Plasma Vs LCD TV – In-Depth Guide

This article is the first from a series that will try to make things easier for you when considering a choice for a plasma or an LCD TV. We will explain the main advantages that you, as an user, can enjoy, and how you can get the best from your buy. Truth be told, with all the technology advances nowadays, such choices are not exactly easy, and guides written by people interested in plasma vs LCD TV competition can really come in handy.The legitimate question regarding which is best in plasma vs LCD TV battle can only be answered by taking into consideration what you look for in a flat screen TV, and which are your particular needs. We are talking here not only about what kind of programs you intend to watch, but also other aspects like price versus quality. While there cannot be an absolute winner in plasma vs LCD TV challenge, every buyer can make a sound choice, based on reliable information.Which one has the best picture?Whenever we go shopping for a new TV set, we cannot help but desire to purchase a model that will enhance our experience when watching television. There has been and there still is a lively debate on this issue, although the balance gets tipped off towards the plasma models, as they can deliver better contrast.The plasma superiority can be explained, based on the fact that a plasma model can achieve true black in a picture, while an LCD still falls behind, due to its backlight that lets light pass between pixels. On the other hand, LCD TVs offer more flexibility as they come in smaller sizes, and they can be used safely as computer monitors or for playing games for extended periods of time.Reasons for buying a plasma

Solid picture quality: It does not matter at which angle you watch the plasma screen, you will get the same picture quality, which does not happen with LCD TV’s, which are prone to a drop in picture quality when viewed from an angle.

Uniform colors: Color saturation is not affected in the same way it is with an LCD TV, where light leakage may occur or certain areas of the screen could present uniformity problems.

Better price for larger models: If you are looking for a larger flat screen TV, then this should be your choice, as larger plasmas are sold at more convenient prices. This situation is changing all the time, especially during shopping season (Black Friday, Christmas), so shop around before taking a decision.

Lower response time: This particular feature is enjoyed by sports fans, as a lower response time gives better accuracy for fast moving images, like we see when we watch a game. Reasons for buying an LCD TV

Lower prices: The main advantage that LCD has over plasma is its price, as there are many models that can be purchased for less money than you would spend for a plasma with the same dimensions. This applies especially to smaller models.

Lower power consumption: LCD TVs are slightly ahead in the plasma vs LCD TV competition, as they consume, on average, with about 30% less than their counterparts. There are exceptions however, usually newer models being more energy efficient, regardless of the technology.

Convenience: LCD TVs weight less than a plasma, which means that you can install it easier in your room, or place it on a wall. At the same time, LCD TVs are more convenient because they are available in smaller sizes than plasma TVs.

Burn-In Free: Plasma TVs always suffered from burn-in. The latest models are very resistant, however if you plan to use the HDTV as a computer monitor you will eventually get burn-in. Same story if you’re a hardcore gamer – while you can safely play games on a plasma TV for short periods of time, if you plan to play for hours in a row and watch TV programs and movies less than you play games, it is recommended to buy an LCD over plasma.

TM-3D-SM Group of Digital Video Broadcast (DVB)

The DVB Project is an industry-led consortium of over 250 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies, and others in over 35 countries committed to designing open technical standards for the
global delivery of DTV and data services. The DVB project is responsible for the definition of today’s 2D DTV broadcast infrastructure in Europe, requires the use of the MPEG-2 Systems Layer specification for the distribution of audiovisual
data via cable (DVB-C i.e., Digital Video Broadcast-Cable), satellite (DVB-S i.e., Digital Video Broadcast-Satellite), or terrestrial (DVB-T i.e., Digital Video Broadcast-Terrestrial) transmitters. Owing to its almost universal acceptance and
worldwide use, it is of major importance for any future 3DTV system, and to build its distribution services on this transport technology [16] (services using DVB standards are available on every continent with more than 500 million DVB receivers deployed).

