Image Quality
With the advent of digital TV, image quality advanced by a quantum leap. A number of factors affect image quality, including resolution and refresh rate. Let's dive into these a little deeper:

Before DTV, viewers had no reason to be concerned with TV resolution; all TVs displayed the same resolution. However, with the digital revolution came the focus on resolution. Resolution is a measurement of how many individual pixels a television can display at once. With more pixels, the image can be rendered in greater detail � thus, the higher the resolution, the better the picture quality. DTVs come in three categories based on the maximum resolution they can display:

Set Type



Maximum Resolution

High Definition Television


720p and higher

Enhanced Definition Television


480p and higher

Standard Definition Television


480i or less

*HDTV sets can offer resolutions of 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. We�ll cover �i� versus �p� in a moment.

Refresh Rate
To show moving images, a television has to change out the pixels, or picture elements, displayed on the screen � essentially, the TV refreshes the image, drawing it in pixels so quickly that the human eye can't detect the process. Refresh rate refers to how often per second a television changes the display of pixels. A higher refresh rate indicates that the television refreshes the screen more often each second, which can smooth out fast action on an HDTV. An HDTV should provide a smooth picture with a refresh rate of at least 120 Hertz.