December 15, 2006
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! This week's question from Jeremiah I'm sure is no surprise to anyone who is in the process of purchasing a new TV, and I'm not talking about an old school tube TV. With so many new terminology, acronyms, and new technology I don't blame Jeremiah one bit for being lost. I even admit that sometimes I even get caught up in the confusion. For those finding yourself out of the TV technology loop for quite some time, well this newsletter topic is for you! To get you folks started on the quest for knowledge on newer TV technology, I give you this week's winning answer from Barry-- who goes through a whole laundry list of the different TV technologies and terms. So read up, get educated, and for more information check out all the honorable mentions and other advice from our members. If that doesn't satisfy your quest for knowledge, you can also check out CNET's HDTV World. If there are any TV gurus out there who would like to add additional information to this week's topic, I invite you to come join us in this week discussion and school us. Thanks everyone and have safe and wonderful weekend!
(Note: I will be taking some time off to celebrate holiday festivities including the New Year, so there will be no member Q&A in next Friday's newsletter and no newsletters sent during the last week of the year. However, I will have some community discussions for you to talk about through the holidays and many more newsletters to come after New Year's.)
Member Question of the Week
Hi! I hope you can help me out. My trusty, 12-year-old, 36-inch tube TV finally went kaput, and I'm now in the market for a flat-panel TV. I've been out of the TV technology loop for a quite some time now, and I'm absolutely lost. How do I know which type to get? I see a lot of words and acronyms thrown around, and none of them mean anything to me--for example LCOS, LCD, DLP, and of course plasma. And what does it mean when someone is talking about 720p, 1080i, and 1080p? What the difference between HD ready, HDTV, and HD compatible? I didn't have to consider any of these things 12 years ago as my choice back then was either a tube or rear-projection TV and that was it! Please help an old fellow out will you? Thanks!
Jeremiah L. of Nashville, Tennessee
Jeremiah, pieces of this have been touched on in previous questions of the week, but let's try to summarize it and update it (things have changed, just in the past few months). Buying an HDTV can be incredibly difficult and complex because there are so many considerations.
Display format (nature of the image):
The numbers 720p, 1080i and 1080p refer to two different characteristics of the displayed image, it's resolution (number of dots comprising the picture) and whether it is interlaced or progressive. The HDTV resolutions are 1280 x 720 (720i or 720p) and 1920 x 1080 (1080i or 1080p). Other things being equal, higher resolutions are better. The letter p or i after the number indicates the scan format. A progressive display transmits the entire image every frame. An interlaced display transmits the frame in two fields sent one after the other, the first containing the odd-numbered rows of pixels, the second field containing the even rows. Progressive is better than interlaced. There are some lower resolutions (below 720) which fall into the "EDTV category (not really HDTV) and which should probably be avoided at this point. Note that the HDTV standard requires all sets to display all resolutions, but fact that you can watch a 1080p resolution image on a 720p set does not mean that you get the same quality that you would get on a 1080p set; you don't.
Barry W. of North Canton, Ohio
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Hi, I need your help in clarifying some of the Security information when using internet.
1. Is it OK to leave my wireless broadband router on all the time, even when I switch of the computer or other times when I use other programs such as Word or PowerPoint, rather than Internet. Could some one able to hack into my computer files even when I am not browsing the Internet?
2. Will someone able to hack into my computer if I use the standard firewall provided with Windows XP?
3. From the security point of view, is a wired Internet broadband connection safer than wireless broadband connection via a home wireless router which is encrypted?
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