Part 2: High Definition (HD) For Dummies & BeginnersPart 2: High Definition (HD) For Dummies & Beginners

Part 2 of 2:

It is essential that you read both parts of this article so that you will acquire the essential knowledge needed to purchase High Definition (HD) electronics. Both parts have been written for you so that you don't make costly mistakes when buying your next High Definition (HD) product.

Part 1 of this article can be read at the following link:

As discussed in Part 1, there is a lot of technical words that can be confusing to beginning High Definition consumers. As a result it was necessary to break the article down into 5 categories:

1. Resolution (Part 1)
2. Screen size & Aspect Ratio (Part 1)
3. Signal Types (Part 1)
4. Cables (Part 2)
5. Media (VCR, DVD, Blu-Ray) (Part 2)


1. Coax Cables - This is the cable that everyone is familiar with. This is the most common type of cable that usually delivers the TV signal from the outside world to your converter box. The coax cable has a small pin in the center surrounded by a silver nut that is used to tighten the cable. The coax cable delivers both video and audio signals. You can see pictures of coax cables here:

2. RCA Cables - These cables are another common cable that most people are familiar with. They can deliver only analog signals between components. There is always one RCA cable for the video and two RCA cables for the left and right audio channels. RCA cables CANNOT be used for high definition video. The RCA video cable is yellow and the RCA audio cables are white and red. The while cable is the left audio channel and the red is the right audio channel. You can see pictures of RCA cables here:

3. Component Cable - These cables are intended to deliver High Definition digital video from your converter box to your TV or to other components. These cables can only deliver analog audio. On one end there are five male connectors that look similar to RCA cables. Three of them are for video and two of them are for audio. The other end has only one female connector. You can see pictures of component cables here:

4. HDMI Cable - These cables are intended to deliver High Definition digital video from your converter box to your TV or to other components. Unlike component cable, HDMI cables deliver digital audio. These cables appear to be very similar to computer cables. Each end of the HDMI is different. These cables tend to be very expensive. There is no need to purchase gold plated HDMI cables. Buying the cheapest HDMI cables is all you need. If you do not care if the audio is digital, then you may want to consider using the component cable instead of the HDMI to save cost. The video is the same quality when comparing between each cable. You can see HDMI cables here:


1. VCR - The VCR to video is what cassette tapes and 8 tracks were to audio. All of them use the analog signal. They are not capable of High Definition video. The VCR is not capable of producing widescreen (16:9 Aspect Ratio) video either. They are only capable of producing standard screen (4:3 Aspect Ratio) video. Like cassette and 8 track tapes, the tapes used in VCRs always produced a level of noise or hiss when played back. This noise was an unavoidable byproduct during playback and could never be eliminated. Noise reduction technologies such as Dolby Noise Reduction (DNR) reduced this "hiss", but, nothing could eliminate it. The use of digital signals would provide the noise free solution that would make VCRs and magnetic tapes obsolete.

2. DVD - What the DVD did to television is the same as what the Compact Disc (CD) did to audio. The DVD is capable of storing video in digital format. When played back, the video from a DVD is of superior quality compared to a VCR. DVDs are capable of producing widescreen (16:9 Aspect Ratio) and standard screen (4:3 Aspect Ratio). The DVD is NOT capable of producing High Definition video. This is the reason why Blu-Ray players were invented. DVDs are capable of producing the progressive "p" and interlaced "i" signals. Since DVDs are capable of only standard definition video, they are capable of producing "480i" and "480p" video only. As discussed earlier, "480i" and "480p" is standard definition video. Since DVDs are capable of producing widescreen video with only standard definition many people think this High-Definition. As discussed earlier widescreen and High Definition are completely different. To see how widescreen works with and standard definition and DVD players, read this entire article:

3. Blu-Ray - For the purposes of this article, a Blu-Ray player is able to produce High Definition and Widescreen (16:9) video. Although the Blu-Ray discs are the same size as DVD discs, they are different and cost a bit more.

By simply reading both parts of this article, you have been armed with the required knowledge you need in order to make an informed purchase on a HI-DEF electronics product. Video electronics are expensive. Knowing the information presented in this article is essential so that you don't make a costly mistake in your next video electronics purchase.
by Jeffrey Krus P.E.
References and Bibliography
After learning everything about the world of High Definition Jeff spent only $460.00 on a camcorder instead of the $1300.00 salesmen tried convincing him he needed to spend. Jeff is currently the webmaster of Product Reviews , Job Source , and
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