During5 2009, DVB closely studied the various aspects of (potential) 3DTV solutions. A Technical Module Study Mission report was finalized, leading to the formal creation of the TM-3DTV group. A 3DTV Commercial Module has also now been created to go back to the first step of the DVB process: what kind of 3DTV solution does the market want and need, and how can DVB play an active part in the creation of that solution? To start answering some of these questions, the CM-3DTV group was planning to host a DVB 3D TV Kick-Off Workshop in early 2010.

There have already been broadcasts of a conventional display-compatible system, and the first HDTV channel compatible broadcasts are scheduled to start in Europe in spring 2010. In 2009, DVB had been closely studying the various aspects of (potential) 3DTV solutions. A Technical Module Study Mission report was finalized, leading to the formal creation of the TM-3DTV group. As the DVB process is business- and market-driven, a 3DTV Commercial Module has now also been created to go back to the first step: what kind of 3DTV solution does the market want and need, and how can DVB play an active part in the creation of that solution? To start answering some of these questions, the CM-
3DTV group hosted a DVB 3DTV Kick-off Workshop in Geneva in early 2010, followed immediately by the first CM-3DTV.

Opportunities and Challenges for 3DTV

The previous section highlighted that many of the components needed to support an end-to-end commercial broadcast service are available or are becoming available. Hence, proponents see a significant market opportunity at this time. CEA
estimates that more than 25% of sets sold in 2013 will be 3D-enabled. A handful of representative quotes from proponents of the 3D technology are as follows:

No one can escape the buzz and excitement around 3D. We’re witnessing the start of
dramatic change in how we view TV—the dawn of a new dimension. And through Sky’s
clear commitment to 3D broadcasting, 3D in the home is set to become a reality . . . .

. . . The next killer application for the home entertainment industry—3DTV . . . [It]
will drive new revenue opportunities for content creators and distributors by enabling
3D feature films and other programming to be played on their home television and
computer displays—regardless of delivery channels . . . .

. . . The most buzzed about topics at CES: 3-D stereoscopic content creation . . . Several
pivotal announcements [in] 2010 including 3D-TV releases from the major consumer
electronics manufacturers and the launch of several dedicated 3D broadcast channels
are driving the rapid increase in demand for 3-D content . . .

3D technology is now positioned “to become a major force in future in-home entertainment.”

. . . 3DTV is one of the ‘hottest’ subjects today in broadcasting. The combination of
the audience’s‘wow’ factor and the potential to launch completely new services, makes
it an attractive subject for both consumer and professional. There have already been
broadcasts of a conventional display-compatible system, and the first HDTV channel
compatible broadcasts are scheduled to start in Europe in the Spring of 2010 . . .

. . . In Europe, the EC is currently funding a large series of projects for 3DTV, including
multiview, mobile 3D and 3D search . . .

time, there are industry observers that take a more conservative view. These observers make note that there are uncertainties about the availability of content, the technological readiness, and acceptance in the living room, especially given the requirement to use polarized or shutter glasses. A rational approach to market penetration is certainly in order; also, the powerful tool of statistically valid market research can be used to truly measure user interest and willingness to pay. Some representative quotes for a more conservative view of the 3D technology are given below:

. . . In a wide range of demos, companies . . . claim . . . in January 2010 that stereoscopic
3D is ready for the home. In fact, engineers face plenty of work hammering out
the standards and silicon for 3DTV products, most of which will ship for the holiday
2010 season . . .

It has proven somewhat difficult to create a 3D system that does not cause ‘eye fatigue’
after a certain time. Most current-generation higher resolution systems also need special
eyeglasses which can be inconvenient. Apart from eye-fatigue, systems developed
so far can also have limitations such as constrained viewing positions. Multiple viewpoint
television systems are intended to alleviate this. Stereoscopic systems also allow
only limited ‘production grammar’ . . . One should not underestimate the difficulty, or
the imagination and creativity required, to create a near ‘ideal’ 3DTV system that the
public could enjoy in a relaxed way, and for a long period of time . . .

