Great Cost and Better Looks with an LCD HDTV

In recent years, a new television technology has permeated the market, making high definition television sets much more affordable for everyone. In the past, consumers had to choose between bulky rear projection televisions with bad viewing angles or incredibly expensive plasma televisions. While plasmas look great, they are just too expensive for most people to afford. However, liquid crystal display (LCD) HDTVs have in the past few years become the fastest growing segment in the television market with the vast majority of sales. They combine great looks with jaw dropping prices (in a good way) and low power consumption.

Recent Improvements

Before, some of the issues people had with LCD HDTVs included lower contrast ratios than plasmas (meaning that LCD HDTVs could not display as many shades of colors as plasma screens, so plasma screens could display deeper blacks and were perceived to have a superior image quality). Also, LCD screens used to only go up to about 40”, so people were forced to go with bulky rear projection televisions or plasma screens for televisions larger than 40”. These were both valid concerns with LCD technology, but recent developments have pretty much wiped those concerns away.

Now LCD HDTVs can be as large as plasma screens or even larger, and their contrast ratio has risen to the point where their image quality is identical. Ask a person just walking on the street to look at a plasma and LCD television, and chances are that he or she will be unable to tell you which is which. Not only that, but they use less power than plasma televisions as well. A 60” plasma can use 400 watts of power, but a similarly sized LCD HDTV is likely to use half of that. This can mean a difference of twenty or thirty dollars in your power bill.

However, the cost savings aren't exclusive to power bills alone as the actual cost of an LCD HDTV is much less than that of a plasma. A 50” LCD might cost $2,000, but a 50” plasma will likely run you twice that. Not only that, but LCD HDTVs aren't plagued with that worrisome “burn in” problem that plasma televisions have had to cope with where an image, if left on the screen for too long, will become permanently burned into the television set. Companies have created several workarounds which help reduce this problem, but they've been unable to solve it completely. To save yourself money and ensure a long lifespan (you can expect your LCD screen to last 30 or more years), purchase an LCD HDTV to watch movies and television in high definition.


A HDTV Converter Box is Key to Television of Tomorrow

Soon all television will be broadcast in digital format. The move has been brought about as it will make it easier for public safety communications with less traffic on the airwaves. Digital broadcasting is also a more efficient way of transmitting television images. The increased availability of HDTV models is good timing as digital transmissions coupled with digital transmission spells better picture quality. You will be able to experience picture quality that is on par with going to the movies. Depending on what type of television you have you can adjust the color and make things even more brighter. Sounds like a dream. There's a problem though, what if you still have an analog television? The answer would be that you need a HDTV converter box.

What You Need

If you don't have cable or satellite TV then you will probably need a HDTV converter box to watch digital programming with an analog TV. Once all broadcasting has completely switched to digital format you will not be able to watch television without a converter. If your television set does not come with a built in digital tuner then you would need a HDTV converter box to watch any digital programming.

If however you already have a built in digital converter than you only need an antenna whether indoor or outdoor. Should you already be subscribing to cable or satellite then talk to your cable provider about whether you need a HDTV converter box. They will be able to better help you with what equipment you need. Once you have a converter box you will probably not need to install anything else, though some antenna such as those that do not receive UHF signals will need to be replaced. Look into finding an antenna that is able to work well with digital transmission.

Your Other Appliances

You probably already have a lot of equipment that is hooked up to your television. Anything from you VCR player, video game consoles, DVD players and camcorders are all appliances that you may already have that were purchased before the whole switch to digital. Your analog compatible appliances will still work but without the same clarity and picture quality that digital picture provides. Your HDTV converter box won't help these appliances but there are connectors on the market that can improve the sound and picture quality as the switch takes place. If however you can put up with the reduced sound and picture quality then this is something you can put on hold and tolerate.


HDTV Converter Does More Than Simple Convert Digital Signals

The main advantage to using an HDTV converter is that it is a device with special capabilities that enable it to convert signals, which is certainly very handy when you want to get the same kind of viewing pleasure that you get with a high definition television or HDTV. The difference between the high definition television and analog television is that with the former the signals contain twice as much resolution as compared to the latter and high definition also means surround sound, which is not available with traditional tube televisions.

It is also quite normal for a HDTV to already incorporate a HDTV converter, but that makes the price of the HDTV go up considerably and may make such television sets too expensive for the average buyer. Also, the majority of homes in the US are still using analog televisions and so for those who are still using the analog television set, only using a HDTV converter will help enable them to enjoy the effect of HDTV.

The HDTV converter will transform the digital signals it receives into analog signals and so it is a very useful device that allows even owners of analog televisions to experience the best picture quality though it won't be the same as HDTV, but is the closest that it can get. However, there is no doubting the fact that only a HDTV will provide you with the best pictures and sound since analog televisions cannot display pictures with the kind of high resolution and surround sound that HDTV sets can provide.

Different Types Of Input Signals

In fact, any HDTV converter can automatically detect which type of input signal is being received which can be either RGBHV, YCbCr or YPbPr format and then these signals are then converted into either 480i, 720p, 480p or even 1080i resolution. In addition, the HDTV converter can also convert 480i video signals and decode them into signals compatible to HDTV resolution, and what's more, the HDTV converter can do even more such as transfer many pixels from a scan line into analog signals to accommodate horizontal resolutions.

With so many functions to perform, it is not surprising to learn that the HDTV converter is a very compact device that has been created by putting the best in television technology to good use. Furthermore, there are many big names that are producing various types of the HDTV converter including Philips, Doremi Labs. Inc., Viewsonic and also JVC. It is also possible to buy the HDTV converter for prices ranging from one hundred fifty dollars to three hundred dollars and they are readily available from local electronic stores as well as on the Internet.


Counting Up The HDTV Channels Is A Game Of Math

In February 2009 the federal government is requiring that all television broadcasts be in high definition and television signal providers are tripping over each other trying to convince the unwary public that they will have more HDTV channels to choose from than they other guy will have. The problem, as seen by many industry watchers is the definition of a channel. Most home television users do not now nor ever will have access to 800 channels but there are some companies pledging that to be the size of their HDTV channels offering when the new law goes into affect.

Satellite and cable television providers are already boasting how many channels they have broadcasted in high definition, essentially a meaningless figure for those who have not made the switch to a high definition television. Even those who have made the switch may not be able to take advantage of all the HDTV channels being pushed if do not subscribe to some of the premium services.

Many regional sports stations are broadcast in high definition and the providers count them as HDTV channels, even though they are not available to a national audience. The same is true for some provider's sports packages. Even if the consumer pays for the entire package, NFL games for example, will only be available on Sundays during the football season, but each one is counted as HDTV channels.

Most Local Stations Broadcast In HDTV

Many local television stations already broadcast their signal in high definition, or digital format, allowing for a better interference-free reception. In order to take advantage of the signal however, the consumer has to have an HDTV and a high definition antenna. I set-top converter will be needed to convert the signal from HDTV channels into analog to play on the old analog televisions, whether it comes from a local broadcast station or the cable provider.

There are many who believe that many of their programs today are available in high definition and for the most part they would be right, but not all local programs are broadcast as HDTV channels all day. Many continue to use the analog system during the day and switch to a digital format during primetime television viewing.

Channels that currently broadcast even part of the time in digital format are counted as HDTV channels by cable and satellite providers and the only ones that have a real interest in the total number are the consumers. While truth in advertising will put a halt to many of the bogus claims, the consumer must be the one to determine how many of the HDTV channels they are being forced to purchase are going to see life on their television screens.