Don't Be Fooled About HD TVs

If you haven't seen high definition (HD) TV, please do. The key to understanding HD: Merely owning an HD TV set does not give you a great picture. You won't see the improvement in picture quality until you subscribe to HD content which is typically another $5 per month from your cable or satellite provider. I have had HD TV service for the last six months and it is one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen.

My favorite channels are Discover and INHD which shows many IMAX movies. These are quite simply amazing and a pure delight to watch.

If you are in the market for a new HD, you'll need some information under your belt to arm you against the hype you will encounter. The links below will dispel the myth of the newest standard on the market, the 1080p (progressive). As you will see, there simply is no justification to purchase this level of resolution right now, as there is no commercial source of content that you can view.

This is a classic case of manufacturers forcing products into the marketplace before they're needed. And, even though the 1080p is much better technically on paper than the 1080i, it's hard to see a discernable difference between the two. All this extra resolution is simply wasted.

Moreover, the vast majority of sets sold as HD aren't even full HD resolution yet, so it will be many years before the 1080p becomes commonplace.

So save your money and get a 780p set which is a far better display than a 1080i (interlaced).

You can also save money by getting the newer rear projection TVs. While you can't hang these on your wall, I really don't see the need to do that. There is no question that they are a far better value than LCD or Plasma sets. For the same money, you can get a much larger screen. Who needs the "status" of being able to hang your screen on the wall?

There are two new exciting technologies that are not yet commercially available. One is a rear projection TV that uses a LED lamp. The major problem with rear projection TV is that the bulbs wear out and if you accidentally leave the TV on for a few days you will destroy the bulb and they typically cost a few hundred dollars to repair. LED lamps will solve all that as they don't burn out and run much cooler consuming less power and you will never likely have to replace the bulb.

SED TVs will be out next year by Cannon and Toshiba. My guess is that this technology is so superior it stands a good chance of dominating the TV scene but it will likely take a few more years as they are still primarily in prototype modes.

One last tip: Don't buy your TV online. They are far too complex to set up. Buy your TV from a good local dealer who can set it up for you in your home. The slight extra you will pay for this is more than made up for all the hassle you will avoid.

HDTV Expert.com

Team Xbox.com April 17, 2006

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