. . . The production process for 3D television requires a fundamental rethinking of the
underlying technology. Scenes have to be recorded with multiple imaging devices that
may be augmented with additional sensor technology to capture the three-dimensional
nature of real scenes. In addition, the data format used in 3D television is a lot more
complex. Rather than normal video streams, time-varying computational models of the
recorded scenes are required that comprise of descriptions of the scenes’ shape, motion,
and multiview appearance. The reconstruction of these models from the multiview
sensor data is one of the major challenges that we face today. Finally, the captured
scene descriptions have to be shown to the viewer in three-dimensions which requires
completely new display technology . . .

. . . The conventional stereoscopic concept entails with two views: it relies on the basic
concept of an end-to-end stereoscopic video chain, that is, on the capturing, transmission
and display of two separate video streams, one for the left and one for the
right eye. [Advocates for the autostereoscopic approach argue that] this conventional
approach is not sufficient for future 3DTV services. The objective of 3DTV is to bring
3D imaging to users at home. Thus, like conventional stereo production and 3D Cinema,
3DTV is based on the idea of providing a viewer with two individual perspective
views—one for the left eye and one for the right eye. The difference in approaches,
however, lies in the environment in which the 3D content is presented. While it seems
to be acceptable for a user to wear special glasses in the darkened theatrical auditorium
of a 3D Digital Cinema, [many, perhaps] most people would refuse to wear such
devices at home in the communicative atmosphere of their living rooms. Basically,
auto-stereoscopic 3D displays are better suited for these kinds of applications

. . . The two greatest industry-wide concerns [are]: (1.) That poor quality stereoscopic
TV will‘poison the water’ for everyone. Stereoscopic content that is poorly realized in
grammar or technology will create a reputation of eyestrain which cannot be shaken
off. This has happened before in the 30s, the 50s, and the 80s in the cinema. (2.) That
fragmentation of technical standards will split and confuse the market, and prevent
stereoscopic television from ever being successful . . .

. . . people may quickly tire of the novelty. I think it will be a gimmick. I suspect there
will be a lot of people who say it’s sort of neat, but it’s not really comfortable . . .

The challenge for the stakeholder is to determine where the “true” situation is, whether it is at one extreme, at the other extreme, or somewhere in the middle. An abbreviated list of issues to be resolved in order to facilitate broad deployment
of 3DTV services, beyond pure technology and encoding issues, include the following :

  • Production grammar (3D production for television still in infancy)
  • Compatibility of systems (also possibly different issues for pay TV and free-to-air operators)
  • Assessment of quality/suitability
    • Methodologies for the quality assessment of 3D TV systems;
    • Parameters that need to be measured that are specific to 3D TV;’
    • Sensation of reality;
    • Ease of viewing.
  • Understanding what the user requirements are.

In general, a technology introduction process spans three phases:

  • Phase 1: The technology becomes available in basic form to support a given service;
  • Phase 2: A full panoply of standards emerges to support widespread deployment of the technology;
  • Phase 3: The technology becomes inexpensive enough to foster large-scale adoption by a large set of end-users.

With reference to 3DTV, we find ourselves at some early point in Phase 1. However, there are several retarding factors that could hold back short-term deployment of the technology on a broad scale, including deployment and service cost (overall status of the economy), standards, content, and quality.

The previous assertion can be further elaborated as follows: ITU-R WP 6C classifies 3D TV systems into two groups. The “first generation” systems are essentially those based on “Plano-stereoscopic” display of single or multiple discrete lateral left and right eye pictures. Recommendations for such systems should be possible in the near future. The “second generation” systems are those which are based on object-wave recording (holography) or approximations of object-wave recording. Recommendations for such systems may be possible in the years ahead. We refine these observations by defining the following generations of 3DTV technology:

  • Generation 0: Anaglyth TV transmission;
  • Generation 1: 3DTV that supports plano-stereoscopic displays, which are stereoscopic (that is, require active or passive glasses);
  • Generation 2: 3DTV that supports plano-stereoscopic displays, which are autostereoscopic (do not require glasses);

Three epochs of 3DTV commercial deployment.

