Myths in HDTV: True HD
Don't get conned by marketing ploys. Few expressions have caused as much confusion about the definition of HDTV as the term "True HDTV".
Remember that technical specifications exist to protect the consumer and ensure interoperability, not to confuse. The term "True HDTV" no technical specification.
Myth: True HD 1080P. Marketing people love buzzwords! The "True HDTV" buzzword and subsequent myth were probably born the day that phrase was used by Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison way back in 2005.
He was marketing the upcoming release of Sony's PlayStation3 by promoting its 1080P HDTV capabilities. Unfortunately, he tried to tell us that competitor Xbox 360's maximum display resolution at 720P (or 1080i) was not "True HD" but that his Sony PS3 was.
Subsequently, some people may have questioned whether 720P or 1080i were HDTV resolutions at all. If 1080P is the one true HDTV resolution, what does that make of the others?
The idea that 1080P is "True HD" has been borrowed by marketing people trying to sell their wares ever since.
Look at JVC brazenly misleading the public on the definition of HDTV by calling their product "True 1080P" over and over again.
Reality Check Please: Fortunately, marketers don't get to define technical specifications.
The definition of HDTV broadcast standard is handled by a body called the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC). According to the ATSC, 720P, 1080i and 1080P are all True HDTV. No HDTV is more true than any other.
To further add to the confusion, TrueHD is actually a brand name for an audio standard created by Dolby Labs. TrueHD audio refers to multi-channel high resolution sound that will appear on some Blu-ray and HD DVD discs as movie soundtracks.
It's fair for Mr. Harrison to tell us that PS3 will display a higher resolution of HDTV than competitor Xbox 360. PS3 at 1080P has 360 more progressive lines of vertical resolution than a competitor's 720P display resolution. But it's not fair for him to tell us that the 1080P is any truer HDTV than the 720P.
Beware of anyone qualifying ideas by prefixing it with true; what follows is almost always a sales job.
Next Myth: Tomorrow we'll tackle Enhanced Definition Television (EDTV) being sold as HDTV. Buyers have been taken in by what they thought was a very inexpensive HDTV, but turns out to be EDTV. Knowing the difference can save you frustration, time and money.