The whole of the developed world is now gearing for a better home entertainment experience as more stations are broadcasting in high definition. With this whole HD revolution going on, you may be wondering if it is now time to buy an HDTV set. Actually, an HDTV unit is something that may interest not only gadget fans and tech-heads because they can transfer content to and from it via a lightning USB cable or an HDMI cable with other devices like a laptop or even a tablet. But before making this important purchase, you must know the basics about high definition television.
First of all, HDTV content are broadcast digitally. This translates to better picture quality compared to the old analog broadcasting system. Since analog signals are made of waves that fluctuate, they are prone to static and interference. In a digital broadcasting system, these issues are virtually non-existent. Resolution is also higher in high definition such that images displayed on the screen have a higher level of detail than in traditional television.
A complete HDTV experience has three requirements – a source, a receiver, and an HDTV set. The source refers to the station that broadcasts in HD. The receiver can be in the form of an antenna or a cable or satellite service. The HDTV set are usually what the end-consumer buys first. You can choose between an integrated HDTV and an HDTV-ready set.
In an integrated set, you can already watch a station broadcasting in high definition by just attaching an antenna since it already has a tuner built in. On the other hand, an HDTV-ready set means that the monitor can display in high definition but does not yet have the required receiver or tuner built in. This is actually a better alternative for most people especially if there are no stations in their area that broadcast in HD. This set still has NTSC tuners and is thus backwards compatible. This means that you can still watch analog television with this set up. Later on, you can get the required receiver when it is more applicable. What you should keep in mind is that having a high definition TV set does not automatically mean high definition quality of the displayed image on the screen. The television station you are watching should also be broadcasting under a digital signal.
Considering the quality of picture resolution expected in a high definition TV set, you might automatically think of buying a TV with the largest screen size to take advantage of this feature. However, there are three important considerations you must apply when choosing HDTV screen size. First of all, the size of the room where the television set will be installed should be assessed. In general, small TV sets are good for bedrooms while those bigger than 30” are better suited to the living room or home entertainment room.
Next is the distance you usually sit relative to the TV set. The rule of thumb is that you should be sitting no closer than twice the diagonal measurement of the TV screen. With that distance, one can have a theater-like experience while watching TV. Too far means missing out on the details while too close will strain your eyes. While the first two considerations go hand in hand, the third and last consideration has much to do with your budget and personal viewing habits. If you watch only for a short time each day, like just the news during the morning for example, a smaller HDTV set will suffice. However if you spend a lot of time in front of your TV due to regular DVD screenings or daily sessions playing a video game, a few dollars more spent on a larger TV assures a theater-like experience while watching films or playing video games.
One last thing you should know is that an HDTV uses power whether it is on or in standby mode and has higher power consumption than analog TV. If you still want to push through with the purchase, you can get an LCD HDTV as it consumes less power than a plasma one.