An HDTV For The 2006
Welcome back once again. This time, we examine an item that has been
hot for a while, but is really coming into its own: HDTVs.
Prices are beginning to drop in a way that some producers fear will cut
into profits. For the last few years,
many versions were very expensive and without an HD format and limited HD from
cable or satellite, people were really buying these to show off money they
might have and as furniture.
There was also the complain
that TVs take up “too much room” and the thinner the better, but those who
bought plasma models a few years ago are discovering that on top of all the
wattage that had to surge through the TV to make it work, they wear out quickly
and the materials inside can turn to gel.
This is not unlike lesser old projection TVs having picture troubles as
the lenses (especially plastic) wore out and became warped). Now we have LCD, DLP, Plasma and still even
picture tubes that can do 1080i or slightly better 1080p images.
The advanced projection models
can look good, but detail, Video Black, Video Red and uniform appearance can
vary wildly. Though they are heavier and
take more room, the HD-capable picture tubes are the most underrated and
becoming some of the most affordable on the market. There are even 1.33 X 1 tradition block style
TVs that can do 1080i HD images and have aspect ratio adjustment modes, but
sets like that have been barely promoted since that is not where the biggest
Now, competition has arrived,
replacing TVs that have died remains the top reason people buy HDTVs and
anything less, all analog TVs are being sold for next to nothing because they
are heading for obsolescence. That is
why some TVs are “suddenly” so cheap. At
least for those that have Y/Cr/Cb component (or equivalent) inputs, you can
hook up some HDTV items, even if you do not get the full benefits.
Then there is the sudden price
drop on back catalog DVDs up to films that are over a year old because of the
higher prices on the new HD software, hardware and how many copies of each were
produced (and overproduced) during the DVD boom. Since it will take years for most titles to
arrive in either HD format, this is a good opportunity for fans. Sure, some titles will stay high (like that
first season of Barney Miller) since
they have an exceptional prime demand, but the bargains are impressive for
those titles you may have put off picking up.
Then there is the worry of “you
mean I am going to have to buy my collection all over again!!!” for those who
just saw a switchover from VHS and LaserDisc to DVD. Well, it is not as bad this time. In the cases of programs shot on analog
videotape, HD formats will not improve them.
Not all the HD discs have been better than their DVD counterparts and
like CDs on DVD players, DVDs play on all players that do HD formats, so you
only upgrade the films and other programs you really love and the better DVDs
in your collection for picture and sound will endure longer than those that
don’t. You know, like the one’s we’ve been
warning you about since this site went live.