.


This single phono looking cable is usually Yellow and it carries non high definition material in a no separated format, this results in some colour smearing and loss of detail. However it is capable of travelling long long distances without degradation and so is handy for multi-room installations where the ultimate in quality is not required.


A 21 pin connector that carries both video and audio information. It also has pins for switching purposes. Can send signals as composite, SVideo and RGB (a bit like Component but without any form of High Definition or Progressive capability). Poor connection layout and cheap cables can make this form of connection give poor results.


An analogue and fairly basic method of anti copy protection used on Video cassettes which causes the colour and luminance to drop out at regular intervals making copies un-watchable.

HDCP - High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection

Is a digital encryption algorithm that protects the contents of Dvd discs, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray against digital copying. The machine performs a handshake type function with what ever it is being plugged into, if this item is not HDCP compliant then it will not display a picture.

EDID - Extended display identification data 

A display structure provided by a digital display to describe its characteristics and capabilities to source components that maybe connected to it.


A TV/Flatpanel/Projector that conforms to at least a minimum level of specifications for HDTV. Usually 720 lines.

DVB - Digital Video Broadcast

The European standards body responsible for digital TV broadcasts. DVB-T is concerned with digital terrestrial TV (DTT) systems like Freeview, which are received through a TV aerial.


Is the new standard for digital terrestrial broadcasts. It uses a more powerful digital compression system than the older standard.

100Hz or better

A system which displays TV pictures at twice the normal rate in order to remove flicker. (See also Progressive under the facts and figures section). Rates many times this are now being used on modern displays, but the same principle still applies.


A high definition standard which displays 720 picture lines in progressive scan mode.


TV's with this type of display can show high definition images with 1080 picture lines. However, each frame or picture is split into two halves before being displayed - a process known as interlacing.


A high definition standard which displays 1080 picture lines in progressive scan mode. Sets with 1080p can also show images with 1080 picture lines, but in this case, all the lines are displayed at once. This helps reduce some of the picture artefacts you can get with interlacing - see 1080i. Sets with 1080p are sometimes described as 'Full HD' of 'True HD', but many manufacturers try and avoid these terms in order to remove consumer confusion (is it working?).


Films are generally shot at 24 frames per second and TV's with 24p compatibility are designed to give a more film-like experience when watching movies from a Blu-Ray or HD Disc.


TV's/Projectors being built with 4K Ultra High Definition pictures have a resolution almost four times greater than 1080 TV's with a resolution of 4096 x 2160


A possible future format with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 meaning it represents on screen sixteen times the information of current 1080 screens.

LCD - Liquid Crystal Digital displays

Are becoming less popular now since the introduction of LED TV's. Images offer good colour saturation and a light picture, but at some cost of contrast and motion blur.

LED - Light Emitting Diode displays

Are pretty much deficit nowadays. Really an LCD TV, but unlike an LCD it is lit by LED's rather than a single point backlight (a little like an old fashion strip light you would have in your office) as in LCD TV's. This gives bright images and high colour saturation offering a dazzling picture, not always great on lower definition pictures, but can be stunning on full HD.


Plasma displays were the high end choice for flat screens of 42" and over. Their more natural colours, stability under moving pictures and high contrast levels make them more the Cinema lovers choice. However, their expensive manufacturing costs and the advent of OLED TV's has proved to be the death of this method of TV and whilst they are still for sale, no manufacturer is currently investing in future research and development with Plasma.


A new type of display that uses Organic Light-Emmiting Diodes instead of Liquid crystal or energised Phosphorous Plasma gases. Certainly one of the display types to watch out for in the future. Due to its design of lighting (or not lighting) each individual pixel, the black levels far surpass LED TV's and even Plasma.


A new technology working somewhat in a similar way to OLED in as much as every individual pixel is capable supplying light on demand (LCD TV's which include LED TV's have to be lit from an external back or edge lighting source and therefore cannot individually turn off all light emissions) and so have the same advantage of black levels. But they do not degrade as fast as OLED and are more tuneable for narrow bandwidths of colour making them more accurate for colour definitions than even OLED. They are also very adaptable for flexible screens.

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