High-definition television is all the buzz these days. TVs are getting larger and larger, and content is getting better. Currently, the standard for high-definition in televisions is 1080p, although high-def technically starts at 720p. Blu-ray is the only media format that actually supports 1080p movie files. Let's take a closer look at resolution, picture quality, and Blu-ray disks.
Picture resolution is the size of a picture. It technically isn't indicative of quality - you can have a fuzzy high-def picture, although that isn't very common. Resolution is commonly referred to by the number of horizontal lines of resolution - essentially the number of pixels along the y-axis. Traditional DVDs can store media in 480p. This was usually in a "letterbox" format, or a 4:3 screen resolution. This means that a DVD movie has a resolution of 640 x 480.
Modern high-definition movies are shot in a widescreen, 16:9 format. High definition starts at 720p, or 1080 x 720. Most high-def televisions support 1080p, which has a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The "p" after the numbers stands for "progressive," which is the opposite if "i," or interlaced. Interlaced frames only refresh half of the frame each time the screen updates. Movies are shot at 24 frames per second, so you won't really notice, but with interlaced TVs you're actually getting only half of the possible resolution. Blu-ray disks support 1080p movies, and you should make sure that your TV does, too.
Currently, Blu-ray disks are the only media which support 1080p. Even though you can get "high--definition" TV, it is broadcast in a 720p format. IN order to get the most out of your high-def TV, you will have to get a Blu-ray player and disks.
Blu-ray disks themselves are similar to DVDs, but they can hold a several times as much data. This is necessary because high-definition video files are very large. Because of the slight physical differences, Blu-ray disks must have a special player which can read them. Initially, these players were several hundred dollars, but as they have become more popular they have dropped significantly in price, and are now roughly as cheap as DVD players.
Blu-ray movies are created using the latest high-definition technology, and look absolutely great on your TV. They are the only way you can appreciate every pixel on your 1080p, and they look great. Although high-definition TVs can be quite expensive, you can sometimes get great TV deals, like on a Samsung 32 inch TV. You can get Blu-ray players form a number of manufacturers - LG, for instance, makes an LG Blu-ray player. You can get an LCD TV DVD player combo, although few televisions are currently sold with Blu-ray built-in.