  • Generation 2.5: 3DTV that supports plano-stereoscopic displays, which are autostereoscopic (do not require glasses) and support multiple (N = 9) views;
  • Generation 3: 3DTV that supports integral imaging, transmission, and displays;
  • Generation 4: 3DTV that supports volumetric displays, transmission, and displays;
  • Generation 5: 3DTV that supports object-wave transmission.

See Figs. 1.9 and 1.10 (partially based on Ref. 2). Whether and when we get beyond Generation 2.5 in this decade remains to be seen. This text, and the current commercial industry efforts concentrate on Generation 1 services. At press time, we find ourselves in Phase 1 of Generation 1. The existing commercial video infrastructure can handle 3D video in a basic, developmental form; however, providing HD 3D with motion graphics is not achievable without making enhancements to such infrastructure. Existing infrastructures, including satellite and/or terrestrial distribution networks for example, can handle what some have termed “half-HD resolution” per eye, or frame formats of 1080i, 1080p24, and 1080i60. Existing encoders and set-top boxes can be used as long as signaling issues are addressed and 3D content is of a consistent form. The drawback of half-HD resolution is that images can be blurry, especially for sporting events and high-action movies [20]. New set-top chip sets are required for higher resolution 3DTV.


Adoption of 3DTV in the Marketplace

It should be noted that 3D film and 3DTV trials have a long history, as shown in Fig. 1.7 (based partially on Ref. 2). However, the technology has finally

History of 3D in film and television.

progressed enough at this juncture, for example with the deployment of digital television (DTV) and High Definition Television (HDTV), that regular commercial services will finally be introduced at this juncture.

We start by noting that there are two general commercial-grade display approaches for 3DTV: (i) stereoscopic TV, which requires special glasses to watch 3D movies, and (ii) autostereoscopic TV, which displays 3D images in such a manner that the user can enjoy the viewing experience without special accessories.

Short-term commercial 3DTV deployment, and the focus of this book, is on stereoscopic 3D imaging and movie technology. The stereoscopic approach follows the cinematic model, is simpler to implement, can be deployed more
quickly (including the use of relatively simpler displays), can produce the best results in the short term, and may be cheaper in the immediate future. However, the limitations are the requisite use of accessories (glasses), somewhat limited positions of view, and physiological and/or optical limitations including possible eye strain. In summary, (i) glasses may be cumbersome and expensive (especially for a large family) and (ii) without the glasses, the 3D content is unusable.

Autostereoscopic 3DTV eliminates the use of any special accessories: it implies that the perception of 3D is in some manner automatic, and does not require devices—either filter-based glasses or shutter-based glasses. Autostereoscopic displays use additional optical elements aligned on the surface of the screen, to ensure that the observer sees different images with each eye. From a home screen hardware perspective the autostereoscopic approach is more challenging, including the need to develop relatively more complex displays; also, more complex acquisition/coding algorithms may be needed to make optimal use of the technology. It follows that this approach is more complex to implement, will require longer to be deployed, and may be more expensive in the immediate future. However, this approach can produce the best results in the long term, including accessories-free viewing, multi-view operation allowing both movement and different perspective at different viewing positions, and better physiological and/or optical response to 3D.

Table 1.1 depicts a larger set of possible 3DTV (display) systems than what we identified above. The expectation is that 3DTV based on stereoscopy will experience earlier deployment compared with other technological alternatives.
Hence, this text focuses principally on stereoscopy. Holography and integral imaging are relatively newer technologies in the 3DTV context compared to stereoscopy; holographic and/or integral imaging 3DTV may be feasible late in
the decade. There are a number of techniques to allow each eye to view the separate pictures, as summarized in Table 1.2 (based partially on Ref. 3.) All of these techniques work in some manner, but all have some shortcomings.

