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HD Tick tries to make buying TV easier

A new certification program, which aims to simplify the purchase of an HDTV with a digital tuner, may actually complicate matters.

A new certification program, which aims to simplify the purchase of an HDTV with a digital tuner, may actually complicate matters due to its flexible definition of what HD actually is.

The HD Tick logo will start appearing on many new TVs.

The new 'HD Tick Logo' aims to ensure compliance with Australian digital receiver standards and provide for better connectivity with other digital entertainment products, and most manufacturers have reportedly come on-board.

Ross Henderson, chair of the Australian Digital Suppliers Industry Forum (ADSIF) which oversees the logo, said the system is designed to reduce confusion about what HD is: "It offers consumers the confidence that what they're buying is what they're looking for."

To qualify, a product needs to be at least 720p compliant and have an HD tuner on-board -- but according to Ross Henderson, the product can be considered HD even if its horizontal resolution is less than 1280p. High definition is classified as being a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, but under this system a plasma with a resolution of 1024 x 1024 would be "high-def" -- some might say falsely.

The HD Tick logo certifies that the product complies with Australian standards and is guaranteed to interoperate with other products which bear the tick -- especially when connected by HDMI. HDMI is notorious for its incompatibility between products and so a degree of certification, beyond HDMI Licensing's own, can only be a good thing.

The ADSIF predicts that almost 10 million flat panel HDTVs will be purchased in Australia through to 2012.

The new logo will be officially launched at Channel TEN's studios on August 23.