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Do you remember when cable television first came on the market? You may or may not be old enough to remember that event, but I can tell you that it was exciting. All of a sudden the three or four television channels you were used to getting became more like twenty, or more, depending on where you lived! What’s more, all of that static you were used to dealing with while watching television with your rabbit ears picking up the signal was gone. No more snow! That was truly an exciting and landmark event.
These days, there is something that is happening in cable television that is almost as exciting and nearly as revolutionary as when cable TV first came out. What is this revolution in your cable watching experience? It is what is now called high definition, or HD for short, cable television. It’s a service that is being marketing all over the country to eager television fans. HD cable is all the convenience and channels that cable television offers but with much better picture quality. Once you have seen HD cable, you won’t believe your eyes. You won’t want to go back to standard cable television either!
What is HD Cable?
So, just what is this high definition cable television? Well, it is cable TV that is brought to you in the same reliable format as standard cable but at a much higher picture resolution. Standard cable television is broadcast at a resolution of 480 lines of vertical display. HD cable, on the other hand, is broadcast at a resolution of 720 or 1080 lines of vertical resolution. That means that HD cable offers you resolution at up to more than twice that of regular digital cable! You have to see HD cable to believe the difference it makes.
The picture resolution isn’t the only advantage of HD cable. Another advantage of this kind of cable is the picture format, or aspect ratio, of the signal brought to you by HD cable. All movies and many television programs are shot in 16:9 aspect ratio, the widescreen image you are used to seeing when you go out to the movies. Many older televisions were made in a more square shape, which is why watching movies on these old sets used to give you the option of letterboxing: reducing the screen area of the picture to preserve the 16:9 aspect ratio. Given that most televisions used this square shape, standard cable companies broadcast their movies and television that way. However, HD cable now broadcasts all of it signals in the widescreen format. This makes for a much better watching experience.
Finally, the other advantage of HD cable is not just better picture quality but better sound quality, as well. The signal that HD cable brings you not only carries more information on the image that is broadcast, thus leading to higher resolution, but also more information on the sound. This translates to a listening experience unlike any you can get with standard cable.
What You Need for HD Cable
When you make the crucial transition to HD cable, you will need a few things. What you should remember is that digital cable is not the same thing as HD cable. Digital cable is sent digitally to your television, but it is not necessarily broadcast in high definition. HD cable is its own class of digital cable.
Thus, to enjoy the benefits of HD cable, you will need a TV that can accept and display the HD signal. This may require you to upgrade your existing television. Given the superior experience of HD cable, however, this upgrade will pay for itself. Next, you will need an HD compatible cable box. This cable box will be supplied to you by your HD cable company or could be built into your new HD television. Last, you will need a cable company that supplies the HD cable signals. With the growing popularity of HD cable, companies offering this service are spreading quickly across the country.
The truth of it is HD cable is superior to standard cable in almost every way. The picture is better, the sound is better, and you get to see movies in the aspect ratio in which they were meant to be seen. In other words, HD cable brings you a watching experience that is almost like going out to the movies! All you will need is the popcorn!
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