HD addiction

twitter-logoNidhi Singal | Print Edition: February 2014
HD addiction has hijacked the gadgets
Photo: Reuters

High Definition resolution has hijacked our gadgets and got us addicted. Nothing less than full HD satisfies us. Our TVs and phones were already streaming full HD content, Now laptops too are going beyond 1366 x 768 pixels and have full HD displays.

Understanding the HD world: In the old CRT TVs, the maximum number of lines supported was 480. Now things have changed. Flat panel TVs be they LED, LCDs or Plasma, support 1080 lines to provide sharp pictures with vibrant colours. While HD means 1080 x 720p, this resolution has been take over by full HD, which stands for 1920 x 1080p resolution.

Then what's retina display?

Many wonder if retina display is better than HD resolution. Well, they are completely different. While HD resolution is measured in lines or by multiplying height and width, 'retina display' is the name Apple gave its device displays with high pixel density to the extent that the human eye is not able to spot individual pixels from an average viewing distance.

The focus of TV manufacturers has shifted to flat panel TVs. Some have even stopped producing CRTs. Flat panels offer multiple options - LCD, LED, Plasma - that are further combined with HD Ready, Full HD and smart TV. Here are some of the best TVs with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080)

LG 42LN5710

LG 42LN5710

Price: Rs 52,500
What's special about this flat panel display from LG is its ability to connect to an external HDD and access the time-shift feature that lets you pause and record Live TV straight to the storage. This eliminates the need for set-top boxes with recording facility. It is NFC ready and WiDi capable. This full HD TV is one of the best in the market.

Samsung 7500 Smart TV (UA 46F7500)

Samsung 7500

Price: Rs 1,36,500
The 46 inch flat panel LED from Samsung is not only full HD but falls in the smart TV category. It offers a host of connectivity options including 4 HDMI inputs, along with one each of Component and Composite, as well as USB hubs to connect external drives to, for direct media playback and Wi-Fi. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad core processor which enhances the Smart TV functions and gestures.

Sony KLD 32W650A

Sony KLD

Price: Rs 42,000
This LED from Sony has an X-Reality PRO image processing engine which gives amazing image quality. This full HD nonsmart TV can be converted into one by connecting a Wi-Fi dongle. It even has MHL for instant connection to the smartphone.

HD in phones

HD resolution is available on smartphones too. Here's a list of the best smartphones with HD display.

Sony Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia Z1
Price: Rs 40,599
Keeping up with the competition, even Sony has launched full HD smartphones. In one aspect Sony scores over the others - its smartphones are water and dust resistant.




Price: Rs 35,350
The flagship smartphone from LG not only offers full HD display but also packs in a video camera capable of capturing videos of 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second. This phone has a unique design too, where the power key and the volume key have been moved to the back.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Price: Rs 43,999
The big screens on smartphones are improving the content viewing experience. The big 5.7 inch full HD display makes if fun. It has fancy features such as smart pause that pauses any running video when our eyes leave the phone.

HD Laptops: HD started with TVs and has since moved to phones, projectors and what not. It had to come to laptops too. And just like the other gadgets, it first started with 1280 x 720 pixel and 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. Last year, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution got fairly got standardised with a lot many laptops, irrespective of display size boasting this resolution. But there are limited choices in HD laptops at the moment.

HP Envy 15-J001TX

HP Envy 15-J001TX

Price: Rs 84,990
The key features of this machine are the latest quad core Intel Core i7-4700MQ CPU, 8GB of DDR3/1600 memory, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT 740M graphics processor and a 15.6-inch 1080p display. In terms of the performance, this laptop is a winner. It can multi-task without a hitch. Games load quickly. The bight display is accompanied by a brilliant backlit keyboard.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500
Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

Price: Rs 67,000
This machine has a 15.6 inch full HD display along with a powerful graphics card. It is powered by the Intel 3rd Gen Core i7-3632QM quad core processor clocking at 2.2GHz.With 8GB RAM becoming the standard, it also has the Nvidia GeForce GT650M (2GB) graphics chip and 1TB hard drive. Lenovo has packed in the 64-bit Windows 8 operating system on the Y500. It is meant for those who need power and likely to use it while playing games or watching HD videos and movies.

Sony Vaio S15125CN notebook

Sony Vaio

Price: Rs 68,000
With a magnesium and aluminium chassis, this is a robust machine. Sony Vaio S1512CN has an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. On the graphics card front, Nvidia GeForce GT640M (2GB) chip is on board. While it is low on specifications in comparison to others, it packs a 15.5-inch IPS LCD display with full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. All this makes it a perfect laptop, unmatched by the others.

Toshiba Satellite P50

Toshiba Satellite P50

Rs 63,375
Toshiba has launched a new series of premium notebooks with aluminium chassis. Of these, the Satellite P50 comes with an HD Web-Camera, a full HD screen and the new HDMI 4K output specification. The latter enables connecting the laptop to HDMI 4K supported Ultra HD TV via a High Speed HDMI cable. The two variants in P50 run on Windows 8.1 advantage and have a 1TB hard drive with HDD 3D Motion Sensor. Equipped with 4GB RAM, the one priced at `63,375 has an 4th Gen Intel Core i5-4200U 1.6 GHz processor.

Hard on the pocket

Everything is available on HD now. We are able to watch HD movies and even the DTH operators are increasingly adding HD channels to their packages. There are HD Videos on YouTube too. But we still often have to pay extra for accessing HD content. For example, the channel Star World Premier HD - every DTH operator charges extra for it as it is not part of the HD package or even the annual mega plan. Also, those accessing HD services have to shell out more for their set-top boxes and access to the service.

HD Content creation:
With HD content being streamed regularly on our TVs, today most cameras, both stand alone and those part of smartphones, can shoot videos with full HD resolution. The content captured by these devices can be streamed to the TV or laptop by connecting it through MHL or wirelessly through apps.

And Now for 4k…

4K Ultra HD

Why are we talking about HD addiction at a time when the world is moving on to 4k resolution? Also referred as Ultra HD or 4k Ultra HD, this has resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels. However, to get this high resolution image on the normal 16:9 picture format for our TVs, it has reduced to 3840 x 2160. This is still four times the number of pixels on a HD. LG, Samsung and Sony all launched 4K TVs in India last year, but they were expensive. This year, all the big flat panel TV players have announced 4k TVs, which will reach the market in the second half. But where is the 4k content? It is not readily available.

It makes sense to wait a couple of years to buy a 4K TV as by then, this technology may well become more affordable and there will be more content in the 4K format too. Still, if you buy one today, there are some good movie titles available on 4K which you can watch. Also consider 4k upscaling. Some TV manufacturers are adding top chips in their high-end 4K TVs that dynamically address the local image database in order to interpolate the extra data needed for the 3840x2160 picture. It means that you can enjoy the benefits of increased resolution which the 4K TV provides, even if the native content is only full HD.

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