How to Tell if Your TV Is HD Compatible or Not

By Stephen Lilley

In television terms, "HD" stands for "High Definition." High-definition television is of a vastly higher resolution than standard-definition television. As a result, the HD picture looks far clearer, sharper and more natural than SD can ever hope to deliver. If you have an older TV or have just purchased a new TV and want to know if it is capable of displaying true high-definition content, all you need to do is know where to look.

Things You'll Need

  • Television
  • Television instruction manual

Step 1

Locate the instruction manual that came with your television.

Step 2

Look in the "Table of Contents" (normally one of the first two or so pages) for the "Technical Specifications." Flip to that page in the instruction manual.

Step 3

Look at the listing for "Resolution." If the resolution of the television in question is listed as 480i or 480p, you have a standard-definition television set. You will not be able to use devices like Blu-Ray players or high-definition cable boxes. If the resolution is listed as 720p, 1080i or 1080p, then you have a high-definition-compatible television set.

Tips & Warnings

  • Note that technical specification information, including resolution, is also present on the side of the original box that the television came in.