To highlight the commercial interest in 3DTV at press time, note that ESPN announced in January 2010 that it planned to launch what would be the world’s

Various 3D Display Approaches and Technologies

first 3D sports network with the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in June 2010, followed by an estimated 85 live sports events during its first year of operation. DIRECTV announced that they will start 3D programming in 2010. DIRECTV’s new HD 3D channels will deliver movies, sports, and entertainment content from some of the world’s most renowned 3D producers. DIRECTV is currently working with AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy
Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal, and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to develop additional 3D programming that will debut in 2010–2011. At launch, the new DIRECTV HD 3D programming platform will offer a 24/7 3D pay per view channel focused on movies, documentaries, and other programming;

Current Techniques to Allow Each Eye to View Distinct Pictures Streams

a 24/7 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel; and a free 3D sampler demo channel featuring event programming such as sports, music, and other content. Comcast has announced that its VOD (Video-On-Demand) service is offering a number
of movies in anaglyph 3D (as well as HD) form. Comcast customers can pick up 3D anaglyph glasses at Comcast payment centers and malls “while supplies last” (anaglyph is a basic and inexpensive method of 3D transmission that relies on inexpensive colored glasses, but its drawback is the relatively low quality.) Verizon’s FiOS was expected to support 3DTV programming by Late 2010. Sky TV in the United Kingdom was planning to start broadcasting programs in 3D in the fall of 2010 on a dedicated channel that will be available to anyone who has the Sky HD package; there are currently 1.6 million customers who have a Sky HD set-top box. Sky TV has not announced what programs will be broadcast in 3D, but it is expected to broadcast live the main Sunday afternoon soccer game from the Premiership in 3D from the 2011 season, along with some arts documentaries and performances of ballet [4]. Sky TV has already invested in installing special twin-lens 3D cameras at stadiums.

3DTV television displays could be purchased in the United States and United Kingdom as of the spring of 2010 for $1000–5000 initially, depending on technology and approach. Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) systems with active
glasses tend to generally cost less. LG released its 3D model, a 47-in. LCD screen, expected to cost about $3000; with this system, viewers will need to wear polarized dark glasses to experience broadcasts in 3D. Samsung and Sony also announced they were bringing their own versions to market by the summer of 2010, along with 3D Blu-ray players, allowing consumers to enjoy 3D movies such as Avatar and Up, in their own homes [4]. Samsung and Sony’s models
use LED (Light-Emitting Diode) screens which are considered to give a crisper picture and are, therefore, expected to retail for about $5000 or possibly more. While LG is adopting the use of inexpensive polarizing dark glasses, Sony and Samsung are using active shutter technology. This requires users to buy expensive dark glasses, which usually cost more than $50 and are heavier than the $2–3 plastic polarizing ones. Active shutter glasses alternately darken over one eye, and then the other, in synchronization with the refresh rate of the screen using shutters built into the glasses (using infrared or Bluetooth connections). Panasonic Corporation has developed a full HD 3D home theater system consisting of a plasma full HD 3D TVs, 3D Blu-ray player, and active shutter 3D glasses. The 3D display was originally available in 50-in., 54-in., 58-in. and 65-in. class sizes. High-end systems are also being introduced; for example Panasonic announced a 152-in. 4K × 2K (4096 × 2160 pixels)-definition full HD 3D plasma display. The display features a new Plasma Display Panel (PDP) that uses self-illuminating technology. Self-illuminating plasma panels offer excellent response to moving images with full motion picture resolution, making them suitable for rapid 3D image display (its illuminating speed is about one-fourth the speed of conventional full HD panels). Each display approach
has advantages and disadvantages as shown in Table 1.3.

Summary of Possible, Commercially Available TV Screen/System Choices for 3D

Summary of Possible, Commercially Available TV Screen/System Choices for 3D

3D Blu-ray disc logo.

