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Getting HDTV

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Buying an HDTV

The purchase of your HD television is a major investment for the home and will require serious consideration of your needs, budget, and how it will fit into with any existing electronics. Look over the Buyers Guide on this site for some of the things you will need to consider. Much useful information to assist in the decision-making is included in the section, Getting HDTV .

As a beginning, what are you looking for in the following areas?

•General: Ensure that the set you buy is either HD-Ready or has a built-in HD tuner. Some sets may offer Cable Ready capability also. Ensure that the set has proper inputs for receiving HD signals. You’ll need component video inputs at a minimum, with DVI (Digital Visual Interface) or HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface), the new standard inputs, which are becoming more common. Most HD and HD Ready sets come in the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the way HD content is created.

•Screen size: Choose a size related to your room size and viewing environment. Viewing of HD at 3 - 4 times picture height is optimal. As an example, a screen of 40 in. diagonal, which has a height of 20 in. is best viewed at a distance of 5 to 7 feet. A 60 in. screen is best viewed at a distance of 8 to 12 feet.

•Direct view or rear projection: Direct view CRT or LCD screens are available to about 36 in. and plasma panels can be even bigger, but at a price premium. Rear projection televisions using CRT, LCD or DLP technology are available up to 65 ins. but are somewhat more limited in viewing angle, reducing the potential audience size. These technologies tend to be less expensive than plasma panels.

•External inputs: What is needed to connect your existing DVD player, VCR, camcorder, digital camera, or even a computer? Check the flexibility and availability of front and rear input jacks.

•Display flexibility: If you want to watch a variety of HD, SD, NTSC, and/or DVD sources originating from film and video, be sure the HD television can handle all those sources easily.

Check the available web information for HD televisions that potentially meet your needs. Click on the logos of the major Canadian manufacturers to view their offerings, and compare them using our Buyers Guide. Visit the retailers in your area with the Buyers Guide in hand to review features and prices with the staff. Pay particular attention to picture and sound quality, flexibility and features to be sure of your facts.

Compare, contrast and evaluate against the objectives you have set. Which is the best package for you?

Once you have made your selection, visit the Connecting HDTV part of the site to be sure you have included all the necessary components to correctly install your purchase.

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