HD, for the video impaired, stands for High Definition. And unless you’ve been hanging out under a rock for the last few years, you know that HD is a beautiful, crystal clear format, showcased on flat, widescreen HD televisions. What you may not realize is that HD recently became our new broadcast television standard!
Yes – all broadcast (not cable, but broadcast) stations must now transmit their programming in HD. Remember those commercials advising TV antenna users that they will need a converter box to view their favorite broadcast shows? It was all part of the transfer to HD, which is conveniently incompatible with standard definition, or SD video.
Here at Creative Resources Group, we prepared for the transition well in advance, with the purchase of two all-new HD video editing systems and a new, state of the art HD video camera. So, as you can imagine, we were disappointed to discover that none of the broadcast and cable stations could accept local HD commercials yet. (Hey, give the stations some slack; they had just managed to get all their programming up and running in HD, after all. Not a small task considering that near to every piece of old SD video equipment needed to be replaced with new HD video equipment.)
So we waited patiently… until today.
Now, thanks to one Boston station, CRG is hooked in to a new, online HD video file transfer service, eliminating the need for costly video tapes and overnight shipping services. Your HD spot is simply encoded and uploaded. Next day, it’s on the air. Simple, fast, and eco-friendly! The system works so well that the media pros at CRG are now investigating its use at other broadcast stations
So, are you ready to go HD? CRG can take you there! Just head back to www.meetcrg.com and contact us today!
More Info for the HD Impaired
What is HD? Sure, it looks amazing! But really, what is HD and why all this confusion between HD and SD? Get a little HD101 from the pros at Creative Resources Group! (Remember, this is 101 – so for the other pros out there, I know there are a million additional details I’m omitting. This is simply a 101!)
What is SD?
SD stands for standard definition and is also referred to in the industry as NTSC. It is defined as an interlaced video signal, which is 720 x 480 pixels. SD video has an aspect ratio of 4:3 – pretty much square. (Imagine your typical old fashioned square-ish TV set.)
Ok, But That Word You Used in There… Interlaced. What is That?
Ready to get technical? You asked for it. As most people know, an SD television is made up of individual pixels. Those pixels are arranged together neatly in lines and rows. In fact, an SD television set has 525 lines of pixels, commonly referred to as lines of resolution or scanning lines.
(The astute reader will note the size of 720 x 480 does not match 525. Why? I actually had to look up the answer myself. But don’t worry, I won’t get that technical in this blog, but you can find a more detailed overview here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/480i)
To display video, an SD television scans each line of resolution one by one. BUT it does NOT scan line 1 followed by line 2, 3, 4, and right on down the screen to 525. The video is interlaced, so the television actually scans line 2, followed by line 4, 6, 8, etc. When it finishes with the even lines, it returns to the top to scan line 1, 3, 5, etc until all 525 lines have been scanned. That is what is referred to as interlacing.
During progressive scanning, seen in certain HD formats, the television scans each line of resolution in sequence. (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)
What is HD?
HD, in comparison to SD, is a video signal commonly sized at either 1920 x 1080 or 920 x 720 pixels. HD video has an aspect ratio of 16:9 – think, widescreen! HD can be either interlaced or progressive. So why is HD so much better? It’s the amount of pixels. More pixels equal more visual information – more depth of color, crisper blacks, brighter whites, and better motion tracking.
Why Has It Been so Difficult to Switch Between SD and HD?
Unfortunately for viewers and video professionals alike, SD and HD are completely incompatible. It is impossible for an old, SD television to receive and display HD video without a converter box. (Hence the necessity to purchase that beautiful new HD widescreen TV.)
But as much as that seems like a pain in the butt for you on the consumer side, imagine us here on the other side of the camera. There are no converter boxes for video cameras, editing systems, decks, and other equipment. To switch to HD, all of those very expensive items needed to be replaced, leaving the older (but still costly) SD equipment obsolete.
Additionally, on the production end, HD is so clear and beautiful that entire sets needed to be upgraded and replaced, with new lighting for enhanced color and clarity. On the talent side, looks became even more important, since viewers would be able to see every detail in the close-ups. Makeup could no longer be caked on to hide blemishes either.
That’s why it’s important that you choose a production company that specializes in HD, like Creative Resources Group. We take the time to make sure you look good!
And if you’d like to learn more about making the switch to HD, contact us today.
We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. And in the mean time, keep an eye out for our newest HD commercial premiers – just look for the CRG at the bottom of the screen.