It is to be expected that 3DTV for home use is likely to first see penetration via stored media delivery. For content source, proponents make the case that BD “is the ideal platform” for the initial penetration of 3D technology in the mainstream market because of the high quality of pictures and sound it offers film producers. Many products are being introduced by manufacturers: for example at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) International Trade Show, vendors introduced eight home theater product bundles (one with 3D capability), 14 new players (four with 3D capability), three portable players, and a number of software titles. In 2010 the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) launched a new 3D Blu-ray logo to help consumers quickly discern 3D-capable Blu-ray players from 2D-only versions (Fig. 1.8) [5].

The BDA makes note of the strong adoption rate of the Blu-ray format. In 2009, the number of Blu-ray households increased by more than 75% over 2008 totals. After four years in the market, total Blu-ray playback devices (including
both set-top players and PlayStation3 consoles) numbered 17.6 million units, and 16.2 million US homes had one or more Blu-ray playback devices. By comparison, DVD playback devices (set-tops and PlayStation2 consoles) reached
14.1 million units after four years, with 13.7 million US households having one or more playback devices. The strong performance of the BD format is due to a number of factors, including the rapid rate at which prices declined due to
competitive pressures and the economy; the rapid adoption pace of HDTV sets, which has generated a US DTV household penetration rate exceeding 50%; and, a superior picture and sound experience compared to standard definition and even
other HD sources. Another factor in the successful adoption pace has been the willingness of movie studios to discount popular BD titles [5]. Blu-ray software unit sales in 2009 reached 48 million, compared with 22.5 million in 2008, up
by 113.4%. A number of movie classics were available at press time through leading retailers at sale prices as low as $10.

The BDA also announced (at the end of 2009) the finalization and release of the Blu-ray 3D specification. These BD specifications for 3D allow for full HD 1080p resolution to each eye. The specifications are display agnostic, meaning
they apply equally to plasma, LCD, projector, and other display formats regardless of the 3D systems those devices use to present 3D to viewers. The specifications also allow the PlayStation3 gaming console to play back 3D content.
The specifications that represent the work of the leading Hollywood studios and consumer electronic and computer manufacturers, will enable the home entertainment industry to bring stereoscopic 3D experience into consumers’ living
rooms on BD, but will require consumers to acquire new players, HDTVs, and shutter glasses. The specifications allow studios (but do not require them) to package 3D Blu-ray titles with 2D versions of the same content on the same disc. The specifications also support playback of 2D discs in forthcoming 3D players and can enable 2D playback of Blu-ray 3D discs on an installed base of BD. The Blu-ray 3D specification encodes 3D video using the Multi-View Video Coding (MVC) codec, an extension to the ITU-T H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec currently supported by all BD players. MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts Group 4)-MVC compresses both left and right eye views with a typical 50% overhead compared to equivalent 2D content, according to BDA and can provide full 1080p resolution backward compatibility with current 2D BD players [6].

The broadcast commercial delivery of 3DTV on a large scale—whether over satellite/Direct-To-Home (DTH), over the air, over cable systems, or via IPTV—may take some number of years because of the relatively large-scale infrastructure that has to be put in place by the service providers and the limited availability of 3D-ready TV sets in the home (implying a small subscriber, and so small revenue base). A handful of providers were active at press time, as described earlier, but general deployment by multiple providers serving a geographic market will come at a future time. Delivery of  downloadable 3DTV files over the Internet may occur at any point in the immediate future, but the provision of a broadcast-quality service over the Internet is not likely for the foreseeable future.

