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What is the difference between HDTV and EDTV?

In the world widescreen television, there are two distinct flavors. One is true High Definition Television (HDTV), which offers the highest resolution images currently possible (1080 or 720 vertical lines). The other is Enhanced Definition Television (EDTV), which is essentially Standard Definition Television (SDTV) in a high quality digital, progressive scan form (480 vertical lines). Fox Broadcasting Network used to use EDTV to air programming before switching to HDTV. Currently, no major network uses EDTV. ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, UPN and the WB all show their network programming in either 1080i or 720p HDTV (no network uses both, though). EDTV is the resolution of standard DVD, which is not HDTV.

One place where you might encounter HDTV and EDTV resolutions is with plasma television screens. Many less expensive plasma and LCD monitors offer EDTV resolution only. While regular DVD movies may look very good on them, these screens are not capable of displaying true HDTV. HDTV screens can show much higher resolution images.

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