Why watch SD when you can upgrade to HD?
HD channels are the best way to watch TV, since they offer high audio and visual quality along with international programming in some cases.
The advent of cable TV in India in the early 90s heralded a new age of TV viewing for the country. Suddenly, the global community seemed to come much closer, with news about the world and other programming being beamed directly to our homes. There was suddenly ample choice of programmes and TV channels, and everybody could pick favourites to watch whenever they wanted.
But today, advances in TV and satellite technology have resulted in a superb TV watching experience. You can buy the high-resolution plasma TV sets, and have your TV fitted with the best DTH connection for superior viewing. Just make sure that there are enough HD channels to watch.
HD TV – and why it matters
HD is an abbreviation of the term ‘High Definition’ which offers more depth of resolution (i.e. more pixels) and more detail per pixel on the screen. You can view HD channels only when you have an HD TV or HD-compatible set top box that facilitates the transmission. There are currently about 50 HD channels in India, with more expected.
Most people have standard cable TV connections that offer SD channels. SD channels do not require any specialised equipment like a set top box, nor a specialised TV set to broadcast the channel. However, SD channels differ in quality widely from HD TV – SD offers 720×576 px resolution, while HD offers 1920×1080 px resolution. As a result, picture clarity is immensely superior in the latter. You will enjoy watching sports and action movies on HD channels far more than on SD channels. The depth of detail is high, making the picture leap right out of the screen and into your living room! You will also love playing multiplayer games that require multiple angles and complex graphics on an HD TV.
You can choose to have HD channels, but the packs are generally more expensive. This is because broadcasters believe that those opting for HD TV have more spending power. Thus, the channels command a higher premium on ads that air on the channel, since the ads are also niche enough to cater to a niche audience. However, a great reason to upgrade from SD to HD TV is that the latter has fewer ads, so you get more programme run time rather than a barrage of ads.
Which DTH should you opt for?
Several operators in India offer HD TV programming, but only leading providers like Airtel have the right combination of all HD channels available plus quality SD channels.
Apart from a wide variety of channel packs priced quite reasonably (check the packs for your city before you initiate a purchase), Airtel also offers an HD set top box at the time of installation. This means that you get not just superior picture quality, but also the ability to record programming and get Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound to complement the visuals.