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Buyers Guide

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Brand and Model Number    
Price, including any extra charges.    
HD Television (incl. tuner, video display, audio)   Integrated unit
HD Television – Cable Ready, Incl. off-air and cable tuner, video display, audio and slot for Cable Card)   Requires CableCard from cable company to receive programs.
HD Ready (video display and audio only)   Requires external STB
HD Set-top Box (STB) (tuner and video/audio processing)   Off-air, satellite or cable
Screen size (ins.)   Aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3)   HDTV programming uses 16:9
Display type (Direct view or projection)   Check visibility at  side angles
Display technology (CRT,  LCD,  LCOS, Plasma,  DLP)   Check visibility at side angles
Display resolution  (1920 x 1080 pixels, 1280 x 720 pixels, 1366 x 768 pixels, ______ x ____ pixels)   HDTV requires at least 1280 x 720 pixels
Display mode (progressive - p,   interlaced – i)   Check smoothness of motion in the image
Screen reflections   Daylight viewing
Image formats accepted (1080i,  720p,  480p,  480i)   All may be broadcast
High image brightness Dramatic image colors   Check with a real HDTV picture source
Image quality on good digital HDTV program   Make sure you are viewing HDTV programming for true comparison
Image quality on DVD   Check if progressive capability is included
Image quality on NTSC   Products differ in the enhancement of poor quality video
Audio capability: Dolby Digital 5.1 – best,  simulated surround or stereo only    
Loudspeaker size , number, power    
Sound quality on listening test    
Power consumption (operating -         watts)    
HD Component HDMI/DVI       Digital connection from STB (best quality)
HD Component (Y, PR, PB)       Analogue connection from STB
Firewire       HD Camcorder connection
HD Component (DB-15)       Computer connection
SD Component (Y, PR, PB)       DVD connection
Composite S-Video       VCR (best quality)
Composite NTSC Video       Alternative for VCR
Analog audio (L/R)       STB, VCR or DVD
HD Component (Y, PR, PB)        
SD Component (Y, PR, PB)        
Composite S-Video       VCR (best quality)
Composite NTSC Video       VCR
Analog audio (L/R)       VCR
Digital audio       Home Theater Unit (best quality)
Aspect ratio selection  on NTSC - S-Video inputs    Letterbox, stretch, etc.
Aspect ratio selection  on component inputs    3:2 reverse pull-down processing for films
2 Tuner picture-in-picture (PIP)    
V-chip parental control (Canadian rating table availability)   Differs from U.S.
Wall mounting capability    
Universal remote control    
Video game capability    
Warranty period and conditions    
Service and installation support    
Availability and delivery date    


Print this checklist out and print a few copies to keep with you when you visit the dealer to consider the selection and purchase of an HD television. For each model that is of interest, use the form to guide your evaluation and record the information for later comparison.

It is also important that the new HD television should work with any existing equipment, such as VCR’s, DVD, camcorders or video games. Make sure that you can identify the characteristics and model of each, so that you can be sure that they will interconnect cleanly with the new HD television you are about to purchase. Generally, these devices connect to the NTSC or S-Video ports and to the analog audio L/R ports. DVD’s may also offer video interconnection to the analog component ports (Y, PR, PB) in the 480p format or 720p format, but still require the analog audio L/R connections. It is also important to note if your new HDTV can connect to an existing Home Theatre System/AV receiver. Some HTS’s do not allow for component video connection and will require the switching of video and audio inputs separately.

It is also important to know what size display is appropriate for your particular situation. Bigger is not necessarily better. Measure your viewing distance. The viewing distance should be 3 to 4 times picture height.

In the selection of the HD television, make sure that you have a clear understanding of any needed and/or included accessories. For instance, if it is solely a monitor, without a tuner or satellite receiver, then a suitable STB must be added. Similarly, if the necessary cables are not included to connect it up, then these must be identified and purchased. Cabinets, wall mountings, external speakers and the like should be considered also. Make sure also that the manufacturers warranty card and instruction manual are received. These are essential documents and should be kept safely for future reference.

Information to help plan your installation is included on the CDTV web site and may be consulted ahead of the purchase decision to ensure that everything will go smoothly and without surprises. See Connecting HDTV.

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