HD Ready vs HDMI

Hi Experts

I live in South Africa and with the FIFA Soccer World Cup been hosted here in 2010, it has been stipulated that the World Cup must be broadcast in High Definition TV. Which means that SA has to be HD compliant.

Subsequently a lot of electronic consumer stores are selling ‘HD Ready’ Plasma and LCD TV's. And my question is based around this.

I recently saw a 32" LCD TV that did not stipulate that it was 'HD Ready' as such, but I checked the spec's on it and it did have a HDMI connector. I researched on the HDMI and found that it does seem to be a High Definition connector (as shown at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI ).

I have noticed that a few models of LCD and plasma's are advertised as 'HD Ready' and a few are advertised with 'HDMI', but I have yet to see them advertised as 'HD Ready' and 'HDMI' together.

So my question is; if the LCD TV has a HDMI connector does it make it 'HD Ready'?

Thanks Experts
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wlennonVP of Domestic & Int'l Operations - RetiredCommented:
Hello Mustek,

Having HDMI would indicate HDTV, but you must consider this:

HD Ready means it does not have an HD Tuner to pickup the HD Broadcast, if it is says HDTV then the HD Tuner would be in the Television itslef.

Whereas if it is only HD Ready, you will need an HD Tuner... usually in the form of a HD Satellite, Cable, or a Converter Set Top Box.


mustekkznAuthor Commented:
Hi wlennon

Thanks for the post.
Just to clarify on this - does the HDMI connection allow the pickup of a HD Broadcast then whereas 'HD Ready' units can display a HD feed, but dont have the proper connections to allow the feed to be connected.

So in actual fact a LCD or plasma screen with a HDMI connector is better to get than an 'HD Ready' display?

Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... does the HDMI connection allow the pickup of a HD Broadcast then whereas 'HD Ready' units can display a HD feed, but dont have the proper connections to allow the feed to be connected. " ==> NO!   HDMI is a connection standard for transmitting digital audio/video streams.   It is an advanced form of the interface defined by the DVI standard => in fact, a DVI output can (with an adapter) can be connected to an HDMI input (but won't, of course, include the audio signal).

Although most newer HD TV's likely have at least one HDMI input;  the presence of an HDMI input does NOT mean a TV is High Definition.  [for example, here's an EDTV with an HDMI input:  http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-TH-42PD50U-Flat-Panel-EDTV-Plasma/dp/B0007WKB4Q]

So if you want a High Definition TV you need to be sure its specifications include either "High Definition" or "High Definition Ready".   Just to confuse things, some TV's are advertised as "High Definition Compatible" ==> these are NOT HD TV's ... it just means they can receive and display a high definition signal (but do so at less-than-HD resolution).

Also note that an "HD" TV need only display 720p ... only the newest (and most expensive) units can display 1080p (although all can display 1080i).

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mustekkznAuthor Commented:
Thank you both experts for your valued comments -they have definitely helped give me a clear understanding - im going to split the points evenly.

Many thanks
We're still a long time away from 2010. Whatever set you buy now will probably be obsolete by then.

Anyway, go for a set with HDMI connections and at least 720p resolution.
Being an LCD, most 32" sets are 1366x768, and are capable of displaying the 720p and 1080i signals.

True 1080p displays (1920x1080) are still quite expensive - and IMHO, are most "effective" in larger screen sizes, say, above 40" or so...
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