At the transport level, 3DTV will require more bandwidth of regular programming, perhaps even twice the bandwidth in some implementations (e.g., simulcasting—the transmission of two fully independent channels4); some newer schemes such as “video + depth” may require only 25% more bandwidth compared to 2D, but these schemes are not the leading candidate technologies for actual deployment in the next 2–3 years. Other interleaving approaches use the same bandwidth of a channel now in use, but at a compromise in resolution. Therefore, in principle, if HDTV programming is broadcast at high quality, say, 12–15Mbps using MPEG-4 encoding, 3DTV using the simplest methods of two independent streams will require 24–30Mbps.5 This data rate does not fit a standard over-the-air digital TV (DTV) channel of 19.2 Mbps, and will also be a challenge for non-Fiber-To-The-Home (non-FTTH) broadband Internet connections. However, one expects to see the emergence of bandwidth reduction techniques, as alluded to above. On the other hand, DTH satellite providers, terrestrial fiberoptic providers, and some cable TV firms should have adequate bandwidth to support the service. For example, the use of the Digital Video Broadcast Satellite Second Generation (DVB-S2) allows a transponder to carry 75 Mbps of content with modulation using an 8-point constellation and twice that much with a 16-point constellation. The trade-off would be, however (if we use the raw HD bandwidth just described as a point of reference), that a DVB-S2 transponder that would otherwise carry 25 channels of standard definition video or 6–8 channels of HD video would now only carry 2–3 3DTV channels. To be pragmatic about this issue, most 3DTV providers are not contemplating delivering full resolution as just described and/or the transmission of two fully independent channels (simulcasting), but some compromise; for example, lowering the per eye data rate such that a 3DTV program fits into a commercial-grade HDTV channel (say 8–10 Mbps), using time interleaving or spatial compression—again, this is doable but comes with the degradation of ultimate resolution quality.

There are a number of alternative transport architectures for 3DTV signals, also depending on the underlying media. As noted, the service can be supported by traditional broadcast structures including the DVB architecture, wireless 3G/4G transmission such as DVB-H approaches, Internet Protocol (IP) in support of an IPTV-based service (in which case it also makes sense to consider IPv6) and the IP architecture for internet-based delivery (both non–real time and streaming). The specific approach used by each of these transport methods will also depend on the video-capture approach. One should note that in the United States, one has a well-developed cable infrastructure in all Tier 1 and Tier 2 metropolitan and suburban areas; in Europe/Asia, this is less so, with more DTH delivery (in the United States DTH tends to serve more exurban and rural areas). A 3DTV rollout must take these differences into account and/or accommodate
both. In reference to possible cable TV delivery, CableLabs announced at press time that it started to provide testing capabilities for 3D TV implementation scenarios over cable; these testing capabilities cover a full range of technologies
including various frame-compatible, spatial multiplexing solutions for transmission [7].

Standards are critical to achieving interworking and are of great value to both consumers and service providers. The MPEG of the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) has been working on coding formats for 3D video (and has already completed some of them.) The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) 3D Home Entertainment Task Force has been working on mastering standards. The
Rapporteur Group on 3DTV of the International Telecommunications Union- Radiocommunications Sector (ITU-R) Study Group 6, and the TM-3D-SM group of DVB were working on transport standards.



Home Theater Cable Guide

The past decade has been an amazing time for home theater enthusiasts. Improved manufacturing techniques and global
market competition has brought high-end A/V equipment into the mainstream. Competition among flat panel TV manufacturers has been particularly fierce. However, to keep costs down to a minimum, many of these products are shipped with near useless user manuals and throwaway A/V cables.

Home Theater Cable Guide

A quick glance at the back of a typical HDTV can be quite intimidating.  There will often be 10 or more types of  connections, many of which appear redundant. So what type of connection yields the best picture or sound quality?
What kind of cable is required? We created the Amphenol Cables on Demand Home Theater Cable Guide to answer these A/V questions.

Cable Guide




The HDMI or High Definition Multimedia Interface is the A/V connection of choice on the latest generation of home theater equipment. HDMI supports high resolution digital video with resolutions up to 1920×1080 (1080p) as well as multichannel digital surround sound over a single low-profile cable. Since HDMI is a digital interface, interference problems such as ghosting, snow, and hum are eliminated entirely. If you have HDMI inputs on your HDTV, you must use an HDMI compatible signal source to take advantage of them. All new HDTV compatible cable and satellite set-top-boxes come standard with HDMI; as do the new HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc Players.

HDMI cables must be built to extremely tight tolerances in order to support the bandwidth requirements of today’s video sources. We use our 70+ years of interconnect manufacturing experience to ensure these strict tolerances are met. Amphenol HDMI cables are designed to the latest specification: HDMI 1.3. For those running 1080p, we recommend our Premium 1080p Certified HDMI cable series.



