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IPTV – A Beginner’s Guide

Analog television has existed for nearly half a century while standard definition TV (SDTV) has been here for more than a couple of years. The problem today is more and more information has become available in high definition that isn’t any more suited for seeing in analog TV and SDTV. The change to High Definition TV (IPTV) appears inevitable however there are apprehensions if to do it and what products to take into account. This article will give fundamental knowledge on IPTV and aid in the decision procedure.

Evolution from Analog TV to Digital TV

Before IPTV was designed, there have been two prominent analog TV standards – NTSC and PAL/ SECAM. Both standards use interlacing engineering and 4:3 screen aspect ratios. Throughout the analog age, there were also attempts to create IPTV such as the MUSE of Japan. This was eventually turned off due to major channel bandwidth requirement. Then came the development of video compression technologies such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1. This enabled IPTV to be appropriate for broadcast in available station spectrum in satellite, satellite and broadband programs. This also led to the development of optical media such as HD DVD and eventually Blu-ray.

Benefits of IPTV over Analog TV and SDTV

Greater screen resolution is the most noticeable benefit of IPTV over analog and SDTV. For analog TV, the image is composed of horizontal interlaced lines. For SDTV, it’s 480p wherein the image consists of progressively scanned frames. For many IPTV formats – 720p, 1080i and 1080p, the interlaced lines or advanced frames are much larger which bring about better image quality. Another benefit of IPTV is that the image or aspect ratio. It utilizes 16:9 versus 4:3 for analog TV and SDTV which bring about cinema-like viewing.

What are the various forms of IPTV display?

Plasma is screen technology predicated on gas composed of xenon and neon which can be sandwiched between panels of glass. It provides better color and black image response and contains faster screen refresh speed that make it perfect for seeing fast-moving videos. Normal screen size is 50-inch with typical price tag of $1,500. LCD is screen technology based on liquid crystals. Benefits over plasma are more screen life, no screen burn, greater glare reaction and lower energy consumption. Normal screen size is 37-inch with typical price of about $1,000. Projection TV, the more popular of which is DLP, is a cheaper alternative to plasma and LCD. This is really a rear projection technology which uses microchip projectors in combination with a color wheel and a range of tiny mirrors. IPTV provides a higher contrast ratio and which makes it feasible for DLP to become lighter rendering it perfect for bigger IPTV venues. Normal price for a 72-inch screen size is about $2,000.