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Guide: How to shop for your first HDTV E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Saturday, 21 April 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
Guide: How to shop for your first HDTV
Television Technology Defined
Determine your HDTV needs
Know your budget

The end is near. Get HDTV, or die.

I realize this is an overly dramatic introduction for a tutorial guide, but there is some truth to the statement. For those few US citizens who have not been keeping tabs on the network television industry, there is a very important date to mark on the calendar: 17 February 2009. D-Day. Thanks to numerous corporate lobbyists and US Congress, all network television stations will stop broadcasting their analog signal on this date and complete the transition to digital broadcast. This will be the first time in US history that television broadcasting has established a change which is not backwards compatible. Analog television will be a relic of the past, and the digital age will complete its global presence.

In anticipation, some of the major networks have already made the switch to digital broadcast. Even today, several over-the-air (OTA), cable, and satellite broadcasts can be received in HDTV with the proper antenna and tuner. Analog television sets receiving over-the-air programming will still work after that date, but will require converter boxes to change new digital broadcasts into the older analog format. Cable and satellite subscribers with analog television sets will most likely add yet another box from their service providers which converts signal for the DTV transition.

Television has become a necessity for several American families, nearly as important as their take-out dinners and SUV's. So how will you save yourself, your family, and loved ones from a cold dark Saturday night with no TV? The solution isn't so difficult, and what you do to prepare for the future will depend solely on what you know about it. This guide will infuse months of research into a very easy to understand how-to article, all for the purpose of preparing you for the impending D-Day which is not far off.

How to shop for your first HDTV guide

Since HDTV first landed on the consumer scene, I have personally researched the subject to great lengths. I went and read what everyone else on the Web had to say on the subject; but it doesn't take long to realize that technology news gets old fast and often spoils overnight. Many of the guides out there talked about the upcoming digital transition as if it were wishful thinking that might never happen, and others discussed how you would need an additional HDTV tuner to receive programming. Simply put, if the article, guide, or scrap of news pertaining to HDTV shopping was written prior to 1 March 2007, then it probably is outdated. You will learn exactly why later in this article.

At first my reasearch efforts were for the simple purpose of improving my grasp on the technology so that I could make an informed decisions on product purchases, but it soon developed into a full-fledged obsession to get the best product possible for my money. I found myself interjecting HDTV techno-quips at business lunches, if for nothing more than to take everyone else up a level from which I was once a part of. But still, what does all this have to do with a guide? Simply put, it's all relevant to the HDTV industry as a whole. It's the difference between buying obsolete from cutting edge.

This guide will educate you on the most relevant and essential terms used in HDTV today. Using this guide will ultimately save you days of confusing research, and will better prepare you to determine your HDTV and home theater equipment needs. But most importantly it will arm you with the necessary knowledge to make an educated purchase on a budget. A portion of this article will also teach you how to get the best flat screen TV deals and deliver the best value on your HDTV purchase.

If you are even remotely considering an HDTV purchase, please do yourself a huge favor and read through this article... it's going to save you money.


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