Now that the personal computer has become the centerpiece for storing movies, music, and pictures, it’s no surprise that the SVGA connection has migrated over to the average HDTV. Now, with a simple cable, you can play PC based video games or browse the web on the big screen. Amphenol SVGA cables feature precision-terminated HD15 connectors and double-shielded coax; perfect for high-bandwidth 1080p HDTV signals. We recommend SVGA cables with Ferrites for commercial installations.

Component Video

Component Video

The Y’PbPr analog component video connection made its major debut with the release of the DVD player in the mid 90s. Shortly thereafter, component video became standard equipment on nearly every HDTV and home theater projector.
Although component video does not quite meet the performance level offered by HDMI, it still reliably supports 1080p true high definition video content. We recommend component video cables for use with DVD players whenever possible to support the Progressive Scan feature. RCA audio cables are not suitable for component video use. Proper component video cables are color coded in red, blue, and green.


The S-Video or “separate video” connection splits the analog video signal into a color component and a brightness component. S-Video is the preferred connection method for use with standard definition (480i) content. S-Video connections were often considered a premium on older tube TV’s, as they delivered a sharper picture from sources like S-VHS VCR’s, cable boxes, and satellite receivers. S-Video has the distinction of eliminating the problem of dot crawl, which consists of animated checkerboard patterns that appear along vertical color transitions. All Amphenol S-Video
cables are fully molded and shielded for exemplary performance and reliability. Premium Gold version available.

Composite Video

Composite Video

Composite video is perhaps the most widely used analog video interface found on consumer electronic equipment. A composite video connector can easily be located by its yellow color. It is called composite video because the color, sync, and brightness information is all combined into a single signal. Composite video is convenient and easy to work with since it demands minimal bandwidth and can be used over common 75 ohm coaxial cable. Composite video is always recommended for use with laser disc players, but is generally a lesser choice for other equipment if an S-Video,
component, or HDMI connection is available.

RF Audio / Video

RF Audio / Video

An RF signal combines both video and audio and modulates it onto a TV channel. If you have to turn the TV to channel 3 or 4 in order to watch your cable box or VCR, you are likely using an RF connection. We do not recommend using the RF connection on new A/V equipment unless absolutely necessary. If you simply need to hook up a VCR to a spare TV, this connection will work fine. Our special thin-line RF cables feature low-profile F connectors for maximum installation flexibility.



The TOSLINK interface was initially developed by Toshiba as a low cost method of digitally linking CD players and stereo receivers. As digital surround sound entered the home market, TOSLINK was adapted to handle the new format. TOSLINK ports were soon added to cable/satellite boxes, DVD players, and game consoles. The audio delivered via TOSLINK offers superior fidelity and is completely immune to interference due to its fiber optic design. We recommend using a digital connection like TOSLINK whenever possible. TOSLINK ports are easily recognized by their distinctive
red glow.

Stereo RCA

Stereo RCA

Analog Stereo RCA audio connections are widely implemented. Nearly every piece of home theater equipment on the market is equipped with one or more sets of Stereo RCA jacks. Stereo RCA connections are an ideal choice for use with devices that do not support digital surround sound such as CD players and VCR’s. To fully capture the multi-track digital surround sound embedded on most DVD’s and HDTV shows, a digital connection such as TOSLINK is required. Amphenol Stereo RCA cables are properly impedance matched for flawless audio reproduction.

3.5mm Mini-Stereo

3.5mm Mini-Stereo

The 3.5mm Mini-Stereo connection, often called the headphone jack, is commonly installed on portable electronic devices such as MP3 players and handheld games. Many home and car stereos now come equipped with a 3.5mm Mini-Stereo auxiliary input jack. Our 3.5mm male / male cable is perfect for connecting your portable device to this input jack. If you need to extend a pair of headphones or another cable, use our 3.5mm male / female cable.