Your Home Theater System Bible

Progressive Program Scan versus Interlaced Program Scan

progressive program scan vs. interlaced program scanWatching your favourite movie or listening to the most refreshing sound tracks could be a haven for most people, especially when the day had been a taxing one, or if you would just want to spend some bonding time with those precious in your life without any distraction from outside elements and no other demanding pre-requisites such as long travels, exhausting traffic, as well as competing noises from other people finding a retreat from the restless yet ordinary necessities of day to day activities.

While just being there in front of the TV or sound system, you feel a bit tranquil as your mind is filled with energizing thoughts from the vibrant as well as appealing images that are being reinforced by the unbelievable sounds projected by your sound system.

Looking back with the quality of signals that you receive from your video system, you may wonder why viewing today is rather more gratifying than it was then. Thanks to recent innovations, things are much different now and people get to enjoy even the same programs or sounds much better with the quality of images and also the sound that are being transmitted every time you turn on the TV or the sound system, or even the computer.

No more interrupting image artefacts, intentional image blurring, inappropriate reproduction of finer details and image flickering, which are common in an interlaced scan signals that are normally emitted by older TV technology.

With the introduction of digital TV (DTV) signals such as High Density Television (HDTV), images are projected and seen as more life-like—richer and even bigger.

These are the two kinds of programming systems that video signals produce: progressive and interlaced.  Video signals are generated using horizontal lines. An intermeshed picture ties every other line and also alternates in between drawing odd lines with even lines. A progressive program scan picture pulls every line in a sequence. Consequently, a progressive scan video signal projects twice as much data than an interlaced signal every time it draws an image on the screen.

Interlaced video programming signals was the standard for televisions before the digital technology such as DVDs and HDTV became popular. Standard definition broadcasts were interlaced as it was a more effectual means to send video data through the screen. As the eyes have difficulties in identifying video interlacing, an interlaced signal that refreshes at 60 Hz (times per second) is less straining on the eyes as it produces less flicker than progressive scan signals that refreshes at 30 Hz.

Nonetheless, if a progressive scan and interlaced image are both created at 60 Hz, the progressive scan image will definitely appear slightly smoother. Video that needs to project fast motions will make such variation more perceptible. And so, the DVD as well as HDTV standards were created to support progressive scan video signals.

Consumers are presented options between units that use progressive scans or interlaced scans. This can be identified by the “p” or “i” at the end of the description (`080p or 1080i for instance). As a TV set that has the capability to project progressive scan offer a better picture, this type of signal is becoming more and more desirable than its counterpart.

In case you are deciding to purchase a new TV for your home theatre, you should consider this factor to have a better viewing and quality time any time.

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Posted on August 31, 2013 by Alphonso Soosay 0 Comments Short URL

Dolby vs. DTS: Is there a Better Format?

DD vs DTSHome has never been the same with the advent of the home theatre. Viewing and listening has since then been even more entertaining, relaxing and more interactive. With the recent innovations (ie automated controls via personal IP, more flexible interconnects, and so on) it has even provided a lot more control for every home theatre user.

Just as the use of technology, including those that are associated with home theatres, a number of competing brands representing the various devices that complete a home theatre set up also surfaced which provided consumers more options to select from. With the competition also came better costing alternatives for the consumer. The market slowly begun to be filled with varied brands claiming to offer better quality as well as cost. Consequently, the consumers became even more difficult to please.

Amongst the developments that took place aimed at providing a better home theatre experience, was the introduction of more sophisticated sound formats that define the quality of sound produced by a home theatre device.

With the dawn of Dolby surround in movie theaters, it did not take long before the consumers were able to acquire the advantages of this technology into the audio-video marketplace. But as always, the customers once presented with a better alternative, will soon look for a much better option. Consequently, in 1982, Dolby came up with Dolby Digital (DD, a fully discrete digital 5.1 channel surround format that was produced for both the theaters as well as home audio/video marketplace.  A year later, Digital Theater Systems (DTS) joined the competition claiming that its coding system sounded better because of the higher bit rates and also less compression that it requires.

Both these formats have their own pros and cons–each has apparent sonic advantages.  Nonetheless, it has been remarkable to note the impact of these developments over the past years. Hardware vendors, likewise, begun to offer a multitude of player options that has the ability to cover a wider range of consumer budgets. Even so, record labels have been offering software that can support such formats at a slow pace and with options that do not include the greater part of the consumer marketplace.

Note that neither of these two was created for DVD. Both DTS and DD were developed to supply 5.1 discrete channels of digital sound in cinemas on 35mm film at the same time staying entirely well-matched with typical devices.

The DTS sound track, on the other hand, is not on the film but on a separate CD and has been matched with SMPTE time code indications on the film.  DTS claims that it sounds better as it provides better compression than Dolby. Dolby contradicts saying that any conclusions cannot be drawn mainly from the raw compression data as it all depends on how well the codec, either the compression/decompression system, has been constructed.

There a number of points that can be stated regarding the positive attributes of either format. Still, it will depend on the user’s total experience.  Testing options would definitely be vital, before actually picking the device that would complement your home theatre system.

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Posted on August 31, 2013 by Alphonso Soosay 0 Comments Short URL