By Matthew Henry

HUNTER VALLEY: Consumers are likely to become more confused by digital TV despite the recent introduction of the HD Tick logo, according to Samsung, with growing talk about full high definition (HD) from manufacturers adding another layer of information.

With the roll out of full HD this year, consumers’ understanding of digital TV could be getting worse, not better, with full HD adding to the myriad of standards and resolutions that consumers need to familiarize themselves with.

According to Samsung technical marketing manager, John Fragidakis, as manufacturers ramp up their promotion of full HD there is likely to be more confusion unless media, manufacturers and retailers take an active role in educating consumers about the difference between HD and full HD.

Addressing delegates at the Media Connect conference in the Hunter Valley today, Fragidakis said that while the new HD Tick logo helps consumers identify products with over 720p resolution, full HD is going to present a new challenge.

“This year we are seeing a lot of manufacturers rolling our full HD, which throws another spanner in the works,” said Fragidakis.

“The issue is where manufacturers have pushed ahead to provide consumers with the best quality panels, but the content is not up to date yet.”

According to Samsung, true full HD is 1920×1080 progressive scan (1080p) resolution, which currently is only available in Australia with Blu-ray Disc, HDDVD and games systems like the Xbox 360 and PS3.

But getting the message across to consumers, who are already struggling to come to grips with the differences between analogue, standard definition and high definition TV, is going to be a difficult task, said Fragidakis.

“We are now trying to talk to consumers about resolutions, which we weren’t having to do five years ago in the television market,” he said.

Adding to the problem, confusion also exists between manufacturers, with Sony suggesting that 1920×1080 interlaced should be considered full HD, while Samsung believes that only 1080p is truly full HD.

Broadcasters are also sending a mixed message, with Channel Ten promoting the Rugby World Cup as a full HD broadcast despite using the 1080i standard rather than the 1080p standard.