Hi Def or simply HD, is mentioned on many new TV's, but what does it mean?
Over the years our TV/video hardware has enabled us to see ever improving picture quality.
Currently we have 'Standard Definition' or 'SD' which is typically 720 * 576 pixels at source and displayed widescreen as 1080 * 576 pixels.
'High Definition' resolution can vary, but is typically 144 * 1080 at source and displayed widescreen sd 1920 *1080. Therefore, HD has a resolution up to 5 times better than SD.

[High Definition Video comparison]
This example is not full scale - but shows relative sizes.

Like all new technologies, it takes time to be integrated with the consumer market.
HD TV's are already available in the UK, and the number of HD sources are slowly increasing, and include:

  • Satellite services
  • HD camcorders - should you be fortunate enough to have one.
Are there HD DVD Players?
High Definition video cannot be accommodated on DVD's as they stand - so we have a new technology to enjoy this exciting new medium in full.

The technology is ever-changing and Blu-Ray has now seen off Toshiba's HD DVD rival (akin to the end of the VHS versus Betamax battle).

Blu-Ray has still to penetrate the market in the way DVD in replacing bulky VHS and NTSC video tapes.

There are also 'upconverting' DVD players, which improve the resolution of DVD's displayed via a HDMI cable, but not quite as good as a true HD source.

Current advantages of High Definition video
Shortage of HD sources doesn't mean we can't take advantage of tomorrows technology today.
  1. If a production is done in 'HD' the higher resolution may be seen on an increasing number of HD TV channels.
  2. Many cameras record 'widescreen' images as traditional 4/3 ratio, with black 'letterbox' bars. This amounts to throwing away a large percentage of the possible quality.
    The HDV cameras Aztec use are built for widescreen usage therefore have superior quality for both 'Standard Definition' and High Definition'.
  3. Anything you record now may befilmed in HD, even though perhaps used in SD for compatibility with the current consumer market. In a few years time - when the infrastructure (e.g. Blu-ray) catches up - the HD camera footage can be re-visited and applied using the latest technology. This may be done merely to replace your existing 'Standard Definition' production or alternatively used as part of your reference library for future new productions.

Does Aztec film in 'High Definition' Video?
In short, yes - but not always. It is Aztec's policy to offer the highest quality for each clients needs. There are a number of factors that determine the best camera format. For example:
  • Whether the production is to be widescreen (16/9) or 4/3
  • The delivery medium for the project (e.g. TV, DVD, PC, Web, Videophone).
Upon contact our producer, David Smith, with 23 years Video experience, can advise on the different methodologies and which is best for your project.

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'My boss is over the moon...'
Ian Smith, Vauxhall Motors Ltd commenting upon training DVD produced by Aztec
'Absolutely Awesome ! I could not have imagined it to be better!
I think the whole thing is absolutely brilliant.' - Dan Powell, on video menu content incorporating special effects for launch of new mobile video phone service

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