What Is HD Ready Television?

“HD ready” refers to television receivers which can display high-definition pictures. The term started in Europe in 2005, because European tv makers were promoting their television sets as “hd ready”, when in fact they weren’t. So the European Information, Communications and Consumer Electronics Technology Industry Association (illogically known as EICTA) set standards for what HD ready tvs would be.

The term “h.d. ready” in the US is a little different, but it generally refers to a display device which can accept and display high-definition broadcasts at one of three progressive resolutions: 720 progressive scan, 1080 interlaced or 1080 progressive scan. You’ll also hear these referred to as 720p, 1080p and 1080i. These are measures of the vertical number of pixels that each display can scan.


For decades, our televisions took analog signals and converted them into sounds and images on our tv screens. Analog television sets didn’t have very high resolution, though, because they only converted half the signals. So digital televisions were invented, which provided higher resolution pictures (because they shows every pixels instead of every other pixel), it can multicast, digital television can include interactive content and it can support HDTV signals. The only problem was, most digital tvs still received over-the-air broadcasting in much the same way that analog tvs did. That’s where High-Definition Tv comes in.

How Do I Spot HDTV In The Store?

It’s easy to spot an HDTV in an electronics store, because the aspect ratio is different on an HD-TV. “Aspect ratio” is simply a fancy word for how a television screen is shaped. It’s the ratio of the height of the screen to the width of the screen. An old television had a 4-to-3 ratio, so it was four units wide for every three units it was tall. An HDTV is closer to twice as wide as it it tall, at 16:9. Essentially, an HDTV screen is wider, like a movie theater screen. This means that you can watch movies without that annoying “widescreen” letterbox at the top and bottom of your television screen, so you watch movies the way they were meant to be watched.

Also, the resolution on an HDTV is going to be much better, because it will display approximately 10 times the amount of pixels as an analog tv. Finally, the frame rate is better on an HDTV. The “frame rate” is simply how many picture frames the television shows per second. These are generally between 24 and 60 frames. The more frames, the better the picture and the more fluid the motion. When looking at frame rate, you also want to look at whether the frames are progressive (one after the other) or interlaced (interlocked). For instance, a 1080 resolution that is progressive is actually better for viewing than a 1080 resolution that is interlaced.

Remember, you need to match the signal with the HD-tv. So if you buy an HDTV set and you’re receiving a lower resolution signal, the picture is still going to look lousy.

Also, if you are buying on a budget, you might want to determine which is the most important quality your HDTV set needs. If you plan on watching sports a lot on your HDTV, then get the set with the highest frame rate, since that will make the game more fluid and realistic. If you plan on watching mostly movies on your new television set, then get the HDTV product with the highest resolution for better picture quality.

Full High Definition

“Full HD” or “Full High Definition” is a designation for 1080p, and is considered a television or display device (like an HD ready computer) which is fully capable of handling high-definition requirements. 1080p is also sometimes marketed as “Complete High-Definition”. Most content in the U.S. is not going to be 1080p, because the major networks still use 720p or 1080i in their broadcasts. Therefore, you’ll get limited use of “Full HD Ready” products if you are an early adopter.