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HD Audio
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Q: HD Audio

A: HD Audio is the next logical step in the advancement of art and technology of audio recording. The term HD stands for High Definition and is synonymous with high resolution, a term that has been used by audio engineers for many years. I have chosen [as has the Consumer Electronics Association] HD because of the association with HDTV and the familiarity of the public with the letters HD. However, there is a great deal of deliberate misuse of HD for the same reasons. Did you know that there is an HD window cleaner and HD film developing? Even in the world of music and audio, there is confusion. For example, HD Radio has nothing to do with high definition! The quality of the audio reproduction is determined at the time of the original recording. Here's an illustration of the production process showing all of the steps AND the areas where audio is lost.

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Q: High Performance Audio

A: High Performance audio can be applied to analog tape, vinyl and digital recordings. It refers to the best of a particular medium but doesn't promise any rigorous standard of quality. The type of equipment used in the 50's, 60's and 70's simply cannot match the fidelity of current technologies. There is a 'High Performance' audio division for the Consumer Electronics Association that helps to promote all types of consumer audio electronics. Each type can provide excellent fidelity but each is limited.

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Q: High End Audio

A: HD Audio is recorded music or sound that is captured, encoded and reproduced at a fidelity that far exceeds the standard for downloaded music tracks from other sites. Even sites that claim to have 'perfect audio' or 'CD-quality' downloads are limited by the fidelity of the original recordings. The fidelity of HD Audio equals or is very close to the limits of human hearing and must be captured while musicians/singers are actually in front of state of the art recording equipment. Unfortunately, almost all of the music that you hear is not HD but has been derived from CDs, analog tapes or even vinyl...all of which are Standard Definition. When you hear REAL HD Audio, you'll immediately know the difference.

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Q: HD Video

A: HD Video is the next generation of television viewing. There are HDTV stations that broadcast HD signals that can be received by special HDTV sets. These sets adhere to the ATSC [Advanced Television Standards Committee] and can display images at 1920 x 1080i or 1280 x 720p. The clarity of HD Video is a stark improvement over traditional NTSC video. There are also new optical disc formats that can deliver HD Video using advanced codecs like VC-1. Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are available now and can playback movies and music content at HD Video standards. Additionally, media servers can output HD signals to home theaters.

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