Help, I Need a New HDTV! (Part 4 of 5)


Feeling overwhelmed in selecting a new TV? With all the choices these days, you may feel like, "Where do I start?!"

In part 4 of our 5 part article, we the discuss "do I really need an HDTV?"

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Right now, stations are moving towards HDTV programming. Although available for free over the air in major metropolitan areas, this process will take a few years to fully unfold. To be honest, an HDTV, plus components, plus the service can add up. But, if you are ready for top-notch quality? then dive in!

Do beware? it's more then a choice of size, price, and a few extra features. Many consumers purchase an HDTV thinking that they can plug it in and get HD programming. You must consider how you want to receive your HD programming to know what extra components you will need.

Over the Air. For this option, the HD programming is free, but limited to local stations received by an HD compatible antenna (approx $20-$100). Also, either a HD tuner that is built into the TV or a external tuner (approx. $250) is required.

Local Cable Provider. For this option, the HD programming is an additional fee per month. Typically this will include your local and any premium channels (such as HBO) that you already subscribe to. No HD tuner or antenna is required, the cable provider will lease you a HD cable box.

Satellite. The monthly fee is generally a bit less then the local cable provider. For this option, you need buy the HD satellite receiver (approx $400-$800) and replace your old dish with a slightly larger elliptical-shaped HD capable dish.

Even if you decide that HD programming is not right for you? you may still benefit from purchasing a HDTV if you watch a lot of DVD movies. Although not all DVD's are in true HD format, you will realize a higher clarity. Also, TV's last for 10+ years, so why not be ready for the technology if you change your mind down the road?

* Next in Part 5 of this article: TV recommendations by room

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Brett Griffin lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. Brett has 12 years of experience in the technology industry and strives to seamlessly blend high performance technologies into one easy to use system. As co-founder of Architechtronics, Brett uses his creativity and experience to help builders, dealers, and homeowners meet their technology desires in their home.


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