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HDTV and Projectors

Updated on August 4, 2008

Understanding HDTV

Projector owners take note. Using your projector and screen as a primary source for watching sports on television, as well as movies for the HDTV experience is possible without breaking the bank on a new HDTV projector. Now it sounds complicated, but consider these facts and gain a clearer understanding of HDTV and projectors.

All projectors in use today have what is known as a native ratio. This means that it has a standard format in which it produces images. Standard HDTV broadcast formats are 1080i (1920 x 1080), or 720p (1280 x 720). If the projector has a native ratio less than either of these two formats, the projector must re-format or scale (compress) the signal before producing the image, which results in the loss of some of the intended picture clarity from HDTV.

The bottom line is that all projectors are built to scale a wide variety of incoming signal formats into their one native display. They will all do standard television, they will all do DVD, and almost all of them will do HDTV 1080i and 720p as well. In addition, most of them will display a variety of computer resolutions, including SVGA, XGA, and so forth. Really, when it comes to HDTV, there are only two circumstances where scaling is not required: 720p for a projector with 1280x720 native resolution, and 1080i for a projector with 1920x1080 resolution.

The diminished picture quality is marginal, as a scaled HDTV image is still better than the analog or digital signal that some broadcasts are shown in. If your home theater is relatively new, you just got your projector, or you are worried that your projector doesn't do HDTV, it does. You are just seeing a scaled version of the HDTV signal

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    • Bonhams profile image

      Bonhams 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the article!

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