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Category:    Home > Essays > HDTV > An HDTV For The 2006 Holiday?

An HDTV For The 2006 Holiday?


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 money is.


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.


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