About High Definition Television (HDTV)
In Britain high-definition service started in August of 1936 and France followed with their own system
in 1938 but it was a monochrome system. All of these systems had a 4.3 aspect ratio. In 1941 the
United States joined in with their high-definition service. At this time all of the broadcasts were
monochrome (black and white). Color broadcast did not start until 1953. Europe followed in the 1960s
when color systems were added to the monochrome systems.
When the wide-screen HDTV transmission was adopted in the early 2000s ours and the European
systems are now considered standard definition television systems. In Australia the digital progressive
system is recognized as high-definition officially. The limited standardization of HDTV did not lead to
its adoption because of technical and economic reasons. The bandwidth was shrunk down to two times
what the standard definition television and was still only able to be distributed with one satellite
channel that was shared on a daily basis with seven broadcasters. Reproducing and recording an HDTV
signal was a problem in the early years.
The United States completed its testing of HDTV in August of 1994, and had its first public broadcast
in July of 1996. The first broadcast took place in Raleigh, North Carolina. The live coverage of
astronaut John Glenn's return mission to space on board the space shuttle took place on August 29,
1998. The signal was transmitted from coast-to-coast and seen by people in public science centers and
theaters that had the ability to receive the broadcast.
HDTV broadcasts are identified by three parameters: frame size is determined in pixels. The number of
horizontal pixels times the number of vertical pixels; The scanning system is identified by the letter P
which stands for progressive scanning and by the letter I which stands for interlaced scanning; and the
frame rate which is identified as a number of video frames per second.
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